Know Thy Machine

Today, I’m participating in Shruti’s (13 Woodhouse Road) Know Thy Machine blog hop. Shruti has over 30 bloggers telling you all about their machines and a ton of prizes too!

So let’s get to my little workhorse of a sewing machine!

1. What machine(s) do you have? Brand and Model. I have a Kenmore 1345.

2. When and where did you buy it? What were the reasons for selecting this(these) particular model(s). What was its approximate cost. I received my machine as a wedding gift 30 years ago from my sister and her boyfriend (who is also my husband’s brother). I believe it cost in the $200 range.

3. What do you like about your machine? Have you named it? Have you made a cover for it? It has been a fantastically reliable machine for me. I don’t want to say this too loudly, but it has NEVER broken down. It has had a few minor maintenance issues over the years, but, considering how much I use it and how infrequently it has been serviced, it is a champ! I have not named my machine and have not made a cover for it. I did receive an amazing cover for it, made by the talented Yeechi/kirianth, earlier this year as part of the For the Love of Solids Swap. It is totally me and I just love it!

4. Does your machine give you any problems? Could you tell us a few? Occasionally the bobbin tension goes crazy on me for no reason that I can tell and several of the 8 stitches don’t work any longer.

5. What do you sew on it mainly? Quilts, Clothes, Bags etc. How much time do you spend sewing on it? What are the features of the machine that help you improve your work? I sewed mainly clothes and home dec items on my machine for the first twenty years I owned it. I made some of my work clothes, much of my maternity wardrobe and lots of baby outfits and Halloween costumes. Now, 90% of the sewing I do is quilting. I sew quite a bit – most weeks at least 10-20 hours. It is rare for me to go two days in a row without sewing. Given that my machine has few features, I’d say the one that I most appreciate is the adjustable presser foot pressure. This helps me do decent quilting without a walking foot (they don’t make one for this machine any longer – if they ever did :)).

6. What advice would you give others when deciding about which machine to buy? As wonderful as this machine has been, I am really ready for a new one. I’ve been thinking a lot about what features are important to me. Since I do my own quilting and plan to continue doing so, I’d love more throat space. Many of the other features my machine lacks are pretty standard on today’s machines – things like needle up/down, ability to drop feed dogs for free motion stitching, walking feet, etc.

7. Will you share with us a special memory associated with your machine? I have some great memories of things I’ve made with my machine. One that stands out is when I made my four year old daughter a full wedding dress and veil for Halloween. Having her own ideas, she insisted that the lace overlay go over the skirt, not the bodice as is more common. I thought I was being kind of crazy investing that much time and energy in a costume, but it was so much fun! Of course, she loved it.

8. If you had unlimited resources in the world, which machine would you choose to buy and why? I’ve been drooling over the Janome Horizon 7700. Such fantastic quilting space and every other option I can imagine!

So, if you hop on over to Shruti’s blog, she’ll have a question about what I’ve told you above. Answer the question on her blog and you’ll be entered to win a prize this week.

  • cinzia
    Posted at 20:19h, 05 November Reply

    I used a kenmore for fifteen years and it never let me down! They are great machines. But, like you, I was looking for more features so I recently bought a new bigger machine with all the bells and whistles.

  • YC
    Posted at 19:12h, 05 November Reply

    Thanks for the love, Debbie! I think fondly on that project whenever I see Kona coal gray! 😉 I love the colors, too.

    Right around that time, I had upgraded from a tiny 3/4 basic machine much like yours (no needle up/down or left/right, dropped feed dogs, walking foot) to the Janome 6600p and it is such a dream! The needle up/down is seriously amazing… no more "pulsing" the foot pedal to do it manually. But I got it after the Horizon came out, so if you don't need the feature differences between the 6600p and the 7700, take a look, it could save you a bunch of $$!

  • Becky
    Posted at 18:39h, 05 November Reply

    I started sewing on a Kenmore, very similar to yours. My mom still has it. My very first machine was a similar (used) 30+ yr old Kenmore that I bought cheap, and used for years until a part broke, and no replacement could be found :(. They're great machines!!

  • Brother se350
    Posted at 10:44h, 05 November Reply

    I created mainly clothing and house dec products on my device for the first many decades I possessed it. I created some of my perform clothing, much of my pregnancy clothing collection and many child clothing and Outfits. Now, 90% of the stitching I do is the art of quilting. I sew quite a bit – most several weeks at least 10-20 time. It is unusual for me to go two times in a row without stitching. Given that my device has few functions, I'd say the one that I most appreciate is the flexible presser feet stress.

  • emedoodle
    Posted at 07:34h, 05 November Reply

    Fantastic machine! I love seeing people who are using tried and true machines! 🙂 One question, you mentioned the adjustable foot allows you to more easily do straight quilting… do you raise it? by how much? is it a drastic amount? My Juki has an adjustable foot and maybe that would help me… I broke my walking foot and refuse to replace it (at $70!) since I broke it by sewing too fast – I'm not going to slow down for my walking foot. lol. 🙂 I'd love to hear your tips for presser foot adjustments!

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