A funny thing happened to me the other day. It may be a coincidence or it may be Granny sending me a message.....
I have been having a devil of a time with my blasted sewing machine. As lovely and expensive as it was, it's had it's day. It is now 15 years old and I am having to have it serviced about twice a year. Bits pop off, the tension goes awry and it gets jammed. When it is working though it's still lovely to use. Anyway, my little experiment with the credit card as a feed cover didn't work and I'm afraid that I have probably ruined my beautiful quilt. My machine is supposed to be able to do free motion embroidery, but it's having none of it! Anyway, I thought that this weekend we might nip to a lovely sewing machine shop that I know of in Woodseats to buy a real feed plate cover and darning foot to make the job easier.
We went Saturday morning and as we arrived I pressed my nose against the window as it was lined with amazing super-fandango machines! Inside was like an Aladdin's' cave of all things sewing machiney. I tried to ignore the shiny machines and asked for a feed plate cover and a darning foot. The owner sucked air through his teeth and declared that they were very hard to get hold of because my machine had a slant needle shank unlike all other machines. Trust me to buy a Singer experiment in slanty technology! He said he could probably get hold of what I wanted and it wouldn't cost more than a few pounds anyway.
That out of the way I started to ooh and aah over the shiny machines. Of course I was drawn to biggest and most impressive looking. He said I didn't need that for what I was doing and anyway it was £5,000! He told me to come and look a machine that would be perfect for my needs. Well....it has to be the coolest thing EVER! It has 294 decorative stitches, a computer screen, a needle threader (SCREEAAMMM) and a little button that cuts the thread! Best of all, I did free-motion embroidery on it and it zoomed like a dream. I sewed through four layers of denim straight onto slippery satin without any adjustments! I then programmed it to stitch my name. This would be excellent for the girls school gear. But alas, it was £500. :0( I asked Gary jokingly if I could have it and he just smiled a sad smile. Sigh.
That aside I still haven't found my sketch book! I have had the place upside down. I was looking again on the bookshelf when I came across Granddad's life story that he wrote in 1985. I picked the book up and amazingly it fell open at this point:
We got up early on Saturday, had breakfast and cleared away. Lollipops (Grandad's pet name for Gran) asked me if I was still going to Gravesend. 'Of course, I have to get you your present' I replied and told her to get ready. We caught a train and were soon there. We made our way to Singers and I walked in. Nan (Gran's name) was looking in the window. I called her in and told her of my surprise. She almost cried with joy. I asked the assistant to show us the latest model. It was lovely. I asked if it was complicated to use, and they said no, but that in any case, they would call at the house and give Nan a couple of lessons. I asked Nan if she liked it. She said of course she did, but it would be too expensive. I told her to let me worry about that, and told the assistant that I would buy it if they could deliver it that same day. She went to see the manager, who came out and said that he would do his best. I explained that it was Lollie's birthday, and he said in that case he would deliver it himself on his way home at 5.30 that evening. I thanked him, took out my cheque-book and made a cheque out for £100. I signed papers for the other £110. I asked him to make out a bankers order then I would not forget the payments. We stayed a while and they showed Nan the machine. It all folded away into a nice smart cabinet.
They then continued their shopping and had coffee and cakes before catching the train home....
When we got home, Lollipops couldn't wait to tell the girls. She said it was the best present she had ever had in her life. I told her she had never had someone who loved her so much before. She laughed at this, and gave me a big kiss of thanks. I told her we would have fresh bread and cheese for lunch and fish and chips tonight, and they all agreed about this. When lunch was over, Nan started to make room in the sitting-room for her sewing machine. She cleared the bay window stating that's where it would go. At five o'clock sharp the machine arrived. The manager brought it in, along with a girl to show Nan again how to use it. I took the plug off the Hoover for the time being, and fixed it on the lead of the machine. (Do you remember the days when you didn't get a plug with an electrical purchase?) They started Nan off and after a short while she was managing well. They gave her a book that showed all the different stitches. The machine could sew buttons on and do embroidery.
Nan and Sandie spent most of the evening sewing little bits of rags together. Lollipops told me that she would go to the market on Thursday to get some cheap material for new bedroom curtains.
In a previous paragrah Grandad talks of the house next-door-but-one coming on the market. He says the asking price was £2,000. Mum and Dad bought that house. It was about 1964. By my reckoning, if the house was £2,000 and the machine was £210, then if a house today is about £200,000 then a sewing machine now should be about £20,000! How does that work then? Did Grandad really spend that sort of money or am I getting confused by inflation and the out of control house prices? Anyway, I digress....
So I was totally amazed that the book fell open at that point. Then this evening as Gary was dictating this so that I could type I reached for a bookmark to hold the page and absent mindedly grabbed a business card. The card was for the Woodseats Sewing Centre! I keep telling Gary that Gran really wants me to have this machine! She's practically shouting at him to buy it for me. :0D
Lookie lookie: http://www.brother.co.uk/display.cfm/id/101416
So, is it a coincidence or is Gran showing her approval?