Friday, January 23, 2015

It Takes an Outage

Last night the cable went out for about four hours in the evening, which meant the phone, internet, and TV were all unavailable.  When it first went out, we were like, "You know, we should probably do something like this regularly, maybe pick one day a week where we don't turn on the computer or TV or anything electronic, except maybe the radio or stereo."  (All of a sudden I feel old for using the word people even have stereos anymore?)

See, normally at that time of night, Norm is watching something enlightening on television (*cough* TMZ ) and I am pretending to work at the computer while actually perusing blogs and pinning the internet.  Surely, we agreed, these are habits we can take a break from, from time to time.  

Stuff like that always sounds good, in theory.  Like giving up junk food.  Or fasting, voluntarily.  Something I have never done except in advance of a medical procedure.  Heck, I can't even starve a fever.

So, in our time of "darkness," we put some music on the stereo (there it is again) as I did the dishes.  We discussed an article in a local magazine about Native Americans in our area two centuries ago.  That was interesting.  Thirty minutes down.

Then I went to walk on the treadmill, but with no TV or Netflix to distract me, I became bored with the endeavor after a half hour, so I wandered into the laundry room and decided to wash a stack of fabric that's been on the shelf over the washer for, oh, three months or so.

A couple hours passed—still no cable—and though neither of us would admit it, we were both beginning to get a little twitchy.  Finally, I went to the sewing room, turned on public radio, and looked at Everett.  

Poor, neglected Everett, the Brother sewing machine I bought on a lightning deal on Amazon after Thanksgiving but hadn't so much as plugged in yet.  So I did.  

I turned him on. 

(Did you ever think you'd read that sentence on a sewing blog?)

A few minutes later, his bobbin was wound and he was threaded and ready (oh, brother...).

Soon I was experimenting with stitches and settings and such, manual close at hand for frequent reference.  Things seemed to go okay.  I made a little four-patch block from scraps to see how true the 1/4-inch seam guide was, and it came out right on.  I tried the blanket stitches and made a few adjustments to what I thought was the tension, although it could have been the presser foot pressure I fiddled with.  I didn't read the manual on that one, just turned a dial.

First impressions:  The machine is lightweight, and I can see carrying it to a class or on vacation very easily.  Another facet of that is it definitely feels more "plasticky," kind of like a toy versus the boat anchors that are my other heavy metal machines.  

More pros:  It's quiet.  It threads easily.  The bobbin drops in from the top with easy access. There are a crap-ton of decorative stitches.

I do notice I seem to be hunching over it while threading it or squinting to see the fabric being sewn.  Seems like I want to set it up higher on something to give me a better line of sight.  But that could be because it's new and I'm really focusing, intent on learning its bells, whistles, and idiosyncrasies.  

And you know how it is when you start driving a car with the shifter on the floor versus on the column?  That's how I am with grabbing behind the needle with my left hand to raise the presser foot when the lever is actually located on the right side within the harp space.  I'm sure I'll do the air grab many more times until I finally get it.  Speaking of harp space, there isn't a whole lot of it (for quilting), but that's what the Juki is for.

So we've broken the ice, me and Everett, and are off to a decent start.  I guess I can thank the cable company for that!


  1. Dear Everett,

    You HAVE to file a complaint to the "Neglectful Office" for having you new Mom ignore you for all this time! Surely you can get a reward from the "Rewards" officials to compensate you for your suffering!

  2. "turned him on"....well, er, um....I'm all for THAT!! Glad you got Everett up and running. I had a Brother and I did that whole "air grab" thing looking for the presser foot lift more times than I care to admit. And, P, I listen to the stereo all day. Yes...s t e r e o...

  3. Back in the 80s our TV died. We spent a year without it. Kids did homework, and we all played board games, my hubby even did some drawing! Then we got a TV again, and nothing happened again. We all sat and stared.
    At least Everett is up and working. Lets keep him busy.

  4. Glad you got Everett up and running! We've got a Brother like that at church and I agree, it's hard to get used to the things that are different from the other machines! The hardest for me is the on-off button rather than a foot pedal! Enjoy your time "turning him on!"

  5. This post cracks me up. My husband and I are always thinking we need to quit spending so much time on the Net, but the minute we can't access it, we start to get twitchy.:)

  6. I think it's awesome to be without cable and internet, particularly during the business week as I work from home:). So happy you got brother out and love the name! I also truly adore oh brother where art thou...*sigh* George Clooney.

  7. O Brother, don't let Everett near any Dapper Dan pomade!

  8. Oh Paulette, I am DYING here! I swear you are the Erma Bombeck of the quilting world! Well I am glad you finally took Everett for a spin. I can see how a small machine like this will come in very handy for classes and such.


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