Friday, October 19, 2012

Introducing Abby

Am I talking about an IPhone APP? An Android APP? No nothing so modern and high tech as those. This APP is much more basic, sturdy and classic.

When Lucy went into the shop, I finally understood the reason many quilters have a back up machine. Not being able to sew anything at all was driving me insane, saying nothing about the fact that I hate missing deadlines.  Since my older Brother Sissy is being borrowed by a friend I don't have her to use either.

But then I remembered....I do have another sewing machine, my mom's old Singer! The problem? I had no idea when the last time was that she was actually used and I didn't know if she even ran at all.

This grand old girl was created in 1969. She is a Singer Stylist 457. She is pretty basic and is only able to straight stitch, blind hem and zig zag but boy did I think she was pretty cool when I was a little girl. I begged my mom to give me this machine for years and years and years and she finally relented a few years back. I used to think cabinets like hers were valuable antiques but seeing so many similar ones for sale all over, now I know that they were very common back then.  No matter, it just feels right to keep her in the family.
I took her in to the shop (not the same one that has Lucy) for a good checkup and complete once over. It cost me $120 to put her to rights but now she is ready for duty. She needed a lot of adjustments, a few new minor parts, a bit of cleaning and now she looks much better.
Since she came to live with me, I only used her as a closed accent table, just as my mom had done for the past 30+ years. Before I caught the quilting bug I wasn't really interested in sewing much. Of course I had no idea what cool things modern machines could do these days and how much easier they work.    

I brought her home, reinstalled her in her cabinet and was able to a small amount of piecing. I managed to do decent 1/4" seams but using her is so much slower than I am used to. She has one and fast, and of course fast sewing isn't conducive to accurate seams with this sort of vintage machines. Controlling her is a challenge but at least I can sew again and that is heavenly.

The only thing missing was a proper name for my newly working machine. But what name would be right? My mom's name is Pat so I considered calling her Patty. But that one didn't feel right. I told mom about this little issue and while she thinks that I'm off my rocker for even insisting that I name my machines, she did tell me that some of her co-workers call her Pattycakes. At first I thought that would be a good choice but as I mulled over for the next few days, it didn't sing to me.

So what name did I settle on? I finally came up with Abby, or more formally Abigail Patricia Percival. She is a classic of sorts and gets to have a fancy schmancy formal name like the pure breed dogs do. The Percival surname? It is from my mom's side of the family, is very British and I've always thought of as unique and classy.

I actually feel good for putting her to rights and making her usable again. I hope to teach my kids to sew on her and then they can be upstairs in my studio with me creating right by my side. Once Lucy is back, I don't know how much use she will get by me at least but I will always know that should Lucy have to go in for a checkup again, I will still have Abby here to fill in.

1 of you added your own colorful comments:

quiltmania said...

Abby looks like a wonderful addition to your machine lineup. If nothing else, she is a great conversation piece. Happy stitching!