Last year we took our vacuum cleaner in for repair. I left with a new sewing machine. It was the furthest thing from my mind going in but the shop owner is an excellent salesman. My mom gifted me a sewing machine for high school graduation a couple of decades ago which sewed very basically and was just fine for me, as basic sewing was all I did at that time. Suddenly I found myself with a small monthly payment and a big, beautiful fancy machine. I fretted about the purchase for a little while until I was sucked into the world of designer quilting fabrics.
I’d never quilted before and really was not interested. I was never really drawn to the calico prints and the long process it seemed to take. I realize now my perspective on quilting was based on assumptions. Now there are so many beautiful, fun and fresh fabric designs and several tools to cut the time involved in quilting.
Back to the issue at hand, which is…
I’m frustrated with the lack of information online about my great machine, the Elna Excellence 730! Most of the quilters out there seem to use Bernina or BabyLock and probably for good reason. Right now I’m not interested in their reasons. Well, actually, I briefly considered trading this one in for something with more online information. I am impatient. Frequently I am working on a sewing project early in the morning or late at night when my only option is the manufacturer’s instruction manual or the internet. Honestly, though, spending more money on a sewing machine is not preferable.
I’ll share what info I have so far and maybe someone will land here that can give me info I need. Elna Excellence owners, let’s gather and unite! Back to business for now…
What led me to this post are two things:
1. How the heck do I get to the Straight Stitch settings?
I wanted to do some free motion quilting and was following the manual’s instructions. The manual had been very handy so far. (It’s getting that well-worn look that I love books to have. Can anyone relate?) It told me to use Pattern MODE 1: 4S. I could not get to 4S for the life of me and the instructions were leaving me stranded. My dealer wasn’t opening for several hours (we rise early in this house) so I tried looking online (&%^$#!) and finally resorted to contacting Elna service in NJ. I was able to reach a real, live person (!) with little difficulty. She explained they didn’t really offer help over the phone (I’m supposed to contact the shop where I bought it) but she could help me look through the manual to see if I’d missed anything.
Here’s how it works…the machine is so smart it knows if you are using the wrong needle plate. All I have to do is switch to the straight stitch needle plate and voila, I can 4S away all day long! As frustrating as the process was to find this out, I’m super glad the machine won’t let me make costly mistakes. I only wish they’d include that info clearly in the manual (are you reading this, Elna?).
2. Does this machine need to be oiled?
There is nothing that I have found online about this. Nada. Insert blowing wind noise here. My machine is up for a very detailed cleaning. It’s a fuzzy mess. I’m very hesitant to just go ahead and oil it because I did find in my research that some new machines don’t need to be oiled. And of course everyone says to check with the manufacturer.
I finally found a source that might answer my question about the oil. I’m still waiting to hear. Until then, I’m off to clean this lint with my brush and pipe cleaner.
Please share in the comments if you have anything to add. it’s been delightful talking Elna with you! I would love to connect with other Elna owners out there.