Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sidewinder Review

Here’s my review on the SideWinder, the latest hot gadget in quilting.

First a bit of background. I have an older Kenmore that I used as my DSM for a long time, only recently replacing it with the Janome Gem last spring. The Kenmore had only 3 issues with it. It’s heavy, I can’t free motion on it (no doubt operator error, but whatever) and the bobbin winder is broken. Now I really don’t feel like spending a ton of money to repair this feature.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving time, when I brought my Janome in for service. I then was sewing on the Kenmore (named Ed, as I really did get it from a gay guy named Ed), and I had no way to wind bobbins (I was using the Janome, you see…). So I had to get a Side Winder.

The pros: It winds bobbins and you don’t have to unthread your machine. It threads them for more than one bobbin type. It is plug in and battery operated. It is small. And it’s way cheaper than fixing Ed.

The cons: It doesn’t have a stop button. Why do you need one? Well, if your spool runs out, the bobbin keeps going, though nothing is happening. It only stops if the bobbin is full. So in order to stop it, I have to pull the plug (from the unit to the power cord – not out of the wall). What do you do if you’re on battery? It only winds the bobbins about 2/3 full.

So how do I feel about owning it? Good, for Ed the Kenmore. But don’t be fooled by illusions of grandeur.

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