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Sat, Nov 1, 2014

MRS. MURFREESBORO: Times are a-changin, even with sewing machines

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“The times, they are a-changin.” -- Bob Dylan, 1964

I’ve haven’t had time to spend in my sewing/craft room lately, but when I indulged myself this week I became a bit overwhelmed.

I am fortunate to have a large room (my children call it “Mom’s Playroom”), and when I have an area I tend to fill it up. Minimalism has never been my forte.

And while I find comfort there, I also find consternation.

For one thing, my interests are always changing and there’s so much I want to do it’s hard to focus on just one task.

Particularly perplexing, due to reasons unknown, I have not been able to connect my computer to the internet despite the inordinate amount of time and money I’ve spent trying to do so. Although my “experts” fix it temporarily, the connection rarely lasts more than a day.

The most recent helper told me that my computer is older and needs replacing. Ugh.

Sewing and hobbies in this millennium have entered a new day and time.

When I mention that I sew many people say: “I need to drag my machine out of the attic and start sewing.” I’m here to tell you if you do intend to start, make sure you are willing to spend a huge amount of time and an ever larger amount of money. You may be better served to have your needs taken care of by a paid professional.

Newer machines are computerized and user-friendly, and most of them always perform, unlike the tension-challenged models of yesteryear. Most sewing machine dealers want to keep their customers happy and will guide you to what you can afford and need.

Many inexpensive models will let you sew with enhanced options, but once you’ve been hooked on the better ones, you’ll yearn for more.

When I sew on my higher-end machine, I can choose whether I want the needle to stop in an up or down position and can use a knee lift to raise the presser foot (while keeping my hands on my project when turning a corner).

Some machines automatically raise the pressure foot to a desired height when you stop, and others will tie off and cut your thread without scissors at the touch of a button.

Luxuries on today’s machines can be compared to those on cars like cruise control and adjustable steering wheels. While these conveniences enhance the experience, they also amplify the price.

If you get hooked on embroidery machines and software (my particular interest) you can create elaborately embroidered designs on apparel and decorative accessories. The sky is the limit.

Because the majority of the software that supports these embroidery programs is PC, not Apple friendly, I foresee more problems in my future.

I probably will have to buy a newer personal computer with a more up-to-date operating system. Most newer computers do not offer the internal CD/DVD drives that are essential for my software so I’ll also need to purchase an external drive.

I feel the embroidery software industry has not kept pace with its more savvy computer techies, but premade embroidery designs have become so relatively inexpensive and easy to find online now that this relative lack of expense outweighs some of the other headaches.

And while a hobby should be fun and not full of hurdles, I will get through my little bumps.

And in the words of Bob Dylan again:
“If time to me is worth savin’
I’d better start swimmin’
Or I’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin.”
'Til next week.

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changin, jeanne bragg, mrs. murfreesboro, sewing, times
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