Your Other Stash

We all know that a stash generally refers to a lot of fabric and notions that we buy but never get around to working with.  When I look at mine, I often feel like I really should send it all to - - - - I don't know where.  There is no 'sewing type of used items' store.  Perhaps there is an idea there(?)

As embroiderers, I feel like we have, give or take, 5 different stashes.  Each one holds a special place in our hearts and all have their own story to tell.  You may have a different viewpoint, but we all have some things in common.

The initial and most expensive stash is probably our machines.  I have never been really involved in sewing but when embroidery came my way, I was hooked really big time.  One thing that I noticed was that many of my peers had more than one machine.  Some of my colleagues had their first machine as well as their second machine and multiple variations of types of machines. I am one with just four machines. 

I was at a training class over the weekend and they asked who had the most machines.  There was a woman who admitted to having 14 machines.  I will assume that some are for regular sewing, serge activities and an embroidery machine or two.  You may know that they have embellishers, quilting, felting, blind hemming and hand-held machines on the market just to mention a few.  Here at AnnTheGran, they not only have PE770, the (IMHO) best embroidery starter machine on the Internet.  I could go on and on about it, or you can see my forum information on it.  

AnnTheGran ALSO HAS (drum roll here please): the Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing/Embroidery Machine!!!!!  This one has so many features it is unbelievable!  All of this for just $600!!

  • Alphabet Xpress
  • Font Bundle, with 7 different fonts
  • PE Basic
  • PE Design Lite
  • 70 built-in embroidery designs
  • five monogramming fonts
  • 120 frame pattern combinations
  • 67 built-in stitches
  • 98 stitch functions
  • 10 styles of one-step automatic buttonholes
  • Totally portable - take to classes

If you only have a single machine or just 2 or 3, you know that each one of them has their own specialty.  If you were constructing a house, you would not have just one or two power tools, you would have a lot of them to do the best and most effective job. 

I have a commercial machine now.  I never thought I would be doing that!!! And, my kids joke that my hobby is buying embroidery machines.  However, they all figure perfectly in my overall plan. 


My first consideration is to create beautiful embroidery items for my bridal site. 

  • The commercial machine, which is a single head and quite compact, has taken my work to another level. I have plenty of ideas to further make my sales site head and shoulders above others.
    • I have multiple hoops of the same size which came with the machine. It allows me to prepare for the next project as my last is in progress.
    • It is faster and more efficient than my other machine was.
    • I needed the ability to be able to be SURE my design was properly centered. Placing a hankie in a hoop does not guarantee that it is in alignment on the vertical/horizontal plane.
    • There are lots of other things that make it special for me as well, too many to mention here.


  • The embroidery only machine, a nice work horse, the PE770 just like the one I noted above. Why do I still have this machine? Let me count the ways. . . .
    • It is a back up when I need more projects going on at the same time or if the commercial machine is not working. (However, with my commercial machine, I got all the extra parts needed in case of a malfunction and a phone/email person to work with me - so, not functioning is rare.)
    • It gives me a working area when I want to test new ideas while my big machine (did I mention it was 15 needle? and less expensive than I ever imagined?). I want to test my ideas and still keep my business going.
    • About 95% of my work is done on a 5"x7" frame, that makes this a great way to be able to have flexibility and innovation.
    • And, just an FYI, I did not get half of what the offer is on the Project Runway machine!!!  That bundle is over $500 worth of extras and are included! 


  • I have an embroidery/sewing machine. I do mend and sew occasionally and it does come in handy.
    • Last year I had to go to Phoenix for my brother who was very ill. I was able to take that machine with me, include my threads/stabilizers and computer and was able to keep up my business. I would have had to close otherwise and that was not an option. When you must be away from home for 2 months, funds fly out the window. . .


  • Then there is my serger. It is perhaps the least used, but just the same, there always is something that needs to be done on it.

I expect many of you have additional machines for your own reasons.  Do you still have your first machine, whether it is embroidery or sewing?  Do you keep your babies because it is sentimental for you?  I will bet many of you have a machine that belonged to a mother or grandmother and is dear to you.  Share with us about your beloved machine, we would l to hear your story - every machine does have a story.



Comments (10) -

I have a machine that belonged to my Aunt.  God love her, she never sewed why she got it I don't know.

It was a top of the line Singer and one of the first that was more technical.  She was having trouble with it and asked me what I thought.  I figured out that she was using thread that was so old it was still on a wooden spool.  when we change her to new thread, the machine preformed just great.


I have two Singers, the first one I bought when I got married in 1959, the other one I got in 1982 and that is probably the worst machine I have ever sewed on.  I also have a Singer Serger.

I have two Janomes, one is the MC10001, which is a combo machine.  The other one is MC6500P which is a flat bed machine that I sew and quilt on.

I would love to get a Mc12000 and If I wasn't retired I would get it in a heartbeat.  These machine cost more that my brand new Caddilac in 1980.

I agree, I will be sewing and the embrodery function is going on the other one.  I don't think I could get along with just one machine.


I'll bet the first Singer is just like an old friend.  I can't remember my first toaster but I do remember my first Kenmore sewing machine.

These are an extension of us in many ways.  We use them to lovingly sew things for our first born and through the grandchildren and possibly beyond.  

Keep your eye on that MC12000, one never knows how the universe may just work for YOU.  


Forty-Four years ago, my dad sold three hogs to buy my mother and I a top of the line Viking sewing machine. I made all of my clothes when I was growing up, various garments for step kids, sewing for many weddings, quilts and lots of mending and zippers. It did everything well so it was hard to justify buying a new one. I bought walking foots to quilt but the after market parts just didn't work well, I purchased a new  Baby-lock embroidery machine with a walking foot so that I could quilt my own quilts that I make for Project Linus.  I will never give up the Viking.

kj,mamgam - What a great story!  I can understand your appreciation for your Viking.  

I wish I could see it, if you take a photo, you can post it in the Forum for us all to see.  It may be one of the oldest still in use!

Are we teaching our children and grandchildren what this type of sacrifice is like?  I know I want them to understand just as we all understand about that machine.


I grew up using my grandmother's old Singer treadle machine. Sadly, when my new husband and I traveled cross country to move to Cameroun in Africa, our car threw a rod, and that heavy machine was the culprit, so it had to be left in a small auto repair shop in Ohio.  When my 3rd daughter was born 33 years ago, my dad bought me a top of the line Bernina, and my 4 daughters and 3 grandchildren have all benefited from its almost constant use.  About 2 years ago I saw a demonstration of a Babylock Ellure Plus and was bitten by the embroidery bug.  The three additional grandbabies in the past two years have kept that machine busy!!

zeteach - what a nice story.  Traveling with a sewing machine can be challenging.  You want to take good care of your baby and it can be a problem, especially if it has a desk and lots of attachments!

I still have a Baby Lock and frankly, would be hard pressed to let got of it!

I had a very small 'toy' Singer that was cast iron and had a wooden base.  It worked and was the joy of my childhood.  I don't remember what happened to it, but I do remember it fondly.


OMG! Let me count the machines! The 1st  one I got @ 18yrs old I unscrambled words in the TV guide to have a chance to win it, but was sent a coupon so that I could buy it for $85.00 or so. Its a brother with the cams! I have the one my Mom sewed us kids clothes on & when I inherited it it had a repair tag on it from 1969. All these years I thought it was a Singer but its a Elgin Rotary.The cast iron bobbin winder broke when I shipped it home from over seas, but now we have the new bobbin winders. I have a singer treadle  that was a wedding gift, a singer-cabinet, also have my Mother-in-laws Singer & cabinet, a Singer 2010, A Huqvarna SE & Diamond, a baby lock serger, & a Huskylock serger. There are others I wished I'd had from childhood but I'm running out of room. I love them ALL!

I used to go to garage sales and rescue sewing machines!  I felt bad for them sitting there unloves. LOL  But I have donated 4 Singer Touch and Sew machines to family and friends who I've taught to sew and who didn't have a machine of their own.  So my current stash is quite a bit smaller than a 2 years ago.  Currently I my mother's cabinet singer machine from the 1950's and an old antique singer that I picked up for $3 at a garage sale.  I think it works but the wires are in such bad shape I am afraid I would be electrocuted if I plugged it in! I also  have my original embroidery only machine a Brother PE150D.  The jewel of my collection is the Quattro  which I dearly love and don't get to spend enough time wih.  Oh and I have a serger as well!

I am so truly enjoying these stories.  Maybe it is time for rejoicing in the old and acknowledging that newer is not always better.  

You can go to the Forum and post photos of your beautiful machines!  I am going to do just that!

I hope that our sons and daughters know what a truly honor it is to have a loved machine.  

I am getting goose bumps just reading these!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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