Unravelled: The Break-Up

by megan on September 19, 2011

By Megan DoughertyDear Sew-Rite Model X400,

It’s not you; it’s me.

Okay, I take that back. It is you. This just isn’t working out for me. I’m sure that you’re the perfect machine for somebody, maybe somebody who drinks a lot or talks to imaginary people, but you’re just not right for me.

I should have known from the beginning that you weren’t the kind of machine I should be with, but to be perfectly honest, I was going through a rough period in my life. I just couldn’t settle down. Knitting came with too many strings attached and painting was a big, dramatic mess. I had a brief flirtation with polymer clay, but it turns out that’s just not how I roll. And I’m not even going to talk about the time I tried to cross-stitch dirty words on a tea towel.

So I knew I should just back away from all the crafting, but then, well, there was this episode of Martha Stewart and, okay, I might have been a wee bit high from Mod Podge fumes, but by the end of the segment I knew that if I didn’t start quilting soon, I would just die. Before Martha could lure me into attempting to make pigs-in-blankets with homemade puff pastry and andouille sausage, I had my laptop fired up and was trolling home shopping sites for sewing machines.

I know now that I should have been more patient, that if I just held out a little longer, the right machine would have come along and swept me off my feet. But I was lonely and desperate and QVC offered you for 5 easy payments. Sure, there were only three customer reviews, but two of them were really good (“I’ve only had it out of the box for 15 minutes, but so far it looks great sitting on my table!”). Can you blame me for rushing in headlong?

And you did look great on my table. So sleek and shiny. Such pretty buttons and cute LED displays. I just loved to run my hands over your extension table and play with your tension control knob. I fantasized about how all the women I hadn’t yet met at the quilt guild I hadn’t yet joined would be so jealous when they saw you. And of course I knew that we would make beautiful quilts together.

Well. That didn’t happen, did it? I am still trying to untangle the latest snarl of fabric and thread that you have managed to jam under the needle plate. You have done nothing but skip stitches and break needles, and you have never once threaded your needle yourself, no matter how nicely I’ve asked. And that sleek, pretty chassis of yours already has a crack in it—though it’s from when I kicked you right in the bobbin case after the umpteenth time you “failed to perform” in the middle of a seam. Turns out it doesn’t happen to everybody—I checked.

And I know about the other quilters. Don’t try to deny it. I saw your Facebook page and I saw you change your status from “committed” to “looking.” AND I saw all those posts from Janine Carmichael about how you helped her “stuff” her “trapunto” when I loaned you to her Stitch-a-thon fundraiser. You’ve never stuffed my trapunto. And no, I don’t know what that means, and I don’t care, but I think I saw something about it in your manual somewhere. I’m pretty sure it was one of the features they were crowing about on QVC. Anyway, you have no business messing around in any body else’s trapunto. Especially Janine’s. I have a feeling her trapunto gets around, if you know what I mean.

You know, I could have gotten a Singer. A heavy-duty Singer. Oh, yes, it’s true. There’s one in the Vac & Sew shop where I keep having to take you in for repairs, and I know it wants to come home with me. The sales guy said so. Of course, I would never get involved with one of those big, metal-clad hunks. They’re all brawn and no brains, but it would be nice just once to know what it’s like to work a machine with a few more inches of throat space. That’s right, I went there.

So, I really think it’s time you and I went our separate ways. I’m sure if you put an ad on Craigslist, you’ll find someone who is willing to put up with your crap—I mean, appreciate all your special qualities. As for me, I’ve decided it’s time I started listening to my mother. She’s going to fix me up with a nice Viking.

Your Ex

P.S. Remember that walking foot I bought you? I want it back.

Leave a Comment

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen Identicon Icon Helen September 19, 2011 at 4:17 am

LOL…love it!!


Charlie Identicon Icon Charlie September 19, 2011 at 4:38 am

Kick that SOB you have now to the curb. He will be nothing but trouble. There was a reason he ended up on QVC and you fell for it. Hook, line and sinker. Live and learn.

Your mother is a smart lady for fixing you up with a Viking. I don’t know her, but love her already.


Rebecca Merry Identicon Icon Rebecca Merry September 19, 2011 at 5:16 am

As usual I’m giggling in the corner while reading and even the kids are shooting me worried glances. Thanks for the morning dose of ludicrous!


MelodyJ Identicon Icon MelodyJ September 19, 2011 at 6:25 am

Oh how funny. I love it! Makes me want to stay with my 35 year old Brother. But just a few more inches of throat space would be nice, wouldn’t it.


Kathy Identicon Icon Kathy September 19, 2011 at 6:33 am

Oh, Megan! You always make me laugh! I needed this, especially on a Monday morning!


Kit Lang Identicon Icon Kit Lang September 19, 2011 at 6:41 am

had a brief flirtation with polymer clay, but it turns out that’s just not how I roll

That made me choke on my coffee!

Ah yes – the break up with your first sewing machine after you become a quilter. I had that conversation with Singer Confidence Quilter machine a couple/three years ago. I was very disappointed because she too was the first “expensive” sewing machine I had every purchased, and it was specifically for quilting – and it totally sucked, but I thought it was me, not it.

And then when I started a chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild in our area I met three other people who had the machine and had an equal hate on for it, so then I knew it wasn’t me. (VINDICATION!)

We broke up, I bought a Juki and I’ve been happy ever since. (Well, I’ve bought 3 other sewing machines since then and I have my eye on a pretty little Bernina, but that’s only because I’ve become insane about owning sewing machines. My Juki [called Pinky Tuscadaro] is still my go-to machine.)

As you were. :)


Bert Klimas Identicon Icon Bert Klimas September 19, 2011 at 7:06 am

Translation: Playa means beach in Spanish. So you got a beach bum. ¡No mas! Demand a refund and get something else.

Watch craigslist instead of QVC. I got a 1941 Singer in a cabinet for $125 and could not be more thrilled.

Bert in Rice, WA


Tsigeyusv Identicon Icon Tsigeyusv September 19, 2011 at 7:11 am

This brought a smile to my just awoken, Monday morning face. It also reminded me so much of my first sewing machine. I didn’t realize how FUN sewing could be until I got a machine that didn’t fight me every inch of the way. I’m not-so-fondly remembering the snarls and snags in that bobbin case, and how hard it was to sew straight seams. I love my replacement so much more. Good tools are worth it.


Jean F Identicon Icon Jean F September 19, 2011 at 7:13 am

I had one of those breakups, and it wasn’t fun.

The good thing is that the new romance is fun. You’ll “walk” stitch-by-stitch together, explore new “love” making techniques (bwahahahahaah!), and might even birth something new.


Loved this…


Natalie Identicon Icon Natalie September 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

absolutely hilarious. Just FYI, I sew with a Bernina 1260 and it’s quite the workhorse.


Becky Identicon Icon Becky September 19, 2011 at 7:47 am

You were good therapy for me this morning, Megan! I totally understand. I remember the “fun” I had with a machine back in the day. They can drive you to drink…..or worse!!


Katy Identicon Icon Katy September 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

ROFLMAO (which, can I say, is a challenge in an office where you’re not meant to have fun…) Anywho, I understand your woes. I went through it with an inherited machine that had a terrible fabric munching habit – its diet was appalling, and as we all know, too much fibre totally stuffs you up…

My new and shiny machine (well, 2 years old now) is still fab for the basic stuff, and my bear making, but then I went and discovered quilting and heavy duty dressmaking and bag making. Its little throat can’t choke down all that extra fabric, and while it tries valiantly, the rather wonky seams at the bulkiest bits tell me that, alas, it’s not the little machine that could. Soon, although it doesn’t know it yet, it will be enjoying life sewing only bears and piecing blocks, and getting to go on holiday, while a newer, shinier behemoth with a larger appetite comes in and takes over a larger chunk of real estate on the sewing table…


Marcy Identicon Icon Marcy September 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

No wonder you call yourself the Bitchy Stitcher. He’s not worth your aggravation. It’s not you, it’s him. Can’t wait to read about his replacement. LOL


ida lively Identicon Icon ida lively September 19, 2011 at 8:31 am

I love my Viking. He’s treated me well for many years. :)

Oh, and I’m currently cross-stitching dirty words on a canvas for my son “Sailor Boy”. Hey, who knows more dirty words than a Sailor? His momma! He had to learn them from somewhere, right? ;)


Crickett Identicon Icon Crickett September 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

Hey, I know a Brother I could fix you up with! But if you’re looking for a machine with that extra “throat space”, I have to say I am mightily impressed with Juki! You should totally check him out!


Natalie Barnes Identicon Icon Natalie Barnes September 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

I’m in for reuse, repurpose, recycle. Adopt, don’t buy. All of it.
Besides. Everyone knows you don’t want ‘plastic’ friends….
Donate this beast, and start hanging out with your heavy metal friends!!


Josie Identicon Icon Josie September 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

So funny…. cuz it’s true. Thanks for the Monday morning laughs :)


Krista - Poppyprint Identicon Icon Krista - Poppyprint September 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

Oh Megan, that was yet another hysterical post. What a break up letter! I would strongly encourage you to go for hunky and metal. An old Singer has plenty of experience, loads of confidence and will never ask you for a massage. He’s reliable, self-sufficient – a real ‘get ‘er done’ kinda guy. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Those Vikings are all pointy hats and beards (hmmm, trying to compensate for failings in other areas by chance?).


tarabu Identicon Icon tarabu September 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

That sound was me chortling – hilarious!


Sarah Craig Identicon Icon Sarah Craig September 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

Love your post! This had me laughing out loud in places I shouldn’t be laughing out loud! I will say that Singers, particularly older ones (my Featherweight, my antique 1900 Singer, and my treadle machine can testify) are all wonderful workhorses, although the throat space isn’t the best. My newest machine is a Juki TL98-Q and I love it!! If all you need is straight stitches, it is a total workhorse and goes fast fast fast!! And it has a larger throat space, which makes life so much easier!! So kiss that bad boy goodbye and get something that will make you happy!

PS My thoughts – if all you need is straight stitch, why pay for all the bells and whistles on a Viking? Get more machine that does what you need for the money.


Dianne Identicon Icon Dianne September 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

Well you came out of writers bloc quite nicely I must say!!! hahahahahaaaaahaaa!!! Now that I have wiped away the tears, caught my breath and blown my nose I really must get back to work – people are starting to stare.


Bridgette Stein Identicon Icon Bridgette Stein September 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I absolutely love it! My side hurts! Girl I don’t know where you come up with some of this stuff!


Dana Identicon Icon Dana September 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

That was perfect Megan! You have me laughing. Thanks


Linni Identicon Icon Linni September 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

ROFL!!! I broke up with my old clunky singer courtesy of my hubby who introduced me to a lovely Janome…he knows its my other love. LOL


Lisa Identicon Icon Lisa September 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

“…A nice Viking.” Bwahahahahahaha! Would his name happen to be Erik? Another great one! Love it!


Sandy Navas Identicon Icon Sandy Navas September 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

I just wish you wouldn’t catch me when my bladder is full.

Guess I need to schedule my reading times a little better.

I’ll be back after I change clothes!


Lisa Sipes Identicon Icon Lisa Sipes September 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

Okay, the throat space line really made me “lol”.
I want to be you!


Debbie-Esch House Quilts Identicon Icon Debbie-Esch House Quilts September 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Too funny! Let us know what you get :)


Kelly Identicon Icon Kelly September 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Too, too funny. Can so totally relate


Mishka Identicon Icon Mishka September 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Oh Meghan, I hope you find a new machine to love and treasure. I once had a serger that made me cry every single time I used it. Then one day, I carted it downstairs and threw it in the trash bin. Best thing I ever did.


Lauren Identicon Icon Lauren September 23, 2011 at 7:52 am

I can relate….I had a relationship with a Pfaff that was pretty abusive.


LindaK Identicon Icon LindaK September 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I can’t tell you how many times I used to fantasize about a few more inches…then I traded up. Got a new machine too!


Cherie in St Louis Identicon Icon Cherie in St Louis September 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

I really must stop reading your articles at work during my lunch! The people in my office are starting to look at me strangely and ask if I have trouble eating food all the time. This one rates right up there with the best of your columns :) Thanks Megan!


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