I've been thinking about getting a better sewing machine for while now, but it's a bit tricky. All the more expensive machines have fancy embroidery stitches that I don't want or need - and to buy the things I do want like a longer arm and a thread cutter you have to pay for all the other nonsense. So I was thinking about buying an industrial machine, but that's a bit scary. Until I saw the Janome 1600P on sale ... they call it "semi-industrial" which means it's a domestic machine that is just a bit sturdier, only does straight stitch, but does it at a blinding speed. And I mean BLINDING. It goes like a bat out of hell - which suits me. I don't pin (or worry about precision) and this baby rockets along. It is an early birthday present for me from my husband :)
I was swearing at it the first night though - I could not get it to free motion quilt without the thread breaking. I tried every different thread I owned, checked the threading about a hundred times, fiddled with the top tension, fiddled with the bottom tension and just about threw the whole thing out the window. Then I googled, and tried everything suggested there, and it still wouldn't go more than about fifty stitches without breaking ... SO frustrating. The only thing I couldn't try was a heavier needle because I didn't have one - until today when I could get to the shop - and what do you know, it worked! Free-motioning like a bought one. Thank god because I was about to carry it back to the ladies in the shop and throw it at them ... and it weighs a ton. It would probably be GBH.
But I haven't been playing with it today because we went down into Namadgi National Park and took a chilly walk across some semi-alpine grasslands. This stream was frozen over which the boys thought was pretty cool - they don't see that much round here. And they had to poke at it and whack it with sticks until it was broken up, of course.
The point of the walk was to see some aboriginal rock art - some time in the last 800 years they reckon, although there have been people round here for much much longer. It's kind of underwhelming and kind of cool at the same time ... australian history and landscapes are a bit like that. You have to let them grow on you I guess - it's not really a "wow!" kind of countryside. The paintings were on massive rocks that would have been shelters ... although as we were leaving and the sun was going down it was getting COLD and very bleak.