June 10, 2014

New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

If you're new ... welcome, if not, awesome to have you back! Normally, I am not one to gush about who I am and all my personal facts. Although, I do sneak in information about things outside of my quilting life here and there. This will be the first real intro to me and my blog. Hope you brought your reading stamina as this will probably become my longest post ... ever.

1. Improv Quilt    2. Jelly Roll Race     3. Weathervane     4. Pile of Quilt Tops

So, a little background on me. I'm Chelsea, a quilter, teacher, crafter, organizer, and sometimes baker. My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was in high school. As a graduation present we made a quilt together for college. (I still have the quilt, slightly tattered but intact!). She is my "go to" person when my quilting endeavors fail. Thus far she has been able to get me out of any mess I get myself into. Here is a picture of us from our quilt challenge last year. It's fun having a quilting mentor be family!

Honey Bun Challenge 2013

My blog name comes from my obsession with all things giraffes. My favorite stuffed giraffe from forever ago is named Patch.  As I was sitting at the computer stumped to find a blog name he was staring at me, so it became Patch the Giraffe.  

Current Projects: 

1.  Farmer's Wife    2. Sugar Block Club      3. Fabric pull for Modern Maples Quilt

Spell it with Moda 

Fireworks

Random Factoids:
  • Favorite part of sewing - picking out fabrics/designing
  • Least favorite part of sewing - basting
  • Favorite quilting notion - a good tutorial
  • Dream vacation spot - visiting Rebecca at One Wee Bird
  • Favorite author - Dennis Lehane 
  • Favorite quote - "It is, what it is"
  • Favorite animal - GIRAFFE.  Did you know giraffe's have no vocal cords? They don't make sounds! 



Blogging Tip: Be you and let your passion show through :)

Quilting Tip:  Sometimes it's faster to go slower.  (insert WHAT?!?)  Many times when I am rushing or trying to go fast to get something done quick I make a TON of mistakes. Then have to waste time with the seam ripper or starting over.  Sometimes going at a good speed and double checking my work is actually faster and more productive even if it feels like I am going "slow".  


Question:  I am looking to upgrade my sewing machine this year.  Any suggestions?  The whole quest thus far has been overwhelming!  Also looking for honest feedback from people who own the machine, I tend to be bamboozled by flashy ads. 

Here is a list of my peeps also participating in today's hop!  All the names are linked so head over and check them out :) 

Carole @ Fresh Off The Frame

Camelia @ Camelia Elliott

Nurdan @ Hug a Bit Quilts

Lori @ Sew Psychd

Kitty @ Night Quilter

Christina @ Wips and Tuts


Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller

Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

Thanks for sticking with me on this very, very long post!  Also thanks to Beth who arranged the blog hop for us newbies.  It's been a blast so far :)

Sew long for now, 
PATCH & CHELS

68 comments:

  1. GREAT quilting tip! You are so right. Finding the right steady pace can mean saving yourself the onerous task of seam ripping! Although I've become much better friends with my seam ripper these past few months, I still would rather sew than rip.

    Sorry I can't help you with the sewing machine question. I don't know much at all about them! I am currently using a loaner Bernina that is awesome, though. Good luck, and I'm looking forward to seeing what machine you choose!

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  2. I am partial to Janome. Owned a 7700 and LOVED it. . . Just traded it in for an 8900 and I love it even more :)

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  3. oooo you've helped me look at pastels and churn dashes in a whole new light! however, that moda alphabet is to die for as well! it's always nice to meet other teachers too...are you out for the summer yet?

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  4. Love your fabric pull for the Modern Maples. I think I've said it before, but it perfectly captures the colors of fall here in New England! And I've also, not so secretly, been drooling over your sugar block club blocks in the Flickr group. The colors you chose are fantastic!

    How far are you through your farmer's wife quilt? I'm hoping to start mine this year. I pre-ordered a bundle of Cotton & Steel Basics that I think I'll use as the jumping point for the rest of the quilt! We'll see!

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  5. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog however long ago :) I have a Brother machine that works well and a my great grandma's Kenmore that will run until the world ends, but I do have a hankering for a Bernina...don't we all, I suppose.

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  6. I love my Janome for FMQ, but I love my Pfaff for piecing.

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  7. No such a long post really..probably felt that way because you had to write it. Did not know that Giraffes were the tall silent type...maybe that is why they say that about tall quite guys?? Anyway lovely to visit once again.

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  8. Love your quilts! I just got the Juki 2010 TQ and love it. My advice is know what you want the machine to have and how you will use it. My last machines I over bought and didn't use all of the features it had. This time simple and it sews like a dream.

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  9. Ooooh pretty pretty pretty things you share. I especially like your last photo with the fun red squares. New follower!

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  10. Hi Chelsea! Love your Fireworks blocks. Can't wait to see it come together!

    No help on the machine. I love vintage Berninas but I haven't sewn on many new machines.

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  11. Nice to get to know you better, you have some wonderful projects on the go. I shall enjoy following their progress :) Hoping to upgrade my sewing machine soon too, so shall be interested to see the responses you get. I am currently lusting after a Bernina too but Quilt Musings has me looking at the Janome now too :)

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  12. Amen to slower/faster. My piecing got better and faster when I started taking more time pressing, trimming and pinning. I love my Janome 7700.

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  13. You don't need to spend tons of money for a great machine. I absolutely love my Viking Opal 670. Sure there are better models out there, but this machine does way more than I will probably ever use, and it didn't break the bank! I suggest deciding what features you really want and shop for those... IE: I wanted a machine with needle up/down, a start/stop button (a button in addition to the pedal), and self cutting...

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  14. Wonderful post! So many beautiful pictures!! And I did not know that about giraffes....interesting!

    I sew on a Viking Sapphire. Love the machine, lots of features that make sewing easy (scissors, foot control of pressure foot, stop/start buttons, etc.). Having said that, it might be a little overkill if all one really needs is to sew a straight line!

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  15. I bought a Pfaff at Christmas and I love it - it has the built in walking foot and it came with an extension table and quilting feet too!

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  16. Great post. I have been here before and loved seeing the honey bun challenge. :)
    I can't give you much advice on machines except that I made a big splurge and spent way too much money on a bernina. I think they were really great at one time but there are too many things this specific quilting model does not do or should do for that price...actually it should sew by itself! I used a simple Kenmore for over 30 years and it could not do the fmqing I wanted to do so. I don't believe you have to spend a lot to get a lot...now. I would just recommend to you if you are going to do a lot of quilting of your own work to look for a machine that has a large harp space. Everything else is optional but you can't make that space bigger when you want to stuff a big quilt in there. :) Good luck and let us know what you come up with.

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  17. Hi Chelsea! As always, your colors and photography are lovely and compelling. I have a Janome 7700 (extra throat space). Love it! Know a lot of people who love their Jukis, too. I always have an image of Mary from See Mary Quilt quilting at warp speed on her Juki at the MQG retreat. My son is obsessed with giraffes, too, although we call them all 'giraffey'. He has two he sleeps with, and then a third small one. He has a 5' tall one in his room that he likes to tackle. He recently tore a picture of a giraffe in a book and I thought of you as I patched the giraffe. :) Looking forward to the chalkboard hop. Do you have any fun summer plans?

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  18. I am awaiting delivery of my bernina 750.

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  19. Lovely introduction, Chelsea! My paternal grandmother helped me make my first quilt for college, too! :)

    I love my Bernina 820. I chose it because of its big throat, lack of lots of embroidery features (just not fore me) and because of the Bernina Stitch Regulator for FMQing. Good luck in your search for a new machine; try out as many as you can!!!

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  20. Hi Chelsea! It's so nice to get to know you a little better. I have a Juki qi2010 that is fabulous for piecing and FMQ. I also have an older Bernina that is a workhorse and my go-to machine for straight-line quilting. Either machine would be a wonderful purchase.

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  21. I love my Janome! I have a QDC 3160. I love the picture of your quilt stack! I might have to do one of those soon! Fun!

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  22. I have a Bernina 430 that I bought used with the Bernina Stitch Regulator added on. It was a great deal and is a great machine.

    I love your color choices, especially the churn dash quilt!

    Kris

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  23. i cannot advise you on a sewing machine since i neither own or use one. all of my quilts are hand pieced and hand quilted. i love your stack of quilts. they are beautiful! babscorbitt at gmail dot com

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  24. Nice to meet you! Looking forward to seeing more of your work. I like your taste in color combos.

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  25. I got a new (used) Janome a couple months ago. It has some cool features (needle down, thread cutter) that make piecing a lot easier. I also like the top loading bobbin holder, now I can see when I'm almost out of thread which saves the headache of finding out you've just sewn a long seam with no thread!

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  26. I have a brother machine and really like it. It is a NX-400Q, and I've had it for years. It runs well and I love the automatic needle threader and thread cutter

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  27. I'm visiting from the Plum & June Blog Hop! You have some lovely looking projects! I think my best advice for choosing a machine is to think about the features you really want. I knew when I bought my current machine that I just couldn't manage without auto-tensioning that would allow me to free motion quilt like I had always wanted. Once you've decided what you really want, go for some test drives and get what feels good. Good luck! :)

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  28. Welcome to the hop. I was a participant last year..lots of fun. I love my Bernina 440 with stitch regulator. She is my second Bernjna. If you have shops around or a bug quilt show...try out different models and take NO pressure from the sales person. Get the best model you can afford.

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  29. I love your Sugar Block Club blocks! I did last year's club, but had too much going on to join for this year...yet. It's possible I might join before the year is out, the blocks are just so beautiful. Of course, last year's blocks are still not joined together into a top...

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  30. I'm visiting from the Plum & June Blop Hop too!! Sewing machine recommendation - Bernina. I started on a Bernina 130, and I had it for many years. Irecently upgrade to a Bernina 750 B Quilter's Edition. I did that because I needed a bigger neck to machine quilt king size quilts, which I tend to make more of than smaller quilts. But my trusty 130 is perfect for taking on retreats or to guild meetings where we sew. The other machine is too heavy to cart around. I think you have to try a few brands, and go with what feels comfortable. Also, it helps to make sure that you have a dealer that lives near you, for when you need to take your machine in for service. Hope this helps. Your quilts are lovely!!

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  31. I also want to go visit Rebecca! I have a Juki which I love.

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  32. I'm giraffe made too - I channel it by wearing giraffe pjs and buying my girls an abundance of giraffe soft toys - lol :) I just upgraded to a Janome Memory Craft 8200 QC and it made a HUGE difference to my quilting. My small machine is still great, light, portable and does a wonderful 1/4" seam - but the difference of the quilting ability of my new machine is invaluable! Here's a post on the difference http://sewgiving.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/me-or-machine.html

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  33. I did not know that giraffes had no vocal cords!
    Good point about going slower to go faster. Less unpicking!

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  34. I'm not going to be much help with a machine suggestion. I did not know that giraffes do not have vocal cords, so now, even though they are still one of my favorite animals, I would not want to be one because I think I would be miserable if I could not talk! And, I agree 100% with your quilting tip. What a good one to keep in mind!

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  35. Found the link to your blog at Plum and June so I came over to say "hi!" Totally news to me about giraffe's being the strong, silent type. My first machine "upgrade" 20 years ago was to a second-hand Bernina 830. It weighs a LOT, has no electronic gizmo's, but is a reliable workhorse and delightful sewing companion.I defintely curated an appreciation for fine sewing machines after using that. Everyone has their favourite brand or machine but I say if you are going to buy local consider a brand carried by a dealer/shop that you like working with and where you get the impression they'll give great service - support like that can make even a simple machine a really great one.

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  36. I just learned something today about giraffes! Your blocks and that fabric pull for those modern maples are terrific! I wish I could help you with your sewing machine quest, but I don't think I'll be much help. My mom swears by Bernina, but I haven't sewn on it so I can't give an opinion. Good luck!

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  37. I actually did know that fun fact - thanks to my kids! Amazing what they learn watching science cartoons : P Love your Weathervane quilt, Chelsea!

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  38. Chelsea, your blog is as sweet as you are. I'm so glad I found you thru the blog hop! And I agree, the need for speed definitely ends up biting me in the end, we;;, in the end!!
    XX!
    Lori

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  39. Everyone recommends Berninas, but they are really pricey and not portable. I sewed on an old Bernina 830 that was my grandma's for 15+ years, but when it needed to be replaced a few years ago I bought a Pfaff Ambition 1.5 and I am very happy with it and I got it for less than one thousand dollars. It has a great built in walking foot and pretty button hole stitch for appliqueing. I highly recommend buying an old Singer Featherweight for taking on trips and to classes.

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  40. HOLLA my new quilty friend, beautiful quilts and book your ticket already!! I bought Lady Muck last year after spending the last ten years sewing on a wee Bernette. She's an Elna Excellence 720 and almost identical to the Janome 6600, same factory. I couldn't justify the money for a Bernina and really didn't get anymore bang for my buck. She is quite fancy schmancy for me but I have gone from a bicycle to a four door sedan with air con??...I haven't even used a quarter of her new doodads but love the thread cutter,needle down option and built in walking foot! Figure out what are your must have step ups and go from there!....have fun on the hop Chelsea :)....some people would be happy if I channelled my inner Giraffe

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  41. I love that you quilt with your grandmother! I've just gotten my mother into quilting and going fabric shopping and sharing her first and second quilt experiences with her has been so fun.

    You're so right about not going too fast. I always try to go as quickly as possible and then I make mistakes and have to recut or rip a big seam out or my bobbin runs out and I don't notice for three feet.

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  42. I was thinking this very thing yesterday when I was ripping out a seam on a quilted cosmetic bag I was making because I left a pin holding the zip in place.

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  43. Hi there! I found your blog on the Plum and June blog hop, and I'm so happy I did! You do beautiful work! I love the fireworks quilt - It's so subtle and yet so full of interest! I'm probably not much help on the machine suggestion -- I sew on a Bernina 330B. It's not fancy, but it's a great machine. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that it doesn't alert me when the bobbin thread is about to run out - my next machine needs to have that feature! Best of luck on your hunt for your next machine (And I totally agree -- having a local dealer that can service the machine and sell you whatever parts you may want to acquire down the road is super-helpful)! Good luck!

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  44. Chelsa, I have enjoyed corresponding with you. Love the sweet pic of you and your grandmother who taught you to quilt :>) As far as machines are concerned, I'd strongly suggest a Pfaff. I teach quilt classes and host 4-day quilting retreats and have used every type of machine imaginable. I would never buy anything other than a Pfaff. They should pay me for giving so them so much advertisement!

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    1. One more thing--love your Farmer's Wife blocks :>) The author of this book is my son's mother-in-law.

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    2. Love your Farmer's Wife blocks. The author of this book is my son's mother-in-law.

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  45. Beautiful, fresh quilts and lovely that it gives you that extra connection with your Grandma. Your blogging tip and quilting tip both seem spot on to me. I never knew Giraffes have no vocal chords, don't know why but it kind of makes me feel very sad for them. And I'm sorry but I'm no use at all with sewing machine advice!

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  46. Great intro post, and great quilting tip! I've also been reading through your comments, because I'm interested in a new machine (wishful thinking).

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  47. I LOVE my Bernina. Quilting is such a sweet connection between you and your grandma. Happy quilting!

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  48. Nice to meet you! I did the hop last year and have been following along this year checking out the new hoppers! Your farmer's wide blocks look beautiful (I am thinking of doing one myself as I got the book as a birthday present) I just love the modernness of yours. I also love your modern maple pull. THat is going to be one stunning quilt!

    As for a sewing machine recommendation I like brother machines. I currently own a Brother Innov-ís VQ2400. It has a large digital touch screen display which I prefer to non computerized machines and it has an 11.25" throat space. The throat space for me was a huge selling point. I have had the machine a little over a year now and I absolutely adore it. My previous machine was also a computerized brother, just a very small one.

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  49. I don't know what your "key" features are in a machine, but I have never been disappointed with my Viking Emerald 203. The only thing I wish it had was a bigger throat space -- though I have gotten a 85 x 90 quilt through it, it just didn't look as easy as it does on some machines. It pieces and quilts like a champ, though it seems to not like Aurifil, I"m still trying to figure that one out. It weighs a ton, though I consider it more of a feature than a bug -- stays exactly where you put it on a table. :D

    I think your version of the Spell It quilt is the first one I've seen that made me want to make it! I think it would be perfect for a baby quilt, I just need someone to go have a baby for me to make it for! :D

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  50. Hi Chelsea! Great post! I recently upgraded to a juki tl2010q, and I love it. It has everything I was looking for and nothing more.

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  51. Love your Farmer's Wife blocks. The author of this book is my son's mother-in-law.

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  52. No vocal chords! No way! Poor giraffes.... Must remember not to try to strike up a conversation!
    I can highly recommend the Bernina I have. it's an Aurora 440 Quilters edition and it's just lovely. Never had any problems with it in the 6 years I've been sewing madly on it. It's has a great 'stitch regulator' function on it, that, while I havent put it to good use yet, it has meant that as a beginner free-motion-quilter, I haven't totally embarrassed myself with varying stitch lengths...

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  53. Nice intro. I like the name of your blog as it is different. I use Brother but I don't have experience with any other brand we are all different and prefer different features so the final decision is up to you anyway.

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  54. hello, nice to meet you! I'm terrible fro rushing things and then messing them up!

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  55. I'm another Bernina fan. One of your above posters says "Everyone recommends Berninas but ... " Well, there's a reason they are so often recommended! When I upgraded my machine 4 years, I researched the heck out of it, decided what my budget was and decided on the Bernina 330. I'd love to have one of the "higher end" Berninas, but my budget was under 1K. I sometimes wish it had the stitch regulator, but to be honest, I haven't missed it. The only thing I would change would be a slightly larger throat space.

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  56. I love giraffes, I think they look a bit like alien animals. I also love interesting animal facts! Thank you for the quilting tip-I constantly have to remind myself of that, especially when I'm stuck in the speed-sew, swear, rip seams, drink wine and repeat cycle (that's a mouthful!)

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  57. Great post Chelsea! How lucky you are to have a quilting mentor in the family. I wish I'd had that, but the online quilting community has done pretty well in teaching me the basics! As for sewing machines - I have the Baby Lock Symphony (It's actually made by Brother). I shopped around a lot and had some expert quilters come shopping with me. It's a machine specifically for quilting, but not embroidery. I really love it. Feel free to ask more specifics.

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  58. All your projects have such a pretty colour palette. And great tip! I need to remember it... I always go super fast lol :D

    I bought a new machine fairly recently (late last year) after looking at different ones for about 6 months. I had a list of features I liked that I was looking for, inc throat space, needle down, extension table and.. stuff. While I was looking, the big machine of 2013 seemed to be the Janome 7700 -- all the bloggers seemed to have one and its features were the ones I gravitated towards (this year's machine that every other blogger has seems to be the Bernina 710/750). I did try a Bernina 710 and it was lovely! But way too expensive. Eventually I found a Janome 6600. I'm pretty sure it's the previous model to the 7700, so it hit everything I needed. The throat space is 2" smaller than the 7700 (9" instead of 11") but it makes a whole world of difference compared to my other machine! It also lacks the million embroidery stitches of the 7700 which is fine because I don't really use them anyway. The 6600 was on sale which made it in my price range, so I got a machine with the features I wanted, in my price range, even if it was an "outdated" model. So yay :D

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  59. You are so lucky to sew with your grandmother! I wish I had taken more advantage of time like that with mine when she was able.

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  60. How wonderful that you get to sew with your grandmother! All the other quilters in my family are a few generations back and gone. You've made some really great and colorful quilts! As far as machine recommendations, I have had a juki 2010tlq for about a year now and am completely in love with it! It fits my needs perfectly. Maybe it's just the quilting circles I run in but it seems everyone is getting this machine these days. Sew Mama Sew has a link party where everyone linked to a review of their own machines. Me included. :) This might be really helpful to you if you want to know what real owners/users think about their machines. It's organized by machine models. Good luck making your choice!

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  61. Nice to meet you. I have admired your work often (usually links from Sew cute Tuesday!).

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  62. Its nice to meet you. I have often admired your work (usually through the Sew cute Tuesday links!).

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  63. Agreed on the modern maples fabric pull - gorgeous colours! Love your blog name, too. Saw giraffes on safari last year and they were just too awesome.

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  64. Nice to meet you, your projects are really pretty!
    I own a mid grade pfaff machine. I like the duel feed, needle down and scissor and a few other features that are only available on bernina at a higher price point. It quilts and pieces really well. Things I don't like: I have to move the needle every time I sew to get it in the right position for a quarter inch seam; it tends to chew up the beginning of a seam if it's a small piece of fabric like the point of a triangle.

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  65. Nice to meet you. Yes, I'm considerably behind reading blogs. Your quilts are very pretty. I'm a middle school English and SOSE teacher too. I have always had Pfaff sewing machines and love them.

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  66. Basting is MY least favorite part, too! Anything larger than a wall hanging, I have professionally basted by a long-armer. (Not so very expensive) I still like to do my own quilting, but sometimes basting a queen sized quilt is too much to contemplate.

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