Saturday, May 31, 2008

My New Sewing Machine: elna 7300

I told you once I got the machine, I would take a photo of it on my sewing table.

I got the call yesterday about 11:30 am. "Your machine is in!" I told Mr. Sprocket that I wanted to go pick it up right away. We decided to take a break from our current project so we drove out to Pasadena to pick up the sewing machine and do some much needed shopping. When we got to the store he said, "This will just take a few minutes, right?" I looked at him like he was crazy. I replied, "Why don't you drop me off. I'm sure they're going to give me a short hands-on training session with it." As we got closer to the store, he mentioned that he wanted to stop off at an HVAC salvage shop that was just a few blocks away so this worked out fine.

When I got to the store, the partner who manages the books and time payments said to me, "That's a great friend you have who paid off your balance." He's right. donchias had offered for months to pay off the balance so I could get my machine earlier than planned. I finally relented and let her do it. Understand this is not a gift. I do have to pay her back, but she is still a wonderful friend just the same.

I was so excited I could hardly wait, yet, at the same time I'm apprehensive. I'm a bit stubborn about learning the newest electronic technology and have resisted each and every time Mr. Sprocket decides to get us new cell phones. I still struggling with learning the remote for the new DVD-TV (and Home Theater system) we had to purchase last week because our 20 year old TV had a cerebral aneurysm and consequently, instant death. It's on the front porch while I decide what type of burial to give it.

When I bought my last 1473 Pfaff used in 2005, I didn't even open the manual to find out all it could do. I kept sewing on the refurbished 1171 I had in bought in 1994 until its mother board died eight months later and I was forced to learn the 1473.

This is the first time in over 20 years of sewing that I've ever owned a brand new machine. I've never been able to afford one before. After the holidays, I took some of my Christmas sewing earnings and made almost a 50% down payment on this machine. It was finally paid off two weeks ago.

They opened the box and put it on the table and I knew immediately I would have to spend hours pouring over the manual. Althea went over all the accessories with me, pointing to each item and then pointing to the image in the manual. The other partner of the shop, Joe, went over the threading of the machine, the bobbin placement (this is the first machine I've sewn with that has a top drop in bobbin), needle up and down button, which feet will work with the top feed, which buttons control the programming, and all the other various features. During all that, Mr. Sprocket shows up sooner than expected and is trying to get me out of the store. "So are you done yet?" he impatiently asks. I give him the look and he replies, "I'm just askin'!"

And then Mr. Sprocket proceeds to tell Joe all about his arm injury, the incompetence of the Kaiser Health care system and how they missed properly diagnosing his arm and now needs surgery to repair one of his bicepital tendons that was completely sheered off. Once "Kaiser" is mentioned Joe starts talking about when he got his pacemaker over a year ago and how it was going to take three months to get a surgery date. This is all about them and their health issues now.

Before I leave the shop I want to make sure I understand how to get that bobbin in right and I mention about knotting threads and Joe shows me how my new machine will knot the thread for me and this little button here will cut it and leave both cut threads on the underside of the fabric. No forkin' way! Does it quite fast, too. I'm ecstatic about that, but still overwhelmed about learning everything this machine can do. Here it is out of the box and on my table.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Out On A Limb


Kinda says it all doesn't it? A freak wind came through yesterday afternoon and I didn't even hear the limb snap. Just stepped outside and saw all this foliage where it shouldn't be. We may wait until the gardener comes on Tuesday and have him break it up, or I just might wait until the sun goes down ~it's been blistering hot in the SFV with temps topping 100 in several areas~ and take Mr. Sprocket's saws-all and cut the sucker up myself.

Mr. Sprocket has been down for the count for the last three weeks with a severe sprain/strain to his right arm and can't even lift 10 pounds, which is why I'm considering tackling the job. We were lucky that it didn't puncture the garage or snap any power lines.

The limb span of our favorite tree passes the property line of our neighbors on either side of us by a good ten feet each direction. As much as I don't want to trim this tree back, it's long over due. Time to find an arborist since I would hate to have it butchered.

Unfortunately, sewing and blogging has taken a back seat since I've been swamped with RL responsibilities. I have been able to attend a few pretrial hearings that I haven't had time to write about on the main blog, but plan to as soon as I get caught up. After that, it will be Market Bag Madness, Redeux, where I will be posting some images again, so please look for them in the near future.

Update: 7:24 pm
Wouldn't you know, just when I need to use one of the gazillion tools Mr. Sprocket has ~and he really does have every tool imaginable~ he's left them over at a friend's house. Both the saws-all AND the good manual saw. What a pisser.

When you need something done, best do it yourself. So I used the old worn out hand saw and went to town on that limb. Here it is all under the tree. You can see the base of the big limb where it broke off, in front of the brush pile.