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Sunday, February 24, 2013

To each his own

Back in the day...when I took home ec in the 7th grade, it was the large department store that had a  fabric area.  This is before Jo Ann's, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's. It was that long ago that I last used a sewing machine.

My best friend's mother had an electric sewing machine (note the adjective electric) and we would spend hours making skirts and other easy items. My dad, always the bargin hunter, located a used sewing machine for me that had all of the lastest attachments, my favorites of which were the ruffle maker and automatic button hole maker. I still have the machine and yesterday, I discovered it still works great!

My Aunt Marj was a master seamstress, having learned the skills from her grandmother. She made elegant suits, each seam carefully bound and pressed. She made matching outfits for me, my best friend and each of our patterns from the Sound of Music. Sigh. It was fabulous. When I got married, I asked her to make new slip covers for our couch and two chairs with matching drapes. She declined and paid to have them done professionally instead! What a smart woman.

However, I made dust ruffles, shower curtains, curtains, tablecloths, and other items for the home and then followed her example, years later,  of not  sewing when finances allowed me to purchase these items instead. That is, until I saw this beauty at the antique mall a few years ago. It was love at first sight. Ron gave it to me as a birthday present.Isn't that sweet?

 I showed the beauty to Maggie, our Museum Administrator. She makes quilts and she told me it is called a Featherweight and is a prized machine, even today, and is often taken to quilt gatherings.

Last fall, when Paulie and I were at the sheep farm (see earlier blogpost)  Paulette discovered a modern version of the portable machine and  she insisted we each order one on the spot.

This was especially surprising because Paulette doesn't sew, has never sewen, and doesn't know why she wanted one, and, as you can see, I already had two machines gathering dust. We didn't even have a thing for Hello Kitty stuff.  This has bothered Paulette ever since and until last weekend, neither of us had taken our machine out of the box. Kate promptly ate the cover off the directions to my Kitty. Thanks, Kate.
 Needing a project with which to try out the new machine, I decided to make pillows for our new denim sofa and to make blankets for my niece and nephew. Well, I know these are strange choices, but, straight sewing lines seemed like a good way to get familiarized with the craft again.
So, yesterday I went to JoAnn's. I love this store. It is open until 9 every night and when I am stressed  I sometimes go there to walk the aisles.While others would go take a run, or walk the dog, I head to the fabric store. And I don't even sew. I'd probably be at my ideal weight if when stressed I headed to the gym. I'll have to work on that.

Remembering how fun it was to go with my aunt to select fabric, I lamented that Kelsey was in California and I was in Ohio. That's when I remembered we each have an iPhone with face time!
She wasn't home, but,my sister-in-law, Karrie,helped me make a selection that Kelsey would like.  Isn't technology great?

Karrie mentioned she had just returned from a 56 mile bike ride-hmmm. That would be like going from Sandusky to Cleveland, which takes an hour at 65 mph in a car. This doesn't have anything to do with sewing, but, I think it's interesting how different my idea of a good time is from hers.

In fact, it felt a little like going over the first hill on a roller coaster as I searched the files for the pattern number and pulled open the drawer with the pattern inside. It was actually exciting  to look in the book, select the pattern, note the mfg and the number, head for the files, and find the pattern-- something like discovering a long lost trail and knowing the way blindfolded. I was dizzy with joy. Yes, that is what it was, pure joy. Guess riding 50 miles on a bike, or rediscovering a long dormant skill have the same capacity to bring joy. Isn't that cool? To each his own.