Throat space or stitch regulator?

That is the question.

So my hunt for a new machine is on. The three contenders have throat space of 9″, 10″ and 12″.

The 12″ would be awesome, but that machine is too wide for my Horn Quilter’s Dream cabinet. The next model down that’s in my price range features a throat space of 8.3″. Have to really think about that one. Or try to figure out what it would cost to modify the existing cabinet (or buy a new one).

The 9″ straight stitch only machine might work, if I can find one that uses regular sewing machine needles and has a speed control slider.

What I’m really intrigued by is the Bernina stitch regulator. If any of my readers has a Bernina with the stitch regulator, I’d love some feedback. I do like to FMQ anything large lap size and smaller. Larger projects are either done with straight line quilting or sent to the long armer. I can see myself making it work with 10″ of throat space that the 700 series has. I’m not so sure about the 8.5″ of throat space that the 500 series has. A local Baby Lock/Bernina dealer has a used 770QE in inventory. Would it be worth a test drive? A new one is more than I wanted to spend, but a used one is in the ball park.

madness – it’s everywhere!

So the trolls have infiltrated sewing and quilting circles on social media again. Kudos to the group admins in my FB groups who do the thankless and unpaid (at least I think it’s unpaid) job of blocking and removing these individuals from a group.

Sadly, the angry mob has taken up residence in one of my favorite crafting groups. Guess I’ll be the next member to go *poof* because I eat Chick-Fil-A and sometimes shop at Hobby Lobby. There are certainly businesses where I choose not to spend my money. However, I don’t make fun of or attack people because they disagree with me. I try to look for common ground and proceed from there.

Much of this nonsense started last summer and as a result, I severely curtailed my quilting and sewing machine related purchases. I lost all desire to sew. When the social media dust settled, companies seemed to be courting a different, younger customer base. Look at the ads and the makers who are now the face of the various sewing machine companies. It’s business. I get that. It’s exciting to see new talent. The thing is, some of these same folks were fueling the social media mayhem last summer. I’m no longer willing to support companies who sponsor them.

I’ve re-homed a couple of sewing machines because of my decision. There’s still one more machine I need to rehome/trade-in, but I have to find a suitable replacement first. It’s a bit harder to do because I’m not interested in machine embroidery, entry level machines or Cosplay. I don’t want a longarm. I’m also not willing to spend $10-$15k on a new sewing machine. Fortunately, I found 3 manufacturers who offer a machine that fits my specs and budget. I’m going to test drive those machines over spring break.

You may have a completely different point of view. That’s okay. My point here in sharing is that one can disagree respectfully and take action without starting a firestorm on social media.

Time to get back to Living Again!

There’s a line from the Shawshank Redemption movie where Morgan Freeman’s character says something along the lines of “get busy living or get busy dying.” It’s time to get busy living. We’ve dealt with COVID-19 for the past year. I’ve done what I was asked to do – worn a mask, kept my distance, washed my hands until they’re raw, and shown up for work every day at the germ infested waters known as my elementary school. As I listened to the CDC and Dr. Fauci offer “updated guidance” this week – which is essentially more of the same for the next several months – I realized:

I’m done.

Vaccines are available. It’s your choice whether you roll up your sleeve and take it or not. Personally, I chose to get vaccinated. As of May 1st, I will be considered fully vaccinated.

I don’t plan to go crazy, but I do intend to resume limited travel, F2F therapy dog visits and enjoy activities outdoors. People can give me all the side-eye they want, but I will not be made to feel guilty because I am OUTSIDE without a mask.

I will no longer worry about hugging students who need a hug.

I will no longer worry about teaching sewing classes or attending sewing events at my usual quilt shop without a mask.

I will continue to avoid large gatherings and will shop when stores aren’t as busy.

I will continue to observe enhanced cleaning protocols.

I will continue to observe my personal space bubble.

I will trade my mask for a decidedly more comfortable face shield while at work.

If the research confirms that the 2 shot vaccines do prevent the spread of the virus to others, then I am done with masks unless I am visiting a medical facility or am around someone who is medically fragile. Those are the folks who need to be isolated and protected, not the entire US population.

The longer this drags on and the more mixed messages we receive, the more it seems like we the people are being played.

It’s going to be really interesting to see how many remote employees balk at having to go back into the office in the coming months.

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