Sunday, April 22, 2012

Home Ec Redux ...

My mom used to sew.

Her mom really used to sew.

Me? I don't sew so much.

I've made a few items of clothing over the years, but mostly, I sew curtains. Hems. Straight seams. Yup, that's about my speed. Occasionally, I make a pillow cover. But only when my sewing machine decides to behave.

Last year, it was giving me grief. Something was wrong. Thread was bunching. The needle was jamming. Clearly, it needed service. So I put it away and wrote "Tune up sewing machine" on my whiteboard. And that was the end of that.

Until a couple of days ago when I was looking up where I could take my sewing machine for service and spied, in the search results, someone asking if they could tune up their own machine.

Huh. Well, that never occurred to me. Yes, I suppose I could do it myself. Try, anyway. I probably couldn't muck up anything too badly, right?

But sewing-machine oil. I'd need sewing-machine oil. Perhaps I had some in my stash of sewing accoutrement from a departed aunt.

I hauled the machine out and set it on the counter. And there, in the handy-dandy compartment in which the extra bobbins live, was a bottle of sewing-machine oil.

Well, OK then. And I remembered a paintbrush I bought a long time ago that I never did use, perfect for brushing out the bobbin area and the feed dog. I brought my vacuum along for the fun. And my toolbox. (I needed a real screwdriver.) With the help of the instruction manual, I oiled all the appropriate places, put everything back together, threaded the machine, and proceeded to attempt to sew the pillow cover I'd begun last year.

And it sewed like a dream.

Well, that was easy. And it took me about 15 minutes. Well, you know, about a year and 15 minutes.

I was pleased as could be with my finished pillow cover, which was made from a $2 discontinued fabric sample and some material I had left over from my living-room panels. I extracted a pillow form from another pillow, stuffed it inside the new cover, smooshed the fill into the corners, and voila!

Eager to keep sewing, I washed and dried fabric that I bought last year for a project that never happened because I was too clueless to realize I could tend to my own machine. And then I headed to not one but two fabric stores to find more material for more pillow covers. I have five I want to make.

Between the two locations, I probably looked at 500 bolts of fabric. And found nothing I wanted to buy. A couple of contenders, but nothing that made me fall in love. Though this guy is kind of interesting:

I'm not a fan of marigolds in real life, but I like them on this fabric. Or are they supposed to be chrysanthemums?

I roamed the aisles. Nothing was off limits. I would have considered flannel if it came in an interesting pattern, but I wasn't in the market for plaid.

Eventually, my eyes landed on this fleece:

The owl made me think of my niece. The squirrel made me think of Angelo.

I took a close-up for him:

And sent it along with a note that mentioned that I am unsure if this is a baby girl squirrel or a not-so-subtle squirrel homage to "A Clockwork Orange." I also told him that while I wanted to, I didn't buy it.

He replied to tell me that I should.

I replied to tell him that if I did, he was getting a pillow.

I am amused at the notion of it being a travel pillow. Or perhaps I could make a travel throw for him. He would be the envy of all his fellow passengers, I'm sure.


Blogger angelo said...

Oh. No. Too. Much. Awesomeness.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The prospect of a travel pillow? Or would you prefer a throw? Or a matching set?!

4:22 PM  
Blogger angelo said...

Soooo many questions to ponder...
I'll get back to you.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Rocky Delafontaine said...

Beth, it is an inevitable occurrence for sewing machines to breakdown. It is essential that you regularly clean and put oil on the moving parts to prevent them from rusting over. But this beautiful pillow is certainly a welcome consolation for a broken down sewing machine.

3:49 PM  

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