First of all, here's some of the random piecing I'd been doing.
I was really glad I had patches at the ready so I had something to practice on. All of these blocks turned out perfectly, in spite of some of the challenges I had. I can't say that I'm head over heels in love with this new machine but I feel confident she will grow on me over time. She is the machine I would have bought when I bought Phoebe if it had been available. All she needs now is a call name. I figure that, too, will come to me over time.
This is Phoebe, the machine they were sewn on.
Turns out I've had Phoebe for 9.5 years. Time flies when you're having fun and getting good results. But this week C~ asked me whether I was aware of the special deal being offered by our local Pfaff dealer. I'd received the flyer but hadn't paid much attention to it because I didn't think I was in the market for a new machine. She filled me in on the details, and the next time I went out on a routine errand I stopped in at the store. The air quality was too poor for me to stay long but I got enough to whet my appetite. Because they know me there and know of my situation the store manager allowed me to take the floor model home overnight for a test drive.
This is the Pfaff Expression 2.0. You may be able to see at a glance that it has a longer arm and much wider throat. There are 3.5 extra inches between the needle and the column. That doesn't sound like much but when you're trying to maneuver a quilt of any size in and around there for quilting it will feel like a lot. This machine finally has the serpentine stitch that I always wished Phoebe had too.
I didn't fall in love right away. That first night I was feeling poorly and didn't realize that I didn't have the even-feed system engaged while I was doing my piecing. Once I figured that out I was much happier with the results. Then the next morning I layered up a sample quilt sandwich and had a go. This machine is capable of faster speed than the poor old Phoebe. Quilting could actually become fun!
All evening long there were discussions amongst my husband, my son, and myself as to which of the four sewing machines in the house I would use to get the $500 trade in credit. Two of the machines are vintage. They belonged to my husband's grandmother and mother respectively. They are quality machines that work but aren't currently up to par. DS has a starter machine he bought with high school graduation money and it has served him well. I wasn't excited at the prospect of trading Phoebe in. So while I tried out the new machine DS tried out Phoebe. By the time I had to return the Expression 2.0 to the store DS had decided that he wouldn't miss his starter sewing machine that much after all!
Because I had a couple of lingering questions about the new machine I took it back to the store the next morning and left the trade-in machine at home. Fortunately at that hour the store was virtually empty and the air quality tolerable. I was able to spend enough time to have my questions answered, my hesitations assuaged, and in the end I made the purchase. DH went back later in the day to turn in the starter machine.
These are the blocks I pieced while trying out the new machine.
And before you go: I saw this vehicle on the street this week while I was stopped at a light. I was thrilled that this time I actually had my camera with me even though I had to take the picture through my car's window. Isn't it a beauty? Someone has put a lot of time and effort and love into it!