So about 2 months ago I killed my Brother sewing machine that I got at Wal-Mart when I was living in Iowa for a summer internship in 2005. And earlier last summer I purchased a Dressmaker sewing machine off Craigslist for $25. Which was perfect since I was cursing my Brother long before it died. Well after sewing strictly on my Dressmaker for the last few months and making Christmas gifts and knowing I wanted to sew more quilts in 2014, I started looking at new machines. I was just thinking of getting something that would be a small step up from my Brother and that was a little smarter than my mechanical Dressmaker.
So I was just looking at relatively inexpensive Baby Lock machines at my local fabric store. Then the hubby told me to find what I really wanted and just get that machine, since I started doing a lot of sewing. My dream machine would be a Bernina, but that just isn’t in the budget right now. So I narrowed it down to Juki, Janome, or Viking. Since I wanted a machine that would be able to be served in the area I decided on the Viking. (But a nice straight stitch Juki would be very nice!) After playing around with the Viking Opal 650, it seemed like the perfect fit. I could sew bags easier than on my Dressmaker, plus the 8 inches of throat space has been wonderful!
The Opal 650 has 160 different stitches, but I have only played with 10 or so of them. When I demoed the machine at the store, I played with the buttonhole and I must say this is the easiest way to make a buttonhole. Now I just need to find the confidence to sew clothes and try it out at home. The only bummer is that it doesn’t come with any of the quilting feet, so I will be getting a walking foot and possible a 1/4 inch foot. I love that I can save my stitches with my specifications. For example since I’m a quilter I piece with a scant 1/4 inch seam. Well most of the time I could only get a true 1/4 inch seam and my blocks were always off by just a smidgen. Now I found my scant 1/4 inch seam and I’m getting blocks that are pretty darn perfect in my book!
I’ve had this machine for a week and I have already pieced a quilt top, finished a new library tote, and a few other small sewing projects. I love that my stitches are even and that I can control the speed on the machine and not just with the foot pedal. (And I can sew without the foot pedal, which is nice when Nora is messing around in my sewing room!) Sewing in fun and something that I look forward to do everyday and this machine has really helped me improve my sewing even in this short amount of time. Let’s just say I can’t wait to quilt on this machine!