What brand and model do you have? Due to space constraints, I have some machines in storage. In regular use in my living room sewing area are a Brother CS-8072 and a Simplicity 4-thread serger; in storage, I have another Brother CS-8072, two Singer model 66 treadles (one working, one awaiting restoration), and a Singer Stylist.
How long have you had it? The machines in my living room have been here as long as I have, so a little over five years. I bought the Brother in storage in spring 2003, the working treadle I bought while I was pregnant with Laurel in early 2000, the not-yet-working treadle I found in a barn at a yard sale in mid-2002, and the Singer Stylist I inherited from my mother when she bought a Bernina a few years ago.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? The Brother models were about $200 each new. I don't know how much the serger cost as vogonpoet bought it before I moved in with him. I paid $80 for my working treadle, $15 for the not-yet-working treadle, and I have no idea how much the Singer Stylist cost but it was purchased new in the early 1970s.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I do a little bit of everything. I've made adult and children's clothing, done heirloom sewing (my mom subscribed to Sew Beautiful when I was a little burrito), made children's costumes, 18" doll clothes, finished 1" and 1/2" scale miniature linens after weaving them, and pretty much anything else I've gotten it into my head to try. Right now I have a couple of throw/crib sized quilt tops waiting for me to quilt and bind, a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt kit to make, and a couple of small fun projects (terrycloth plush animals, small home dec projects, etc.) waiting in my to-do queue.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I sew in spurts depending on how I feel and what I have on my plate at the time. I sew a couple hours a day in the weeks before my neighborhood school's choir productions, in late summer during my Halloween costume rush, and after Halloween making holiday gifts. Other than that, I sew whenever I feel like it. I get my machine serviced once a year, but I should step it up to twice a year.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I like all of my machines. None of them have names, but I should do that someday since we name our computers and things that connect to them.
What features does your machine have that work well for you? It's a reliable little workhorse and rarely skips stitches. I don't ask for much from a machine.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? It's only a minor annoyance, but my Brother doesn't do well with a short stitch length in zig-zag and is hopeless with satin stitch.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! I bought my working treadle at a garage sale from a family friend (my brother-in-law calls the lady I bought it from Aunt T--) and she sold it to me with the promise that I would teach her some basic sewing. It was surprisingly well-maintained for having been stored for several years and I sewed quietly through Laurel's nap time on it when she was a baby.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I don't think the model's made anymore, but it's a good just-above-entry-level machine.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? All-metal gearing! Heh. Seriously, I think it's important to try before you buy and go with a machine you like and are comfortable using.
Do you have a dream machine? I'd like a longarm quilting machine someday.