One night at my folks’, my cousin brought her fancy sewing machine over to hem some work overalls for a friend. I admired the fancy, computerized Pfaff machine, and she said she’d gotten it from our Granny. Apparently Granny had bought it and was too overwhelmed by the technology to actually put it to proper use. So she gave it to my cousin. Actually, the story is longer, and involves a new Singer sewing machine (which my mom ended up with) and something about my aunt, and entails many purchases of machines (by Granny) and something like ‘musical sewing machines’ what with all the giving/trading being done. I lamented that Granny never gave *me* a sewing machine, and my cousin suggested I ask her for her old one (which is the one she attempted to replace a time or two, and eventually reclaimed as her standard), which is like her, but not at all like me, and I said I wouldn’t do that. It’s not like I’m completely sewing-machine-less. I just lack a nice one, which zig-zags, and whose bobbin does not eat the top thread when it gets the idea.
The next day I was visiting Granny at the nursing home, and she asks me, “Do you have a nice sewing machine?” Actually, she might’ve asked if it was ‘new’ or something, because I replied, “well, no. I have a sewing machine which is older than me and eats thread sometimes, and I have a very old one which sews a nice straight stitch, but won’t zigzag or anything.” She says,
“Would you like my sewing machine?” I couldn’t believe it. I answered affirmatively, and thanked her (and thanked her) and said I would love it.
It turns out it is the one she used to sew a few things for me when I was young. You see, it makes letters, and little rows of tulips and such. She made me a dress with tucks or something in the bodice, and she put little tulips across the tucks. I loved it. That you couldn’t see the white-threaded tulips on the white-and-pink print without a magnifying glass was of no consequence. I just felt so special. And I thought it was the most amazing machine, ever.
Apparently, it kindof is. It was one of the first (the first, perhaps?) computerized sewing machines. It’s a New Home (Janome) Memory Craft 6000 (the photo is one I swiped from the net, not a picture of mine), made in the neighborhood of 1986, I believe.
Some years back, Granny left a task lamp too close to the buttons on the right, and the surrounding plastic panel warped a bit. The horizontal stitch selector high on the front suffered similar fate, and the little hide-and-show windows were warped and off kilter, leaving me unable to see the scripty letters, or even the alligator. So, I removed them, and while I have to use my brain to figure out which ‘mode’ to select for which stitch, at least I can see them and choose.
I’ve tried it out just a bit – my alligator has some issues, but the tulips come out beautifully! More importantly, it seems to stitch smoothly and fabulously, and I’m beyond thrilled. It even came with a darning foot (free-motion quilting!) and most of the fancy feet attachments sit right in their own little niche under the top lid. *sigh*
Too, my girls play with a “dolly sleeping bag” my (step)mom made for me ages ago. She must’ve borrowed Granny’s machine to sew it, because she ’embroidered’ my name along the corner of it. Big Sister noticed this a while back, and asked if I could do that to something for her. I told her I couldn’t like that, because that was done with a fancy sewing machine that I didn’t have. Well, let’s just say Big Sister is also thrilled about my machine. 🙂
Thank you Granny!