Am feeling a little clumsy with my lack of tech skills, but am trying to learn with your patience.
Just read and enjoyed the chat transcript and have a couple (or more) comments in response.
For Diane...PT has saved my shoulder and a hip, so encourage you to continue your exercises even after your therapy is over.
My first embroidery machine was a 9700 and I quickly "outgrew" it, but at that time the dealer had no classes. I moved on to a Viking, then Babylock before I found the 15,000. Fortunately my dealer sells and services both Janome and Brother, so I've ended up with both.
Question about Apps: There was discussion about Diane's AcuQuilt app. Where do I find it? Is it a purchase? A download? The tech stuff is what most confuses me about the 15,000 because I'm not clear about the differences between Horizon Link, AcuStitch, AcuFil and all the verbage about the iPad. Can any of this stuff be used without additional equipment? If it's not on my machine, I don't want to deal with it. I do have the workbook but can't seem to find time to study long enough to make sense of it.
Re fabric: Many sewers I know scout thrift stores. Someone mentioned a trade event. Here in Fresno there's a store called Second Chance Fabrics. They buy unused fabric from sewers then repackage and sell at reasonable prices. Not sure if they're online but they go to craft fairs and other sewing events.
Re retirement: There was no time for me to sew for fun. It wasn't until after that I discovered embroidery and all the classes that surround it. After 15 years, still can't get enough.
The lists are a godsend as I've found that even those who teach classes are more project oriented and don't know the unique features of the machine.
Thank you so much.