I looked all over the net for a new machine. I was bummed. I mean, mine is so great. It's a beast of a thing but never gives me problems (until this recent garbage) and runs and runs and runs. So I was torn between getting a cheap basic machine, expected live 2 years or forking over lots more money for a nicer one but then do I really NEED any more fancy pants features?
So anyhow I decided to try Brian's plan of taking it to the repair shop. I took it to ABC Vacuum & Sewing Center. It was AWESOME. I want to first mention that it's directly across the street from the Stamp Store I hang out at! Which means walking distance. I did drive though, because it's 100 degrees out and sewing machines are heavy. Anyhow turns out I'm an idiot. (we all knew this, but now the good man at the sewing store knows too!) I wasn't always threading the bobbin right. I'm totally shamed to admit this. Anyhow I wasn't always doing it right, but often enough doing it right to THINK I knew what I was doing. This is why taking all the thread out and redoing it would work sometimes, because I'd take the bobbin thread out too and then thread it correctly.
So he showed me the right way. Then took it out and made me do it the right way. Then had me sew, and so on. All was well. No charge for this. He also took a quick look at it and said it's all running fine. He didn't open it up or anything, just looked it over for me. No charge.
You may remember my zipper foot issues? Well of course the awesome people at ABC had my zipper foot in stock for just $6.99. So I bought it of course. I asked about a walking foot or some other great foot for quilting. He sold me a... crap hold on I fogot... an Even Feed Foot. It will pull the fabric from the top and bottom for me so that it all moves at the same speed and I don't get wonky quilting. It's also great for anything with layers where they might slide off each other and get wonky. So I'm all excited about that. That particular piece was $30.
So for $40 my machine is better than ever. And I have confidence about using it and knowing it's a good machine.
Of interest: They had TONS of machines in there. More than they do at Joanne's so if you are in J-Ville and want a machine you should check them out. Also they repair tons of stuff. People in front of me were leaving an ancient Kenmore (I think, do they make machines? something with a "K") machine. And they had every brand I've ever seen back there for repairs.
But he said my machine is good, so I'm very happy. It's not fancy, but it works and I am so pleased.