Have Sewing Machine… Will Travel

Two weeks ago I found myself in an odd predicament. I had to make an emergency purchase… of a sewing machine! Really! Who does that??? Who wakes up in a panic and runs out to purchase a new machine? Me… apparently.

Since sewing comes as naturally to me as breathing… I take on a few projects to help make ends meet. I was working on a very large project when I realized I was running out of time. Although the deadline was a few weeks away, I had a flight to catch to the west coast in two days… and this project would not be finished by then. My brain went into ‘think outside the box mode’ to figure out how to possibly get the project finished AND make my flight.

Checking with the airline on the cost to switch my flight made me gasp for air! I didn’t pay that much for the original ticket!!! I rationalized I could always take the project with me, finish it out there on the opposite coast, and FedEx it back to the client with a few days to spare. This plan would work, as long as I had a sewing machine at my destination.

My sewing machine is too heavy and too large to take as carry on… and there was no way I was going to allow the baggage handlers to toss it around. Visions of my machine arriving on the carousel in tiny pieces… held together by shipping tape danced through my head… knowing that marking a bag ‘fragile’ ensures it will be thrown across the tarmac and run over by a baggage cart, and that’s AFTER elephants stepped on it and gorillas played with it.

Knowing there was a sewing machine I could use at the other end of my travel, I happily packed yards and yards of fabric and all my sewing notions in my suitcase, instead of my clothing and toiletries. Eh… who needs all those outfits any way? I can always wash and re-wear.

suitcase filled with sewing

With a plan in motion… I set out on my trip. The first day was spent getting situated instead of sewing. No big deal… I would get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and be ready to go. That’s exactly what I did! I woke up, had a good breakfast, pulled out all of my sewing supplies, set up the loaner sewing machine, sat down at the machine, positioned my fabric under the needle, reached for the knob on the right to set my stitch… and THAT’s when I noticed I had a problem. This particular machine was designed for a beginning seamstress. I should have known, because I purchased it for my daughter-in-law as a gift two years ago. It doesn’t have the ability to do the more advanced sewing I need to do on this project. Crap!!! There’s also no way to ‘fudge’ it either.

The only viable solution I could come up with… was to purchase a machine that would do what I needed. Seriously… that was the only way out of this mess. With time (or lack there of) a huge factor, I drove to the closest sewing and vacuum shop according to Google… AFTER checking my bank balance to see what I could afford. It was there, at Quality Sewing and Vacuum in Northgate, Wa that I met the most wonderful sewing machine sales associate EVER… Esther! She listened to my plight… and showed me the best machine for my project and abilities in addition to a lesser model… giving me options.

I’ll be honest… I have been saving for a new sewing machine since my ‘work horse’ is beginning to hiccup. However… the one I have my heart set on is over $1,000. THAT was NOT happening this day. Oh no! Not only was it not in the budget, it is overkill for what I needed at the moment. So… confidently throwing down my debit card at the register, I purchased a new machine. But the story doesn’t end here.

I went back to the house, and finished the project. It was the perfect machine and ran like a dream… but I wasn’t happy. I already have 3 perfectly decent machines at home. One is a vintage Singer Featherweight (I hear all you quilters drooling), another is a Baby Lock on a mid-arm frame (for quilting), and the ‘work horse’ commonly known as a Janome Quilter’s Companion, which is over 20 years old, only speaks German and it sews everything I push under the needle. So you see, I didn’t really need another machine. AND… if I were to purchase a new machine… it would replace the Janome. This new one doesn’t even compare. Sigh.

So here I am… a bit ticked that I spent $400 of my accumulated cash on a machine I don’t really need, all because I didn’t plan ahead appropriately, AND now have the same problem of getting it across the US to the opposite coast. as I did originally. Double sigh!

But wait!!! A silver lining appears (that’s actually a pun as Esther’s last name is Silver). One of the selling features of this particular machine is that it is small enough to be considered ‘carry on’ for the airlines! Whoopie! I begin the hunt for a padded bag to protect it as I stuff it in the overhead compartment. No luck. As much as I abhor shopping online as opposed to shopping local, I had no choice. Thanks to Amazon I found the perfect bag. I ordered it on a Sunday evening… and it arrived at my door on Wednesday morning… 15 minutes before I had to leave for the airport. Phew! That was cutting it close!

Purple Sewing Machine Bag

I’m a bit happier now… as this machine is perfect for traveling! Not only on planes, trains, and automobiles across the country… but to sewing retreats, quilting classes, and clients homes if necessary. In the end… it was the PERFECT choice.

My savings for a larger, more stable and sturdy machine that actually speaks English and has a large harp to fit quilts through, is back to zero. Honestly, it’s in the negative… but that only makes me work harder to earn enough for the machine I REALLY want!

Afterall… a girl can always dream.

Here’s a sneak peek of ‘the project’. A professional photo shoot will be available in late October of the entire project… along with another similar project. Both are absolutely ADORABLE!


Maine – DP#12


A long, horrible day on the road was worth all the frustration when the view is as pretty as this at the end! It’s a view you just can’t possibly get tired seeing. My blood pressure drops 10 points just breathing in the cool lake air.

Our family is fortunate to have cousins who own a cabin on Three Mile Pond in Vasselboro, ME… AND is generous in inviting us to visit!

Do you see that little clump of trees to the left? That is actually a privately owned island. It has a large main cabin with bathroom facilities… And three smaller sleeping cabins. It is also owned by family members. Many fond memories were made on that island as the kids and I have spent weeks at a time along with other cousins during the summer there.

The lapping of the water, the bull frogs, and loons all make this little oasis a relaxing retreat.

My son and I hauled the kayak up here on the car top… and are looking forward to paddling around in the lake tomorrow. Ahhhh… Heaven!

QuiltCon Link Party…

Hey all… I’m headed to Austin, TX for QuiltCon this weekend. For all you modern quilters out there this is your MECCA. Classes, lectures and so much eye candy you will be so crazed by the end of the day you won’t be able to speak in full sentences.

I am participating in the LINK PARTY at Modern Quilt Guild’s site HERE. The rules are simple, post a picture of yourself so others can recognized you and list 5 things people might not know about you… then link up to their site. Here goes…


1. I married my Good Humor ice cream man… right out of High School.

2. I’ve been highlighting my hair for so long I have forgotten what my natural color is… nor do I care. I’m sure it is gray. Only my hairdresser knows for sure 🙂

3. I am happiest living near water… a lake, a stream, the ocean, or river. I feel like a sunflower needing water and sunlight to survive.

4. Most people think I’m a fabulous cook… in reality I’m a frustrated Pastry Chef and major carb addict. Banana Bread, cookies, Scones, Peanut Butter Brownie Tart… you name it, if it has flour, eggs, and sugar… I can whip it up.

5. I’m shy in large crowds. Large crowd being defined as any more than 6 people.

I’ll be helping out in the Alliance for American Quilts Booth #107 on Saturday and Sunday. Stop by and visit! Meg Cox, Amy Milne, and Victoria Findlay will also be there. Come join the party!!!

On The Road… Once Again…

After a 10 hour drive (with a few stops along the way… one being a BEAD store) I finally arrived at my ‘home away from home’ for the next 6 days… WESTGATE RESORTS in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The drive was basically uneventful. Listening to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls kept me awake. I read the book when it first came out… yet since I am here in SC to work on MY book I thought I would remind myself what a dysfunctional family is really like. Wow!!! Although my story is interesting… I have nothing as crazy as her life to share!!! What a mess!

Do you remember my post Pennies From Heaven? In it I mentioned my husband left me a large cloth bag filled with fifty cent pieces. I TRIED to deposit them into my bank account, yet there was a hitch. In order to deposit them, they MUST be wrapped. However… no one sells the wrappers and the bank didn’t have any. So……….. I decided to use them to pay the tolls on the way down. HYSTERICAL!!! The faces of the toll takers were priceless. I kind of wish I had taken photos. One guy was so confused he had to recount the $4.60 toll (9 fifty cent pieces and a dime) six times before he ‘got it’. Another one handed them back to me and said he could only accept US Coins… REALLY!!!

The staff here at WESTGATE is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!! The first room I was given was entirely too big for just me. It consisted of a huge condo unit complete with full kitchen, glassed in shower in the master bath and a giant jacuzzi too! PLUS… an entirely separate unit with another bed, shower, jacuzzi, and mini kitchen. I’m not sure, but I might be the first guest to complain the room was much more than expected and ask for something smaller… with a view.

Tara and Leighanne at the front desk listened closely and understood the problem immediately. They promptly set me up in a smaller unit… at the END of the hall… WITH a FULL OCEAN VIEW!!! How inspiring!!!! I will take pictures tomorrow once I have unpacked my camera.

Patty directed me to the parking… and told me where I can pick up a pair of sneakers. Silly me forgot to pack my walking sneakers for my daily walk on the beach… hmmm… I think it may be warm enough to go barefoot. I’ll have to check that out tomorrow. No need to pack a bathing suit… I intend to use the jacuzzi every night in the privacy of my own room. Besides… me… in a bathing suit is not a pretty sight!

I am thrilled to be here and can’t wait to get down to business. Each day I will post my word count for the day.

All deliveries of flowers and/or chocolate will be accepted with open arms.