She mailed the sewing machine to me

I sent my good friend J* an email recently that began “Hi! Guess what I’ve been doing with your sewing machine.” Because I have her sewing machine, in my possession, in my house, due to her mailing the thing to me. She is a deeply cool person.

old Kenmore sewing machine with potholder being sewn

Mater Dolorosa

I was, and still am, very excited about getting to use the thing.

“It needs a name.” I said.

“Mater Dolorosa” says my mother without a moment of hesitation.

She looked like there might be some lingering past sewing issues but I did not ask right then. My mother is a wily opponent and must be snuck up upon to get any information out of her. I will ply her with tea and little biscuits, later, and hopefully learn why mother of sorrows was so damn appropriate for the sewing machine.

So, there you are – it has a name that only time can show how fitting it is. I bought a case for it at the sewing machine repair place (it needed to be oiled and may have been dropped during shipping). The case is large and white, quite plain. I’m going to paint a tattoo version of the mother of sorrows on it. It’s a very cool sewing machine, you see.

That is a potholder I made as homework for bias tape attachment. What do you call putting on bias tape? Binding up? Dunno. I am not very good at it, so I am making little things to practice. I found a good set of instructions, with very clear photos on the web. Oh internet, I love you so.

These are the various things I have made on the Mater Dolorosa:

potholder in a 60's floral print with pink edging

a quilted potholder

dia de los muertos print oven mitt with yellow edging

a quilted oven mitt

action shot of quilting on the oven mitt

inside lining and quilting being done

unfinished knitting needle roll in 60's floral print

unfinished knitting needle roll

This knitting needle roll is the reason for the potholders. I messed up the bias tape on this and it really bugs me. I have a brand new packet of Extra Wide Double Fold and I plan to use it.

The pattern for the roll came off the internet, just like the oven mitt. Nice clear instructions and the oven mitt one offered a printable pattern.

pattern and both halves of oven mitt

oven mitt pieces and pattern

I discovered several things making this mitt:

  1. I needed real sewing scissors; pinking shears weren’t much help due to the thickness of the project. There is a layer of utility fabric, Insul-Brite, between the fabric layers and cutting all this out with pinking shears really threw things off.
  2. You should really check which way the fabric is laying before sewing it up. I was quite surprised at the end when I took that photo and the skeletons were on their sides.
  3. Bias tape is evil, very bad no good stuff.
  4. I will poke myself a million billion times while pining things up. And yes, I really do need to pin, it will not be “okay” if I just “hold it right” as I am sewing.
  5. Basting is a very important step.
  6. Machine quilting is cool.
  7. I still don’t get why everyone who has ever used my kitchen hates my silicon potholders so very much but I do like my new oven mitt and potholder a lot.

I am going to make my mother a knitting needle roll. I got special fabric from one of the many online quilting stores.

fabrics and notion for G*'s knitting needle roll

Yeah baby, the Three Stooges in black with yellow back ground reprints and red type. My mother rocks and so will her knitting things.


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