What do we take for granted?

Well, it’s our trusty sewing machines. We trust that we can sit down at any time and stitch or quilt for an hour or an evening or even at a whole day’s workshop, and have no problems.Do we oil it? Do we delint it? Do we treat it to a new needle after a marathon of sewing that latest creation for a family wedding or retirement gift? No of course not! But where do you have it plugged into the electrical house power? Is it sitting in a damp basement, a cold and damp porch, or even near a heat register where there may be hot air and dust blowing on it?

I’ve heard that a few guild members have been having some problems with their machine’s computer parts. They’ve spoken to machine techies and it’s turning out to be more of a problem that you would think. They’ve been finding out that our home wiring may not be the best thing for our new fangled machines.

We treat our family computer to the best accessories, surge protectors, and gizmos, but we do not think to do the same for our computerized machines.

Do you have a large extension cord? I mean those cords that look like they’d run a household generator for a month ? not the ones you found at your dollar store but at the big boy toy stores, where you find the big power tools. Are you living in an older home with too few outlets for our modern tastes in all sorts of electronic gizmos.

But also , do you live in an older district with older hydro equipment? The transformer outside your home on the street could be over used by all the people on your street and these fading, lower flows of electricity could be a problem too. You hear of “brown-outs” but do you pay attention to this and assume it’s just a big city thing?

Sewing techies have surmised that with more of us going to workshops and retreats where there are 12-20 sewing machines, extra lighting and several irons going all day long , may be hard on the computer motherboards in our fancy machines.

So to get to the point of this long ramble – maybe it is time for us to go back to basics. When was the last time you really did need more than your basic straight stitch or zig zag stitch at a workshop? I can’t even remember when I needed those stitches during a home sewing marathon.

Quite a few lucky quilters have 2 machines, one to keep at home and one just for travel and retreats. One that is very popular is the Janome Jem 760, advertised for a class and workshop workhorse. I’ve just investigated 8 sewing machine companies and found that every single one carrys at least 1 and sometimes a handful of mechanical models of machines that are small lightweight and easily transported.

Are you lucky enough to have inherited your aunt suzie’s featherweight? It is an ideal retreat machine.

But you say that you can’t justify 2 sewing machines and the family budget won’t allow such an extravagance?? Well, I have seen some very good garage sale finds lately, and I’m always hearing about families needing to clean out their ageing parent’s household and they wonder if I know who can use a sewing machine. Keep your ears open for gossip, and spread the word that you would love a mechanical machine. Perhaps you too can enjoy worry free workshop and retreat week-ends again, and give your trusted computerized machine a little spa day at home.

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One Response to What do we take for granted?

  1. Excellent article Nina! Good tips.

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