March 4th, 2013 by Jan

Blessed are the quilt-makers, for they shall be called the piece-makers.

There are four sewing machines in this house.

One is a pure memory machine. It’s the machine my mother used the entire time I was growing up. She sat at it, making clothes or curtains, and would tell me, “One day I’ll teach you to use this.” It’s an Elna — green in colour, with a knee bar that makes it go; not a foot peddle. It has a matching green carrying case and weighs a tonne. A work horse with simple commands. I love this machine! It sits in my closet and I never learned to used it.

There are two sergers in the house. Sandie gave me one when we moved to Canada. She used it for years, making shirts, and shorts for Joe and Ken. She made a jump suit for me out of a salted, purple and blue, batik fabric. I wore the jumpsuit to my Grandma’s 90th birthday party in Virginia and was called a hippie! I was a hippie so it didn’t bother me.

I always thought I would learn to use the serger to make clothes, but I never figured out how to thread the thing.

Linda gave me another serger not too long ago. She got it from Murray when our friend Jan died. It’s still in the box — another memory machine.

Then there is the Quilters Dream! Again from my moms stuff.

I use this one.

On the first anniversary of mothers death, my friend Rhonda and I took it out of the box, read the instructions and I started using it for piecing quilts. This machine is a dream. It is my firm belief that with this machine, all you have to do is whisper, “Make me something pretty” and push the right button. It works smooth as silk. I’ve made A LOT of quilts with this baby.

Yesterday I thought of Laura, from up north, who offered the sage advice to ask myself, what do I want to keep, as I sort through stuff.  I’m not the hoarder my mother was, and yet, I can hang on to things I don’t use. This question from Laura is helping me to let go of the stuff, but not the memories they trigger and hold.

This week I am hoping that two of these machines will go out of the house and into another. A young woman who makes her living sewing, will see the machines. She can make her own memories with them, and then maybe — just maybe, her daughter will have a memory of her mom or perhaps her friend sitting at a sewing machine, like I do.

3 thoughts on “pinsandneedles

  1. nancy

    NM!!! wow
    I think it would be easy to move to NM if it wasn’t for being in the states! …but green chilies? and that big big sky, I can understand the desire to live there.
    glad you found a good home for the machines

  2. Ken

    When we moved to Canada, a lot of our US friends came to visit, because it was a great place. When we move to New Mexico, we’re expecting all of our Canadian friends to come visit, because it’s also a great place.


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