I have read a few blogs lately that have given a "review" of their sewing machines. I thought I'd join in too, plus show you a few of my other "secret weapons"!
Firstly, my beloved Pfaff 2056! I would not trade this machine for any other machine in the world- not even a new Pfaff! I love this machine, and we've made a LOT of quilts together :) I got it in 2004- less than 6 months after I started quilting. I love all the features! The IDT, or the "top" feed dogs, is the best feature by far- the machine feeds the fabric from the top AND the bottom, so you don't get the "rainbow" effect that happens with other machines. Having the fabric feed from both sides evenly is also a great help in keeping the seams from shifting!
This is the Bendable Bright Light. This little thing gives off a LOT of light! I use it along with my Daylight work lamp to light my work area. I recommend it to anyone!
If you've never used a cordless iron before, you are really missing out! I LOVE this thing, and absolutely hate it when I go to retreats or classes and have to use an iron with a cord! Some people don't like it because you have to put it back on it's base occasionally to heat it up, but I think the "trouble" is well worth not having that cord around, tangling in your fabric and dragging blocks off the ironing board. Maytag doesn't make them anymore (which is really sad, because it was the best of the cordless irons on the market), but there are other brands available!
And lastly, my real "secret weapon"!! I love both these products, and every single piece of fabric I sew with will see both these used on it! I use the Magic Sizing after I pre-wash my fabric, to put some sizing back into it (without the arsenic, formaldehyde and other chemicals that are used to prevent bugs from eating the fabric in the warehouse), and I use the Mary Ellen's Best Press (unscented, all the scented ones make me sneeze!) when I press during piecing! They are a great help in getting fabric and blocks pressed really, really well, and that aids in lining up seams and keeping things square.