After trekking to North Dallas by 6:30 a.m. and waiting for the estate sale to open at 9, I was disappointed in the look of the Bernina sewing machine. It looked old… Really old. I found the manual though, and thumbing through it I realized that the previous owner had followed each of the instructions and made a sample of each stitch design covered. The samples were stapled into the book and notes were made in the margins. The stitching was beautiful and the samples sold me on the 1980 model 831.

I had no luck talking the price down, so I went ahead and paid the full asking price. When I got the Bernina home, the zigzag knob wouldn’t turn. I applied some WD-40, but still no movement. I was resigned to the concept of a trip to be serviced.

Meanwhile I proceeded to clean and oil the machine. Later in the day my friend Don came over and I was showing him the stuck zigzag knob. He managed to open a compartment I had not been able to move, and then directed me to apply more lubricant to a few specific areas.

Now the 33-year old baby purrs like a kitten, and the stitching is beautiful. The tension is perfect and the seams are so smooth I just want to feel them to make sure I’m not dreaming!

I can’t wait to get creative with this great machine! I’ve already whipped out two valances and curtain tie-backs for my April grandbaby’s arrival.

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