I’m still feeling a bit breathless.

I’ve been quilting for many years. About 18 years ago, when I was still a well-paid executive, I bought myself a good sewing machine. My Janome DC3018 is still going strong and Ariadne, as she’s called, is a faithful friend. However, she has two design issues which matter to a quilter. The throat/harp space is only average-sized, and she does not have adjustable pressure to the presser foot. The first means that getting a large amount of quilt under the machine is hard and demanding on the back and shoulders. The second means that the machine uses the same pressure to feed fabric through the machine, whether it’s a triple layer of denim or a single layer of chiffon. Not ideal.

Yesterday, I went to Spotlight for some thread and other small bits and pieces. I was wandering back down the aisle towards checkout, when I saw this.

Say what??!! $400 off?

I read the box. Yes, it has adjustable presser-foot pressure. And you can see for yourself how wide the throat is. I took a photo. I thought about it a lot.

This morning I told the Husband about it. 5 minutes later, I was ordering it online to Click & Collect in the next 24 hours. Have I mentioned recently that I love my Husband A LOT? A machine that originally cost $1000 is now mine for $600. His view was that it was the cost of a new set of tyres, which would wear out and be gone. Anything that made things easier for me to sew was a Good Idea.

This machine will hopefully last me the rest of my quilting life. In addition to the two obvious benefits, it has a bunch of other features and accessories.

I’ve also come up with a name for the new girl. She’s going to be called Aretha. Why, you ask? She’s one helluva girl and she has a BIG throat on her, of course! Also, what I want? Baby, she got it! One thought strikes me, though. I’d better get my sewing room straightened out pronto and the work tables cleared and tidied in preparation for her arrival.

This baby is going to need a lot more room than Ariadne.

58 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

    That cheered me up – so I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I am so pleased for you.
    The best gadget for any job is a wondrous thing. Enjoy! and give her a pat from me. πŸ™‚

  2. magpiesue says:

    So exciting! And I love how you came up with her name. πŸ˜‰

  3. OMG OMG OMG ….. !!!! I was just on the phone to my store as I got an email about it ….
    I’m going in shortly as I’m still on hold πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ
    Looks like we are twinning for Christmas πŸŽ„πŸ€©

  4. knettycraft says:

    Whaaaaaa…. I see many adventures coming! Great find πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  5. anne54 says:

    I think your husband is a keeper! Imagine the fancy patches you will be able to add to his work clothes. ☺️

    • katechiconi says:

      I think she’ll definitely cope better with his work pants than poor Ariadne. I have yet to work out if I need an extension table for her on the left. Time will tell…

  6. kymlucas says:

    Love, love, LOVE the name. And, gosh! What a deal!

  7. Marty K says:

    Excited about your new family member!

    • katechiconi says:

      I just got her home, slit the box open and realised it’s a two man job to extract her from the packaging. It’ll have to wait till after lunch. Meanwhile, I’ve had a swift look through the manual and am relieved to see she has a couple of essential features I was worried I’d have to do without: needle down and blanket stitch!

  8. What a steal! High five for being at the right place at the right time!

  9. I think you get the prize for walking in for a few bits and pieces, and walking out with a DEAL! Or at least the idea of it! Aretha was waiting for you!

  10. Aretha I get but Ariadne is a little puzzling. Does it have anything to do with how she helped Theseus escape from the labyrinth?
    And what a truly magnificent girl you have there – I’m delighted for you and, as they say in the Jewish tradition, I wish you well to use her xxx

    • katechiconi says:

      Ariadne, because she saved Theseus with a glittering thread… Well, the machine uses a thread to achieve wonders too! As for Aretha, I hope to enjoy her in good health for as many years as I have Ariadne!

  11. You’ll get your spend worth out of it… and more. Well done… I love a good bargain πŸ‘

    • katechiconi says:

      I definitely will get my (John’s) money’s worth. I think this is probably the best bargain I’ve ever scored! She’s going to get unboxed and fired up today, once I finish an urgent Christmas job and can spare the time to learn how to operate her.

  12. Going Batty in Wales says:

    having the right tool and equipment makes such a difference! And buyong quality always pays in the long un. I hope you get many hours of pleasure getting to know Aretha and working with her.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re so right! The presser foot issue has been a pain for many years now. I also love the fact that she has a knee lift so if I need to keep both hands on the work I can.

  13. claire93 says:

    hope it lives up to expectations ^^

  14. nanacathy2 says:

    Just wonderful on so many levels. May you have years of pleasurable sewing. Huzzah to the husband too.

    • katechiconi says:

      He’s a star, isn’t he? I’ve looked at so many wide-throat machines over the years and dismissed them because they were silly money. He knows what a difference this is going to make.

  15. Bear says:

    Congrats! Ah, the joy of having a new machine…especially one that will actually do what you want it to do. (Read my dream of having my old treadle back.). Have a blessed Christmas playing with your new toy. BTW, I cut pieces for a Christmas tree from jelly scraps this morning… now to find a backing.

  16. I am so thrilled for you, Kate. Nothing better than something that works with you instead of against you. You do so much sewing that it makes perfect sense to put a little something toward that. Yes, you do have a keeper.

    • katechiconi says:

      A good sewing machine can make the difference between getting something done because it all goes smoothly, and procrastinating because it’s a pain in the backside to work on. Ariadne isn’t going anywhere, as there’s nothing wrong with her even after all these years, but Aretha has the edge because of her ‘skills’!

  17. Emmely says:

    Ooooh, a new sewing machine! I can attest that an increase in throat space is a game changer when quilting.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes! The whole thing of not having to roll and unroll the whole thing every time, not having to wedge your hand through a tiny gap already occupied by large amounts of quilt, and best of all, not having to take one hand off holding everything in place to put the foot down!

  18. Perfect name. I suspect it will lure you, some day, to make a quilt honoring of Aretha Herself.

  19. An absolutely thrilling news, Kate. Yay for sales and a Super Duper Yay for fabulous husbands (I have one of those too). Wishing you and Aretha a long and smooth journey together as you create music and beauty. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I have been looking back on the year past and you were on my mind. Big Hugs.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, Quilter’s Husbands are a special breed of patient, generous and supportive, aren’t they? Cathy of Wombat Quilts has another one in the amazing Nick, of pinkie-out quilt-holding fame. I think they should have their own blog to gossip, catch up and compare notes! Mine feels it’s time to campaign for every quilting fabric shop in the world to have a dedicated Husband Nook for relaxing and reading while we do that important fabric browsing… Thank you for your Christmas wishes, and the same right back to you and Paul. xxx

  20. Debbierose says:

    Woo hoo, what a bargain. Happy quilting with your new best friend Aretha

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! I hope she’s as professional and hard-working as her namesake!

      • Debbierose says:

        I thought of your bargain last night when my 12yo, NS10brother tanked last night while quilting. Fortunately I picked up a singer a few months ago for the embroidery stitches. Bonus the brother walking foot fits the singer.

      • katechiconi says:

        Now that’s handy! I’m pretty sure my Janome walking foot would function on this one too, but I don’t want to damage a needle finding out. To the naked eye, it would work.

  21. Well done Kate on being in the right place at the right time and for choosing the husband you did. Merry Christmas to you all and Happy Sewing πŸŽ„

  22. I forgot to ask who makes the quilter’s choice machine. Tried to look it up but he name leads to a rabbit hole.

    • katechiconi says:

      Quilter’s Choice is an Australian rebranding for Spotlight stores of BabyLock. In the US, this would be known, I think, as the BabyLock Jazz. Hope that helps you take a closer look!

      • YES!! It does help. I’ve been thinking about trading in the disappointment for something I will better use. As soon as I get resettled. πŸ™‚

      • katechiconi says:

        Aretha is a Very Big Girl at nearly 28 pounds, not a machine you’d want to lug around by yourself. I got her unboxed this morning and am still reading the manual; the threading process is completely different right down to threading the needle, but she seems very robustly built, and the fact that she’s not computerised means that she’s less likely to throw a fit. So far, I’ve only found two very minor things which I miss from the previous machine. Time will tell when I actually start sewing!

  23. tialys says:

    I suppose this means you have lots more quilts in you yet πŸ˜‰πŸ€£

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, probably one or two…. it’ll be a struggle, but suffering makes you strong. She’s out of the box and set up, and now I have to work out how to thread her – not AT ALL intuitive or like previous machines.

  24. Sharon says:

    Awesomeness and Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

  25. NEW TOOL!!!! fabulous πŸ’œ

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