I did some projects last week for a fundraiser. I did a few simple quilted dog crate mats. One of them I did some free motion quilting and I hit a constant problem with my bobbin thread tangling when changing positions. I could never get the thread tension right no matter how much I fiddled with it. Part of it is the speed at which I’m doing my free motion while moving the fabric, I know that takes time to build skill at doing but it is so frustrating having the top of the quilt look pretty good and then flipping it over and seeing a huge tangled mess. I was constantly having to check to see if the back was getting screwed up.
I’ve been listening to the Quilted Cupcake podcast and she talked about having the same problem on her Kennmore sewing machine while doing free motion quilting. Many quilters decide at this point to upgrade to a fancier machine that does good free-motion with built in feed dogs on the upper and lower parts of the foot… but she had a low-tech solution that I think I may end up doing. She researched and purchased a Singer 201-2 off of Ebay and found that it does fantastic free-motion quilting AND it has a very large area to fit quilts while doing free motion which is a problem I also found while doing these small crate mats – my little Janome didn’t have much room to work with in the harp area.
The Singer 201-2 does great straight stitching and she said the backs of her quilts look fantastic now. She even went to Goodwill and found a cabinet that seems to be made just for the Singer – she bought it for $12. I doubt I’ll be as lucky but I hope to find a Singer in good condition.
I looked on Craigslist and found someone up in Spring Hill selling one in a cabinet so I contacted them to see if they could send me some more pictures of it. If it did get it I’d end up keeping it in the front room to use only for my free motion quilting. I think it would make a nice decorative object too, something interesting to look at.
Ebay doesn’t have very good prices for them right now and I don’t go to yard sales very much to find them there so I’m crossing my fingers that Craigslist will work out for me. There seem to be a few listings, some people don’t always put the model number but there are lots of antique Singers on there.