A Little More Pfaffing

I have a confession to make.

I may have slightly accidentally bought a new sewing machine.

…Ooops?  🙂

My Quilt Expression 4.2 was due (overdue, really) for her second service last month, so I dutifully packed her into the back of the car and took her on the road trip to Carmarthen.  While there, I cast a wandering eye around the shop (which is usually packed to the rafters with assorted makes and models of sewing machine) and lit upon the dainty form of a Pfaff Passport 2.0.  It’s a model I’d seen there before, and I had been intrigued by the notion of a portable sewing machine that still had the integrated IDT system and build quality of my larger Pfaff.  Recently I have been battling with a lot of lower back pain, so a smaller, lighter machine to carry to Quilt Club and to have set up for piecing duties at home, while the 4.2 handles the larger piecing and quilting jobs, was not a new or unwelcome idea.  I’ve also always slightly suspected that the QE4.2 does not really appreciate having her considerable personage lugged about hither and yon like a piece of cargo, although she bears it nobly.

Seeing my interest, the shop owner (not being daft!) encouraged me to have a play, and also mentioned that he had a newer Passport 3.0 available as well.  I had to have a play with that, too!  The main differences between the 2.0 and the 3.0 are mainly down to the stitch library (the 3.0 has about 20 more pre-programmed stitches) and an auto thread-cutter (2.0 doesn’t have this, 3.0 does).  Otherwise they’re pretty similar in layout.  The price difference?  Thanks to a deal from the shop owner, about £50.  Another advantage is that most of the feet I have for the QE4.2 will also fit on the Passport (with the exception of the FMQ feet because it’s a different system).

Built to travel with a hard case and a slot for the pedal and cables!

I pottered around town while the QE4.2 had her service.  I came back to the sewing machine shop.  I had a bit more of a play.  Mum met up with me and we went for tea to discuss the idea.  One does not spend several hundred quid on a new sewing machine without some deliberation first!  Was it a sensible purchase?  Would I get enough use from it?  In the end, the fact that I had recently received a little more money from my great aunt’s estate, which happened to be about the same as the cost of the machine, was the clincher.  Also the fact that, personally, 2017 has had a rough start and godsdammit it’d be nice to have something nice and spoily.  So, thank you VERY much, auntie Hillary!  I now have two sewing machines to remember you by.  I think you might approve of that.

Of course, with a large (and rather unplanned) purchase like this, there’s often a little nagging voice that says, “…Did I do the right thing?  Was this the right use for that money?”  I got my new machine home, but didn’t even manage to unbox her initially because work was busy and the little bit of sewing I did manage, I did on the QE4.2 because she was all set up and ready to go and I don’t want her to think I don’t love her anymore.  In fact, I didn’t manage to pull out my Passport until last Thursday, so that I could take her on her maiden trip to Quilt Club and do some foundation piecing (more on that soon, I hope).  I’m thrilled to say that it was a very comfortable experience (by which I mean that I was not in crippling agony the next day) and she sewed beautifully.  Buyer’s remorse, begone!  😉

Sisters by a different mister? Big Pfaff in Little Pfaffing? Pfaff and Pfaffability? …Ok, I’ll stop now!

Thank goodness I have a big craft table!  😉

Creative Oozings #22 – A Frugal Project

Over on Craftster, craft swaps are a very popular pastime with strict rules as to sending deadlines and how many swaps may be joined and/or run, to avoid people becoming overwhelmed.  For those who want to dodge the expense of postage, or have too many on-going swaps, or are just plain curious, there is the Fake Swap Craftalong thread.  You add a post stating your intention to fake-join a current swap, aim to craft your items according to the guidelines and deadline for the real swap and post the results on the fake swap thread for all to admire.  The “rules” for this thread are much more forgiving than the real swaps are!  Because I’m still a fairly new member and haven’t joined any real swaps, I was ineligible to join the Quilt Block Swap, so I decided to fake-join it with my Star Baby and Birds and Bees quilts, which I completed in very good time.  I also fake-joined the Frugal Living swap, which encourages participants to craft items only from their stash or other already-owned items, and with an eye to aiding frugal living for the recipient.  With that in mind, and after considering my growing pile of scraps and off-cuts, I declared I would make some scrappy draught excluders for the house, since I have enough usable scraps to decorate the outside and enough unusable scraps (and thread nests and scraps of batting) to stuff at least one excluder!

Unfortunately, life and a new baby then happened and I’ve missed the original deadline by a country mile.  However, we could really do with some draught excluders about the house so I am determined to make them anyway.  My other motivation for making them is to test out the vintage electric Singer sewing machine we had serviced recently.  It’s a solid, if elderly, machine with a nice smooth action and this could be the perfect project to try it on, since it doesn’t matter vastly if it makes a mess (though I hope it doesn’t).  I’m also planning to try a quilt-as-you-go method to piece my scraps onto a backing of calico and wadding, and use some of the plastic sheet left over from the changing mat to make a water-resistant base.  Or I might use the plastic to make an inner stuffed structure and use the quilted sections to make a removable, washable cover.  I haven’t quite decided yet!  But this is likely to be what I’ll do at Quilt Club on Friday, if I can get the basic structure and materials sorted out in time.