I have yet to try my hand at Free Motion Quilting, though I’m currently watching a Craftsy class on the topic. (Free Motion Quilting Essentials, with Christina Cameli). I was setting up to try my hand at the exercises, and went to find a free motion foot for my machine. Now my machine (named Sigrid) is a Viking #1+ that I’ve had for a little over 15 years. She was a gift from my then-fiancee, now husband, in lieu of an engagement ring, at my request. I like the machine, though she has some quirks that sometimes make me slightly batty.
Off I went to the nearest Viking dealership, in search of the correct foot. I couldn’t find any on their accessory wall, so the nice saleswoman went to go look it up in their catalog. It has, after all, been a while since my machine was in production. I’ve run into problems before, finding accessories. For instance, I recently added a stitch plate marked in English measurements – but the only one I could find has a single needle hole, so I can’t move the needle position without changing back to the metric plate. While she was making inquiries, my husband and I wandered around the shop. Since this particular store is also a Bernina dearler, they happened to have a 770 QE set up. I spent a few minutes trying not to drool on it. I DID notice, however, that that is a very large machine. I’m not sure it would even begin to fit in my sewing table. (Not that I have it set up just now – no room!)
At last, the woman returned with bad news – Viking never made a free motion quilting foot with a spring for the #1+. Woe. I do have a “quilting foot” but it seems more designed to stitch in the ditch than true FMQ. And, naturally, she suggested I upgrade. However, that lovely, lovely 770QE is just a bit out of range at the moment. And by “a bit” I mean “a lot.” So home we went.
Now I am face with something of a dilemna. For now, I’ll just continue on with Sigrid. Though I regularly scan thrift stores in search of a nice vintage machine that I can have as a back up. Sigrid currently could use a cleaning and tune-up, but that means turning her over to the dealership for about 3 weeks. It would be nice to have another machine for those events. But when I go to upgrade, do I go for something like the 770QE? Or get a Juki as a dedicated FMQ machine? I will say, Bernina’s seem to have a nicer stitch than my Viking. And I have never been totally happy with it, since I learned to sew on a Pfaff – the lack of double feed is a source of constant irritation. What do you have? And what would you recommend?