Sew, Mama, Sew! has a Meme running right now - they're trying to get all of their users to post about their sewing machines so people can learn about the different types and find the one they think would work best for them... here I go:
(The questions are from Sew, Mama, Sew!)
What brand and model do you have? I have a Brother XL-5340
How long have you had it? My mother gave it to me for Christmas about 7 years ago.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? I don't think they make this model anymore, but I think it cost about $150 when my Mom got it for me.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I usually sew quilt tops, some clothing, a few handbags, little projects here and there... almost anything really!
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? When I'm in the mood, I will sew a few hours each day, for several months at a time - then I'll take a break for a month or so..... I think it gets a good amount of wear and tear!
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I like my machine usually... sometimes it eats things... it doesn't have a name... There are things that I wish it could do that would make things a lot easier for me!
What features does your machine have that work well for you? The settings are all easy to manage, changing the foot is very easy, and the bobbin might be the hardest part, but it's not that bad either... it's a pretty user-friendly model!
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? I think everyone wishes their machine would never run out of bobbin thread... but that's just wishful thinking! It's kinda noisy too, even after I've cleaned and oiled it - it just seems to depend on the day as to how noisy it's going to be.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! I have only once broken a needle on the machine, and it really freaked me out - so I try to be pretty careful with it. I hope never to sew my finger or have any bloody accidents with it!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I would recommend it as a basic, starter machine, especially if you don't know if you'll get 'into' sewing or not. I like it well enough, it does what I need, but I wouldn't tell an experienced person to go out and buy one, they would probably want more features than this model has.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? I think you need to look at what you're planning to use it for, and what features are available. If you think you're going to want to embroider or applique, you might need a different machine. If you're mainly doing clothing, or Halloween costumes once a year, you don't need anything fancy. You need to make a list of the things you would like to have in the machine and then go out to look for one that has those features. I think the ease of replacing the bobbin is very important, and so is changing the feet - the clip on feet are the easiest, if you have to screw them on, it's going to take a long time, and can create problems down the road.
Do you have a dream machine? I haven't looked around for an exact brand or model, but I would love to have a quiet, heavy duty machine that could have the needle set to be 'down' or 'up' at the end of the stitching, and I would like to have the ability to drop the feed dogs. Also a longer 'neck' would be nice to have when I'm quilting. A few more embroidery stitches would be nice too, in case I decided to embellish something. I don't want to have a separate embroidery machine. It would need to be something I could clean and oil myself, and not be high maintenance.... I don't want to have to take it in anywhere to fix it all the time.
I can't wait to read what others say about thier machines!