Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Sewing Machine & A Special Project

So here's a little story about a lovely little sewing machine. Which isn't actually little at all. It weighs about as much as a sedan, and quite ironically is supposed to be the "portable" model. I really can't imagine anyone purchasing it with the intent of carrying it around to all their favorite destinations. With both hands, knees bent for proper lifting, I heave the thing up and on to the kitchen table. Take off the lid and smell the scent of ozone and a lot of years of love. It is from 1963. And it is dusty. But it runs like a dream and it whirs like it's brand new. Originally owned by my beloved Grandmother, it was recently passed on to me. I was so excited! My parents weren't even sure it would still run. I took it home, and opened it up, and gently, with Kleenex and Q-tips, cleaned all of its parts. The entire thing was full of blue fuzzies. Blue fuzzies? I smiled because I realized the last thing my Grandma must have sewn, was blue. I cleaned out the dust monsters, and plugged her into the wall. I gave the aged foot pedal a gentle press, and everything started to move. It worked! Since then, I've been trying out all the different types of stitches. It is the "deluxe" model, so it comes with a box of dies that can change the pattern that you sew. Judging by the one left in the machine for the last 15 years, my Grandma must have liked the Block Stitch: Die Number 19. I got misty eyed when I first removed it, and realized the last hands to touch it were hers. What a wonderful way to reconnect!

Now on to my latest project with said sewing machine. Father's Day was coming, and I planned a mixed-medium picture for him. It is quilt-like, and includes a photo of him and I (me being less than a year old). What is wonderful about his framed piece is that it is a picture of three generations, not two, because it was completely stitched together with his Mom's sewing machine. I was excited! With the cloth finally in hand, I've been stitching like crazy the last few days. I'm really not that good! Thank goodness the machine is up to snuff, because it was the only thing that made it work! Ha ha! As I stitched away, under the curious eye of my cat, I felt like my Grandma was so very close. I'm sure she'd be happy her old machine is back in the hands of someone to use it. And it's still in the family! My next challenge was to make a monogram of our last initial. Yikes. This was not easy for me! It's a new way to use a sewing machine and I was having troubles! With the manual open on the table, I tried until I got it, even if it isn't as fancy as I had originally hoped. One of the last stitches I added to the project (and most important) was the Block Stitch (Die Number 19). It took me forever to get it to work, but I finally did! The last type of stitch my Grandma sewed, now mastered by her Granddaughter. Wahoo! Well, now the project is finished, and under glass, and has been presented to my Dad. He loved it! After taking him to dinner and reminiscing about past memories of my sister and I as little kids, we gave presents and ate cake. It was a great Father's Day, due partially to a lovely little sewing machine. (Which isn't actually little at all.) :)

(Here's a picture of it almost completed. I forgot to take a final photo of it finished!)


  1. Oh sweetie, I just read this to your Dad and showed him the pictures and he is a mass of tears and smiles. He does love it and I can't wait to hang it up so all can enjoy your handi-work. It is truly beautiful. You made him a wonderful Father's Day. :) LYS

  2. What a lovely post and a wonderful gift for your Dad. You did great!



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