18 January 2013

Singer One Plus Sewing Machine and Parallel Foot

The Machine:

Wow!  The launch of the new Singer One Plus sewing machine was something to see.  Watched several of the demonstrations by Darlene Cahill because you always learn something new.  The machine looks like a combination of the One sewing machine with the wide base, large compartment for accessories, silver decals and the swoop at the top left, and the new format buttons for changing stitches, etc. like on the XL-550 and the SEQS-6700.  Very cool looking machine.  This machine has 231 stitches.  Neat thing about the HSN launches is that usually there is a value added package and there is usually one extra flex pay.  There were 19 feet and the guide bar listed.  It comes with the flower foot, sew and cut, roller foot, fringe foot, piping foot and more. One can see all this on the HSN dot com site. There is a video posted now. The machine sold out before the last demonstration. I almost caved and bought one.

The other Singer machine demonstrator, Vivian Lavinskas, said the memory would hold if you had to leave and run an errand or whatever and came back, your stitch pattern would be saved.  I did not hear Darlene say that during the times I watched her demonstrate the machine.  On the SEQS-6700, Darlene said it had a working memory and when the machine is shut off, the memory clears. I guess one has to keep paper and pen handy to write down your stitch sequences so you don't forget and lose them.  A good idea to keep a stitching journal for each machine you own.

The Parallel Foot: 

The Newest Foot demonstrated was the Parallel Foot that Darlene says her son,George, likes so much and uses for his general sewing because it holds things in place better while sewing.  I looked on the Singerco site last night and it is not listed anywhere that I could find. I surfed the net for awhile and found the foot on Youtube and it is called a Border Guide Foot by Janome and Janome has a demo on it.  Actually I found two videos on it, but the real Janome video explains how to use it properly.  The wide platform of the foot is a handy but stationary guide for placing rows of stitching. If you have the quilting guide bar, it serves the same purpose without spending close to $25 to get it.  Janome info has it as a 9mm foot and I believe that the Singer machines mentioned in this blog are all at 7mm in foot width.

I found that Amazon had the Janome Border Guide feet for $17.99 with $4.99 S/H.  One customer comment -- the only one at this date -- at Amazon gave it a one star rating.  Apparently the center piece broke on the second use and left the foot looking like an open toe foot with the side platforms.  I'm guessing that the little piece that went across the front, bridging the platforms, in front of the needle possibly helped to stabilize the whole thing, and there is a small red mark in front of the needle. That is the tiny piece that broke off for that customer.

Update 2/2/2013:  Found another place to purchase the foot, lots cheaper at $9.95 plus shipping -- at . 

In using the foot, Darlene says to watch the marking (to the right or left) and not the needle.  Apparently watching the needle is the fascinating part for most anyone but does not insure straight stitching, as the guide marks or side of the foot do.

It will be interesting to see how the quality works out on this one after a few customers receive their machine and put comments in on the HSN site.  

31 December 2012

Windows 8 Software Update for Singer SEQS 6700 / XL 550

Just got the following Singer SEQS 6700 / XL 550 software update notice from Darlene Cahill on Facebook regarding Windows 8:
NEWS FLASH!!!! An update for loading the SEQS-6000, SEQS-6700, XL-400 and XL-550 on to a Windows 8 OP system will be available on the Futura-support site on Wednesday, January 2, 1pm central time

20 December 2012

New-To-Me Author -- Just Found Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Anyone who knows me knows that I read to the detriment of anything else going on around me -- I guess totally absorbed would be the term.  I mean I can't even count the number of pans of boiled potatoes I had to dump and re-do before my mom found out -- from the time I was 10 through college -- all because I was reading while cooking. (Mom started me cooking early -- she'd call from work and tell me how to get something started and within a year I was on my own, burnt potatoes and all.)  BTW, if I remember, I'll give you the handy hint for getting the burnt stuff out of the bottom of the pan.  So, if I had a moment, my nose was in a book. To this day, I still have problems with regard to time and how much to allow for in order to get ready to go somewhere or get something prepared.

Present Day:  So I've progressed from holding and reading books to reading on a Kindle or on the app on my smart phone or on the computer. Love the apps. Love my computer Kindle app. So handy, purchase at Amazon and then read a moment later. One click is too handy, waaaayyyy too handy, but so available when you need a reading fix. Genre at the moment is Romance whether Western historical, Western present day, Historical, SciFi or my new interest, Paranormal.  Yes, werewolves, shape shifters, demigods and witches. I like the wereanimal ones the best, but I found a new series I just love, the sassy dialog has me in stitches. Yes, there is sex in the books, gotta be prepared for a quivering something or other and mentions of manly thighs, abs and pecs. 

So this week, Dec. 18, Katie Lane's new book in her series got here  (Trouble in Texas) and was read.  Then a book by Edie Claire, called Long Time Coming, was in my to-be-read 'stack' and got read.  I thought it was very good.  Then The Courtship by Grace Burrowes. I liked it. Then To Wed a Rake by Eloisa James. I looked through the others in my TBR list and decided to look at Amazon and thought I was going to find a Kat Martin or Linda Lael Miller I had not read yet or even a Lori Foster or one from Maya Banks.

Instead, I found Sun God Seeks...Surrogate? (book 2) because the title sounded interesting by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff. Finished it and immediately bought Accidentally Married to....A Vampire? (book 3) and read it the same day, yesterday. Immediately bought the first one which is Accidentally In Love With....A God? and am into it only a quarter of the way through and had to pin it and then write this blog. Had to.  Love these books, and can hardly wait for her novella 3.5, Accidentally....Evil, due in -- arrgghhh -- April 2013.  Her Facebook page note says she's working on book #4 but not fast enough for me. 

OK, that's all folks, back to my reading.

BTW, handy hint for getting burnt stuff off the bottom of the pan is to put water in to cover and a bit more, like maybe half a pan full of water, and then add a half to one teaspoon of Cream of Tartar, bring slowly to a boil, and if you can wait that long, let cool and you should be able to get a lot of it off without too much muscle power. Steel wool pads like SOS are very helpful on stainless steel and aluminum pans. Use the 3M green scratchy pads for ceramic, Corelle, glass or cast iron pans.

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff - Author -- Accidentally Yours Series

Update 7 p.m. on 12/20/2012 -- oh wow, look how the date comes out... I digress....
Finished the third book, Accidentally in Love With.....A God? a few minutes ago and I want to say to Mimi Jean and Michele and Latoya, if you are reading this: I Hate Cliff Hanger Endings without a follow up story or book that I can get at fairly quickly.  There is Nothing till April!!!!! Nothing???? ----- Katie Lane left me in the lurch too, I'm waiting for her next book in 2013. 

09 December 2012

Updates on Singer SEQS-6700 Futura Quartet

Comments and Problems Aired... 

1-18-2013 Update below re:  positive comments on HSN ---

                                          about Viking 600E

12-25-2012 update below re: Viking model 

Did some more reading of comments and thought I'd mention a couple of things. Seems that one of the problems with the 6700 reading from the computer to the embroidery module is a defective cable. One lady was told Singer would not replace it, so she had to buy her own at about $35.  That did solve the problem with the machine but not with her appreciation of Singer. A couple of others mentioned the same issue, but since they already had previous models of Futuras, they just swapped out the cable and that solved their problems with the machine.

One lady reported that if one was to put in the update from Singer before loading the operational CD that comes with the machine, there was a greater success with the download.

Tension issues are another reported problem, some with the sewing machine and more with the embroidery module.  Two comments I read said the nests of thread on the bottom actually was so bad the needle plate was attached to the embroidery.  I've had that happen with my regular older Kenmore sewing machine, and it took a razor blade to cut it loose.  I can imagine it being worse when the hoop is caught with the fabric.

The rating for the 6700 at HSN was at 2.6 out of 5 stars as of early this morning. Many returns being posted by frustrated purchasers. A couple suggested that Singer might have included an instructional CD.  Early on several reported that not all items were included in the box, but a suggestion was made that since the packers put items into the styro packing, to look further for it.  Major suggestion is that after unpacking the machine, do not throw away the shipping boxes and supporting packing.  One lady's husband threw out the box and now she is stuck as she can't ship back or to a repair facility.
1-18-2013 Update:
I went in and looked at both the SEQS-6700 and the XL-550 at  The 6700 sold out during the launch of the Plus One sewing machine yesterday.  The customer comments have raised the star rating to 2.8 which means at least 5 people have given 5 or 4 star ratings to bring up the percentage. Most have said it takes some learning and cited possible operator error on others' problems.  The 550 has 10 people giving positive comments of 4-5 stars to give a 4 star overall rating.  The FB page for Singer still has some people having problems with software error messages usually about the smaller hoop not being the correct size.
At this point I'm considering other embroidery machine choices even if I have to wait another year or two to find a used upper end machine at a decent price.

Update to the Update... (12/25/2012) and 1-18-2013

On Darlene Cahill's Facebook page, a comment recently came up that I have Not researched yet.  It was stated that the Viking H Class 600E is the same machine as the XL 550 and the SEQS 6700.  Need to check out price and what accessories it has.  What I would like to find out is if the proper software, and/or the same software packages (CDs) are shared, or if better ones were made for the Viking machine.  For those who don't know, Singer, Viking, and Pfaff joined together as a company. So now they share some body models in both sergers and sewing machines.  I was told that Viking moved their factory from Europe to whatever country in southeast Asia so the Viking quality is still up there as they are using the same equipment from the European factory/factories.

1-18-2013 Prices are not given over the phone, but one poster said the Viking 600e was a few hundred over the cost of the Singer. One of the sewing places I talked to said it was a Singer machine, and if anyone was selling it, they were offering it as a lower cost Viking badged model so that Viking had something comparable to the competition. 

07 December 2012

Singer Futura SEQS 6700 / XL 550 Quartet Info & Videos Found

Singer Futura SEQS 6700 / XL 550 Info Search

The Search...

Well, as things go I found myself looking into a new sewing endeavor -- embroidery.  I still can do hand embroidery, but this new venture is Machine Embroidery.  The interest has been there for a few years, just not so hot that I needed to do something about it, that something being to mortgage the house.  I mean really, have you seen the prices of the name brand embroidery machines available?  The last quote I got for one of the top of the line embroidery machines was $10,000 USD. The good ones are upward of $4,000 USD, and used ones do come up on the market when a previous owner upgrades and turns in her older model.

If the machine chosen did not have a bonus package of some sort for the types of software they say is necessary, then you need to decide your most important software and then the costs can be anywhere from $300 to $2,500 which is what one lady on one of my sewing forums said her upper end embroidery machine needed.

Then there is that wonderful little attachment that cost another almost $700 for a foot that regulates stitches on one brand. One or more of the other brand machines has it attached, but if you have a lower grade machine, then you can add it, if compatible with your model.

So looking at price brought me to the Singer line of embroidery machines.  They are being sold at different stores or on-line.  Price can vary depending on who is selling the particular model, new or used, or even refurbished.  Not to whine, but I'm retired, on fixed income, and am not making any kind of bonus bucks.

Intertwined in all this was my Facebook likes and Darlene Cahill. I joined her dot com website a while back to see sewing tips and tricks and projects.  Of course she was mentioning embroidery hints and tips, too.  So ultimately there came to my attention information about a Singer machine on HSN (Home Shopping Network) in December that was supposed to have 'everything' new and innovative and a value package to boot, the Singer Futura Quartet SEQS 6700 which is a HSN number for the Singer Futura XL 550.  It is said that the Singer machine can read 14 of the different design formats instead of just the one or two that belong to a model/brand.  It does not have a computer inside, you have to have your computer hooked up to the machine when on embroidery, with the software downloaded and any pertinent upgrades.  It does not have the capability to take one of the info sticks or flash drive as I learned to call them.

I've been looking at any information I can find, since this machine seems to be within my financial reach, meaning Much Cheaper than the rest. Facebook has a couple of groups or pages devoted to Singer, Darlene Cahill, machine embroidery, Futura machines, and there is more to be found on yahoo groups.  I have not visited all of the yahoo groups yet, still in the process.

The Findings...

So what have I found out?  The two Singer model numbers are the same machine except that one has a HSN model number (SEQS 6700) and comes with bonus software and extra attachment feet. Interesting that a week or so later, HSN started selling the XL 550 model without the bonus package at the same introductory price as the 6700.  Singer sold the XL 550  earlier, not sure if this year or in 2011, but I'm basing that on comments people have made on blogs and forums about getting one.

People receiving the 6700 started complaining about the hoops, or at least the small hoop, not working as easily as they saw demonstrated on HSN.  Then, following the blogs and pages, there was a problem with loading the software.  Singer has identified the problem and made efforts to fix the hoop problems: they will send a replacement to those who bought the 6700 through HSN.  Problems with the software possibly could be resolved by doing a live update at the Singerco site or the futura-support dot com site, whichever shows the Futura machines. (Sorry, I'm tired and may fix / correct this bit of info later, just right now I want to finish this blog article.)  If all else failed, then call for help at singerco dot com. Be warned there is a hefty wait to get to a customer service representative.

Some of the other problems seem to be with the new technology, basically Windows 7 and 8, not fitting the older software sent with the machine. Singer is working on a patch.  Other problems seem to be issues that may be quality control issues, but hard to say, since it could also be operator error for those new to machine embroidery and the definite learning curve -- or both.  The computer must be attached to the embroidery machine to do embroidery, from what I have heard, although I think I heard Darlene say when demonstrating, that it could embroider the 125 designs already in the machine as a stand alone out of the box.  Normal sewing can be done without the computer attached.

The Videos Found...

I ultimately found some videos on YouTube dot com and started collecting the pertinent ones pertaining to general sewing by machine, to my Singer 9960 sewing machine, and to the Singer XL 550 and SEQS 6700 Futura models.  I made YouTube playlists and for anyone looking, I made public the 9960 and the XL 550 / SEQS 6700 playlists.  Search for dealya15 on  YouTube and you should be able to choose one of the lists.  Oh, by the way, my favorite songs are also on a public playlist, just in case you run into it instead.

If that search does not work, here is the 550/6700 link. 

If you'd like to see videos pertaining to the Singer 9960 model that I bought from Amazon here's the link:

If you have any YouTube video suggestions to add to the list, please post a comment and add the correct title so I can find it.  Thanks.

Sounds like I need to win the lottery in order to buy one of these machines, especially if I wanted to get one of the Bernina, Viking Husqvarna, Brother or Janome high end models.  Or maybe just a small win to get the Singer machine when and if they have got the bugs worked out.

Other Machines...

I have seen and compared some of the cheaper Brother embroidery models but discounted them due to factors such as hoop size, design formats read, software availability, combination or embroidery only machines and customer comments posted.  Big box stores have the really cheaper models and better models can be bought at Brother dealerships and the prices go up accordingly.  Pfaff, Viking and Bernina were not in my price range at all.  You will have to do your own research if you want a higher end machine.

Update: more stuff I found out after I posted

23 November 2012

Discounted Classes at Craftsy this Weekend

Just saw a heads up from Crafty Gemini on Facebook yesterday about the classes on Craftsy dot com being $19.99 through Monday of this Thanksgiving weekend.  I've been wanting to join a class that was $49 and this makes it very affordable. Don't know if I can squeak in another because there is a new quilting one that looks good.  I think I have a link to Craftsy in the Blogs I Like section.  Will add it if I don't.

There are some free classes, two on bag making, one on frosting, maintaining your sewing machine, a quilting block of the month, and there may be some in workshops, but I have not checked there lately.

I was having problems watching the quilting BOM after July. They changed the format somehow and the episodes just won't load on Firefox.  The help folks suggested I turn off the HD but it would not load far enough in for me to do that.  Just kept trying to load -- forever.  The solution was to open Google Chrome and watch it there. PITA to have to change but it works and I got to see through October.  Some great techniques.  The paper piecing did not grab me until I saw the tutorial from Vanessa at Crafty Gemini (on YouTube).  I'm subscribed to her channel and saw it there and I understood it lots better the way Vanessa does it. 

I have been watching the tutorials on machine embroidery and free motion embroidery and some of the videos on YouTube are very interesting.  I am going to try it with the Singer machine I got earlier this year. Yes, I got a white plastic machine because of the stitches that are not on any of my older machines. What machine?  I picked up a Singer 9960 at Amazon.  What stitches did I need you ask?  The ones for applique.  Satin stitch does not work for everything you applique.  I've got a couple of machines that have more cute stitches and alphabets but no blanket stitch.  This machine has at least three that would work, larger alphabet sizes than what I have already, a ton (OK, 20) extra feet, an extension table, and it came with the hard cover, which was a surprise. Part of the things were extra value items and the phone number for Singer help was for the HSN Singer dedicated number. That was a surprise and it worked, too. I needed help with a thickness issue since there is no pressure foot adjustment.  The solution was to change the stitch length, lengthen it.  It worked.

Then I was at Joann's Wednesday afternoon and just happened to stop and talk with the sales person there in the Viking Husqvarna / Singer sewing machine area.  She thought that if I had the "E" card for my Viking #1 then the blanket stitch might be on it.  That is not one of the cards that came with my machine so I guess I am justified in buying the white plastic baby with all the extra feet, and things that came with it.  It is nice, quiet, and a dream to work with.  I haven't tried all the feet yet, but it was suggested that one should make a stitch book.  The instructor of the sewing threads embellishments class at Craftsy suggested making a stitch book and it is also one of the things that Bernina shows on their website on the tutorials or tips section.

Yard clean up calls.  Later, Dudes and Dudettes.

20 August 2012

Interesting Older Sewing Machine Attachments

A request and photo has come up on the Singer Attachment Yahoo group about some unnamed attachments.  One of the members named the ruffler, two tuckers and a bow corder.  I went through my old manuals to see what was on the attachment instruction pages, and I've added the pertinent pages I found below.  Interesting stuff there.  Picture too small??  You should be able to click on the picture and then click again to enlarge to read the text and see the pictures up close. If that does not enlarge for you, then Right click, choose and click open in new tab, click picture when it shows magnifier with + sign and the picture will enlarge.

First a tucker from the (Jones) Cylinder Shuttle Sewing Machine manual...
Next the cording instructions and picture from the New American Sewing Machine manual.  I added a picture of what the sewing machine looked like.  Nothing like today's machines.

And here are the instructions and picture of the tucker from the New American Sewing Machine manual.

Now the question is: do you have the attachments in a box somewhere? you have the machine they go on???   I'd love to see a picture of the original machine, so direct me to your blog or photo gallery.