Monday, March 24, 2014

What Is A Pennywinkle?

Nancy Knaus, co-owner of Pennywinkle Valley Ranch, standing next to a Sunshine 16 with frame.

So what is a Pennywinkle? A Pennywinkle is a small snail that lives in the creeks around Waverly, Tennessee.  This fanciful name was applied to a ranch named Pennywinkle Valley Ranch which is now the home of an interesting line of mid & long arm quilting systems.

I have mentioned this company before here at Studio 24-7 and when I saw that they would have a booth at the Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge Tennessee I decided to drive up to see their machines and the Quiltfest.

The show and vendors were in the recently opened LeConte Center and it is a beautiful venue.  Lots of space with good lighting and places to sit for a rest.  The vendors booths, with the exception of the booths with equipment, were not very interesting and I was very disappointed in the quilt show.  I don't make traditional quilts but I can be impressed with beautifully executed traditional quilts but with few exceptions nothing stood out that I found noteworthy.  There was a theme quilt category which was more interesting but again I just didn't see anything exciting.

The booth for the Pennywinkle folks was a different thing.  I'm not going to try and tell you about the features of these fresh and inventive machine but rather just say that they are beautifully manufactured here in the US and the prices for all the various styles are more than competitive.  They offer styles in a 16" and a 24" arm in both sitting and standing configurations. 

Sunshine 16
Take It Anywhere

The style pictured above is made to portable and weighs only 32 pounds.  I tested it and was surprised that they had it threaded with metallic thread which can be very tricky.  It performed beautifully.  I described a manner of sewing that I often find problematic and asked Nancy to demonstrate that with the machine which she did.  No broken threads, skipped stitches etc.  Very nice.  

The company is owned by Nancy and Jerry Knaus who designed and engineered the machines.  They have a program which allows customers to make an initial deposit of $500 with a delivery and full payment 6 months out.  There are other details to this but it's all planned to make it possible to purchase their machines.

Just in case anyone is thinking I'm getting some financial benefit from this post be assured that is not the case.  I'm just excited to find quality equipment made here at home for a good price.  You might want to consider one of these machines if you are in the market.

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