Meet My Machine

Today I’m part of the blog hop: Meet My Machine, so if you’re stopping by for the first time, howdy and welcome! Be forewarned  I’m not going to wow you with any super-fancy, high-tech, machine. If you’ve visited my blog before, you know that I sew with an old-school Bernina Sport 801 made sometime around 1980. And I love this puppy!  All metal parts, super sturdy, and no computerized anything (hello, it was made when computers were still the size of refrigerators).  But it just goes and goes.

The Tilted Quilt meet My Machine Linky Party
Since I don’t do a lot of fancy stuff with my machine – mainly I just sew straight lines – this one is all that I need. My mom bought it when a local college was replacing their machines sometime in the late 80’s. Since it’s exactly like the machine I first learned to sew on, I was always comfortable with this one and when she upgraded about 12 years ago, she let me have it.

I frequently get asked the question what new machine would I recommend for someone who wants to buy their first machine. Since I’ve never bought a new machine, I don’t consider myself a great resource on new machines, so I asked my readers for some of their thoughts and experience. You can read their suggestions in the comments on this post.

I’m now toying with the idea of of upgrading myself, but still unsure exactly what to get. While I will always love this baby, I’m starting to consider the idea of a little more throat space sounding nice. I’m still doing some research of my own. I’m excited to check out the rest of the Meet My Machine Blog Hop.


Want to share your own machine and it’s story? You can link up a post here.

As part of this tour we were also invited to share pictures of our sewing space. I am currently in the middle of a few big projects and as a result, my sewing space looks like a HAZMAT reclamation super-fund site.

So instead, and just for fun (and so this post isn’t totally boring and picture-less), a few pictures of some recent blocks I created for Shari as part of a Bee swap. (Not to be confused with the Virtual Quilting Bee.) The block above was made from the free pattern Charming Lucy by Andy at A Bright Corner. So quick and satisfying! I think I need to make more. A great way to use up a charm pack.

This block (also for Shari) came from a request for a “house” inspired block. She sent us fabric and a few images for inspiration and let us come up with what ever we liked. I loved the little focus print she sent. So I decided to build her a cute little neighborhood.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  • Reply
    Sewing Mom
    March 18, 2013 at 5:38 am

    How wonderful that you're still using your first machine…and I see it's a Bernina…so I hope mine lasts a long while too! You'll have to share you space in another post. =)

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Love that cute little house block with the "neighborhood"

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I love the little girl & clothesline beside the house in your block! so cute πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Missy Shay
    March 18, 2013 at 6:58 am

    What a fun post! I prefer my hand crank over my computerized sewing machine for piecing quilt blocks!

  • Reply
    Marion McClellan
    March 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

    What a cool miracle! I have found myself hunting for a new machine this week πŸ™‚ I too prefer a basic machine that will last me to the grave πŸ˜‰ I am so excited to read about everyones machines. My mil still prefers her 1955 singer to everyother fancy machine in the world. I have to admit the stitches on that thing are perfect!

  • Reply
    Stacey Napier
    March 18, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Thanks for sharing with us this week! You are proof positive that you don't need all the bells and whistles to create amazing quilts ~ thank you!

  • Reply
    Funky Kim
    March 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Whatever machine you choose, make sure that you have a local dealer who will show you all the nifty tricks your new machine can do!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Grace
    March 18, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Wow — I never would have guessed that you were using such a petite machine to sew all of your beautiful quilts! If you're comfortable with the Bernina brand and looking for more throat space, you should look at the new 710. I have the 750QE (pretty much the same machine, but with a few more stitches and embroidery capability) and I'm really loving the HUGE throat space, super bright

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for the great suggestion, Rebecca! As a disclaimer I should add (so people don't think I'm superheroic) I hardly ever quilt my own quilts, so I don't do a lot of machine quilting with that little machine, mostly only piecing. Hence the reason I am toying with the idea of a bigger machine.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

    love that house block with the washing line!

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 11:02 am


  • Reply
    Miss Sews-it-all
    March 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Love your little BERNINA! So cute. And great house block!

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I sew on an older Bernina too. When I got a new one it was a choice, one with fancy bells and add ons, or not… I chose not and got a Juki that only straight stitches.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Amy – I have a very similar Bernina that I inherited from my MIL (mine might be older but has the same controls as yours). It weighs a ton and is indestructible. I've tried a lot of machines (and I have 3 myself) and this one has the most consistent stitches, no tension problems, and seems to feed evenly without a walking foot. I love your little house block – so cute.

  • Reply
    Wendy L
    March 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    You inspired me to post my own Bernina story! Such great machines. Even though I know they make bigger and better versions of mine, I don't know that I could give her up. They certainly earn their keep. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    March 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Aww, don't upgrade yourself, you're perfect just as you are :oD

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Haha, thanks, Katy. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    heart of charnwood
    March 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Ha, ha, I love your description of your sewing space, i was too ashamed to show mine yesterday too, we're moving house and it hasn't been tidied for a few weeks, and I'm untidy at the best of time! i like the idea that you sew such beautiful pieces on an old and rather simple machine, but you're right about the mostly sewing in a straight line! :o)

  • Reply
    Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy
    March 18, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Fantastic post, Amy! And the oldies are goodies, aren&#39;t they? Hardly anything ever goes wrong with my old Brother πŸ™‚ I hope you have fun hopping around to the other sites!<br />xo<br />Erin

  • Reply
    Live a Colorful Life
    March 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Your little house block is adorable!!

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Your house-inspired block is adorable! I think your machine is awesome. All metal machines seem to get the job done for a long time if they&#39;re well-maintained (as yours obviously is…) πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 1:04 am

    The blocks are adorable…I especially love the house block…wouldn&#39;t trad my older Janome either..take care.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Love your machine which is probably why I love my vintage ones. Love the Hazmat comment. My sewing room looks that way too currently.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      I&#39;m so glad I&#39;m not a lone. One of these days I&#39;ll have a clean sewing room. Perhaps. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Jennifer Lowe
    March 19, 2013 at 7:20 am

    You are so lucky to have been given such a great machine! I found your blog through the machine hop, but I will definitely be coming back. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kara-Kara Pumpkineater
    March 19, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I want to see more of your sewing room, I want to see more of your sewing room!!! πŸ˜‰ Here&#39;s where I blogged about my machine today- http://meandelna.blogspot.com/2013/03/meet-elna-and-her-crib.html .

  • Reply
    Sarah Craig
    March 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Old machines are the best – they run so much better than the new ones. But if you do decide to look for a new machine with a larger throat, I would highly recommend the Juki TL98-Q – I&#39;ve had mine for two years now, based on the recommendations of several quilt bloggers, including Rita (Red Pepper Quilts), Beth (Love Laugh Quilt), and I think Amanda Jean (Crazy Mom Quilts). My Juki runs

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Wow- you sew lots of great things with that little machine!

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