I’m going through sewing machine withdrawal

I sewed one too many sweater mittens this winter.

Last Thursday my sewing machine let me know it had ingested one too many lint particles from the felted sweaters and started making a noise that scared me enough to stop sewing right then and there and call the store I purchased it from.

Thankfully the machine just needs a cleaning, but there’s a back up of machines in for service, so I may be without my sewing machine for up to two weeks. Two weeks!

I sew every day. It calms me, keeps me balanced for the rest of my busy life. Two weeks without a sewing machine and I fear for my husband, my co-workers, the dogs.

I could feel the urge to sew within hours of returning from dropping my machine off for service. I tried to get my treadle sewing machine working, but the belt is broken. My other two antique sewing machines also are not in working order.

Thankfully my husband was home the first night and after he made fun of me working the foot pedal on the treadle, we watched a movie together. But the second night I was home alone, with no sewing machine and I needed to sew something. I dug through my closet of half finished projects to find something I could work on by hand.

I came up with three long neglected unfinished fabric objects.

First up is my wedding quilt. At my wedding reception guests signed, wrote messages and words of advice on squares of fabric framed in my wedding colors. It took about six months to piece the top because I was waiting on the best man to fill out a square. And for the last two years I’ve worked on hand quilting it. It’s not that the quilting is very intricate, I just don’t work on it that often besides an annual push in the month of August in an attempt to finish it by my anniversary.

But if I work on it every night while my sewing machine is in the shop, I could have the quilting completed by the time I get my machine back.

Second on my list is my lonestar quilt. I’ve been working on the applique for the background squares for about six months. While the hand applique definitely takes a lot of time, (one flower takes an hour) I could have finished it by now if I worked on it more often.

Block a Day Challenge - Jan. 21

The second day I was without my sewing machine I finished my first background block. If I can get two more done by the time I get my machine back, I’ll be happy.

Third is binding my T-shirt quilt made from my sorority shirts from college. This quilt has been ready to bind since November 2010. Yep, I pieced it, quilted it and sewed the binding to the front of the quilt by machine, but never finished it by stitching the binding to the back of the quilt by hand. I completed most of the binding last night, and will probably finish it tonight.

I still feel strange getting comfortable in the La-Z-Boy with a needle, thread and thimble instead of setting up my machine at the dining room table or desk in my sewing room. But with a stack of audio books from the library, I think I’m going to get through this period of sewing machine withdrawal just fine.

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Comment (6)

  1. I need to take my machine in to get cleaned as well. Now finding a time I can do it. I have all the rows done on my quilt. Now to get it done. I’m also working on a wool appliqué block. Get all of your unfinished projects done and you can start something new,

    1. Mine was about six months overdue for a cleaning, but I kept on sewing until it started making noises that I couldn’t ignore. I’d love to see a photo of your wool applique. I’ve seen some hand dyed wool in my shop hop travels and it is all really pretty. Good luck finishing your quilt top!

  2. Thank you for the reminder to frequently clean the sewing machine. Becouse of this post one of the things I did last night was clean my machine, and over the last month it sure had a lot of lint and dust. I almost need to put a reminder on my phone to clean it every 3-4 weeks. Glad to now hear that your machine is ready to be picked up!


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