Newbie With A Sewing Machine - Opinions Wanted
I didn't want to hijack Horvath's thread with a question of my own, so I'm hoping DanTwoLakes, Trees, or anyone else with an opinion will see this and comment.
I fell into a deal about 2 years ago and ended up with an upholstery sewing machine. It's a Juki LU-562, and it's been sitting (covered) in my garage ever since I brought it home. A co-worker's ex-husband was forced to sell off some possessions to avoid foreclosure on a house, and I bought this thing as both a favor to her (the house is still in her name too,) and in the hopes that I could trade it off to an upholsterer in exchange for some work. I ended up paying $200 for it, and she was glad to see it go - it had been sitting in the middle of her livingroom, and she wanted it gone NOW! Well, I'm in no way ready for upholstery work yet, and it's just sitting there taking up space.
Cutting to the chase, I'm thinking I could learn some of the basics of using the machine to do a couple of small projects I have around here. I have no illusions of doing a complete interior of a vehicle, but I know I can figure out a few small projects. The machine came with LOTS of thread, bobbins, needles, feet, and other accessories too numerous to mention here (3 large boxes of stuff.) I know the machine works, as we plugged it in and she fired it up (ran a few stitches in an old rag just to show me it worked.) Other than that, I really don't know anything about it, other than it's a heavy SOB.
My question is, what would you recommend for a newbie like me as far as information on set up, basic operation of the machine, and practice using it is concerned? Are there any books you'd recommend that will help guide me through the basics? I know this type of thing requires practice and experience to master, so I don't have any unreasonable demands on myself in that regard. I'm just looking for any tips you seasoned veterans can pass along to a guy who has no idea what he's about to do, but has a lot of interest in trying it.
Oh, and for the record, the wife says she hates to sew, hasn't tried it since she was 13, and is just as lost with it as I am.
Thanks in advance for any advice, opinions, or comments.