Friday, July 3, 2015

Sewing with my new BFF Nina-and how to enjoy quilting by giving perfectionism the flick

This is Nina, named after Nina Simone, another famous Singer. My DH brought her home from church when they were doing a clean-out. Her box has lost its key, and she was a bit grubby and unloved, -well she was made in 1954 and I guess her former owner thought "modern is best". She came with a power cord that was fraying and decidedly unsafe-looking. I didn't know anything about her. I was so ignorant I sent DH back to church with the cams which belonged to this machine, as I thought they must have been in the wrong box!

I read up on her, I got brave and with the help of some online buddies I oiled and cleaned her. The local sewing machine repair shop had a cam for straight and zig zag stitches.  DH got me a new power cord for Mother's Day. I sent away for a walking foot. DH went back to the sewing repair shop for a new globe for her light.

This weekend the stars aligned for Nina. We have had the BEST time together as I have been quilting my "women's lib" quilt- the one in the feminist colours of purple, green and white.

Nina is a happy sewer. She is taller than the modern Bernina so I have more ROOM for the quilt to fit in the harp as I sew. She can do AMAZING things and has a wide variety of feet -including the famous Singer Ruffler foot which I am eager to try.

I have been wondering why sewing with Nina gives me so much pleasure:

  • she is well made -in our world of planned obsolence, it is rare to come across a piece of machinery built to last. I can do some of the maintenance work MYSELF because she is simply made. 
  • she was useless in some people's eyes -that is why they threw her out of the cupboards at church. I feel like I have 'rescued" her
  • she links me to women of the past who did amazing things without a lot of technological helps
  • Hey, she just works WELL- good design is good design in any age

So Nina and I might get our "women's lib" quilt finished this weekend.

I want to leave you with some important words from the website of one of my favourite inspirations in the quilting word - Bonnie Hunter. After studying vintage quilts she wrote this :
"Other things I learn from antique quilts:
Things don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly beautiful.
Quilts don’t have to hang straight to be perfectly wonderful.
Points don’t always have to match to be perfectly acceptable.
Border corners don’t have to be perfectly square.
Bindings don’t have to be full and straight.
Nor do they have to have perfectly mitered corners --or be mitered at all! 
Blocks don’t all have to be the same size.
Quilting motifs don’t have to be perfectly centered.
Borders don’t have to turn the corners all the same way.
Bonnie continues: 
When I look at antique quilts, I just feel the love of the maker and the joy of fabric, needle and thread.
Bonnie asks: Is “the pursuit of perfection” killing your love of quilting?  It’s crazy-making!  STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Create to make something beautiful.  Create to buoy your spirit and fill your soul.  Do not quilt for perfection.  Don’t suck the joy out of something we love so much!  Yes, give it your best shot ---but try to relax at the same time". You can read the whole blog post here