I got some new toys (and a few more yards of fabric - yikes!) last weekend. A Babylock Quilter's Choice sewing machine and Horn of America cutting table. No I didn't really need a second sewing machine, but I managed to come up with a justification for why I wanted it. I already own a Pfaff 7570 and it's a really nice machine, but I've been wanting a second machine so that while the 7570 is set up for embroidery I can still do regular sewing. I also wanted something lighter in weight so that I could take it to quilting classes. Since the 7570 is in my sewing cabinet, the Babylock would be more portable and I could use it on the dining room table to sew draperies or other large items. The setup in the sewing/computer room is just too cramped for that. I'd like to do more quilting and have a Flynn quilt frame that I've never used because I don't have space in the sewing room. Yes, I could drag the Pfaff out to the dining room, but who wouldn't want a second machine? The Babylock is pretty neat and since I got the Quilter's Choice model, it's more suited to doing quilts. It has some cool features the Pfaff doesn't have, like a thread cutter and a 30 mm (that's over an inch!) basting stitch. The button holes are nice on the Babylock and the attachment uses the actual button to set the size. So there, that's my reason for the new machine and I'm sticking to it!
The cutting table is wonderful! I had been using our dining room table for tracing patterns and cutting, but the height is just too low and thus it hurt my back to use it. I had been lusting after Koala tables until I saw the price tag. Ouch. No way, no how. My husband said he'd make me one for a whole lot less. Yes, I'm still waiting (but he's also waiting for quite a few garments I said I'd make him, so we're even). Fortunately there are cheaper options, but it wasn't until we were in the store on Saturday and Eddie of Eddie's Quilting Bee told my husband that he too had thought of building a cutting table but the materials alone would cost more. Well, I don't know about that, but there certainly are a number of large and small parts to the table and since my husband doesn't quite have his workshop together (as in no room to work in the garage workshop), it seemed unlikely he'd ever build it. Seeing the table in the store also clinched the sale. Eddie also didn't have to pursuade me too much to buy the sewing machine. Actually my husband talked me into getting the Quilter's Choice over the less expensive Decorator's Choice (no extension table, fewer feet, fewer stitch designs). What a guy!
So my new toys are home now. We assembled and set up the cutting table temprorarily in the living room while mom is still here. After she leaves it will live in the guest room. It folds up into a smaller unit. Another plus is that the guest room is next door to the sewing/computer room - I was always having to trek back and forth between sewing room and dining room to get scissors, pins or one thing or another. At least they were on the same floor!
As for fabric, I "found" myself back at Stone Mountain and Daughter on Sunday. We all went to Berkeley to take a tour of the Scharffenberger chocolate factory. It was neat to see how they make the chocolate from bean to bar and they give samples. Yummmm! A definite "must visit" when you're in the area. We planned to have dinner in the café but had 45 minutes until they opened so, well, SM&D was just a mile or so up the street. I bought some blue and white striped cotton/lycra for a blouse and a 1/4 yard of a cotton fabric for a multi-fabric purse I want to make. So that's another 1.75 yards to add to my stash.
But now that I have a new machine and a great cutting table I'll be sewing up a storm. Right.