26 January 2011

New Toys

     My love of vintage and my new passion for quilting was destined to lead me to the purchase of a new (to me) sewing machine.  Strike that... make that two new sewing machines.

Singer 301 longbed
Singer 401a "Slant-O-Matic"

     How did I get here?  Blog-stalking is a dangerous thing.  It leads you to covet what others have.  I read about the Singer 301 and 401 on various quilting and sewing blogs.  That led to searches on ebay "out of curiosity," which led to searches on Craigslist, which led to me handing over money in exchange for these machines.
    My hubby incredulously asked how many machines I need (remember, I have my 3 year old Kenmore, and Martina's Singer 257).  Once I explained the advantages of these older, all-metal  machines (easy to self-maintain, will outlast my newer Kenmore with plastic parts, will outlast me), and he saw how beautiful they are, he stopped giving me a hard time. 
     To my credit, I did do my homework.  The Singer 301 is, second to the highly-coveted Singer 221 Featherweight, one of the best machines for quilting (lightweight for an all-metal machine, free-motion capabilities, beautiful straight stitch).  The Singer 401a (Slant-O-Matic) also garnered great reviews from sewers.  Again, a beautiful straight stitcher, but it also does about 27 built-in specialty stitches, plus it comes with 5 cams for a few more specialty stitches.
     I'm debating on whether to have a professional clean and service these machines or do this myself.  The manuals seem to be pretty detailed about cleaning, with diagrams showing the oiling points on the machines.  I suppose I should save myself a bit of money and try to do this myself. 

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