Finding True Love at Quiltcon
Updated: Feb 29
I really felt cheated out of Quitcon this year. I only got to spend a few hours there, and didn’t get to see many people (@entropyalwayswins) I really wanted to see. And I LIVE in Texas, only 80 miles away from Austin! But it’s my own fault. You see, I thought Quiltcon was next weekend (gotta check my planner more often) and I agreed to do a luncheon for a friend on Saturday, blah blah. Anyway, I missed so much and I didn’t take good pictures and I’m still a little bummed several days later about it. (Can anybody say “First world problem?!”)
I’m even more ashamed about my bad mood because something really wonderful happened there (besides meeting Jennifer Sampou, whom I instantly adored, even if she hadn’t created the Sky fabric, but she did). This year I fell in love at Quiltcon. Of course I’m almost always in a state of pure rhapsody when I’m there, seeing the truly soul-stirring things made from bits of MATERIAL! But this year I met and took home someone (some might say some-thing) special.
No, of course it wasn’t part of the plan. I told my husband I was maybe going to get a light, that’s all, and I didn’t even visit any vendors except Jennifer and Cherrywood Fabrics (only because I needed an 8-step gray to onyx bundle, use them all time). So how did it happen?
Let me give you some background. I bought a Bernina 750 five years ago, thinking i would have it for 20 years. I have a little Bernina 150?-ish that I inherited from my mother and it’s quite wonderful, but very small, so I decided bigger would be better (as it often is). My 750, named Audrey, seemed to be a dream machine. Oh, the things she could do - the features she had. And her long, graceful neck. I adored her from first sew.
Except she broke. A lot. In little ways - the needle threader almost always broke and the main drive sync thing drove me nuts, but I’m not going to list her failings because I still have feelings for her. However, I felt like I was constantly having to take her to the sewing machine doctor, which means I had to miss out on a lot of sewing time.
I am a serious maker. I sew for hours and hours weekly. (If I could it would be more but alas I have other responsibilities.) Now I’m not trying to throw shade at Bernina. I know a lot of people are serious Bernina loyalists and I’m not trying to change anyone else’s mind. I’m just saying, I thought Audrey was the one, but she wasn’t. Not for me. I had figured this out, but not made any plans to get a new machine at the moment, am trying to save for a trip to Java (think of the inspiration I’ll find there!)
BUT - as I was waiting for my friend who was perusing a booth, I casually strolled by the Janome booth and my eye was caught by a very large machine. She was even longer necked than Audrey, and there was something about her… so I sat down and took a sew. Fast forward forty-five minutes and a phone call to my hubby and I’m shaking the salesman’s hand and pulling out the credit card.
So here she is, Mongo Jen-nay (say Jen-nay like Forest Gump would). She is a Continental M7, a professional machine, and after using her incessantly for two days (can’t stop/won’t stop) I feel certain that I’ve finally found my machine muse. She has the features, and she has a whopping 13.5 inch neck, and by golly, she can go! (The salesman told me it was something about ball bearings but whatever. She’s a beast! In a great way!) I need to use her a little longer before I can give a real review, but the Magic 8 ball signs are pointing to true machine love.
So was Quiltcon actually a bust for me? I have to say absolutely NO! I got to see amazing creations/art. I did come home, as always totally inspired and excited to sew (Well, I’m always excited to sew but extra over the top and all… ) And, well - I have a new machine that I really believe can keep up with the kind and amount of sewing I do - and will truly last me for a while. I don’t want to have to be buying machines all the time, I mean, I’d rather spend the money on fabric and travel, know what I mean?
I think you do.