I know some of you will dismiss what is posted here as excessive, impractical, ridiculous, or laughable. Regardless, this setup works for me and keeps wonderful vintage machines doing what they do better than any new machine- sew straight stitches. All of these combined cost less than the piece of expensive junk lemon quilters Pfaff that I bought new 9 years ago (long gone).
I have a table my husband made for my most used machines and I have it set up like a woodshop. In a woodshop, different tools have different functions. No one would think of having one saw or one drill. There are circular saws, band saws, table saws, hand saws, radial arm saws, etc. In my studio, each machine fills a role and in some projects I may use all of them as in wall hangings I just finished for a show. This enables me to have a good workflow with minimal set up time and work on multiple projects.
Each machine has a particular function is set up to do it.
This LBOW (Light Beige Oyster White) Singer 301 Slant needle is my piecing machine. I have another I use for retreats or travel. The best straight stitch machine ever. The motor is direct drive, no belt, and is incredibly faster than any new one. The slant needle area give phenomenal visibility.
This Singer 15-91 is also a direct drive machine. I use this for sewing on all my bindings and pockets on the premade tote bags I use for comfort quilt giveaways. Absoulutely rock solid and powerful.
This is my newest 301. I have a black one, but this mocha 301 works better. It is used for FMQ smaller quilts than put on the long arm. It quilts flawlessly with perfect tension and great speed. The quilting foot is on and ready to rock and roll at a moment's notice. I never name machines, but after using it recently I called it Mocha Momma because it really cooked.
This Singer 401, another slant needle, direct drive, but a drop in bobbin, is my zig zag machine. I used to use it for blind stitch, but the finer one on the next machine took over. It is a powerful, smooth, awesome machine.
The Bernina 830 was purchased because I needed a free arm machine for some uses. A friend in Pittsburgh recommended it and I found a great one on ebay from a sewing machine store on the West Coast with all its accessories. This machine makes a tiny blind stitch with monofilament flawlessly for applique. Plus the freearm so I can sew inside things. An all metal machine but for the camstack, it is easy to clean, oil and maintain- a real dream of a machine.
I also have a Singer 15 treadle that I use sometimes when I just need to get calm sewing, but it is not in the rotation you see here.
I truly use all these machines and they are a pure joy to sew on. I do my own maintenance, which I love. I am always in awe of the craftsmanship in these machines.
There is a lot of help and parts available in using vintage machines- don't dismiss them in favor of fluff features like built in cutters, bobbin winders or knee lifts. For sewing smoothly (no jumping machines), perfectly, and economically, vintage has my full loyalty. My expensive longarm is the one machine that always gives me fits.