A sewing machine for $80

Well, that’s one reason to drive to Delanson.  That, and apparently I didn’t have ENOUGH projects on my calendar.

Let me explain.

Last week, I spied an ad on Craigslist for a used sewing machine.  I thought to myself, “Well, you’ve worked with everything else in your life, Chuck … why not attempt to sew pieces of cloth together and make a quilt or something?”

Sure, I can make a quilt.  It’s easy, right?

And at this point, there are a thousand quilters who pass by, see this blog post, and laugh their collective asses off at my presumption that quilting is “easy.”

Quilting may appear simple – but it’s a highly complicated procedure of patients and mathematics and will power.  Those blankets you see at the county fair?  They take YEARS of hard work and practice and patience – and that’s before you even start on the project.

Okay, so if I DO get involved in something like this, if I start building a quilt inbetween everything else in my life … I need a sewing machine.  And the worst case scenario is – if I don’t like quilting, or if I’m overwhelmed by the project … I can always donate the sewing machine to a secondhand store and chalk the $80 as a learning experience.

The sewing machine is in Delanson.  A quick jaunt over … and $80 later, I have a Singer sewing machine, along with its attachments, in my car.

Okay, so if I’m really going to do this … I need to take the next step.

And yesterday, I took that next step.  A quick trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Jo-Ann Fabrics has a sewing machine and notions area, and I asked one of the sewing machine specialists what I would need to put together anything quilt-related.

“Well, if you have the sewing machine, you’re going to need the walking foot.”

Great, I said.  They must be standard for every machine, right?

“Not really.  Different manufacturers have different requirements.  What is your machine?”

It’s a Singer.  I mean, I don’t know of any other types of sewing machines … yeah, you can tell I’m a nOOb at this…

I brought the sewing machine out from my car.  The specialist checked the machine over.  “The previous owner did a good job in maintaining this,” she said.  “But I don’t have the walking foot you’ll need for this unit.  This is an older unit, it’s not modern.  If you’re going to do any level of quilting, you’ll have to get the proper walking foot for this unit.  But I see you have the serial number and the instruction book here… if you call Singer, and give them the serial number, they’ll be able to identify your machine and what parts it will need.”

Okay, that’s definitely a start.

As it wasn’t a total loss, I did purchase some scrap fabric, a plastic cutting square, a hand-held rotary tool that looks like a pizza slicer, and some spools of thread.  Again, if I’m going to do this … at least give it the old college try.

As I said before … if it works, it works.  If it doesn’t … hello Salvation Army.

And if I really do like what I’m doing … if I feel comfortable with it … then maybe, just maybe, I’ll invest in a high-quality sewing machine.

Honestly, though … I just want to try this and see if I can actually make this happen, or if I’m – for lack of a better term – stitching up the wrong seam.