I have attempted to start quilting a few times in the past, but various life events (school, jobs, moving, etc.) kept getting in the way. Back in September 2009-ish, I decided that I was really going to do it. I couldn't afford a "real" sewing machine, so I settled for the kind that you can get from Amazon for $170 (I had a $100 gift certificate to Amazon, so that helped.). I figured it would be years before I could afford anything better.
My grandparents have been incredibly generous to me. I won't go into details, but for example, I have no student loans to pay back because of them. My grandfather died a long time ago, so it has been just my grandma for awhile. She had super-serious heart surgery back in October, and before (and after) that surgery, she said that she wanted to give each of us (my mom, my sister and I) something to remember her by. She was thinking jewelry. Her surgery went great, but it took her a long time to recover. In the meantime, my case of Quilt Addiction got more serious by the day. One day, I had a brilliant idea. See, I'm not the girl that needs a lot of expensive jewelry. But everyone remembers the machine that they learned to quilt on, right? Not to mention that I would use it to make quilts that would (hopefully) last a long time. And make gifts for people that they would appreciate. So I asked her if she would consider buying me a sewing machine instead of jewelry, and she agreed!
I knew what my budget was and started doing my research. I did some test-driving. There was one machine that I liked a *lot* but that particular group of sewing machines had a reputation for being unreliable (supposedly, there was a new model out that fixed the majority of the problems that the machines were having, but I couldn't find anyone who had bought one so that I could ask them about it!). It didn't take long to realize that the choice was clear.
So on February 28, 2010...
I brought this home!
I took pictures of the entire unpacking process - because when was I going to get to do this again? But I will not subject you to that kind of torture (...yet).
Meet my brand-new Janome Memory Craft 6600*!!!
I decided almost immediately that her name would be Ebbie. This was my grandfather's nickname for my grandmother. (My grandfather had a nickname for everyone. He was one of those men who was unintentionally funny. He would come home from work and watch the news every day, and all of the neighborhood kids would gather at the window to watch him watch the news. Apparently, he would get angry at the news and start ranting and screaming at the TV, and it was amusing enough to be the kids' after-school entertainment.) My machine seems to like her name, and I thought it would be a perfect tribute to my grandparents.
I know this post is boring, but I wanted to tell The Story of Ebbie. :-)
P.S. All of the 6500/6600 fanatics were totally telling the truth. This machine is AMAZING. I have said more than once that Janome should make me their spokesperson... I can totally see my picture under this headline:
"If we can make her quilting look good, think of the miracles that could happen for you!"
*I know that Janome has released a newer model. But I had two thoughts: 1) What if the new machine isn't as good, and the 6600s become hard to find? and 2) My dealer will let me trade up for a year, so I have plenty of time to find out if the trade-in will be worthwhile or not. So I'm not worried. :-)