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The Corner Purge

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Dear Mom,

I decided to sort through some of my sewing stuff. Well, it didn’t start that way: originally, I decided to pare down all my beading stuff, and store it in smaller containers because, well, I don’t really do much with beads that could be called ‘beading’ and I wanted tyo be able to see what I had on hand at a glance so I don’t go out and buy more. That led to the discovery of all the sequins in different containers – and I didn’t purchase those sequins. They came to me via you. I also uncovered the box of Styrofoam egg shapes that I was going to decorate for Easter some day. And with the egg shapes was a wreath form which reminded me that I recently purchased a heart-shaped wreath form with the idea of hanging a Valentine wreath outside after the Christmas decorations were down.

I went in search of ribbons and discovered what a mess my little sewing corner is. I have some of yours and some of mine, all knick-knacks and supplies hoarded over the years. Yes, you hoarded things long before I did, and I brought some of your hoard home with me after Dad died.

I spent a rough couple of days getting up and down, staring near-sighted at sequins, beads, and messes of ribbons, lace, and – this will crack you up – my assortment of screws, nails, pins, push-pins, thumbtacks, hasps, and the little tins I use to store those items in.

At the end of the day, I don’t think I made much progress, but I did darn a pair of socks that have been waiting on my sewing machine. I threw a lot of stuff into the “thrift store donation” box. I made the decision to toss the bits of ric rac ribbon you saved (really, Mom? four inches of silver ric rac and six inches of gold and two inches of red?). Oh, and I decided to donate about ten packages of unopened bias tape. I’ll never use it.

I hauled out the red-yellow-green plastic drawer set I bought years ago for Chrystal to store her toys in. I was using it to store fabric in, and mending jobs, but I really hated it and it took up so much room. I taped a “FREE” sign on it and set it out on the edge of the lawn, by the stop sign. It was gone within the hour. The fabric is tossed in a corner on the floor for tonight, but I have a plan on how to store it.

Finally, I got out my (new) hot glue gun, the basket of old laces, and the last of the silk flowers. I wrapped the heart-shaped wreath form, glued, and wired it to hang. Simple, and now that Christmas has been officially retired for the season (on Epiphany, not the day after like Dad always insisted we do), the wreath is a timely asset to the front door. I think you’d love it.

That’s enough for today –

Love always.

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My mother loved to sew. She could make her own patterns. She made beautiful clothes.

I have at least three cousins who quilt. My mother-in-law sews. Both of my girls love to sew.

Me? I can sew and I have quilted. All on this lovely Singer Featherweight that I begged and pleaded for. My mother gave it to me when I left home and she bought her brand new White. My brother got the machine Mom used between the days of this machine and the White.

My Featherweight is in prime condition, has a complete button hole kit, the original manual, and a mostly intact original case (it’s missing one latch). You can purchase your own for between $400 and $600 (mine is not for sale).

For decades, this machine has been adequate for my sewing needs: a repair here and there, a simple project like a banner, a couple of quilts, a number of Christmas stockings for my nieces and nephews. I’ve put up with it’s persnickety habit of eating the bobbin thread (I think it is currently jammed). It’s been well kept. Well loved.

We moved into this house 12 years ago, and that’s about the last time I used this machine. No room, for one thing. It’s a pain to set up on the kitchen table and have to work around the project. Then, it ate the bobbin thread, again. And I moved on to other projects. Bought other machines that my girls ended up with because they liked sewing more than I do. I’ve been without a second sewing machine for around 6 years now.

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Until this past week, when I finally picked out my Christmas present from my husband. I was going to purchase the one that is a step above this one, but the store was out of that model, and – really – I don’t need anything fancier than this. This does more that the Featherweight and I’ve decades of sewing on that!

(On a side note: the water color on the wall came from my Grandmother’s estate. I painted it for her in the early years of my marriage, a gift for Grandmother’s Day.)

I spent the better part of this weekend deciding where I wanted to set up a sewing station and getting motivated to do the work necessary to create that area. I have too much junk. My first sewing project will be to sew a dust cover for it (and, yes, I know how to do that, even without the DIY instructions off the Interwebs. It’s the kind of sewing I excel at: making up my own ideas).

Second project: new curtains for the 1971 VW Van.

Third project: long skirt for Ren Faire dressup. I’ll need to actually purchase a pattern for that. And all the notions.

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For a little perspective: the Featherweight set up in front of the new Singer. The new Singer – all plastic – weighs about the same as the Featherweight, and has a carry handle for convenience, so it’s a win-win situation.

I actually look forward to sewing.

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