June 12, 2014

Feeling Nostalgic...

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  I have an ongoing class that I teach in paper piecing at Crazy Quilters.
Some students are "regulars", who have already learned the technique, but they
return twice a month to pick up new foundations from me. They have become
 friends, and they stay to sew up a block or two while we visit with each other.
Others are new students who have come to learn how to do paper piecing. I
teach them how to think in mirror-image and shepherd them through their first
block to be sure they understand the technique. Then, I supervise as they tackle
one on their own. I always enjoy seeing the "light go on", and knowing that they
now have a new skill to add to their quilting/sewing/needlework repertoire.
Yesterday was such a day. My newest student was dropped off by her husband
 with her sewing machine and a great deal of enthusiasm. She was ready to learn.
She set up her antique Singer 221, while I set up a cutting station for her and 
we began our session. I explained how to place and sew the fabrics to the
  paper foundation and then my student commenced to piece her block. When
she was ready to sew her first seam, she took it to the flatbed of her 221 and
I was immediately taken by the sweet "ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka" of her
machine. We all actually talked about her little Singer's's quaint sounds. 
I told her they brought to mind our life in farm country in Wisconsin. 
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 One of the local farmers had an old two-cylinder John Deere tractor. They
were nicknamed "Poppin' Johnnies" because of their distinctive sound. I well
remember warm fall days with all our doors and windows open, the sounds of
 that old tractor lifting on the breezes that cooled our home. The slow, steady
 "chocka...chocka...chocka...", rhymthically moving across the hillside behind
  our woods. I'd always stop what I was doing, just to listen to that old tractor.
Hearing the sound my student's 221 yesterday brought those memories back 
to life. In a day when many of us use computerized sewing machines, with
all their useful bells and whistles, it was so nice to see that sturdy, old machine
still serving a seamstress eager to learn. It created perfect, tiny stitches on
her reproduction fabric - and for just a moment - it became a time machine,
transporting all of us to years gone by. It was a lovely day indeed.

6 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Weekend-Windup said...

Nice to see the singer sewing machine

Jeannie B. said...

Loved this story.

Karen said...

For my 50th birthday my dear husband bought me a featherweight. I love the simplicity of the machine, the gentle noise it makes and how easy it is to use.
My grandmother bought a featherweight at the 100 anniversary for $100.
I got my 1950's featherweight for $350. What a great investment.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Oh, I have always wanted one of these! I would much prefer the simple perfection of these over the complicated computerized machines! Have a lovely weekend! Twyla

Anonymous said...

Just what I learned to sew on...would love to have again. I don't ever remember my
Grandmother taking her machine in fr adjustments...it was a workhorse. Made dresses, aprons, pillowcases, everything including mending for Grandma, Mother, Dad and me. Thise were the days.

Patty said...

I have one and use it quite often, one of my newest obsessions I mean passions is vintage machines.


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