Yesterday my Husqvarna went back to the shop to be mended - if mended, I won't have any excuses for my poor free motion quilting any more.
Some of you may know that I am teaching some of my mother-in-law's colleagues patchwork in the evenings in my dining room. We meet up every two or three weeks, but because of Easter there has been a longer break. Plenty of time for me to forget all about it.
Yesterday evening I got back from the shop without my machine and had a quick phone call with Linda, which she finished with ""see you on Thursday". Bugger. Not only had I not written a tutorial, or made a sample, I hadn't even decided on a block. Whoops.
Luckily, as I was reading some of my favourite blogs, I linked through to this page. And came across one of the prettiest patchwork blocks I've seen in ages. And it has a really pretty name: Love in a Mist. And there's a tutorial which I can just direct the girls to, rather than writing my own. Two of my three birds killed with one stone.
That only left the sample. In the bottom of my sewing cupboard are three sewing machines: my £100 Janome that I replaced with my beautiful Husqvarna. But she is stuffed full of fluff and in desperate need of a service; a 1950s electric Singer that I inherited from my maternal Granny, which I first learnt to machine sew on, but she is also in serious need of a service. I can't justify a service at the moment because I don't use her at all, but I can't part with her; and a 1980s Pfaff Creative 1471, which has been recently serviced, but I can't remember why.... so out came the Pfaff and it's manual. I have NEVER used this machine before. My paternal Granny bought it, and I don't believe she used it much, and then gave it to me 15 years ago. And she has sat in a cupboard ever since (the machine, not my Granny).
She is a monster of the 1980s. None of the sleak clean white lines of the Husqvarna. instead square and boxy with lots of brown and beige. She couldn't be more 1980s if she tried. I don't know exactly how old she is, but some comments on line said mid-1980s. And she was made in West Germany (if you can read it in the below photo)!
Task number 1: fill a bobbin. Took a while/
Task number 2: thread it up
Task number 3: can I do a quarter inch seam?
After a long day at work, this hadn't been my idea of an evening on the sofa with a bit of hand sewing. But, with a little gentle coaxing (in German sometimes) and lots of swearing (also in German) Hildegard (as I have named her - Hilli for short) is behaving.
And wow - for being 25(ish) years old she is impressive. The embroidery designs she can do (I would have to programme her....), so quiet and smooth, a needle up/down button, warnings when your bobbin is about to run out, the fancy thing built in at the back that feeds your fabric from the top as well as the bottom (I can't remember the proper name), movable needle position.... I am so impressed.
I have just completed the Love in A Mist block - I chose brown and beige to go with Hilli - and I have visions for a whole quilt made using this block, either alternating with another block, or alternating the colour placement.
Hilli will never replace Peggy, but some of the embroidery patterns could have their uses and she is fab little back up machine!