Quilting, Sewing

Meet Bertha

14th June 2017

Janome XL601 – A.K.A Bertha

This is a little late as yesterday was National Sewing Machine Day but I thought you might like to be introduced to Bertha, my beloved sewing machine.

When I first took up sewing around 6 years ago my Mum kindly gave me her 1970’s Frister Rossmann sewing machine.  This served me well in the early days but was rather tired and old and started to struggle.  Then, in 2013 when faced with the “what would you like for Christmas” question I asked my parents and my husband to club together to buy me a sewing machine. 
I was completely overwhelmed by the selection online and by the varying comments of sewing friends.  So, I booked myself in to visit a sewing machine shop so that I could try out a few different models.  I received demonstrations of a couple of different brands and levels of machines.  I was keen to buy something more elevated than the basic entry level but not to get too carried away as I was still rather new to sewing.  When I tried the Janome XL601 (affiliate line) I completely fell in love. 
This doesn’t have the most decorative stitches but to be honest I am fairly boring in my choice of stitches.  It does have a few features, which I love and want to tell you about:
·      It is possible to control the maximum speed of the machine which is great for if you are undertaking some intricate work or you a simply tired and “heavy footed”.  This was also a helpful feature when I recently taught a friend to sew on my machine and I can see this being great when my little Pickle is big enough to have a go
·      There is a button to put the needle up and down and I don’t have to wind anything.  It is so useful and if I use another machine at a class I realise just how much I like this feature
·      Although I don’t do a lot of freemotion embroidery, I do intend to pick it up more and this machine can drop the feeds (and it is easy to do so!)
·      When I purchased my machine there was a special offer that included a quilting pack.  Part of that was an extension table, which I always use when quilting to help support the weight of the quilt.  I would have never thought I would need this but I have been super pleased with it
·      Finally, I love the walking foot and the guide that fits to it.  It means I can do accurate straight line quilting and vary the width of my lines
I don’t have a vast experience of sewing on different machines but I do know that I really like my current machine and would highly recommend it to beginner and intermediate sewers and quilters.

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