A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Yes, I'm definitely mourning the loss of my beloved Janome sewing machine (most of you will remember the tale of woe that led to its demise and the subsequent purchase of a Bernette).  After spending a lot of time with the Bernette I have reached the sad conclusion that, in many ways, it is best suited for a boat anchor.  The only feature I can honestly say that it has that I truly like is the 'needle down' - the rest of it is cheaply made and it shows.  The latest disappointment was finding it is woefully unable to free motion, despite following (explicitly!!) the directions and consulting several on-line tutorials.  It simply Will Not Work.  It heartily dislikes any 'different' threads (ie. monofiliment) and will snarl at me no end.  (And yes, before you ask, I have done a TON of research to see what I could possibly be doing wrong).  I have sewn for pretty much all my life and have spent more time in complete and utter frustration over this thing.  Unless and until I manage to win a lottery I guess I'm stuck with it, but I'm definitely not happy with it.

Bottom line?  If you're considering buying a sewing machine anytime in the future and want it to do more than sew in a straight line,  don't get a Bernette 20!!!!

On to (I hope) better things....but the above frustration stems from what I want to do with this....

This isn't the entire scene, but I thought I'd show you the barn at least.  The rest of it is still under construction (or destruction, depending on the degree of sewing machine foul ups!).  

- I may have shared THIS free pattern for a nice bag with you already.  Please forgive my 'mental-pause' if I have!!

- There's a sweet little baby bonnet tutorial HERE

- And a fun bag pattern/tutorial can be found HERE.  For some reason I can 'see' the embellishment being a wonderful cluster of lots of buttons.

- THIS is a really cute knitted toddler sweater.

Today I have two quotes for you.  The first one is from anonymous..."I've had full conversations with my sewing machine.  They haven't all ended well"  (and you can be sure that there have been numerous 'conversations' happening here!).  

and another one shared by my friend Maureen...and coming from Phyllis Diller...."Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out"


  1. Grrrrr. I hate bad sewing machines. I hope you will be shopping for a new one soon.

  2. I'm so sorry about your sewing machine troubles. Such a shame when you are going so well with the barn creations. Loooove the latest project.

  3. Oh no, that is horrible and after spending good money. You must be hopping-mad. Fingers crossed for you that some money will turn up and you can purchase a machine that does what you tell it. BUT.....oh your barn. It is amazing. I think you have this 'barn raising' down pat. I hope that machine will start to obey your every command!

  4. It's so frustrating when the tool you invest in does not work well for the job you intended it to do! Grrrrrrr!

  5. So sorry about your Bernette experience. Bernina products are vastly over-rated. If you can find a Pfaff 7550 or 7570, that is the best I've sewn on. It would be a used machine from the 1990's now. The quilter's model from Babylock or Brother are fairly good machines too. Go for the lower end with the least amount of computerization. The barns are a fun subject. Have you seen pictures of the round barns? I saw a real one in Wisconsin. Gorgeous & so compactly organized!

  6. Hi Barbara - sorry I can't respond to your comment via email (you must be set to 'no reply'), so I'll do it here. Thank you for your recommendations re sewing machines. Wish I could lay my hands on a Pfaff that was in my price range because it would be a dream machine I'm sure. The Bernette hasn't much in the way of computerization on it, which was one of the reasons I chose it. I figured it was less to go wrong (hah...was I wrong, or what?!). Round barns - have only seen pictures.

  7. "Boat anchor" Made me laugh. Thank you for the review.
    I still have my Dressmaker 1972.

  8. Oh dear! I hate it when that happens. I have had some conversations lately with my machine, but I am hoping a service and change of needle will surfice. At least I have Miss H's one to play with as she left it here when she went back down country. It's a good back up. Your barn is looking great. I will giggle about thinking of the Boss's dingy with your machine as an anchor!!! Karen , Miss H and Baa. xxx

  9. I do know the frustrations of a misbehaving sewing machine and I do not envy you. I have a Pfaff that hubby approved of because it has "stepper motors". I just know it sews and makes me happy. It does everything and lots more than I need. I used to make little bonnets to match my daughter's outfits and this is a cute one. Lovely links. Your quotes are always so appropriate. Phyllis Diller was so right. Lovely Friday Dear...<3

  10. Well, it's true that every one that sews has their favorite brand. In my life I always had a singer...even sold them back in the '70s. Many years ago when I needed a new machine my local quilt shop gave me a "can't pass up deal" on a Viking 400. I think it might be one of the first "computer" models. I have loved it from the day I brought it home. I don't know what I would do if I had to buy a new machine of equal ability. I'm sure I would not be able to come up with the big bucks. A couple of years ago I wanted a second machine just to be able to keep dark thread in it when I had a project that took light and dark. It's a cheap little machine but I have been happy with the quality of stitching and its abilities. But then I don't FMQ and I'm thinking I might never FMQ. I'm so intimidated, lol.
    xx, Carol

  11. Hello my dear MA ... I just popped over to see the new barn. So sorry to hear you are having so many problems with your sewing machine. I understand your frustration. I had a similar problem and ending up using 3 different machines for different applications. I actually own 4 sewing machines and an embellisher and now thinking I need a bigger studio. Really hope you have some time to sort out the "tensions". Happy weekend to you and thanks so much always for your kindest, loving comments. Love, Carolyn xxx

  12. I am so sorry to hear about your sewing machine. I had a Janome which did me very well when the kids were growing up. I donated it to a lady in an Australian Refugee Detention Centre who had nothing to do and liked sewing but was told after three months it had never reached her as it was considered a security threat. That was sad as I thought I'd lost my machine to a good cause, but instead I just lost it!
    Love your quotes and glad to have given you a chuckle today`with my hair woes!
    Wren x

  13. Sorry you aren't happy with your machine. I have to agree with Barbara re the Bernina sewing machines - highly over rated. I've never owned one. My friends complain about theirs but still buy them. Go figure! When I first got married, I couldn't afford much so got a reconditioned Kenmore for $35.00. About 10 years later (yes, it worked smoothly), I traded it in and got $35.00 as a trade in. Take the machine back where you bought it or to a Bernina dealer and complain! My 2 cents worth :)

    Great links again.

  14. I forgot to mention that your barn is fabulous! You have a great eye for using fabrics to give a realistic look to a scene. Look forward to the finished product.

  15. Bad luck on the sewing machine front! I'd like to know which machine to buy for FMQ too. I started my latest little quilt with FMQ in mind but don't really know how I'm going to actually stitch it with my current old Singer.
    Love the barns, nice bags too!
    Hugs, Barbara xx

  16. Ugh! Sewing machine woes are NOT fun. I am so sorry yours is not working as it should.

    Your barn piece is gorgeous! I do hope things go more smoothly with its construction.

  17. It's true that lower end products of any brand have more plastic parts and problems than more expensive models. I bought a Brother after hearing great reviews, but bought a Project Runway Model (had to be good, right?) from Amazon. Turns out that Amazon and big box stores carry lower end merchandise and somehow manage to slant the reviews upwards. From there I had to spend a fortune to get my amazing Bernina (that does everything but rotate the tires). But how to get a good machine on a reasonable budget? Older machines (pre-computerization) of the major brands are a good bet: Pfaff, Bernina, Singer, and perhaps Janome and Juki too. Try to find a secondhand machine through a trusted source, like a friend, etc. Good luck, my friend!! PS - why haven't you shown us this barn project before now? IM already in love with it!!


Thank you so much for leaving comments! I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy life to talk to me. It's wonderful to know that someone is actually reading my mumblings and even more fun if I can connect with you and visit your blog.