Cultural: Sewing machine repair trip

I wrote the other day that we went on a one day road trip - one of the purposes was to take my sewing machine to the shop.

What was wrong? Well, when I sewed/quilted, I often got a message that says "Stop for safety purposes" when I used the single hole throat plate. If I wanted to quilt or use the dual feed, I had to change to the zigzag throat plate.  This is opposite of what it is supposed to be - we are supposed to use the single hole throat plate for free motion quilting (FMQ) and should be able to use it for doing straight stitch with the dual feed.

However, I had tried to explain the problem with diagrams, scanned copies of pictures, and links to the message taken via my camera, but apparently I wasn't communicating, because even though I had sent my machine back, say, 3 times since I've had it, it was never fixed.  I figured the problem was that it didn't do it immediately - sometimes this message didn't show up until I had sewn for a few minutes or even 10 minutes. Sometimes it showed up immediately. Sometimes it showed up so many times I had to stop sewing for the night and hope for the best the next day. Usually when I used the zigzag throat plate, everything worked fine, though.  (Once I learned that, I just switched to that even when sewing straight stitch.)

Anyway, I was frustrated!!! Really frustrated. The repair shop had been super and had been able to fix everything but this particular Janome 8900 seemed to come out of the factory not set quite right -- they had already fine tuned a couple of other things -  I use it a lot, and they designed this machine so you can't get to the tension disks easily - so I've had something stuck in those a couple of times, causing the tension to mess up.

So, we packed up my 8900 yet again, put in the back of the Maverick and stopped by the service center, about 4 hours from our home on our way to the main destination for the day.

(I had written them a couple of days ahead and asked them if they'd be there. They had said, "Yes, come on by!")

When we pulled up, I told my husband, "We are 2 hours early." (I had asked about noon, not 10 am). Mike said, "I'm sure it's not a problem."  Sure enough, a man came out the door of the service center and I kind of hesitantly asked him if "Jakub" was there, and he said, "Pani Becky?  Prosze bardzo!" (Come on in!)

He indicated with his arm to come on in and that Jakub was in that room. I hadn't even said my name yet - but apparently they were waiting for me!!  It made Mike and me laugh, anyway.

I went in the door he indicated, set down the box my 8900 was in, opened it up and took out everything I had prepared. I had brought samples of things to sew on, the feet I needed, and I prayed that it would MESS UP!  Don't you hate it when you take a car or other mechanical thing to the repair shop and it works JUST FINE?"  I've had things do that, then when the person who can fix it is out of sight, the "thing" quits working again.

They called in a lady who quilts (I think), named Ewa (Eva) and she began to watch me--standing around while I sewed - all of them were, actually (2 men and the lady) and I was nervous as I told them that sometimes it doesn't start flashing the message to me immediately. However, this time, thankfully, it didn't take too long for me to see the message the first time. When it flashes the message, the machine stops and it takes maybe 2 seconds to reset itself. But it still kept going.  Then I changed the foot to the darning or quilting foot, lowered the feed dogs, and started to FMQ.  I had already diagnosed that it sent me the message when I tried to cross a seam while FMQ.  Sure enough, at first it let me cross seams without the message, but then, after a couple of minutes of FMQ on the sandwiches I had brought with me, it started giving me that message.  Whew!, I felt relieved!  They saw what I had been talking about!  

I was so happy to know that they had seen my problem. I had explained that this problem meant that I had to use my zigzag throat plate almost all the time as it didn't usually give me that message when I used that throat. But, this means that sometimes my bobbin doesn't act like it should while FMQ since it feeds better with a small hole than the zigzag one.

They diagnosed that the sensor was too sensitive and said that they would have to keep the machine there as that wasn't a part they keep on hand.  We tried a different throat plate from a newer model, but that didn't work at all. I just saw the message immediately that I was to change the plate.

So after telling them that I forgot my warranty card at home but I could scan it when I got back, they told me, "Don't worry about it, we've seen it a few times now," with a grimace, I climbed back in the Maverick with Mike and we headed off to see the machinery.  I realized about 15 or 20 minutes down the road that I hadn't even taken pictures of the shop part of the store.

Mike told me we could stop by on the way back. So we did.

That's when I got pictures.

We got there about 4:10 pm - it closed at 5 pm and when I walked in to the shop part, two guys were working there, and they stood up to wait on me. No one else was there. One guy actually left the area, and left the other one to talk to me. I told him I was just browsing - wanted to see what they had.  

In the end, I did get some needles and a new cutting mat. They have good ones - at reasonable prices and I could take it home with me in the 'truck' and it would lie flat as we drove. I had ordered a couple of them before from them but they rolled them up and stuck them in the box. Thankfully at least one time, that was in January so it wasn't hurt beyond repair because it wasn't hot, but the other time it was warm weather, so I had to put it out in the sun with books on it to straighten it out, but I really wanted it kept flat--and I had wanted two. Unfortunately they only had one in stock.

This is the official Janome representative for Poland.  They carry a wide variety of machines. Let me show you their shop. Their website is http://eti.com.pl/

 Find your favorite Janome here!

Find your favorite Janome here!

 They also carry Elna machines. They are on the right.

They also carry Elna machines. They are on the right.

 Lots of needles. I picked up some top stitch needles since I was there.

Lots of needles. I picked up some top stitch needles since I was there.

 They used the window sills as additional display space!

They used the window sills as additional display space!

 Embroidery machines! Lots of people apparently have small home businesses and buy these.

Embroidery machines! Lots of people apparently have small home businesses and buy these.

 Scissors!

Scissors!

 A smaller embroidery machine

A smaller embroidery machine

 Machines that look like they were designed for children.

Machines that look like they were designed for children.

 I should have asked about that Scan 'n Cut! :)  I didn't really notice it that day!

I should have asked about that Scan 'n Cut! :)  I didn't really notice it that day!

 So many needles!

So many needles!

There you have it!  (Oh, by the way, I asked if I could take the pictures - I would have felt too funny if I hadn't.)

Until I get my 8900 back, In the meantime, I'm using a different machine  I am hoping to get it back soon as I have several quilts to quilt if I get a cool day here or there. (Today is too warm, for example, so I wouldn't quilt anyway today - it's in the low 80's and warmer than that in my sewing room usually.)

Have a great day wherever this finds you reading!

Just in case you need some fun fabrics.........check these out!