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Farewell, Old Friend

Ode to a Kenmore 8-Stitch, Aug 2018 ~

That's 40 years of grime on the foot pedal... and electrical tape :)

I bought this machine from Sears in the summer of 1978. Ol' 8-Stitch was an all-metal, mechanical machine that could do 6 fancy stitches, a four-step buttonhole, and a zig zag in four widths! Woo! This was an exciting wealth of ability after being brought up with '50s and '60s era one-act Singers.

The decades and projects went by... halloween costumes, clothes, home goods, gifts, small items, piecing galore that added up to a few actual quilts, and 20 years of Paper Panache pattern samples and mystery blocks ...all made on ol' 8-Stitch.

I don't know what could have happened in the 2-3 weeks since I finished the violin pattern and put Mr. 8-Stitch in the office to await our next sample-making day. When I pulled him out on Monday, 7/30/18, the wheel did not want to turn. At all. Nooooo! The time I had been dreading had come (and there was a sample to make)!

So sad. I have a relationship with my tools... I like 'em old, reliable, well-used, and well-loved. I am suspicious of the new. The array of abilities and zillions of reviews on the 100s (1000s!?) of machines available these days is Totally. Staggering, especially if you're not going to actually test drive 'em. And you dislike shopping. I limited myself to two evenings on the internet to decide.

In the end, I bought... another old-school, mechanical machine. Few frills, she does just slightly more than ol' 8-Stitch. I read a review on someone's blog somewhere that said she was basically good for beginners, luddites and grandmas. Weh-ell! I happen to be none of those, but that comment sealed the deal. She'll be a cherished tool now.

My deepest thanks, Mr. 8-Stitch. Farewell, old friend.

Posted on 8/15/18


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