Monday, August 1, 2011

An ode to my sewing machine

Okay, ode might be a bit of a stretch, but I do love my machine.

Our love story actually started with a love story of a complete other sort  - that of my mother and me.

My mom bought me my pretty little machine for my birthday some ten plus years ago. She was a sewist and had passed her dabbling ways on to me. Once I moved away from home and could no longer use her fancy schmancy Singer, she took me to get a machine of my very own.

We went to Walmart -yes, Walmart - and stood staring at their one shelf of sewing machines for nearly an hour. I had no idea how much a sewing machine cost and even Walmart could only get the prices so low. It felt like such an extravagant gift for someone who only knew how to sew a (sort of) straight stitch. But Mom was insistent.

We looked at lists of features.  This one had too many (what do you mean the machine does embroidery!), that one had too few (someday I'd want to do more than a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch).

We compared brands. One or two my mom had never heard of. We weren't sure where we could get the Walmart brand serviced. That other brand had declared bankruptcy a few years before so Mom wasn't sure we could trust the warranty to be good in the near future.  Yeah, my mom knows a little bit of everything.

She definitely knew about the brother brand.  It had a good reputation.  The machine was plastic, but that was okay because it would be less prone to rusting. The brother with the blue panel had 30 or more stitch options.  A little scary for me.  The pink one had a less daunting selection of 24. Basic enough to get me started but leaving me plenty of room to grow.

I swallowed hard as my mom paid the $200 for my new machine.  Money doesn't mean everything. I know this because my mom taught it to me. But for my birthday my mom spent so much to give me such a priceless gift because she loves me.  So in this case, that $200 meant everything.

One year I used that machine to make my mom and dad a set of fancy pillows for their bed.  My mom and that brother helped me make the roman shade for the nursery of my sweet baby girl. A few years later, I made curtains for my apartment when I was living on my own for the first time.

They say we always hurt the ones we love.  I failed to get it cleaned and serviced for at least seven years. That poor machine has been peed on by my roommate's  angry cat.  It has suffered broken needles and a misaligned bobbin plate. I've dropped it. Often.

But I guess it loves me despite all that. It opened up a world of possibility beyond bed pillows and window coverings. A world that is Never Plain!

Thanks, mommy.