Friday, December 5, 2014

The Story of "Pearl"

First off, I want to apologize (again) for being MIA for so long!  Things have been NUTS at Chez Rosie, and I just haven't had a chance to sit down and write a post :(

Today, I'm taking a break from showing pics of my WIPs or finished projects (yes, I do have quite a few ready to share... just need pics) to tell you a story.  It's a story that starts back almost 9 years ago.... (WARNING.... Long post ahead..)

Back in 2006, I lost my job as a Merchandising Assistant at the corporate OfficeMax headquarters.  I had worked my way up thru the company, starting at the bottom as a CopyMax associate when I was 16... all the way up to corporate.  9 years with the company!  They were bought by Boise Cascade and were relocating to Chicago.  They offered for me to move, but I just couldn't do it, especially because I had just gotten married and my new Hubby would have to move out there without a job.  So... I took the voluntary lay-off.  With that came 10 months of severance pay, and 9 months of a "retention bonus" for working until the last day.  I was sad to go, seeing as though it was all I knew, but also excited for the future.

About two weeks before my last day, I decided I was going to spend a little of my hard-earned retention bonus on something for myself.  Off to a local sewing machine store I went.  After spending way too long in the store, I finally settled on a gently used, Brother PC-6500.  The nice thing when you buy a used machine from this shop is that they include EVERYTHING that was traded in with the machine.  All little bits and bobs that are extra, the memory cards of designs, plus all the hoops that would have needed to be purchased separately.  I made out like a bandit.  Loaded her into my car, and away I went.  The next weeks were spent acquiring supplies, (thread, stabilizer, designs, things to embroider, etc.), and then as soon as my last day came, I was ready to get to crafting!  

I put her thru a workout!  Everything from onesies, to baby blankets, to totebags and sweatshirts.... if it didn't move, I embroidered it!  I was having a ball!  So much so, that I begged my mom to come over and check it out.

Mom came by a few days later after work, and at first thought I was nuts for spending so much money on a machine just to do embroidery on.  However, she quickly changed her mind once she saw how it worked and how easy it was!  The next thing I know, she's asking me to embroider things for her... eventually getting to the point of where she wants one too!

Fast forward a few months to November of that year.  Mom and Dad were out Black Friday shopping and happened to stop into the Viking dealer in our local JoAnn's store.  It was there that she fell in love..... A Husqvarna Viking Designer SE.  Knowing my mom, she got a killer deal on her (especially on Black Friday).  She couldn't wait to tell me, so she called me as soon as she got home to brag ;-)  Jealous wasn't even the word for it..... Her new "baby" had so many features that my Brother didn't have, it was so quiet and did such a beautiful job.... I was green with envy.  Since that day, many years ago, I made her promise that she would leave me her embroidery machine in her will and I would inherit it when she died (my sister wouldn't even know what it was... so there would have been no objection from her.. lol).

Now, over the past few years.... my already old machine got older.  She started being temperamental and sometimes more of a pain to deal with than she was worth.  I packed her up and put her away in the closet.  All my supplies, I gave to my mom.  I hoped that one day I would be able to take her in to the repair shop and have her looked at, but with it being almost an hour away... I never made it there.

Back in April when I made the Survivor Rag Quilt for my mother-in-law, I wanted to do a bit of embroidery on it.  Initially, I was going to just head on over to mom's house to do it, but then I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it on mine first.  If it didn't work out, I had a backup plan.  So... I got her out of the closet and dusted her off.  Mom had given me back some of my supplies for me to use, so I got some fabric all hooped up, loaded up the design, said a prayer, and hit the "Start" button....

I was pleasantly surprised... she didn't do too bad!  I managed to get all the embroidered squares done for the quilt with no issues!  However, being done with my project, I put her back in the closet for the time being.  I didn't have any embroidery projects coming up, so there was no immediate need.  She still doesn't handle very intricate designs very well, and breaks threads constantly.

Fast forward now to last week... Tuesday to be exact.  It was the day I turned the big 3-3.  I usually despise my birthday and beg everyone not go go overboard with things.  No gifts, no big fuss... just a call or text to wish me Happy Birthday is fine by me.  I should have known better to know that my family NEVER listens and they do what they want anyways.  On Monday, I got a call from my mom, asking if we could come by on Tuesday night.  They wanted to see me for my birthday.  Now... not two weeks prior, she had called and asked if we could just do my birthday (that was on the 25th) and her birthday (that was on the 29th) together when we went out to dinner on Saturday night.  I was totally fine with that!  Now, she wants to throw a curve ball at me... demanding I stop over on Tuesday night.  Fine....

Hubby and I pulled in their driveway Tuesday night, thinking it would be in-and-out in an hour.  WRONG!  In the driveway was my sister and BIL's car... which means it wasn't just a little something.  I put my big girl panties on and dealt with it.  After some play time with my adorable niece, Miss L, it was time for cake.  We weren't even thru cutting the cake and my mom insisted we started opening gifts.  GIFTS?!?!?!?

See, about two years ago, we decided that we weren't going to be doing birthday/anniversary/mother's day/father's day gifts anymore.  Just a card... and that was perfect!  So, I opened the awesome card from my sister, and then my mom shoved a gift bag in front of me.  Opened the card, and it was from my mom & dad.  In the gift bag was a shipping box.  Opened the box and inside was a great Nancy Zieman book she found for me... along with two spiral bound books.  I looked at the covers and they read "Owner's Manual" and "Owner's Handbook."  Perplexed, I continued opening the rest of the stuff in the gift bag.  It was a little bundle that included what looked like a power cord and a software CD.  Ok, now I'm totally confused!  I hear "Happy Birthday Rosie" from behind me.  It was my dad, holding something wrapped in one of those decorated garbage bag kinda things.  He put it down on the table infront of me, and I eagerly opened it up..... It was a Designer SE.... just like hers!!!

"Pearl" - My new-to-me Viking Designer SE
Not only did I burst into tears, but I practically tackled my mom with the biggest hug I think I've ever given anyone!  As I calmed myself down and got to inspecting my new "baby."  On the manuals and on the boxes for the hoops, it had my mom's name written on them...... WHAT?!?!  I asked her if this was her machine, and she put her head down and nodded.  I started crying... AGAIN!!!  I just couldn't believe it!!!

So, I asked her what she was going to do now without a machine.  She just looked at me.  I asked her if she got a new machine too (seeing as though her 60th birthday was on Saturday, it was a possibility)... she just put her head down and nodded.  Immediately I started grilling her about it, and she confessed... she got the Husqvarna Viking Diamond Royale!!!! Holy cow is that thing amazing!

But... that is the story as to how "Pearl" came into my life.  My mom could have traded her in towards her new machine... but she knew how much I wanted her and she wanted her to go to a new, loving home.  I am truly blessed to have such wonderfully supportive family.  My mom is the reason I know how to sew.  She has taught me (almost) everything I know... and I owe my passion for creating things to her.  She is my biggest cheerleader, with my Hubby and my Dad being next in line.  I just can't believe what a lucky girl I am!

Gave "Pearl" a quick workout the other night and did a quilt label.  I'm a little out of practice with reading the color change sheets, but I'll get back in the swing of things in no time!  Ordered some supplies from Amazon, and I was off and running!  I can't wait to use her to make all my quilt labels for the Christmas gifts, and then I have a couple special projects to work on after the holidays... one being a nice wall-hanging for my sewing room.  I can't wait!

Sorry for the long-winded post.  I've been meaning to write this up for the past week, I just haven't had a chance.  Stay tuned for more adventures with "Pearl" and to see what I've been doing with "Rosie."  My "girls" have been and will continue to be busy, busy, busy.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday, and have a great weekend to come!

Linking back to Finish It Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts , TGIFF at Quokka Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Link-A-Finish Friday at Richard & Tanya Quilts


  1. What a cool story! It is so nice to have sentimental memories combined with a craft that you love (and Happy Birthday!!)

  2. Oh Wow - I am crying right along with you Jess. What a wonderful surprise and a very sweet thing your Mom did for you! Whoop Whoop for you! Thanks for the laugh too "If it didn't move, I embroidered it!"

  3. I was getting very misty-eyed reading your Birthday story! How wonderful for you and your mom!

  4. How wonderful of your mom and dad! Congrats on your new "baby"!

  5. Love your story. Thanks for taking the time to write it. What blessings from mom. My machine's name is Wilma. =)

  6. Oh that's such a sweet story - Happy Birthday to you and to your Mum (who sounds absolutely amazing :)

  7. Fabulous post - what a wonderful birthday gift. Happy Birthday!