My New Sewing Machine

My new Viking
My new Viking Sapphire Sewing Machine

Panic set in as I sat down at my new Viking Sewing Machine and tired to do some free motion sewing.  I threaded the machine at Heirloom Sewing and wound the bobbin, and watched Jackie, who owns the shop sew in a straight line.  The needle threader is more complicated than my Brother Sewing Machine but I was still impressed with all the other features.   I didn’t try to do any free motion sewing at the shop and as I sat in my studio and found the fabric hard to move across the surface of the machine, I was sure I had made a mistake.  The bed of the machine has a textured surface compared to the smooth one of my Brother and I was sure this was the problem.  I tried again and again on different settings but still the fabric didn’t move easily.

So I called Jackie, thinking I would be returning the machine, that it wasn’t what a I wanted or needed.  Jackie talked me through some of the settings and told me there was another free motion foot that I could buy that worked better than the one that came with the machine.  I told her I would come into the shop tomorrow and try the new foot and show her the problems I was having.

After getting off the phone  I told Jon what was happening and was certain I’d be taking the machine with me tomorrow to return.  But Jon could see what I couldn’t.  I was having a panic attack.  Buying the sewing machine had sent me down a dark spiral.   Too much of a good thing, I was sure I didn’t deserve the new sewing machine and was finding a way to make buying it a huge mistake.  I blamed myself for making an incompetent decision, the darkness inside of me bubbling up.  I was wrong, I was bad, I was stupid.  And this wasn’t just a bad brain, it’s a darkness that lives deep inside my body, something a juice fast can’t touch.

Jon helped me see what was happening and knowing that I was panicking I sat at the machine and figured out the settings and drew a hen.  It was different from my Brother, but not that different.  It was working.  I realized I had the machine on the wrong setting.  That’s all that was wrong.  I drew some more, the familiar pain that comes from stress under my right shoulder-blade aching.  Sometimes the thread broke, or I skipped stitches but now I knew it was the panic, not me, not the machine.  I just needed to slow down or speed up, get used the to the new foot pedal.  A cat, a hen, a flower, I wrote my name with my new sewing machine.

This is just who I am sometimes, someone who panics when they get something they really want but somewhere inside themselves don’t believe they really deserve.  Coming down from my panic I knew I wouldn’t be returning the machine.  I also know, with a little practice and getting used to it, I’ll love what it can do for my work.

Today I may not have felt the joy of getting a new sewing machine, but I know it will come.  And next time, maybe I’ll remember and can avoid or at least understand the panic a little more.

30 thoughts on “My New Sewing Machine

  1. You will figure it out..you are just getting all the bad stuff out of your system early, freeing up space for creativity. Honestly, new gadgets scare the hell out of me..I curse all of it..blocking my learning..I’m awful.

  2. You are so freaking brave to blog about what I and I am sure many of us feel at times. Thank you Maria. You make me feel less alone…

  3. Maria, You are so very deserving of all good things. Quiet the bad brain and listen to your beautiful heart.
    You speak for so many of us who share similar feelings, but you rise above them, shining your special light and inspiring us to do the same. You are valued.

  4. Maria,

    I’ve been there and done that. In fact, I still have the sort of panic you described.

    It’s going to be fine. You deserve the new machine.

    Your new mantra might be: “Feed dogs down. Hands steady. Breathe.”

    Can’t wait to see what you create!

  5. Oh boy, can I relate with this! You described it well when you wrote “a darkness that lives deep inside.” I’m sorry you were robbed of the immediate joy you should have felt in getting a new sewing machine, but I and I’m sure everyone else who suffers from the same inward struggle are rooting for you and hope you eventually experience that joy, because YOU DO DESERVE IT!…YOU ARE WORTHY!

  6. Glad I am not the only one to have this occur. I love your blog because I quilt freely like you do–there are not many blogs to follow with sewists who don’t follow patterns. Two weeks ago, I bought my first new sewing machine and it was more than I’d ever thought I’d pay. It sat for sometime before I even touched it. I finally did a small project, with success. Last night, I decided to clean the bobbin and do some piecing–and now it is skipping stitches. I panicked…and got mad. Have to take a breath. Hang in there, I am sure you will work through it as will I. The work doesn’t come from your machine, it comes from your center. Have fun, I will do the same! Mary Ann

  7. Maria, I think, for me, the first thing would be in allowing myself to feel it is alright to spend that amount of money on something (in this case a sewing machine). Then, to find that it is a whole new learning curve and that I may have made a mistake in ordering this particular machine, would have compounded my panic and my feeling of having made a mistake and paying so much money for it. My mind would have gone round and round and the panic, like yours, would have mounted. First of all, I don’t know how you do such beautiful work on a sewing machine as you do and secondly, I have such a tenuous relationship with any piece of machinery, sewing machine, or the new Windows 7 computer which I’ve just allowed myself to buy (as I can’t do without my computer for several reasons, one of which is our Bed & Breakfast and which I’ve managed to mess up on a regular basis that my friends are now teasing me that I’m having a relationship with my computer ‘guru’ in town…(smile !). I think that when one has lived so carefully within the confines of economic conditions for whatever reason, that it’s hard to allow ourselves to feel good about spending money. We feel so overly responsible for having done the right thing that we get locked up tight when something goes wrong. No, this wasn’t a bad brain day, it was a sheer and outright panic attack. Good thing you stopped the juicing. No time to add toxins to the mix.
    Just remember that you are talented and you are gifted with an imagination that delights many, including me.
    Sandy P in S. Ontario, Canada

  8. Thank you, again Maria, for sharing your episode of “panic”.
    I struggle with this, so often, with my decisions in life.
    It seems every time I make a change for the better, I end up second guessing myself, and turning the trannsition into a nightmare.
    Your post,today, has helped me understand why this may be happening.
    You are so deserving of this new sewing machine.
    Can’t wait to see the results. We are all rooting for you……

  9. Oh my gosh Maria. I know exactly what you mean. I am using an old Gateway computer given to me probably 8 years ago now. It uses Windows XP which isn’t even compatible with some programs. I bought a new laptop 6 months ago and I can’t figure out how to use it. It made me so anxious, I just closed the top and it has sat ever since then. I had to be talked into making the purchase because I didn’t think I deserved to have a new computer when my other one was working okay, not great, just okay. So I am still plunking away on the old computer and hopefully some day I can figure out how to use the new one. It has been over 3 months since I have even looked at the new Dell but you have inspired me to try one more time. Thank Jon for this too.

  10. Dearest Maria, Thanks for sharing about the dark place inside. It makes me love you even more. It’s very brave. Your new machine looks beautiful; sitting in your studio kind of glowing. Your face is glowing, too, in the photograph Jon took. I saw the soul of an artist. Warmest love and well wishes in your exciting new endeavor.

  11. Maria, I can’t begin to tell you how much your post told my own story. Thank you for putting it into words. I could relate my feelings with every word. Jon’s understanding came just in time and you were flexible enough to move through the panic. Thank you so much. xo p.s. I look forward to all the beautiful art you will create on your new machine. 🙂

  12. Thank you for being strong, brave, and real. I’ve been reading your blog for several months now, and sometimes I get a light blub moment and can identify with what your are saying. Today I felt it on so many levels I just had to tell you. You are so brave and authentic and I admire that very much.

  13. Let me know what happens Patsy. I’m sure, like with my machine when you get to know your new computer, you’ll love it.

  14. Congratulations on obtaining your new machine. I am excited to see your next project.

  15. Congrats on your new machine! Which Viking did you get? I have a 13 year old Viking that I love. Always anxious to learn what’s new. Great partner you have who can gently point out that it isn’t the machine. All new things are adjustments……you’ll be free motioning away in no time!

  16. Funny how so many of us have that feeling!
    Yesterday I had some dental work done to replace a tooth. Some people have commented that they wouldn’t spend that kind of money for a tooth in the back that no one would see. So glad the Mr. said that it’s my decision & I should do whatever make me feel better. (I would have done it anyway, but it helps to not feel guilty about spending the money. 🙂

  17. The new machine will become as familiar as the old just give it time. I free motion quilt with a Supreme Slider. Makes for a nice smooth surface. You will be stitching works of art in no time.

  18. Maria: All of us have difficulty with change or new things. What you describe is so familiar to me. I see it with Roger all the time. He’s sure that whatever isn’t working is his fault and he panics, then gets angry, then panics because he got angry. It helps to have someone patient around who “gets it” and “gets you”. When you think you’re not deserving of this new sewing machine, go back and read blog posts and the posts on Kickstarter from everyone who values your work and who wanted to contribute so you have what you need to pursue your art. Look at the photos of the smiling people who purchased your work. Your work brings so much joy to those of us who are fortunate enough to have one or more of your pieces. You go, girl!

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