Fixing my sewing machine, fixing myself

A new quilt I started making today, using my old sewing machine.

Last night I dropped off my sewing machine to be fixed.  I wasn’t worried that it was damaged beyond repair or about how long I would be without it.  But I was a bit nervous about bringing my machine back to the woman who already “yelled” at me once for not cleaning it enough.    So I went into the store apologizing and over explaining how I clean my machine once a week and then took the whole thing apart and cleaned it some more, but still it wouldn’t work.  A very friendly  sales person helped me, letting me know it usually takes a week for a machine repair.   Out of the corner of my eye I saw the woman who fixed my machine the last time.  She didn’t say anything, just go up from her chair and walked into the back room.  She’s disgusted with me, I thought and rude too.

Then, this morning, I read Mary Muncil’s blog post A Fun Little Experiment.  It was about a grumpy man who came into the bookstore where Mary was working and how she imagined he would one day smile at her and how he finally did.  She said that people are mirrors of ourselves and “When I change my conception of the world, the world (and the people and things within it) must change too.”

After a defensive moment of thinking, yeah, but the woman in the sewing machine shop really is nasty, I realized that Mary was, once again, right.  And I decided to try her little experiment.  I began thinking kindly of the woman in the shop and told myself that when I picked up my machine, I would enter the store with a new attitude.

At four o’clock this evening I got a message from the Sewing Machine shop that my machine was fixed and I could pick it up.  The ‘nasty’ woman worked on my machine ahead of all the others knowing that I use it for my work.  I called the shop back and thanked them for getting it done so quickly.

Tomorrow when I pick up my sewing machine, I won’t be nervous going into to the shop.  I’ll be grateful.  And I’m sure to have a pleasant  conversation with the woman who fixed my machine, knowing that the “nasty” was in me not in her.

19 thoughts on “Fixing my sewing machine, fixing myself

  1. Hey Maria, love your relaxed and creative use of FMQ. One thing you might try is head to the Superior Thread website and read up about the different kinds of thread. The stuff they sell at Joannes is really not very good quality and sheds alot of fluff. The twist is loose and they use very short staple filliments in the poly and cottons. Thats the stuff that messes up your machine. Also different weights of thread need different size of needles. If you have a heavier thread with a small needle it causes the thread to shed and fray much faster. Anyway using high quality thread makes such a difference in your quilting. Your machine will thank you too. Too bad the grumpy lady doesnt take it as an opportunity to educate customers on the things that do affect the machines running that they may not know about. One of the other things I tell myself is that her attitude is not all about me. I dont have to take it in, I can reflect my happier attitude and maybe it will rub off! Good luck!

    1. I use all cotton thread, but I think I’ll try some of the better thread from the sewing machine shop. The woman there was really very nice today and we had a great conversation about my machine, She did tell me about using cotton thread and compared the thread in the machine to the food we eat. I always think of that when I’m threading my needle.

  2. Good Morning Maria! This is such a great, insightful post that also serves as a mini-lesson for us all. I identify with how you feel when encountering angry, rude folks — especially when I’ve done nothing to warrant such treatment. I’m trying just to smile it off, not absorb it, and just keep moving. It’s a process on my part to say the least…..

    I know you and Jon are starting to watching movies again. Have you seen “Under the Tuscan Sun” with Diane Lane? Put it on your “watch” list. It’s a tad “chick-flick” but Jon may enjoy the beautiful Tuscany scenery and her journey of self-discovery, which includes these neat “Mary-Muncil-type lessons.” There’s one story-line of a little old man who comes everyday to lay flowers at a statue located within window’s view of Francesca’s (Diane) villa. She waves to him everyday, only to get a stone-cold stare in return. After many fruitless waves, she approaches the point of saying, “the hell with this guy,” but instead to softly ponder, “what made him this way?” I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not, so I won’t reveal the rest. PS — I just started following Mary Muncil’s blog, and she is amazing!

  3. Maria: Quick work on your machine – maybe you have found a way to make the ‘nasty’ woman into a ‘nice’ woman. Sounds like material for a potholder or pillow – the transformation.
    I, too, like Mary’s wise words and try to remember to put them into action.
    Have a great weekend and, oh yes, I like the colours in the quilt and also your ‘supervisor’.
    Peg

  4. I also read Mary’s blog and am still trying to get the message into my heart(it’s in my head just fine). There is a woman at work who I once was friendly with. I then found out she was saying mean things about me to others and I have not spoken to her since. I’m really going to try and work on this. Wish me luck.

  5. I think we are all ‘works in progress.’ It’s so nice to have Mary Muncil showing us ways to bring ourselves closer to the finished product.

  6. Maria – I hope this worked out for you. I agree that 90% of the time,this relected attitude works. But sometimes other people are just having a bad day, and there’s not much you can do about it!
    And the quilt is certainly cheerful – do you have a name for it yet?
    Millie

  7. Love it! Perceptions are everything, and we have control! Good for you, Maria. And great news that the machine was fixed so fast!

  8. What a wonderful quilt in the making, and oh how important it is to realize the power of positive thought!! Good luck, I have a feeling you might be on the brink of a new friendship – here’s hoping!!

  9. Hi Maria, Sometimes I completely disarm these curs by killing them with kindness.( a cruder form of Mary Muncil’s wonderful message.)
    The quilt is just lovely! And nothing compliments your quilts more than Izzy! He’s too cool.Just doing his job of keeping tabs on you Maria!
    I hope you and Jon are doing ok.

  10. RARRRR!!! You speak to us pre meni women in such a lovely way. Your work is the humor that we overintense beings need at this award time of our life.

  11. That’s a wonderful thought about the thread being like the food we eat; it’s true of other things too. Years ago I had a great mechanic — kind of an artist of making cars last nearly forever — and he told me to use the Chevron gas with the “Techroline” to keep the engine clean. I got about 50% more miles out of that car than the average, and I have used the gas ever since (they now call the cleaning solution “Techron”). My “middle-aged” cars have done great, saving me tons of money on not buying a car more often than I really need to.

    “Under the Tuscan Sun” is such a testament to trusting yourself and your intuitions, even when you’re down and out and not feeling like you know what in the world you’re doing. It’s a timeless film in many ways, I’ve watched it several times since it came out and I see new things and notice new messages almost every time.

  12. Isn’t that such a revelation about people mirroring us?! It’s something I, too, recently learned during the holiday shopping season. I tried an experiment of my own. Not only did I try to smile and be particularly pleasant to stressed (and sometimes rather ‘distracted’ clerks, I also carried several of the little candy canes and gave them to each clerk. Amazing how such a little gesture was greeted so enthusiastically.

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