I had to pinch myself. I just bought a brand new Husqvarna Viking Sewing machine! I wasn’t planning on it. I had obtained an old 1970s Montgomery Ward sewing machine with all metal parts for $45 from a Chicago pawn shop. I even downloaded a copy of the owner’s manual online. I met a woman named Mac who had previously owned her own quilt shop. She handled my old sewing machine and told me, “This is an oldie, but a goodie! Great job on finding it!” I had my family to thank for teaching me the ways of discount shopping.
But quite frankly, I cannot afford a Bernina or a long arm right now. And the truth of the matter is that when you are in a situation like that and you plan to take on some large quilting projects, the older model machines with all metal parts work very well if you can find one. But not having up to date parts or someone standing over you to tell you all the time what to do was challenging. But my recent long arm bills and a recent trip to Quilt Fest Oasis placed me in a place of mental fortitude. I didn’t care about the complication of machine quilting anymore. I was going to do this. Finally.
I was told by someone in the Chicago Fiber Arts Meet Up that one of the best places in the city to go to was the Singer sewing store on Irving Park Road if I ever needed anything (and I did).
While at the Chicago International Quilt Festival, I learned about a machine quilting workshop that was taking place in Madison, Wisconsin this year. I needed to have lessons on how to work this 1970s sewing machine, so I called all around until the Singer store on Irving Park Road told me to come in. As soon as I sat my old clunker down, I saw Husqvarna Viking sewing machines as far as the eye can see on sale! I wanted a Husqvarna Viking when I purchased my Singer in 2006! It is rare to see them on sale. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and New Years Day specials were out of the question. With this type of machinery, you have to get it a month in advance of Black Friday because by Black Friday, everyone has bought your sewing machine.
I had a positive recommendation from someone I trusted in the Chicago Fiber Arts Meet Up. And I’d signed on with my machine quilting class to let the universe know that I was serious about my commitment.
Machine quilting is already a daunting task. Why make the process more difficult with a machine I could barely use? I took a deep breath and said, “Tell me about your Husqvarna Viking sewing machine.”
“Well,” the sales lady said, “It does the dishes! It mops the floors! It scrubs the tile and the bathroom and it pays the bills!”
“Well, for the cost,” I said, “it had better.”
I managed to walk out of a major quilt store opening in September with nothing more than hand quilting thread in my hand, but not this time. No, this time I was with a dozen Husqvarna Viking sewing machines on sale. And somehow I knew I wasn’t about to get as lucky by walking out with hand quilting thread.
The Singer I had in 2006 was taken over by my mother. The 1970s Montgomery Ward sewing machine went to someone who was about to take a local sewing class. And I went home with my Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. At last.