Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back From a Spa Treatment

My Janome 6500 - she's home from the spa!

Janome 6500 home from the spa

All clean and wrapped up, she definitely looks like she's been bathed, oiled, and massaged. Maybe she had some minor work done - though she's not telling!

Now that she's back from her 'vacation', she looks and runs fabulous! Seriously though, Ken from Ray's Sewing Center gave her all that special treatment, along with replacing a belt and a hook, thankfully minor repairs. And she sounds wonderful, like the purr a confident lioness would have. I'm sure she and I will have many, many more great years together.

The initial post about her squeaking, Piecing Withdrawal, generated very interesting comments. Seems that most of you, like me, don't take your machines in for regular maintenance. Reasons varied from repair shop being too far away, don't fix it if it works fine, prior bad experience with repairs, other machines to fall back on, and finally, expense, which are all very valid reasons.

Personally, I think the decision to take a machine in depends on two things: how much the machine is used, and how dependable the shop is. The first is easy to determine, but the other gives us pause. It's the same thing when the car needs repair. We hope that changing the oil regularly, and checking air and fluids keeps the car running. But unfortunately, lubricants become grimy and parts wear out, requiring a trip to the repair shop. We know it has to be done, but putting faith in someone to make a proper repair, and without a huge dent to the wallet, well, that really makes us hesitate. 

Deep down, I knew this machine needed attention. What ultimately swayed my decision was that I figured any repair cost would pale in comparison to the cost of replacing the machine. I love this Janome 6500, and I'm not interested in a new one with more bells and whistles. Plus, I figured if I wasn't happy, then I would keep returning to the shop until whatever issue it had was resolved. Decision made. 

So far, it's been a good decision, though I'm probably not converted to yearly spa treatments. But if she continues to be the workhorse that she is, I'm thinking every 2-3 years would be good. I'll make a note of this repair date, and reassess in a few years. Seems fair enough, right?

Hopefully, based on my experience, I've given you some food for thought about machine maintenance because I really do want you and your machine to continue to have a wonderful relationship, and that's what ultimately matters. As Ben Franklin said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Besides, I want to keep seeing your quilts!


  1. Mine's in while I am on vacation, but it will be 2-3 weeks more before she's returned. I goofed and went to the wrong place, new to the area, thinking they had the 1 week turnaround. So add length of stay to your list as a consideration. And cost, oh boy, $225!! But much cheaper than the least expensive Bernina at $1400!!!

    1. Exactly my point - less for the repair than a new machine. At least an estimate before the repair gives us the chance to decide whether it's worth it or not.

  2. So glad yours came back all ready and raring to go!!

  3. I took mine in just before the 4th of July. It had been two years since it was serviced and I think that is about the schedule I plan on sticking with, unless something happens to warrant an earlier servicing.

  4. I love it when my new sewing machine is working great. But I also love that the old sewing machines don't need to go to the spa. Which one do I use most often...the new one...bells and whistles. Glad you two were reunited and you can make some more beauties to share with us!

  5. Hi Susan,
    I am glad you got your workhorse back from the spa. I am just discovering that my new Elna does not sew a 1/4" seam with the 1/4" foot and 1/4" preset stitch. Annoying. I don't know if I can move the needle over more to the right, and if I can, can I save it so I don't have to move it every.single.time.I.sew.a.seam. Annoying. No wonder my blocks are just slightly off. I will join you in marking the date on my calendar to assess service needs - that is a great idea. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Happy sewing. Glad your machine is back running smoothly.

  7. Speaking of car repairs. Luckily I have spare cars, but the mechanic has had mine for two weeks now! (I'm driving the gas guzzler) Probably why I am hesitant to take the sewing machine in!

  8. my bernina is about to go in for a service, I can see threads caught up inside her that I cannot get to, it is 2 years so think as she is used so much she deserves it. Thinking of investing in a janome with a bigger arm as the 7" arm is such a struggle when quilting but not sue if I can justify buying one

  9. I'm so glad your machine is back from the spa looking and sewing better than ever! I have a Bernina 350 and love her! I even bought my daughter one!

    My Bernina goes into the shop every January - after the holiday sewing rush. I also have a Featherweight that has yet to be serviced. I use her about 1-2 times a month when I go to my Bee, so she waits to be serviced.

    Oh by the way, I want to see more of your quilts as well! ;)

  10. It will be lovely stitching on her as she purrs with pleasure. My Bernie has been neglected since Baby arrived, I don't often use her now, and she really needs some spoiling. Wish it wasn't quite so far to take her.


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