November 5th, 2017 by Jan

Believe it or not – Yang style tai chi sabres used to be impossible to find for the home grown tai chi player. We used to use what we called “duck choppers” for the form.

When I went to China in 1994 I looked high and low for a sabre and even though we were on a tour that was all about learning tai chi – I could not find a sabre to bring home. I saw one once at a tournament, but the woman holding it would not let it go even long enough to show it me. “Mine!” was all I could understand her to say.

Then one day out of the blue, my friend Korguer called me to say a store in Vancouver had a sabre in stock and that if I hurry into town, I might be able to get it before anyone else did. It cost $250!

I hemmed and hawed and Ken said — “Go! Go get it!”

I replied that it felt too impulsive and that spending $250. just like that was crazy.

Ken reminded me that I’d been on the hunt for a sabre for years. It was hardly impulsive.

I jumped on the ferry — went to the store and became the proud owner of a Yang Style sabre. No more duck chopper for me! I was in heaven!

Yesterday, I got an email advertising a sale on sewing machines at our local sewing store. Hmmmmmmmm…..

I thought, maybe I’d stop in and look around, just see what they have. I don’t really need a new machine.

I inherited my mom’s Elna Quilters Dream machine, when she died in 2003. That, along with a zillion other quilting supplies, have made my hobby of sewing, pretty darn wonderful over the years.

When I first had the courage to get the machine out of the box, mom had been dead a full year. My friend Rhonda came to visit and sat with me, as we pulled this delight out. Rhonda read the manual and helped me get started.

This machine was incredible. I wondered if I would be able to sew as well as my mom did. I half jokingly said, “All you need to do is whisper, make me a quilt, hit a button and stand back!”

In the years since – I’ve made a lot of quilts on this machine. I’ve taken it in for service several times for tune ups, and clean ups. It is a fine sewing machine. It has been a dependable workhorse.

Yesterday, as I looked at some of the new machines that are on sale… well… technology sure has changed over the years.

I don’t think you even need to whisper to most of these machines. You just nod and they seem to understand. Auto this feature and that. Fancy stitches aside, the Integrated Dual Feed (IDT) is… amazing! LED lighting and thread snips… oh my!

I started reading about these machines, looking at reviews, and hemming and hawing… (no pun intended).

I told Ken I can’t spend that kind of money on impulse.

He reminded me I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but… you know… I have mom’s machine, it’s even called The Quilter’s Dream!

So while mom’s machine doesn’t come with as many fancy features and attachments as the new ones do – The news ones don’t have the, all important “Alice” attachment, that I’m very fond of.

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