Welcome to my stop on the meet: My Machine! blog hop. If you are looking for the linky party, click here. I have had such fun reading about everyone's machines this week and I'm excited to tell you about my Baby Lock Ellure Plus. I will admit, I'm really digging all of the vintage machines you guys are using - I started stalking Craigslist this week and may have to make a purchase soon. But for now, I'm going to talk about my Baby Lock.
About two years ago, I decided I was ready to upgrade from a Sears Kenmore machine I'd had for about 10 years. It was great, worked like a charm, but I was ready for a few additional bells and whistles.
My local dealer sells Bernina, Elna and Baby Lock so I went in knowing I would probably get one of those brands. I highly recommend buying locally so you can find a dealer to service your machines and who offers accessories that you might want in the future. I was leaning towards a Baby Lock Melody but got sold on the idea of a combo sewing/embroidery machine (even though I had never done embroidery before). We looked at all of the Baby Locks and settled on the Ellure Plus. It had all of the features I wanted (and then some). I went in with a friend and we both walked away with the same machine - subsequently our other friend and two neighbors have also bought this same machine, so I should be getting finder's fees at this point!
Rather than purchase the quilting extension table that is offered as an add on to my machine, I bought a Sew Steady table. When you order it, they cut it custom based on your machine's dimensions. It was about $99 and totally worth it. I keep this on all the time and I love having the extra space to lay out my work. Seriously love that table!
Some of the features I wanted in a new machine were: needle up/down, an automatic thread cutter, and a knee lift. This machine had all of that and more.
See that little button that says "Start/Stop" - that allows you to unplug your foot pedal and start/stop with the push of a button. I never thought I would use it and I really was surprised how much I like it. I almost never use my presser foot anymore!
Once I got my machine home and got to play with it, I discovered a few feet/tools I can't live without:
OK, I could probably live without this ruffle foot because I don't use it all that often, but when I do - boy is this one a lifesaver. I will be sharing a project soon that uses it and you'll see why it's so great to have in the toolbox!
And, then there's this little thing. Lord help me if I ever lose it - it helps screw/unscrew all of my feet and I like it so much more than a traditional screwdriver. It's easy to hold on to and you can really get everything on super-tight!
I haven't really discovered any features of the machine that I don't like - she's been ultra reliable, and has done every little thing that I've asked her to do for me. She doesn't have a name, but I know she's a she.
The Sewing Space
I'm so lucky to have a "mom cave" in my house. There is a bonus room right off of our bedroom and master bath. For the first year or so we lived in this house, it was where the baby slept. Now, it's all mine!!
And here's where my hubby gets MAJOR bloggy props from me. I saw a table on Pinterest (where I get all of my design ideas of course) that was an ironing surface with storage. We copied the idea and turned this into a cutting table/ironing surface/storage unit. I love it!
I've had more fun with my embroidery unit than I ever thought I would - I now have a go-to last minute gift option any time I need it! I've made tea towels, t-shirts for the kids and their friends, and monogrammed baby quilts as well. The Baby Lock Ellure Plus is definitely a starter embroidery machine - it comes with a 5x7 hoop so you won't be doing massive embroidery, but for my needs it was perfect.
Baby Lock produces a line of software to go with the embroidery units - I purchased Quilt LabelWorks so I can make customized quilt labels for all of my quilts. It's been so versatile and easy. That feature alone was worth the upgrade to the combo sewing/embroidery machine.
I highly recommend it as an option for anyone who thinks they might be interested in adding embroidery to your work - and with my machine, the added cost to do this combo machine versus a traditional sewing machine was pretty insignificant.
There are lots of options out there for embroidery designs, and Urban Threads has generously offered a $25 gift certificate for you to use on their site. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter - the giveaway is open until March 25 at midnight. Whether you are a machine or hand stitcher, you will love this - most of their designs are available in machine or hand embroidery options so there is something for everyone. Their designs also come in a range of sizes that would work for those of you with all different size embroidery machines. I hope you enjoy and that this inspires you to try something new! Thanks for hopping in today to hear about my machine - don't forget our linky party is still going on as well!!