Thursday, December 06, 2007

Things that slow you down

(The title of this post reminds me of that 20,000-Dollar Pyramid game show from the '70s. I imagine it said as a category. FYI)

(1) An iron that is suddenly leaking out of the bottom. Imagine going to the ironing board, carefully pressing a seam, then pouring a glass of water on it. That's what it's like.

(2) Hand-quilting placemats. I know I said I was going to machine-quilt them. I chickened out. But I'll tell you, this wouldn't be so slow if I weren't compelled to be

(3) Stopping after every line of stitching to closely inspect my work. I'm a troubled individual.

(4) Caramel corn.

(5) A sewing machine that's missing the table extension. This is my secret shame. I use a borrowed sewing machine, and I lost the little table part, so all I have is a small area around the needle as the flat surface. Unless I use a stack of books. And the stack of books can only do so much. (Anyone like to recommend a sewing machine?) This foolishness is wearing thin, and slowing me way down.

(6) A literal pain in my neck from doing some sit-ups earlier. Lesson learned.

Maybe tomorrow will be speedier. It's supposed to rain like crazy tomorrow, and we'll see what that does to my productivity. Since Torrential Downpour/Drenchfest '07 has already started right here on my ironing board, I'm imagining I'm all set.


seth said...

i have an old 1970's singer that i got for 50 bucks via the classifieds ten years ago, and it runs like a scalded dog. it doesn't do anything fancy or anything-- well, besides zig zag stitch--, but it gets the job done every time, and it came with a table. i mean, i don't know how much you want to sink into a machine or what you want to do with it, but i feel like spending fifty bucks on a machine i've used to make quilts and clothes and tiny halloween costumes was a pretty good deal.

Felicia said...

Oh no! Time for a new iron.

Kristy said...

I am no help on the sewing machine front but as for irons...I love love LOVE my Rowenta iron. It is beautiful and fabulous and a miracle of modern clothes flattening engineering. It cost me just shy of $100 but it is worth every tarnished little copper penny.

And I'd like to second "carmel corn".

Niki said...

Bernina, baby...all the way.

Mue said...

I'm with Niki. Bernina is the way to go.

Nora said...

Yep, Bernina!


Stacey said...

carmel corn....mmm.....after the sugar kicks in, it may speed you up!

Rebecca said...

Torrential rains is it? Inside the house and out - you poor thing! Wishing tomorrow is better for you!

Big Alice said...

There are huge raging debates on sewing machine preferences (e.g. the Berninites and Pfaff Walking-Footers and the Juki speed-demons). It really depends on what you'll be using it for most and what you personally prefer. You and the PIC could crash a sewing machine place and try them all out. Also, if you buy them from these dealers, they often come with classes that will show you how to use the extended functions.

If you're going to be doing more machine quilting, also look for something with a big neck opening so you can shove a whole quilt in there.

I use an old Singer featherweight that was my Grandmother's. It does a fantastic straight stitch and pretty much nothing else (not really powerful enough for machine quilting).

Like Seth said, you can often pick up old machines from estate sales or classifieds for <$100, and they often come with a whole table. They're usually made of cast iron and some of them can sew through about anything, depending on how they're built. You do usually have to clean them and replace the worn parts yourself, but it's not hard. Avoid rust, dirt is fine.

If you're looking for an inexpensive newer machine, I have heard good things about the Janome Gem.

Damn, can you tell I've been thinking about a newer machine for a long time?

Dr. B. said...

Thank you so much everyone for the sewing machine tips! I really, really appreciate it. Good suggestions, all!!