A Dear Friend
As predicted, it’s been a wild week. And it’s not over yet. Jon and I are headed to the theater tonight, and the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is having a sew-in tomorrow night.
I took my big Babylock machine the last time I went to a sew-in. At the time, my Brother was on loan to Ashlee for the summer. I ended up working on a cutting/pressing project the whole time and never used the Babylock. It’s really heavy, and I had considered not bringing a machine at all. I should have listened. It’s a beast to carry.
Before the summer was over, I gifted the Brother to Ashlee. It’s a great little machine, and I intended to get her one when she was done with school. Waiting seemed silly, especially since it was exactly what she needed. I’d been sewing on it for a year and I knew it was in great working order. So here I am now, heading into the quilt retreat/sew-in season without my “traveling” machine. I’m not ready to buy another one, so I dug into the back of the closet and found my first love.
I was a little nervous about firing her up. I thought I remembered it was having trouble when I put it away for the last time….maybe 10 years ago. I’ve even considered either selling her or trading her in on more than one occasion. But guess what? She sews beautifully, as always. Even better than the Babylock, truth to tell. Smooth and quiet, with perfectly balanced stitches.
How exactly, did she end up in the back of the closet? Since spending over $500 on a new sewing machine was such a HUGE decision in (I’m guessing) 1992, there was no way I could afford another $200 to go up one more model and get the needle up/needle down function. I’d never had it before, so I figured I could live without it. And I did. For several years. Years when I sewed a lot. Between this machine and my Elna serger, I sewed fleece or wool jackets, play clothes for the kids, work clothes for me. Even the beginnings of my quilt adventure saw time here.
The back of the closet? Wrist problems that made hand-turning the machine painful, plus the lure of a fancy new-fangled embroidery machine (a graduation gift to myself) meant she got relegated to 2nd string. She did some hard time on my original Handiquilter frame, but eventually I knew that wasn’t the system for me and started saving for my HQ16. By the time I started going to quilt retreats, I gave up on her and bought the first of 2 Brother machines. They were so similar to my Babylock that it was a breeze to switch back and forth.
But she’s out now. I’ll take her to the sew-in tomorrow, and if she works as well as I expect, I think she’ll get a trip for a tune-up. It’s the least I can do for a dear friend!