Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

TUES-SAT:  10:00-5:30 | SUN & MON:  CLOSED


In the sewing machine and vacuum industry, unlike some other industries, we are often busy in our own local stores and as such don’t have as much opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues as might be the case in other professions or industries, or in large organizations orcorporations. Recently, however, some more opportunities are becoming available for us in the sewing machine and vacuum industry to do just that-collaborate. Coincidentally, I have had the opportunity collaborate in some volunteer and hobby groups that I’m involved with. In these recent opportunities to collaborate in both professional and volunteer organizations, I realized how valuable this opportunity really is. I have made some new friends and professional contacts. I have learned a lot of new information and techniques. Furthermore, I have been the beneficiary of others’ experience and expertise. When a problem has arisen or the need for some specific knowledge or expertise, I am seeing that one is often able to put a question out to the group and likely someone within a group, with common goals, interests and/or expertise often has already encounter this question or challenge and they are more than happy to lend their advice and expertise. This makes solving challenges often much faster and easier than trial and error on your own. Another benefit I have found while collaborating with groups is that when I may be reluctant to tackle a new project or technique, the group is generally very supportive and helpful in giving one confidence to go forward and try something new. Often something that you thought you could never accomplish or learn, you can! Here at Rich’s we have just such a group. This group is called Inspirations. We have groups for Sewing Inspirations, Serger Inspirations, Quilting Inspirations and Embroidery Inspirations. If it you’re not an Inspirations member at Rich’s, stop by either of the stores and see what it is all about. If you are an Inspirations member, call the store and sign up today for one or more of the fun, supportive and valuable sessions we offer each month. You will have the opportunity to socialize, learn, collaborate and have fun with other like-minded sewists. Click the link to visit this months calendar

Happy Sewing John Rich, Owner Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum

   What Inspires You?

  As I write this John and I are on our way back from BERNINA University in Jacksonville, Florida. I was all ready for it to be hot and humid but I was in for a surprise because it was cloudy and rainy. We actually left the HOT weather back home in Salem. The thunder and lightening storms were loud but fun to listen to.

BERNINA University was fun and interesting as it normally is. We took lots of classes, saw some new products and signed up for a couple of really fun looking events. Those details we will announced in the coming months.

One of the best new things we saw was the new Tula Pink special editions of the 570 and 770. The polka dots on the face plate and the oil slicked looking (think a beautiful natural looking rainbow) free arm cover was so cool looking. It not only looked cool but you get so many awesome things in your Gift With Purchase like a whole set of oil slicked tools. Included with the tools were 2 sizes of scissors, a rotary cutter and tweezers among other things. You also get lots of exclusive Tula Pink designs. It’s just an all around awesome machine to have. They will be available this fall and yes, we are taking pre-orders for them. YOU NEED ONE OF THESE MACHINES!!!! Your creativity will be running over time for sure!

Speaking of BERNINA machines, we are having a really fun event in July using BERNINA 590 and 790 models. This event is called “Christmas in July” with Claudia Dinnell, (go to her website here: to check out her work) she will be teaching her multi-hooping technique for large embroidery pieces. We are full for this event, but we are taking names for any cancelations that we may have. BUT, we are having another event in September also featuring her patterns. Julie and Emily will teach and this event is called “Hocus Pocus”, you will make a very fun Halloween decoration. Call the stores for details and to sign up.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and getting in some much needed sewing and embroidery time. Come into the store and show us your projects, we are always excited to see you and see what you create on those awesome machines!

Ann Rich

   What Inspires You?

  One of the things that inspires my creativity is water. That sounds a little unusual I know but let me explain. I have been around water in one way or another my whole life. I grew up in Alaska and spent most of my childhood on the Kenai Peninsula. As a young child we lived in Homer where we spent many hours on the Homer Spit (a finger of land surrounded by water) working our commercial fishing boat and selling Alaskan made jewelry to the tourists. I spent many summers working on the boat in Kachemak Bay and Prince William Sound. I even fell off the boat into those icy waters one year. As a teenager we moved to Soldotna where we spent many a Friday night down on the beach finding all kinds of treasures and roasting hot dogs. During these years my family would take a break from those long Alaskan winters and go to Hawaii for a month. We spent everyday on the beach taking in the warm sun and just listening to the waves roll in. It is the most soothing sound in the world to me.

A few years later John and I got married and were living in San Diego, we were poor college students so we would take picnic dinners down to Seaport village and sit by the water and watch the boats go by. It was very quiet and calming. 

After college we moved to Washington and bought our first house in a little town called Mukilteo. It was about a mile from the beach and we would take our little kids down to play, watch the waves come in and ride the ferry. 

About 20 years ago we moved to Oregon and were lucky enough to settle in Salem and only be about an hour from the coast. We have spent countless days over on the coast, playing in the sand and water, riding quads and sand rails and just sitting and listening to the waves crash. It is such a peaceful sound!

This last summer I got another water experience, I got to ride jet skis on the Willamette, let me just say that was SO FUN! Thank you Daniel! And as I write this we are on our way back from Eastern Idaho where we spent some time with our 2 youngest kids. We stayed in Idaho Falls where the Snake river comes right through the city, it is so beautiful to watch and listen to. I will include a couple of pictures.

I have a stack of fabric I bought last year in Alaska and a stack I bought a few years ago in Hawaii. Each stack will become its own unique quilt but as I work on them they will take me back to the wonderful memories of my life by the water.


Ann Rich


What Inspires You?


Prior to working for Rich’s I did not have any sewing experience (I am an auto and airplane mechanic by trade).  The first sewing project I completed was a quilt for my mother in law, who had recently undergone a double knee replacement.  I knew I wanted to make something for her recovery that would be comforting and comfortable.  I made that first quilt out of silk strips, and backed it with minky. It was with this first quilt I realized what I was drawn to about fiber arts.  In future projects it would play out again and again – I love quilts that draw you in because of their texture and dimension.  I like to make things that make you want to reach out and touch them, whether it’s the block design or the fabric used. 


I also realized with that first quilt my other inspiration for creating.  I enjoy making things for others!  The quilt for my mother in law brought her a great deal of joy during a very difficult time, and that made me happy.  Since then, I have made my wife several bags, and designed and created several projects for the store.  My wife also quilts now, and she will often call me in to her sewing room to consult on color choice or block layout.  It has been wonderful to have a shared interest, and to see how much this little part of my life has grown in hers.


Brian Barnhart

Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum, Salem Store


What Inspires You?


      Many things inspire me, whether it is being on the lake fishing at sunset, or in the woods at
daybreak on the opening morning of hunting season. Sewing machines also inspire me. I have always been amazed at the engineering accomplishments of making all the of things these machines do run off of only one motor.
 The new machines are even more of a marvel to me, with the incorporation of electronics
they truly do some amazing things! From cameras for exact placement, to lasers, stitch
regulation and robotics running the big quilting machines.
I find that each new year the machine manufacturing companies are coming out with new and inspiring products that make your sewing more fun and exciting.  When I first started in this business some twenty-six years ago, they had just come out with the first home embroidery machines. Now look at what technology has brought to this industry. I truly wonder what the machines of the future will bring
to our home sewing, embroidery and quilting enthusiasts!


Tim Cox , Store Manager

Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum, Salem Store


What Inspires You?


    Color is inspiring to me. Springtime beauty in all the blooming flowers and trees sprouting their leaves, Autumn is filled with wonderful color too. Color can change a person’s mood.  Yellow for example represents vitality and happiness.  Blue boots creativity and red, it is said, affects your body.

     In the sewing arena we are so fortunate to have a wide variety of color in our fabric and thread choices.  As all of us that sew and quilt know, we have to have a fabric stash and we need to keep it up for that special project we will work on, sometime in the future.  All of us also must have that perfect color thread to complete that special project.

      There are a whole lot of areas that color effects, from the color of our homes and rooms that we spend time in, to the clothes we wear and how we feel.  Some have a favorite color and some like all colors. My favorite colors are yellow and orange, what are yours?


Julie Cox, Education Manager

Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum

                                                         What Inspires you?

There are many reasons people love to sew…What are your reasons for sewing?  I recently came across an article on the BurdaStyle blog.  The post featured native New Yorker, Peter Lappin, and detailed his journey with sewing.  A couple of years ago Peter purchased his first sewing machine to hem some thrift-store jeans that he had purchased.  The creative bug hit Peter and he now runs the most popular men’s sewing blog on the internet-Male Pattern Boldness.

In the article in BurdaStyle, Peter noted the top reasons that he loves to sew. These are Peter’s inspirations for sewing:

  1.       If feels good to make something out of virtually nothing.
  2.       Sewing is a fantastic creative outlet
  3.       Peter says, “I love the challenge”
  4.       It is exciting to work with my hands
  5.       When you finish a project you, or someone you love, has something to wear.
  6.       Sewing feels like self sufficiency
  7.       Sewing stimulates the mind
  8.       Sewing connects us with other people
  9.       Sewing is resourceful


In my personal experience, sewing for others is a way to share your talent and give them something unique and meaningful.  My wife Ann loves to quilt, and she has made a number of quilts for close friends and family.  I love to ride motorcycles and not long ago I was the happy recipient of the quilt in the picture above.  For a number of years, as Ann and I travel, we go to the local Harley motorcycle shop and pick up a t-shirt that has a logo unique to that particular dealership.  Ann decided to make her love of quilting and my love of motorcycles come together in this fantastic t-shirt quilt.  I love this gift because it reminds me of Ann, of my love of motorcycles, and also it reminds me of some of the places that Ann and I have travelled to together over the years.  This meant much, much more to me than any store-bought gift would have.  It hangs on my office wall and I look at it and enjoy it every day.  I encourage you to find the things that inspire you and combine those with your sewing talents.  Your family and friends will treasure your creations.

   Welcome to Rich's Inspirations

  We're having a fun and exciting year here at Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum..  We appreciate your business  over the years and we are glad that you have signed up to be a part of our new Inspirations program.  We are excited to offer new classes and new formats from which you can choose. 

We know many of you, but for those of you that are newer to Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum that we don’t know quite as well, we thought we would tell you a bit about ourselves. 

Ann and I met through a mutual friend in March of 1984, at Ann’s birthday party.  We were pretty much inseparable from that first meeting on.  We were engaged in May of 1984 and married in August of that same year.

We spent 6 years working and going to college, graduating from San Diego State University in the spring of 1990.  Two days after graduation our oldest, Daniel, now the manager of our Albany store, was born.  Janae followed in 1993, Michael in 1997 and Heather in 1998.

After graduating from San Diego State, our family settled in Washington state.  Two years later in 1992, John got his first job in the sewing and vacuum industry and spent six years working for a large dealership in the Seattle area.

In 1998, now twenty years ago, we decided to move to Oregon and open Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum. Four years later in 2002 we opened our second location in Albany and followed in 2010 with the opening of our warehouse facility.

Through our twenty-six years in the sewing and vacuum industry, we have witnessed many ups and downs and certainly many changes in the machines and in the creative capability that they have.   We feel fortunate to be in this industry and to have the opportunity to be of service to you with all your sewing & vacuum needs.

Here is to lots of fun getting to know you better and have fun sewing with you!   Sincerely John and Ann Rich

                   What Inspires you?

Spring has finally arrived in Oregon!!! I am so happy about that. To me Spring is a sign of renewal. We have long rainy and sometimes snowy winters in Oregon and when you get to see sunshine it really does your soul good. Easter is a beautiful time of year.

I love to see the trees start budding out and the daffodils and tulips start to wake up from their winters nap. I have a Spring birthday and know that by the time it is here the daffodils will be in full bloom with the tulips not far behind. This gives me hope that the beautiful long summer days are on their way and I will be able to spend lots of time walking my dog and enjoying the sunshine. And, the best part, getting my grill out for some yummy summer dinners and desserts with the kids and grandkids gathered around.

When I think of renewal, I think about projects that I’ve put off for awhile. Not to long ago I started cleaning out my sewing room, (I know, who in their right mind would do that????) because I hadn’t done it for so long and it tends to be the room I throw everything I’m going to get to later in. It was actually a walk down memory lane for me as I came upon scraps of fabric from so many quilts I have done for my family members. And, also a hope for the future as I started to sort through pieces of fabric (because I buy a piece that I I like and I “think” it will go with something else I have 🙄) and put them in piles for each of the quilts I have in mind to make. I now have my projects in drawers and organized waiting for me to find the time to get to them. THAT, my friends, is the problem! So many projects and so little time!

But, just like the flowers and budding trees, they will still be there year after year giving me hope that THIS is the year I will get to making that special quilt. I hope each of you find hope and renewal in this wonderful, beautiful and amazing time of year.

                   What Inspires you?

One of my favorite things to do is travel, you get to see something different and try new foods and learn of the history of wherever you are. It’s fascinating to listen to tour guides impart their knowledge and direct you to the best food places in town.

I love to eat and I am always looking for something interesting to try wherever we go. I’m probably an adventurous eater because of being raised in Alaska. In our family we did not buy meat from the store, we ate what was hunted or caught. I have eaten some of the best king salmon around (including the eggs), crab, scallops, shrimp, halibut, anything you could make out of moose meat including the moose heart and tongue, bear, duck, even tried octopus once.

I’m not a big fruit eater but love tropical fruit from the islands, this I’m sure, comes from lots of time spent in Hawaii and the cruises we’ve taken to the Caribbean. 

John and I have been blessed to travel to some very interesting places. We traveled to Japan with a group from BabyLock and had the most amazing Kobe beef and some very delicious tempura. We saw beautiful temples there and stayed at a traditional Japanese Inn. We’ve been to Germany with a group from Pfaff where we had the best variety of bread I have ever eaten and delicious meats and cheeses. We toured a concentration camp that I will never forget, a life changer!

While in France and Belgium this last spring we ate Kabobs which is some kind of surprise meat in sandwhich form, it was delicious! And, of course, many delicacies from the bakery. Which included baguettes that we tried with many different cheeses, goat cheese being one of the favorites. In Belgium of course we ate waffles topped with mounds of whip cream and speculoos cookies. We saw the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles and Notre Dame among other awesome sights.

Very recently, we traveled to New Orleans to see the new Pfaff machines coming out this fall and were able to spend a couple extra days looking around the city. One of the best things we ate were beignets, oh my goodness, they are so good. New Orleans is also famous for their pralines - super good candy. Po boy sandwich’s, deep fried shrimp and grits were among the favorites! We were able to take a city and plantation tour along with just walking down Bourbon street, the French Quarter and Jackson Square.

I also love to bake and fall is a favorite time to do so. So many good pumpkin recipes to try and favorite family treats for the holidays. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and try something new in the kitchen this month - be creative, be inspired!