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Ondine Brooks Kuraoka


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Posted By Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

John’s mom, Frances, was here over the weekend. As serendipity would have it, I had procured my mom’s sewing machine a few days before. So, being the sewing goddess that she is, Frances, aka Grammy, was delighted to help me conquer my fear of the quick-needled machine.

With her guidance, I cut off a pair of Leo’s favorite pants - the ones with the airplanes and parachutists-and hemmed them into shorts. And then we tag-teamed a really wide tank shirt of mine; she did one side and I did the other. And then I got really adventurous; I said, "This one has a grease stain on it; maybe I could applique something on it…"

She said, "Sure, why not?"

So I cut one of the orange airplanes and a parachutist from the cut-off material of Leo’s pants and appliqued it onto the shirt… with the sewing machine! Time was, I would get an idea like that and then earnestly hand-sew them on bit by bit over the next month. But not that day- woo hoo! Done in minutes! No wonder folks like this machine. I get it now.

But we didn’t stop there, no sir. Our duvet had a huge rip in the foot end. We’ve been thinking about buying a new one, waiting for a sale. But Sweet Li’l Sewing Machine to the rescue… I swear, it was all sewn up in a matter of 15 minutes, maximum.

By then all my nervousness was gone- I was getting a little charge out of the whole thing by then, even. The mystery was gone.

Roy was rather stunned to look up and see me there, foot pedal to the metal, needle whirring away. Then he said he wanted to try it. So he did, on a little scrap of fabric, he tried a few different stitches, ones I hadn’t tried yet. And no fear at all! He liked the whole machine aspect of it, the way the components all start moving and working together to get the stitches on the fabric.

Kudos to my friend Juliet and her friend Debbie, who sparked some inspiration for me with their talk of quilting. Juliet showed me one of her fantastic, cozy quilts- it had a wave motif- as she, Debbie and I waited for our kids at swim class. Juliet also sews glorious bags. Bags of dreams. Debbie also brought her darling hearts-in-envelopes quilt.

My goal now is to tackle the baby quilt I made for Roy- 8 years ago!! Sigh. It just needs to be quilted now. I say "just." Yeah, right. Well, after talking it over with Grammy, I’ve determined that it’s best just to finish it by hand, since the whole thing is hand-sewn so far, and it would just kind of feel off to finish it by machine. So I’m going to finish it with ties, and then hand-sew the binding… We’ll see.

I also wanted to mention, in light of maiden voyage, first-time attempts, hats off to Juliet for making her first batch of jam! Strawberry. She used self-sealing jars so she didn’t have to deal with wax.

So, I guess I need to stop for now. I’m going to try to update more frequently and less massively…I’ve been craving carrot raisin muffins.

Rock’n’roll daisies to you!

And more juice from the Juiceman Jr. (also from Jen’s garage sale :))