70. Sew what?

It is true confession time.

Apple fabric

Very cute designer fabric purchased on Etsy because I saw it on the internet and couldn’t find it in any stores.

If you are an alert reader (I know this is redundant — ALL you readers are alert!) you will remember way back in post #29 (This is now post # 70!) I talked about failure and the humility it brings when one attempts a project and is found lacking. At the end of the post, I bragged that my next project would be making shelf liners from Very Cute apple fabric and how I wouldn’t fail at that, because I KNEW how to sew…

That was October 9, 2012. As of June 19, 2013 there were still no shelf liners made out of Very Cute apple fabric.

There are several reasons explanations rationalizations excuses for this.

Actually, there is only one: I couldn’t find my sewing machine.

Right, you say, “How can one lose a sewing machine?”

In my city house, I have been blessed to have not only a library, but a small room upstairs that is totally mine. For crafts, sewing, storage (and I have a lot of craft stuff to store…). Even in the best of times the room was messy. In the worst of times, well….

Last year, the only time I set foot in the room was to find something I was pretty sure I had in there somewhere. I don’t remember even making Christmas cards, an annual event that usually gets the room in some sort of cleaned-up shape.

Yes, it was time to sort out the clutter and the rubble from the diamonds.

No, I didn’t find any diamonds, but I did find some old rubble that made me smile…

And underneath a pair of old curtains, 2 pillows, an iron, assorted papers, fabric, a bag of photos, and a box of assorted envelopes, was this:

White Treadle Sewing Machine.

A White sewing machine from the White Sewing Machine Company in Cleveland Ohio; the patent date is Nov. 26, 1888. A good guess is that it is a model VS III, manufactured in the 1890s. The web site Treadle On helped me to identify it.

Yes this is my only sewing machine, and it isn’t my first either — the first was a Singer model acquired in the mid-seventies for free by the side of the road. It worked for years until the leather belt broke. This one has a metal belt — think of a miniature slinky — and seems indestructible.
White treadle sewing machine, ca 1890.
A few years ago I bought my daughter a new sewing machine for a present and considered buying one for myself. But they all seemed so … well… fast! In fact, that was the sales lady’s pitch to me. “Look at how fast this sews!” she said proudly. She tromped on the presser foot and the whine of the machine sounded like a jet engine taking off. My old treadle has a gentle rocking sound; it goes as slow or as fast as I make it go. It is in sync with me and that’s how I like it.
I’ve made curtains, tablecloths, pillow covers, skirts, quilt tops, pajamas, purses, and prom dresses with this old machine.
Apple designer fabric by Robert Kaufman
And now I’m wondering if it has a place in the cottage. There’s no extra room for a sewing machine and the accoutrements that have to go with it — an ironing board, a cutting table, and storage for all those projects that might get finished some day…
Such as shelf liners from Very Cute apple fabric.


One down, three more to sew…