I've had this machine around 27 years - my husband bought it for a Christmas present for me. It's fairly basic, and I can’t say I have ever felt any love towards it, but has served me well. It has a tendency to mangle thread, but I can largely manage that by regular rethreading and holding the threads tight when it starts off. Unfortunately, it's not a happy bunny these days. When I was quilting the last quilt, I was only able to do 10 minutes at a time, because the foot pedal was getting so hot I couldn't put my foot on it! My other half loves nothing more than taking things to pieces and breathing new life into them, but even he said there was nothing he could do as it's dilithium crystal (or something like that) was disintegrating. Then I noticed the belt is about to go…………
Jones no longer exists so no spares are available. I may be able to get these repaired here - I have found a sewing machine repairer who frankly has seen a lot worse than this. But the final nail in the coffin is the post that the foot attaches to (it has probably got a technical name put I don't know what it is). I think I bent it when I ran over a pin, and consequently the 1/4 in foot now sews somewhere between 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch, which is not much help. Again my husband came to the rescue and made a small slip of metal to glue in, but even so I have a cocktail stick stuck in it, and the foot doesn't sit straight.
So I think I'm in line for a new one, and have been researching what to buy since Christmas. I'm looking for an intermediate machine, something with a large harp for ease of quilting, but also something with a few fancy stitches, button hole etc. I don’t need a 300 stitch computerised job. But of course I do want all the lovely little gizmos that you can get now – knee lift, thread cutter, needle down). However, as I read the internet for reviews, it's frightening that you can pay so much money for a new machine, and find that it still has many of the faults of my old 27 year old machine. I would have thought they would be faultless for that sort of money!
Has anyone else been through the same thing? What did you buy? What can you recommend?