Photo: Terri Bleeker When I was young,* maybe in first or second grade, I did my first counted cross stitch project. It was a little plaque that said #1 Dad that I made for Father’s Day. I got the pattern from a book of lots of different sayings. I showed one to mom and said it was just perfect for her. It said, “My cookbook collection is greater than my cooking.”
Mom didn’t take it well and I didn’t understand why. In my mind, my mom had a great collection of cookbooks. I didn’t realize that the saying put down her excellent cooking.
Now that I’m an adult and I can understand the meaning, I can say “My sewing machine collection is greater than my sewing.” Except, in this case, my sewing machine collection actually is greater than my sewing.
I just love sewing machines.
When I was young (in this case six or seven) I loved to sew. My mom did wholesale crafts and had two sewing machines. I was often working on whichever one she wasn’t. Then I’d jam it to hell, move to her other one, jam that too, decide I didn’t want to sew anymore and wander off leaving her with two jammed machines.
This was not only annoying but it kept her from doing her job, so she set up a machine for me on the front porch. I was so proud of “my” machine. Of course, it wasn’t long before I jammed it up and came back to her sewing room to use her machine. She told me that if I jammed my machine, I fixed my machine.
And so I did. I’ve loved working with sewing machines ever since.
I have a bad habit of treating inanimate objects like they have feelings and sewing machines are no exception. I feel like it is my duty to rescue a sewing machine and give it a loving home. It breaks my heart (at least this is the narrative I play) that someone doesn’t have someone in their life to gift their beloved machine to, so they have to donate it when they can no longer sew. It’s heartbreaking.
I also love the fulfillment from cleaning something that’s actually dirty or fixing something that is actually broken. So much of my life is just maintaining from one day to the next. It’s so fun to have a challenge to fix and a sense of accomplishment.
Over the years I have bought and sold (mostly bought) several machines but my current count is at seven. My most recent acquisition is a Singer 221 Featherweight which my husband surprised me with for our fifth wedding anniversary. I had always loved sewing on Mom’s featherweight (named Betsy) but put having my own featherweight in the category of “Maybe Someday If I Need A Crazy Way To Spend Money and Feel Rebellious Without Getting A Tattoo.**”
All of this to say: I just got back from the most fabulous weekend traveling with Mom and Connie to a Nova Montgomery Featherweight workshop. I was going to jump in and tell you all about it, but it would be confusing for a blog to jump from “Mostly Crochet and Sometimes Knitting” to “All I Want Is All The Machines” without a little background information first. So there you have it. I don’t sew so often but I love machines anyway.
I will be back on Friday to start sharing about my weekend. It was fabulous before the workshop even happened. More then.
*I used to work at a quilt shop as a teenager and was part of a monthly event where we shared new products and techniques. At my station, I was demonstrating how to knit with bias cut strips. I started the talk by saying I learned how to knit “when I was young” and all of the women busted out laughing. I was so flustered but they explained it was funny because I WAS young.
**Although the scroll faceplate design would make a fabulous tattoo.