Sewing Machine Poker

A few days ago, Nanette posted about her Bernina sewing machine and she mentioned that if she didn’t have a Bernina, she’d have a Pfaff. Now, if you know me very well, you know two things: a) when I discover little tidbits about you, I’m known to tease you incessantly (ahem, mashed potato Kim) and b) I’m a die-hard Viking fan. Much to TheSecondChild’s dismay, I’m not talking about the Minnesota Vikings. I’m talking Viking sewing machines which totally slipped under poor Nanette’s radar.

So, Nanette, I see your Bernina, and I’ll raise you a Viking! And since we’re on the blogger playground, all our quilty peeps will probably pound me to a pulp! Quilters are Bernina-Lovers. They go together like Fred and Ginger; like peanut butter and jelly; like needle and thread. What’s up with that? I blame this on PKM‘s celebrity, Alex, and on quilter word-of-mouth.

Not me though. My heart belongs to Husqvarna Viking. (Notice I didn’t say Singer Viking Pfaff. Or Pfaff Viking Singer. Or whatever they’re calling themselves. We’re not happy about this little indiscretion one little bit, so let’s not talk about it, ok?) This is the Viking I learned to sew on — the grandmother of my current baby Hester.

Viking Machine

When I was a little girl, BigDaddy came home one day with this then top-of-the-line Viking. MeMum didn’t even know how to sew. She said this beauty sat in a corner for a year before she even touched it. She had no interest in sewing, but she finally took a sewing class and learned how to sew. They gave it to me when I left for college — what a workhorse of a machine It has gears so you can slow the speed down for heavy-duty sewing. One day I even sewed through the leather backing on an old penny loafer shoe! All these years I’ve thanked MeMum for introducing sewing to me, but maybe I should really be thanking BigDaddy. I mean, what if he’d never come home with that fabulous machine in the first place?

Here is Hester’s mother.

Viking Machine

As young newlyweds, we lived in Germany where Husqvarna Viking sewing machines sold for about 1/2 of what they cost in the U.S. (that was back when the U.S. dollar was at an all-time high against other currencies.) It was a deal that was just too good to pass up — I think this was Viking’s first computerized model and I was star-struck.

And here is Hester’s newest little niece.

Viking Machine

Just born last week, she lives at MyDadLovesMeBestSister’s house and will be used to teach my cute cupcake niece how to sew. This looks to be a great little machine for a beginning sewer, and of course, I’m excited that they chose a Viking — keeping it all in the family.

Now remember, I’m the shy little girl with braids over in the corner of the playground so don’t hit me too hard. Maybe some of you will come and play with me? ;-) And whatever you sew with, I hope you’re lucky enough to have a love affair with your machine(s) like I do!


P.S.1 Thanks for all your fabulous comments on Aunt Annie’s Awesome Sweet Rolls! Rowan asked a great question that others of you might be wondering — how much is a package of dry yeast? One package of dry yeast = a scant 2 1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast.

P.S.2 The fabulous Miss Melly has found a fun new obsession. This is my blog on Wordle. Go play and have fun!

Viking Machine

41 Thoughts on “Sewing Machine Poker

  1. Anna, you’ve just taught me something. I wasn’t aware that quilters were Bernia lovers. I’m a Janome girl, have been for years and years, but we won’t say how many….My theory is, if it works for you, then go for it. I’m hoping to up-grade to a Juki at some time. You don’t have to stand in the corner of the playground, if you don’t mind being seen playing with a Janome girl!!!!….lol…..

  2. Oh, me, oh my! I covet your machines! They are luv-er-leee!

    While I *heart* my Kenmores very, very much (they are very good to me), I do secretly covet a Viking. Shhhh! Don’t tell them, they may get upset…hee hee

  3. Oh I love my Pfaff no matter what Alex says!! I do admit that I get Bernina envy every so often, but I do love my Pfaff. Wordle so cool.

  4. I can’t really play this game, because I use what I can afford—a Singer. Please don’t delete my comment because of that! ;)

    Someday I would love to move into the bigger world of cool sewing machines and maybe a serger, too!

  5. Anna, Please dont hate me, I was a Viking girl until I purchased my third one the Sapphire – that was where it all came undone, they were once a fabulous brand and had their act together (check out their US website) but unfortunately came unstuck with their lack of customer service skills which are non-existant down under when something goes wrong. I do not know if this has something to do with the integration of Singer and Pfaff. Now I too, swear by the Bernina brand. The only recommendation I can make to SVP is forget the aggressive marketing and go more for customer service – fix problems when they go wrong. My Sapphire cannot be fixed and they will not help me, they left me with a machine I could not use therefore I had to purchase a Bernina. Hope this never happens to you because I did not think it would ever happen to me.

  6. That’s so neat that you’ve still got the same machine your mom learned to sew on. I have a Janome – nothing super fancy, but I love it. It does what it’s supposed to do – it SEWS without giving me hassles like my cheapo singer did.

  7. I’ll try not to hold that Viking against you! You’re cracking me up!

  8. Karen aka Grammy Mac on July 15, 2008 at 1:01 am said:

    I love your sense of humor…and your sweet rolls! I have a little New Home. It doesn’t have a bunch of fancy stitches, but does what I ask without any complaining. I do, however, hope to someday buy a Bernina if I can ever bring myself to go back to the local shop. The guy there did the hard sell thing and it totally turned me off to anything in the place, so for now it’s me and my New Home;)

  9. having just spent about half an hour playing with word poker I have now come back here to read this lovely post. How I wish I had taken photographs of the machines in my life before they disappeared to that sad place where old worn out sewing machines go to retire….I started off on my Mum’s old green Singer, it had a funny long thin bobbin that would from the front of the machine. I was not very reliable for a nosey little girl trying to make doll’s clothes! I then used a neighbours sewing machine, that darling old lady has a lot to answer for, she bought me books and gave me old dresses of hers to sew into pretty little dresses for my baby Ali. On my 21st birthday, my family clubbed together and I chose a Frister Rossman. A compact machine that served me for about 28 years, the last five or so I had to live with its foibles. I now have a Brother machine, my darling Barry took pity on me and bought me what I think is the bees knees, however, your Viking does some pretty clever stuff. Phew…I’ll have to get up early more often, I seem to have more to say!

  10. I am feeling a bit like the little girl on the playground between two not knowing who to pick…LOL…Bernina or Viking…hmmm…how are you going to get this 1981 Singer girl to play with you?! I have been leaning towards getting a Bernina.

  11. I love my Janome MC 6600. I’m not only a quilter and this machine goes through thick layers of fabric or leather without a sigh… which comes in handy when you want to make bags or other stuff.

    Some quilting friends have a Husqvarna Viking and complain a lot about the service. So that machine was no option for me.

    Most of the time when I take part in quilting workshops the teachers let me know I better should have bought a Bernina… untill they try my Janome and they are surprised by it’s capacities!
    It’s always fun to see what machines are used my other quilters.

  12. Well, I’m with you! I was a confirmed Pfaff Pfan – until I worked at a shop that sold Husqvarnas. I’ve had one ever since and I LOVE them! Fantastic machines. The sensor foot has halved the amount of time it takes me to do applique (I do alot of applique!).

  13. Although, I’ve learned on Singers and have Singers at home, my next machine will be a Husqvarna. It’s on my wish list for this Christmas (crossing my fingers). The current Singer was just a cheap holding pattern machine to test my devotion to sewing. Although the Berninas have merits, I think the Husqvarna is better for making clothes.

  14. I’m rubbish at poker so I won’t join in this game. Your Viking does sound very impressive though. Next you’ll be telling me it makes a great dish of mash potato (ha ha!)

  15. I have 2 old Berninas…an 830 and a 1230…nothing fancy…but I wouldn’t trade either one of them for anything in the world.

  16. I retired my Bernina and prefer to use my Janome MC6600 – it’s my dream machine. :-) Of course, my Gem Gold is a work horse so it’s no wonder I’m a Janome girl.

  17. I’m so old now (51) I forgot I had a viking in the 80s and I did like it. My mom was horrified though and within 3 years had me trade it. But it was a nice machine. I’d say those are the top 3. Bernina, Viking and Pfaff. And I’d say they are fairly well rated together. You should love your machine and defend it’s honor. Well done Anna.

  18. okay well.. my mother (and i’m allowed to speak ill of her because she’s not dead-although i can’t think of anything at the moment, i’ll get back to you later on that one) has a viking, a bernina and a pfaff, an elna, some sort of serger… and she likes her elna the best, but I like her viking. i hope to be the proud owner of it some day. the quilt shop people are trying to talk me into a janome. i’m sewing on a scarily cheap machine right now but i aspire to better stitching in the future!!!

  19. I LOVE my Viking Husqvarna!! My Hubby bought mine for me WAY back just after we got married about 25 years ago. It’s still running strong and I love that it has metal parts (not plastic) and it’s tough! I mend a lot of blue jeans and duck coats and it works like a charm. Wouldn’t trade it for anything….unless it was another Viking!

    Go Viking!! Aaarh aarh!! (Tim the Toolman voice)


  20. LOL..I see your Viking and I will raise you my Janome! You know, I think it is mostly what you get comfy with. My first machine was a Kenmore and I loved that machine. But by the time I was ready to get a new one, all the Kenmores were plastic…so I bought a New Home 23 years ago and still use it for machine quilting as it is as solid as a rock…and just as heavy. I own two Janomes now…one I call my “good” machine (translate that expensive), which has computerized features and the other my “workshop” machine, which is just a basic machine without all the bells and whistles and I tote all over the place with me.

  21. Elna girl here! I have two. Love them to death! My dad (yes, my dad) has a Pfaff and I love his and it would be a second choice if I didn’t love my Elna’s so much.

    When I bought my first Elna (she’s now my travel girl), way back a girlfriend and I were each going to buy new machines – she a Bernina, me a Pfaff. We were dead set on those. Did serious testing and trying and sampling (you would have thought we were working for Consumer Reports). And we both bought Elna’s.

    I’m not sure, but I think the Janome’s and the Elna’s had a little back room hanky-panky. I’ve seen the new “quilter’s” Janome and it’s almost identical to my big Elna – and the love for those Janome’s is just as strong as the Elna lovers love. Hmmm. Interesting. :o)

  22. Ok I’m a Pfaff girl first with a Bernina hiding in the closet and my old Viking packed it’s little case and moved down the highway to live with my sister to hopefully be used someday. Does that make me a sewing machine slut because I get around, LOL

    Hugs – Karen

  23. Moog on July 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm said:

    I have been through my share of machines. I had a Pfaff 1222E for 25 years before I even had it serviced – talk about a workhorse. I bought a Viking Lily, but didn’t keep it too long before trading her in for another Pfaff (love that built-in walking foot). In the meantime, I have also bought a Brother 1500 (sews at 100 mph) which was recommended for machine quilting (which I haven’t mastered) and a Singer Featherweight (don’t all quilters need one – does anyone need mine?). I was at a store’s moving sale, and found a Bernina 440 Aurora (which is upgradeable to an embroidery model for 40% off), so I sold my Pfaff to a deserving, young quilting newbie. Ebay had the Hello Kitty (equal to the Janome Gem) for $49, new, and I couldn’t pass her up. The Bernina gets the most use, but man her wardrobe of accessories is expensive! As your stash grows, doesn’t your collection of machines grow incrementally?

  24. I’m a Singer kind of girl. It was the type I learned on at home. It was the first one I could afford to buy for myself and it’s the one I have now. We are a multi-brand family though – Rebecca has a White. Hmmm, it doesn’t work right now and she placed an “Old Faithful” sticker on my Singer. She might be trying to tell me something…hmmmm. Don’t get me started on my weak moment of straying when I bought a Brother. Sends shivers down my spine. I like a machine you can plug in and use as opposed to any type of machine that requires you to take a month of lessons just so you can learn to thread it! Sew on, my friend, regardless if you are sewing my hand or by any type of machine!

  25. Poor little girl in the corner! Loved reading about your sewing machines and those sweet buns look gorgeous! What a shame your aunt had to go home! Lucy x

  26. I’ll come play with you, Anna…and I’ll bring my Viking, too! But let’s be careful not to get any sand from the sandbox into our bobbin cases!

  27. Over the years I have had different machines. I learnt to sew on an old Singer Treadle, which was my grandmother’s & I still have it- it still works.
    Perhaps my least successful was a Brother I bought new, but I have another now, & it is great.
    However my favourite pet, is my Janome, & I love it! I also have an Elna, which is wonderful, but a bit old fashioned- it uses discs!

  28. Yeah, I am a Bernina fan too. 20 years with my machine. I love it. But, I learned to sew on an old singer. I have to admit I have never really tried a Viking. The Bernina knee lift won me over.

  29. Jewels on July 15, 2008 at 6:13 pm said:

    OH Anna Lou, you know where I stand with this one. I love my Bernina’s!! and you…. I have 3 Bernina Sewing Machines and their serger. My 1230 is also a work horse and can sew through anything.
    You could write an AD for Viking, everything you do is so beautiful.
    Bernina is also coming out with a new machine. kisses from Jewels Die-Hard B.Fan

  30. Oh Anna, you make me laugh – I am a Janome girl – they do everything I want – and they are the right price for me, although if anybody wanted to give me a Bernina I would happily go along with that!

  31. i want to love my sewing machine like this!
    my husband bought me one from sears 20 odd years ago. it’s not top of the line anything but it does what i need it to. i’m feeling the love grow already.
    looking forward to saturday. i’ll be picking out fabric for a birdie sling. wanna help?

  32. i’m a singer gal too, but i’m only a novice sewer. i grew up using my mom’s OLD singer, coaxing it to work, so just having a nice new one of my own that works makes me happy.
    but what pretty machines…and it was fun reading all about them!!

    *found my way here via a reply in someone’s blog, HI*

  33. I got myself a simple little Kenmore forever ago, paid for five and ten dollars at a time on layaway at Sears when I was 16. This little workhorse still just goes and goes, but I recently was gifted by a very generous Santa with a Husqvarna Viking Mega Quilter, and I must say, this machine is an absolute dream! It is made specifically to attach to a quilt frame, but it is such a joy to sew on that even though it is only a simple machine (no fancy stitches) it is now my machine of choice for almost every project, quilting or otherwise!

    Your collection just makes me drool! I am crazy about so many of those tough old machines!

  34. I’m so glad you posted this as it’s full of information I didn’t know about, such as the variations on the Viking. I’ve been reading about all the sewing machines out there and have reached a stage where I’m simply and totally confused. I told my husband I need a new machine and he said, “A Bernina?” Now however did he come up with that as he doesn’t know anything at all about sewing. Anyway, I’m still in research mode and maybe one day all will be clear because of posts like yours today.

  35. All in, all Viking, all the time… and plotting about how to add a Sapphire-sibling to my old (14 1/2) “500 Computer”.

    Your ‘wordle’ is too cool. Are you printing it out onto fabric for a fun apron bib?

  36. I’m a Pfaff gal. I’ve had mine for at least 15 years. Love it. Even had a whole new board put in a few years back. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  37. Brenda on July 18, 2008 at 12:49 am said:

    I bought my Viking 150 back in 1985, right after I graduated from college. I have bought a newer Viking since, but my 150 is still the one I sew on the most. It is just so simple to use and it runs like a watch. I’m not a serious quilter, so I stick with simple piecing and the occaisional tote bag or zipper pouch, and when I sew on my old machine, it’s just more relaxing. I know there are other brands of machines that people like just as well, but I’m a Viking kinda gal. (I also have the little Hello! Kitty Janome machine. For the $, it is amazing. And cute!)

  38. I just have a very very cheap generic model, inother owrds it’s a no brand. When I am a rich lady with only grown up children living the pampered life I know I am entitled to I will have a Singer. Being a little less than competent that’s all I can say right now, but all comments are being kept for future reference.

  39. I thought I’d get in on the comments and I’m happy to report I’m a diehard VIKING fan too! It’s all in fun but my friend is a diehard Pfaff owner and likes to give me a hard time about it. I just love my Vikings that’s all I can say about it and she can’t convince me otherwise! LOL!

    I wrote an article too in reference to Nanette’s post regarding her Bernina. It’s been a lot of fun watching the poll I put up on my blog to see who has what machine, right now Viking is in third place to Singer’s 2nd and Bernina’s 1st.

    My newest Viking is a Sapphire 850 that I’ve had for over a year now and I haven’t had any trouble with it. I was sad to hear of Lynn’s problems. I hope they get resolved and that your Sapphire will get better soon or maybe Viking should replace it.

  40. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love visiting your blog it’s so organized, informative and FUN! I’m really excited to try your Aunt’s sweet roll recipe as my kids love sweet rolls.

    To answer your questions, the Rose is an entry level embroidery machine and we bought it over 11 years ago for $1800 (sale price). The Sapphire is there newest machine Retail is $1799.00 but I recently found it for sale online for $1398.00 and I bought mine for $1299.00 Also it’s currently not an embroidery machine but you hear rumors. Here’s a list of it’s features from Vikings website:

    Sapphire 870 Quilt, 850 & 830
    Fabulous Features So Affordable!
    Innovations like the Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR™ and the Exclusive Sensor System are top-of-the-line HUSQVARNA VIKING® features. Now, the new SAPPHIRE® sewing machines bring you the ease and convenience of these timesaving features at a price you can’t resist!

    You will also experience all the joy of sewing with the longest Free Arm in the industry and the largest Extended Sewing Surface. Dual Lights illuminate the needle and sewing surface to make sewing easy and eliminate eye strain. Plus the large GraphicDisplay, easy Touch Panel, permanent memories with the My Stitches menu, wonderful stitches and lettering make sewing a true pleasure. Enjoy your SAPPHIREâ„¢ sewing machine!

  41. Ooh….another Husqvarna Viking girl! I love, love, love mine, too! I have a Designer I that I’ve had for almost 10 years. She is my best friend, except when she “lets” me make sewing mistakes! LOL!! I totally enjoyed reading about your sewing machines.
    The Wordle is totally awesome, Anna! I will definitely have to give it a try.

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