No, I’m not talking about our next grand baby, although he/she will be here soon enough. I’m talking about my new toy – the Omega 7142 sewing machine. I bought it a month ago from a dealer in Canada, and it finally arrived today. I’m really excited about this. I’ve been waiting for the postman every day like a cat waits for a mouse.
I really love to sew. I’m not any good at it, but it is a great hobby for me, and it keeps me very busy. I find that I can lose track of an entire day when I’m sewing – the time just seems to zip right by (sorry, I had to get that pun in). When we lived in Maine, a dear friend of mine, Claudette (who is a sewing genius) would come over to my house in the winter and we’d sew baby quilts together. We’d donate the quilts to the local hospital to send home with the new babies. In all honesty, she did most of the work since she was fast and knew what she was doing, and I frigged around with my crummy little machine and chatted about how much I’d like to have a real sewing machine.
See, I was using a cheap little pink featherweight machine I’d picked up on eBay for about $80 some five years prior. Don’t get me wrong, the little machine worked okay for a beginner like me, but when it came to piecing quilts together and then trying to sew more than one layer of fabric it would make an huge mess of the fabric, and the stitches were so uneven that my quilts just didn’t want to hold together. I had better luck hand sewing my quilt tops and then having Claudette quilt them.
Unfortunately, we’ve moved away from Claudette and her dreamy little Singer (and her super sewing skills). And, when we moved, I sold my little featherweight to a lady that I worked with. So for the past six months, I’ve been without a sewing machine. Fortunately for me, eBay is still fully operational and I was able to pick up the Omega for a song from a dealer in Canada.
I did tons of research on machines before I made my purchase. I checked out all the big name brands – Singer, Brother, Pfaff, and Bernina. I looked at Wal-Mart, Target, Jo-Ann Fabric, and online dealers. I knew I needed a machine that would be able to handle the riggers of quilting several layers of fabric and batting. I wanted a machine that could handle different kinds of fabric for other sewing projects, like making clothes for my granddaughters. I want to make fancy pillowcases, hankies, and tea towels for gifts, so I needed a machine that had some built in embroidery stitches. I also have a couple of antique ladies chairs in my bedrooms that need to be recovered or slip covered, so I was hoping to find a machine that would handle industrial strength fabrics and threads.
I was looking for the complete package, for under $500. But it just wasn’t happening. Oh, I found plenty of machines that would work for quilting that were in my price point. And I found plenty of machines that would work for other sewing projects, but I found very few machines that were in my price point that could do it all. And forget about handling industrial materials if you want to say under $500 – for that I was going to need a separate sewing machine.
Then, as if by divine guidance, I happened to be looking around eBay and decided to browse through the sewing machines – all 3,219 of them. And there it was…the sewing machine of my dreams….the Omega 7142. It was purple! And it had lots of stitches (28 different ones to be exact, plus a buttonhole feature), and 11 different presser feet, and it could handle embroidery stitches with TWO thread colors, and it can sew through four layers of denim, and use commercial grade nylon thread. It has all metal gears and wheels, and is a commercial grade sewing machine. It was my dream machine. Suddenly things began to go hazy, and I started envisioning the quilts and dresses and pillowcases I was going to turn out. My dogs might even get fluffy doggie beds if I had this sewing machine.
There were still 13+ hours left on the auction and it didn’t appear that anyone was watching the item. So, I placed my bid and went happily on my merry way. Later that evening, about a half hour before the auction was set to end, I logged in….and was met by an unhappy email that stated I’d been outbid! Yikes!!! I knew that I had to hurry up and place another bid. So I pulled up the page and saw that there had been dozens of hits on the page since my first visit. Uh-oh…this wasn’t good. The price had jumped almost $100 dollars higher than my original bid and was getting dangerously close to $300. What to do, what to do?! I chewed my fingernail for a minute and decided to go for it. This, after all, was my dream machine.
So with 18 minutes left on the auction I entered my new highest bid, hit Bid Now, and breathed a sigh of relief when the next screen congratulated me on being the current highest bidder. Okay, I was sittin’ pretty now. I felt good about my bid – it was moderate, but not excessive.
At this point, I should tell you that I am a slight eBay addict. Not so much so that I buy everything I look at, but I become mesmerized by all the stuff that’s on there. I have been known to spend hours – sometimes all day – staring at the computer, sifting through page after page of stuff that’s for sale.
I look at everything, from art to music to movies to electronics to motorcycles and cars to real estate to jewelry to dishes to buttons to flowers and bulbs to knick-knacks and flags. The list is endless, and I am sometimes amazed at the crap the people actually sell on there.
Who in their right mind wants to buy a paper napkin with a doodle from some crack-head, has-been movie star? Who would pay their hard earned money for a collection of rusty and bent Coke bottle caps from the 50’s? What kind of people actually spend hours at yard sales, auctions, and dollar stores haggling over nickels and dimes; buying in bulk this kind of junk, and then lumping it together in “vintage” lots and making a fortune off the shipping costs? And yet, here I am, waisting my entire day blogging about it! I told you, I am slightly addicted to it.
So, back to the story. I had 18 minutes to go, I’d made my bid, and I’d settled back to watch the action – or lack of action, as I was hoping for. I “refreshed”, then I “refreshed” again, then I “refreshed” again. Slowing watching the minutes tick down. 14 minutes, 12 minutes 49 seconds, 10 minutes 23 seconds, 6 minutes 57 seconds…..tick, tick, tick….and then it happened. Suddenly, the price had jumped again! I was no longer the highest bidder. Oh no, it was time to throw down! What was I going to do??? The price had taken an $18 hike in a matter of 34 seconds. Yowza!
I gritted my teeth and did some quick math in my head – with shipping I could still make another bid and stay just under $300. I quickly typed in my new highest bid and hit the “Bid Now” button. We were getting down to the wire – only 2 minutes and 19 seconds to go. I wanted this machine…I needed this machine….and I needed to make sure I was the winner. I held my breath as I hit the “refresh” button one more time….then exhaled as I saw that I was still the highest bidder. 1 minute 53 seconds to go….1 minute 39 seconds to go…..1 minute 18 seconds to go….1 minute 15 seconds to go….
Holy cow, there was another bid – I had been knocked out of the lead again. I didn’t know who this cow thought she was, but she wasn’t going to outbid me with 1 minute 15 seconds left! I gritted my teeth and decided to bite the bullet – I was gonna raise my bid to just over $300. I was just sure that “she” wasn’t going to come back with a counter offer – I mean, it’s just a sewing machine, right?! So I clicked in my bid, and sat back smugly as I watched my name pop once again into the “highest bidder” slot. Only 54 seconds to go. “Refresh”….“refresh”…..39 seconds left….“refresh”…..wait!
No! Not again! I was no longer the highest bidder. Ack! What now??!! Only 39 seconds to get my bid in – who knows what the other lady is doing right now….is it possible she wants this machine more than I do? In my mind, it wasn’t possible. I had quilts to make and dresses to sew and pocketbooks to create and wall art to embroider. This was definitely my sewing machine!
Mentally checking the price against my absolute highest bid, I took a gamble and directed my fingers to fly over the keyboard. There was no time to waste. The Bid Now button was emblazoned in my brain – I had to win. No way “she” was going to out bid me with 39 seconds left – I just wouldn’t stand for it! I ticked in my new price, hit the Bid Now button, and determined to hold my breath for the duration of the 39 seconds. I was focused on winning and I knew that if I held my breath “she” wasn’t going to be able to beat me.
18 seconds….17 seconds….15 seconds…..12 seconds…..this was it….I just knew this machine was mine. I was poised, ready to do my celebration dance. 10 seconds….8 seconds…..5 seconds……and then disaster strikes!!!! From out of the blue the sniper struck. I was no longer the highest bidder, and neither was my main rival. We’d both been outbid with 5 seconds left on the clock. Oh, I tried to make a new bid, but time just seems to fly when there are only 5 seconds left.
I was mad! I was really mad!! In fact, I might even have said a bad word (not really, but I was mad enough to do it). I huffed and puffed, and threatened never to get back on that “stupid eBay.” It was the Devil’s playground for sure! But wait a minute….what’s this little blinking flag for? Why does it say I have one new message in my Inbox? Who’s writing me on eBay? Is it the sniper – wanting to gloat?
Nope, none of the above. It was the seller – offering me the exact same sewing machine for the same price that I’d bid originally, AND with free shipping. What was this? Was it some kind of trick? Where there strings attached? Was it a national “be nice to the loser” day in Canada? What did I do to deserve a “second chance” at this dream machine?
Quite frankly, I didn’t care what I’d done, or how many national holidays it was in Canada, or why I was getting this offer in my Inbox….I wanted that machine, so I clicked on the “Pay Now” button and I practically typed in my card number from memory. I wasn’t going to risk anything. No way I was going to give him time to reconsider his offer!
I had a receipt in my hand and a smile on my face. I stood up and did that happy dance I was so prepared to do only minutes before the sniper attack. I was back in business and eBay was once again my best friend! What can I say, I’m a simple girl with simple needs……..and a nasty competitive streak!
****UPDATE: I’ve had several comments and emails asking if I’m still happy with this machine, and the short answer is YES. It has been an awesome investment and I think anyone who is looking for a machine that will accomplish normal household sewing projects (quilting, curtains, mending, buttons, denim, clothing, pet projects, etc.) will be very happy with it.
I will also put a plug in for the seller on eBay – my machine came from Canada, and the shipping times on the item said approximately 10 days. It took about a week or so longer than that, but I emailed the seller on day 11 – he was speedy quick in getting right back to me (within minutes actually), and not only did he email me but he went above and beyond by contacting his local post office for shipping and tracking information. And he was in contact with me every couple of days until the machine arrived. It turns out my machine happened to be in a backlog at US customs, and when it arrived the box was nearly destroyed, but this rough and tough machine wasn’t in the least bit phased, due to the excellent product packaging and heavy duty quality of the machine itself.
So, if you’re looking to purchase this machine or one similar to it in the Omega line, I say don’t be afraid of it because it’s not a mainstream brand. I think you’ll be very pleased with what you’ll get. Hope this helps.