June 3, 2009

A New Machine

Ryndam details: Washers and dryers. They don’t have these on the bigger ships.

Himself: Looking very handsome and thin this morning. Begun bringing small things home. Refi needed “one more” piece of paper. This is the longest running refi I have ever known.

Herself: Scouring files for something amusing to take to this last workshop. Finished piece for poetry group. So far the new glasses work well.

And I'm a guest blogger on Ronni Bennett's informative blog for seniors today. I talk about learning to laugh at oneself.

Reading: Dresden #5....and I can see it with my new glasses too.

Balance: The early morning silence.

Actually, in one giant burst of energy, I created a boring backing for the red quilt, packed away all the scraps for that quilt, laid the batting out to “fluff,” and carried the sewing machine and scraps downstairs. The Bernina can go out to the repair shop this weekend to have him look at the screwed up tension, and I can begin work on putting the Red Quilt together with the old Elna.

Is that why quilters like me have two machines?

Did I ever tell you how I got my Elna?

Using the Elna to make Dale’s AIDS Quilt panel, 2000.

Why I didn’t go with G that day so long ago, I do not know. Perhaps I had homework. But I was home, and he was out scouting for goodies at estate sales. He had found what looked like a good sewing machine, and it had all its accessories. He sat down on the floor and began looking at it closely. When he glanced up, he discovered he was surrounded by a ring of ladies. Waiting ladies.

Rather than give up his position, he called me while guarding the machine. “Do you know what an Elna is?” I didn’t. All my machines had been American. He called his mother. Her machines were Italian. She didn’t know either.

The women had pushed closer.

He asked the family about the machine. They remembered it well. Their mother had made all their clothes on it when they were kids, and it was only relegated to her backup machine when she bought a new one. Their dad and their mother, Susan, had just recently been killed by a drunk driver. G made a decision on the spot and bought the Elna with all its goodies for a very low price.

It looked good to me when he brought it home, but what did I know. I asked our friend Harriette and she said it was good. Then again, she owned a Bernina. I took it to the best repair shop in town, and he waxed rhetorical. He loved it. All the Home Ec classes in the city used to use this machine. It was tough. It was reliable. It was a good buy. I was really pleased.

I sewed for years with it. Made quilts, helped with the AIDS Quilt, mended, and did all those other things one does with a sewing machine. The last time I took it into the shop, after I had dropped it off a curb on the way to an AIDS workshop, they told me that parts were no longer available. He fixed it and told me to be careful. I hemmed and hawed then bought a Bernina.

Later today I will haul the Elna out and pray the oil hasn’t turned to varnish in all the years it has sat downstairs unused. I bet it is just fine.

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