Tuesday, August 6, 2013

my-first-ever-“real”-not-a-rag-quilt project

Life is what happens when you are busy doing something else… 

I was forcing my sewing machine to do all sorts of things.  I doubt it liked them - ertainly it has protested quite heavily about the layers and layers of jean, corduroy, batting, flannel, and mystery fabric I’ve jammed through it while making rag quilts out of recycled materials scavenged from the thrift shop.   I broke my fair share of needles too.  I learned to wear safety glasses while sewing before any of those needles hit me in the eye causing lasting damage.  It is a workhorse of a machine.  It was a hand me down from my grandmother, who replaced it 20 years ago with a fancier and newer model.  The original date of purchase for my beloved machine is totally beyond me.  My beloved sears Kenmore might be older than I am.

I wonder if the age of the machine could be said to be “vintage”?  (Vintage is what you call something that is old enough to be trendy and cool, as opposed to just old and heavy.)

Anyway the old girl finally had enough of the abuse I’d been throwing at it and it coughed sputtered and SNARLED.  Yes – sewing machines don’t seem to die they seem to SNARL.   The thread coming out of the bobbin looked like a first rate birds nest, and nothing I could do changed that fact.  It needed a Dr. plain and simple.

My quilt project -  my-first-ever-“real”-not-a-rag-quilt project sat stalled too.  Not that it hadn’t been over a year in the making, but I HAD actually been working on it when the sewing machine broke down.  A little boy’s bright coloured blanket.  Nothing so short lived as baby bottles, pacifiers and diaper pins…. But rather bright bold colours with trucks, owls, and numbers. 

So while the quilt languished, and my painting projects collected dust, I went camping.  Chicken little at almost two is a much nicer age to camp with than he was a year ago before he could walk and when he was still putting every rock into his mouth.  We camped locally, but then we took off on a two week adventure.

We loaded up the snail… and set off to drier turf and hot sunny places to sit at the lake and to swim. It was divine….  Some how in the process of all this camping and hot weather.  We traded our camper (for more than we paid for it) in for a small trailer.  The day we did that I was quite in shock.  I had not anticipated this turn of events. Although in the long run it was positively lovely to camp in. 

Chicken Little at the Beach

After two weeks of heat, of sun, of swimming, of ice-cream and sand we returned with our trailer, stopping en-route at my grandmothers house.  When I told her the sad story of the sick sewing machine she said to me – you can take my old machine.  (I thought I did have her OLD machine. – turns out there was a newer old machine) . Thus I became the happy owner of yet another sewing machine… this one only 20 years old and running like a top.

Thus I was able to finish the FIRST “real” quilt I’ve ever made.   Now the rules are – you are not allowed to look too close to the stitching, nor how well the corners line up.  You are simply required to say “LOVELY!” in a chirpy and pleasant voice.  The flaws are many and I am not asking for advice or for them to be pointed out.  I am simply proud of myself for having completed this quilt.  And just in time for my second child to be born!
Finished Quilt

Also an update on the sick sewing machine -  it has been taken to the Dr. and will return home in a few days apparently feeling much improved.