December 21, 2011

Singer L-500: First Impressions

I spent a good deal of time on the machine today. I did some basic straight stitches as well as some zigzags on some appliqués. I was working on a last minute holiday gift that I had been putting off in order to test the machine out with it.

Very happy with how the appliqué turned out.
 So far, I am fairly impressed with its performance and features. First and foremost, I love the throat space. My old machine, like most standard home sewing machines, had just a hair under 6" of throat space. This machine has 9" and I am already in love with it. It is going to make quilting a lot easier and more enjoyable.

The LCD display is informative and easy to use, as well. It's quick to read and changing your settings is simple right from the start. It will even sew itself without the use of the presser foot by hitting a button. You can stop it by pushing the button again. One of the more nifty features is that it will cut the threads for you when you're done sewing.

My only major beef (so far, anyway) is the bobbin set up. It's a front loading bobbin, which sounds really handy. It is, in fact, a major pain in the ass. To get to it, you have to slide the table/accessory box off (just like you would to use the free arm). Then you have to flip open a hatch under the needle plate to access the bobbin holder. You have to pop out the bobbin holder, and then take the bobbin out of it.  That doesn't even address setting up the bobbin in the holder in the first place (which is also a pain).

Changing the bobbin while sewing a pile of 5"x5" squares together is inconvenient at best. However, doing so, say, in the middle of quilting a top, would be no less of an interruption than a top loading bobbin, except that it takes three times as long to load the bobbin in. I will definitely miss, even mourn, the loss of my top loading bobbin.

I'm hoping that sometime tomorrow I will get a chance to practice with the monogramming. I also have to pack for our holiday trip to visit family. I may also try to get a jump start on my cleaning the house from tip to tail because we're having a friend stay with us for a few weeks after the holidays. After I try out some more things on the machine I will give an additional review.

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