Sewing Machine: Tool, or Enemy?

82nd Airborne, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment Patch. The lit-fuse bomb is the LEAST scary element.

I haven’t had any trouble with my appliances in quite a while. (Click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) It’s been so long, in fact, that when Brent asked me to sew circles of Velcro backing onto six military patches for his paintball team, I didn’t even have a panic attack.

Silly me.

First off, I had to deal with the patches themselves. These things were Ugly–so hideous I could barely bring myself to touch them.

It’s only an embroidered design, I told myself. You won’t get bitten, or mange, or fleas, from embroidered spider monkeys. And don’t take that expression on their little faces so personally–they’re not out to get you.

The thick plastic-y Velcro hook material gave me all sorts of trouble with the lower thread tension. Somehow I got one patch done and started another. But soon the top thread got jerked under the fabric and tangled down inside the mechanism. I had to take the
“twist-back-and-forth” bottom-thread-grabbing assembly apart to cut out the ruined thread. And for the first time ever in more than 40 years of sewing experience, I could NOT put the thread-grabby thing back together properly.

I mean, it looked okay when I snapped the brackets into place. But I realized something was amiss after the thread broke again. Twice more.

Things went downhill from there. I assembled the twisty thing again, re-threaded the machine, and…

Broke the thread.
Broke my needle.
Cut the partially-stitched patch loose from machine and threw it across the room.
Trekked to the sewing box at the other end of the house for a new heavy-duty needle.
Removed first needle (both pieces).
Discovered I’d been using a fine-gauge one intended for lightweight fabrics.
Apologized to the sewing machine.
Replaced broken needle with the new one, rated “Denim.”
Tried one more time to properly re-seat the bottom-thread-grabber assembly.
Ran the machine with no thread to test the assembly; hatch open so I could watch.

By some miracle, this time everything ran smoothly. So I retrieved my long-suffering ugly patch and Velcro from the floor, and gave it another cautious try.
Ka-chuk… ka-chuk… ka-chuk…
ka-chuk-a-chuk, ka-chuk-a-chuk, ka-chuk-a-chuk,

Sweeeet victory! Now for the other four.

One of the patches still ended up looking as if the dog had sewn it together–no offense, little mutt–but at least the chore is done.

You know, despite all my stomping and raving and throwing during the process, I was honestly glad to help Brent with the patches. For one thing, sewing is a skill I have (questionable though it may be) that he doesn’t. I enjoy being needed. Kind of like when I made a window-seat cushion for Secondborn >shudders<.

Besides, Brent does so much for me, often things I don't have the skill or strength to manage. Like me and my rebellious sewing machine, Brent sometimes helps me in ways he doesn’t enjoy. But he does it anyway out of love and honor for me. The least I can do is honor him in return. We complete each other rather than compete with each other.

As near as I can figure, this practice of putting each other ahead of ourselves is the kind of mutual submission and service that creates a happy marriage for both of us. You know… the kind the Bible teaches.

Thanks for reading,

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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4 Responses to Sewing Machine: Tool, or Enemy?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jan, Oh my, that brings back memories of times my sewing machine has been a pain in the neck.
    But you have a good way of using this bad sewing story to show how, love can keep us doing
    what ever task that is needed, Thanks for a great story. Love Mom


  2. jodyo70 says:

    A great reminder my friend….I need to work on the not competing part. Argh! (I’ve been sewing more lately, too. It’s a satisfying endeavor.)


  3. Pingback: Kitchen(Aid) Mixup | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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