After what seemed like a very long wait, I finally got my new big machine to replace Gibbs (my old 830 LE that bit the dust about a month ago). As you know I name my machines and that is for some silly reason very important to me. I try to name them for some significantly important figure in the sewing, quilting, or fashion world. My new machine, a Bernina 880 Plus is named “Odette” after Odette Ueltschi, the daughter of Fritz Gegauf, the founder of Bernina. Odette took over lead of the Bernina company in 1959 and their were many advances in the machine under her leadership. So it seems appropriate to name my new machine after her.
I named my Bernina Q20 “Fritz” after her father (and coincidentally Nero Wolf’s chef, just for fun). I also have “E.Claire” my little Bernina 350 I use for travel and some specialty sewing named after Edith Claire Head..a fashion design great during the glory days of old Hollywood. So that is my Bernina Fleet. I sold “Betsy” (after Betsy Ross) my great old Bernina 1230, to my good friend and student Anita, whose name you have seen in my blog posts from time to time. She also got a big bag of Bernina feet, because they don’t fit on the newer machines. She loves the machine, and any of you that have a 1230 know it is a workhorse that will last her many more years.
I look back over my years of sewing and think about all the machines I have had. I started learning at about 5 years old both on my mother’s great old Singer and she gave me a child’s machine, which was wonderful and I wish I still had it. When I was in high school I bought an inexpensive machine from the hardware store. I don’t even know its brand. It did ok for a few years, but Mom gave me a Singer Golden Touch and Sew somewhere along the way, which I used for decades and even used as my primary machine when I had my fashion design and tailoring business in Ithaca, New York as a new bride to Marvin (my second husband).I added a great old black White antique which had a powerful moter and only a straight stitch. I used it to do tailored suits and heavy coats on. It is a beautiful antique, but it needs rewiring. I still have that one. It’s name is “Eli” after Eli Whitney. I traded the Singer in for my first Bernina, which was Betsy shortly after we moved to Washington, DC in the 1980s. I bought a floor model Bernina 200E, and oddly can’t remember its name, which I later traded in on Gibbs (my 830 LE) when the LEs came out.
So you see I have worked my way up from a very basic machine to my wonderful fleet I have now across the years and to this latest new friend Odette.
I started sewing on the dining room table, and moved to a corner of my bedroom, and finally I had larger section of my large bedroom in my last home. After Marvin died I moved to my current townhome and took the two smaller rooms and a small section of my bedroom for my studio, where I am now. You can see the studio without my new machine in it in the video I shared in my last blog post if you haven’t looked at it yet.
Here is the unpacking of Odette:
The two big boxes:
Sew if you are sewing or quilting using a simple machine on your dining room table, there is so much you can accomplish…and maybe, just maybe, you can move up the sewing machine/studio ladders a little at a time. My advice for this is go for the practical, not necessarily the most beautiful, but functional is the key.
Sew happy everyone! Make sure you take good care of your equipment…clean and oil on a regular basis, at least at the start of every project, and change the needle when needed (I listen for the thump thump indicating it is dull). Every few years go through your stash and supplies and reorganize, get rid of what you aren’t going to use, and clean everything. I apparently do mine about every 6 or so years..LOL.
Now let’s go sew (or quilt, or embroider)!