Waving hand here in WA!
I emailed you.
This looks so fun! I wish I knew more about my machine to have the confidence to volunteer!
I got a Brother SE400 which was fairly inexpensive for a sewing-embroidery machine. It is limited to 4x4 sized patterns, which is a slight disadvantage but saves a lot on the initial cost. I AM DELIGHTED with it...the apron finished project in my blog shows some of the work. It's a good way to get started and you can always trade in or sell the machine if you become addicted (it IS addicting!) These are reviews for the machine, a good cross section of pros and cons http://amzn.to/ZAxvdg
I have sent you an email, I would be happy to test it for you.
I maybe too late to test this pattern, but keep me in mind for future embroidery patterns.