I can tell her a mile off. She glances at the sewing machines and quickly looks away hoping no one sees her. If someone asks her if she has a question she replies "No. Just looking." A few minutes later she strolls close to the sewing machines again. A gracious lady in a purple Prairie Quilt shirt invites her to sit down and see what makes a Pfaff machine so different than all the rest. She hesitates, looks around, then sits down beside the purple shirt. There is visible tension in the back of her shoulders and neck. As the lady in front of her begins showing her features she has never seen in a sewing machine before, her eyes light up. She wants to know more.
The purple shirt asks her what machine she is currently sewing with and the flood gates open. With her head hung down, she admits she has four machines at home, so she shouldn't be considering a new machine. She begins to list them off like a shopping list; there is her first machine, a Singer, given to her as a Christmas gift from her grandfather at 16. Her husband bought her a machine when they got married in 1968. When Aunt Gladys passed away she was given her machine, it was a Pfaff made in 1940 and of course the one her husband bought at a garage sale for $10. Her husband didn't know why she needed so many sewing machines when she hardly ever sewed. She didn't sew because none of them worked well, if at all. She managed to use Aunt Gladys' old machine if she was hemming jeans but it did not seem to turn well and made a grinding sound. She had owned it 50 years and had never had it cleaned.
So with four machines at home she probably shouldn't be looking at sewing machines. Yes, the new ones had wonderful features that would make sewing fun again. She knew her grandchildren would love what she would sew for them. But she couldn't see getting rid of those old machines because they were good machines once, even if it was over 40 years ago. No, she would stay at home and watch her sewing machines rust. I have seen her before, so many just like her. Addicted to rust.
I understand the concept so much more than she could ever guess. My husband's rust addiction is in tractors and I have the pictures to prove it, seven in all. He has turned all the fields into pasture land so why do we need seven tractors? As you can see from the pictures, some have not moved for years and a few haven't moved in decades. Oh yes, dear lady, I get the rust addiction.
I recently read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I have to admit I have a hard time giving up things myself because of what I think of as heartstrings that connect these objects to myself. Marie's book gives a positive energy to "tidying up" and helps understand that maybe all this rust just isn't necessary.
If your belongings inspire feelings of guilt, isn't it time to unburden yourself from them? Change your relationship with what you own. Savor the memory of when you received Aunt Gladys ' machine or the Christmas day you received your first machine. Thank the machine for all the good work it has done for you. Then throw it in the trash and replace it with a new sewing machine. The memories are still with you, the only thing gone is the rust.
Hi, I am the owner of Prairie Quilt shop in Hennessey, Oklahoma, where I am fortunate to share my passion with other sewists!