I had a problem.
With sewing machines.
Other than my ancient old Singer treadle, which I somehow managed to "misplace" during one of my Year of Seven Relocations (don't ask: an unhappy time many decades ago) I have always found sewing machines super-challenging.
Oh how I loved that treadle; it was just my speed, even when I was young. It was reliable. It never snarled up or gave trouble. Photo of a similar machine at the end of this post.
After the Year of Seven Relocations, I bought a small, inexpensive Sears Kenmore that had some basic bells and whistles and looked portable. I used it a few times, had the usual issues (snarled up threads causing endless cursing), buried it at the back of a closet and forgot it.
Fast-forward forty-five+ years to 2017. Having relocated yet again, I finally brought the Kenmore in for a complete tune-up--cleaning, oiling, and a bit of general loving. It was sorely needed. (Ya think?) I had not used it once in over 40 years.
Since 2017 I've only pulled it out a couple of times but now it positively hums and performs flawlessly. It's a joy to use. I used it this afternoon to zig-zag around the edge of my latest rug, and enjoyed the entire experience. It sews like a dream. It's a trooper, after 5 decades.
What a far cry from 50 years ago. I'm sure its tune-up helped, but I know that I'm actually the one who's had the major tune-up since then. I realize now the trouble was never with the machine, which in fact is extremely well-made. The "fault"--though I wouldn't use that term now--lay with my own inner unhappiness at the time. The impatience. The self-doubt. The insecurity. The determination to blame something or someone else, never taking responsibility myself.
A little meditation (OK, a lot of meditation) and an education in the School of Life have tuned me up quite a bit! It turns out I have always been the owner of a very well-made sewing machine, and only needed to grow up enough to use it.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society