Then the other day I went into a shop nearby to drop off a sample. I hadn't met the gal that greeted me before but she looked at the quilt I brought in and complimented me on it. Then she asked who did my quilting. I told her that I did my own. She asked what machine I used (this particular store carries a very popular brand of machine) and I hesitated to tell her about mine. (read here for more info. "Kenny")
Lastly, just this weekend I was getting ready to quilt a small project when I realized that the only white thread I had was a large cone. I'd used it before but it was kind of a hassle since my machine isn't built to hold cones. I thought about checking my LQS for one of those nifty stands but honestly I didn't have a cent to spend on it. So I got thinking and came up with a solution that is FABULOUS!
Last year a friend gave me one of those cool reuseable cups. My daughter quickly took it to her room where it was lost for several weeks. It's been recovered for a while now but the straw is missing. As a cup it still works great but there was no use for the lid without the straw. Until now! I put the cone in upside down and threaded it through the lid. I wound it into my machine and I didn't have one snag while quilting. And it doesn't take up any more room than a fancy stand.
When it comes to gadgets I say- do what works for YOU! I use scissors that are sharp. When they get dull they go in the drawer for paper and I use a coupon to get another pair. I've used fancy scissors that belong to a friend. Did they cut? Yep! But in my opinion, since mine cut too I don't need the fancy ones. My thread snips were a goody bag gift that fit perfectly in my machine compartment so that's what I use. I'm sure they were pretty inexpensive. If I ever loose them or they break I'll get another cheap pair. It's just to snip threads. My rotary cutter I bought because it was pink- not because of the brand. When it's dull I buy the same replacement blades as everyone else. And I have 2 rulers that I use daily: A big one and a not-so-big one. I have a couple more specialty ones in a drawer for very specific patterns. But what I've realized, as compared to a quilter with a gadget and gizmo for everything, is that I'm not missing out. I can do mostly the same things....including machine quilting.
Why was I embarassed to talk about my machine at that store? They service my machine there and everytime the guy is so nice but kindly tells me that "these machines are only made for about 150 hours of use. After that they're junk. Our machines will last forever." Oh I'm sure their brand name machines are fabulous- but I don't NEED one. For my machine to have given me years of use - way beyond the 150 hours - I feel I'm doing just fine.
You can be in a whole room of quilters making the very same quilt. What works for one quilter may not work for another but in the end we've all made the same pattern.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's ok to not have the latest and greatest piece of equipment. Sometimes people choose to be frugal, others are in situations that are out of their control. But whatever the reason I'm doing great with what I have and it's time that I own it. There's no shame in 'making do' with that you have. In fact, sometimes it makes life fun!
Besides, I'd rather buy fabric. :o)