Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Odds and ends and Hipster Ariel

We went to Tennessee last week for the girls' spring break, and we buried my mom's ashes in the same cemetery where my brother is. We had a very small service with just family, where we talked about mom and cried and laughed, and then we went out to visit both grave sites.

My brother's stone.
Mom's in this section. Her stone isn't up yet.

The cemetery is in a beautiful area, surrounded by rolling green hills and lots of trees under a big sky. It was a great comfort to us all that Mom and Jon are there together, since we all seem to imagine them laughing together somewhere like they always used to.

* * *

When my sister and I were going through my mom's things back in January, it was decided that I would take her sewing machine, since Kelly already has a Bernina and I have something probably made by oppressed people in appalling working conditions. I have to admit, it has worked well for 4, maybe 5, years now, but I have been wondering whether many of my accuracy issues would resolve if I had a better, more precisely engineered machine and one that wasn't psychically imbued with the blood of innocents.  But then again, maybe that's how the Swiss do it; I don't know.

I couldn't lug it home with me on the plane, so I brought it back on this trip. It's a Bernina 1230, which is apparently an "old style". I'm pretty sure it's against the modern quilting rules (Section 12, Subsection G) to use anything "old style" but they can kiss my wonky butt.  

The only thing is the poor baby has no feet. Well, a walking foot, but that's it and I hate using those unless I have to. I have no idea what Mom did with them, and why they weren't with the machine or anywhere else in her sewing room. I've been scouring eBay and calling local shops, looking for feet, and drove out to one shop that said they might have some only to discover they only have a ruffler and eight hundred cording feet. Another shop answered an email this evening and claimed to have "lots," both new and used, so I'll head out there tomorrow and see if they're yanking me. Even if they are, I have one on order, so eventually I'll be able to start playing. I've been told by many, many people that this is a wonderful machine, one of the best Bernina ever made, so you can imagine I am anxious to test that out.

(Update: After I wrote this, I drove out to the aforementioned shop and found out that emailing them is a bad idea because it goes to the owner and according to the ladies who work there, the owner doesn't know squat about what they do and do not have. They reluctantly looked through bags (everything these people do is reluctant and that's why I never shop there) and we found a foot that looked like a basic zigzag which I bought. It doesn't fit. It looks exactly like an old style Bernina foot, except the two little prongs that stick up at the top (the "dinglehopper") are too big. But as I was removing the walking foot to try this one out, I discovered that it was not a Bernina walking foot, but a generic with an adapter! Well, now I'm all excited because maybe I can use the adapter to employ the feet I already have! Yes and no. If I use my Brother, the foot sits too high and doesn't touch the fabric. But! I have an old, old Singer foot that looks like it will fit on the adapter—and it does, beautifully, except it's too low and there's about a micron of space between the bottom of the foot and the feed dogs. Sigh. Ebay says the one I ordered might arrive by Friday. Obviously, I am not terribly patient.)

I think I'll call her Hipster Ariel, The Sewing Machine That Longed For Obscure Feet.

* * *

My posting might be sparse over the next few weeks because I took on a ton of extra work for the next issue of GenQ. I will be working right up to Market, then I actually GO to Market (I KNOW), and I'm guessing I'll be frantically working again as soon as I get home. 

I actually designed and ordered my own business cards this weekend, as well as bookmarks to promote my book (the real one) at Market. There has been vague talk of a "book signing" at the GenQ booth, but I have no idea how that works. But if you happen to be at Market, I'd love to see you, whether I sign a book for you or not. If I'm not in the booth, I'll be wandering around with my camera, being GenQ's Jimmy Olsen. I may or may not try sneaking promotional copies of the book into the bags of unsuspecting quilters. On the one hand, it would be good to get it out there, promote, publicize and all that. But you know, I am not everyone's cup of tea:

Granted, this is the only bad review. But still!

You wouldn't think so, but it is actually very hard to tell just by looking which quilters were dropped on their heads as children and now have no sense of humor. It is often only revealed when you attempt to make jokes about quilting that are a tad more interesting than "I'm so addicted to fabric" and it turns out that, for some people, humor like that is akin to juggling kittens. But then, on the other hand, you sometimes find out that people you would never expect—like, oh, editors of major, long-running and highly respected quilt magazines—think your jokes are a hoot. 

That's why promoting myself—beyond the shyness issues—is so hard for me. How do you tell people, "My book is really funny, if you don't mind zombies and Buddha and drinking and mild vibrator jokes. If you do mind those things, you're going to just HATE this." All I can do is put it out there and let the vitriol fall where it may. I have to admit, I re-read one of my pieces from the book last night, and I think it's damn good. Whatever anyone else thinks, I am proud of what I've done. 

So if you're going to Market, I'd love to see you, meet you, say hi. I have a vision where all of us highly introverted quilters who end up at Market agree to meet somewhere for a drink and we all sit at separate tables and text each other all night. Hell, we could just do it from our hotel rooms! I plan to be in mine as much as possible.

No comments: