Nothing, nothing and more nothing

I have been working for over a month to prepare a 15 minute demo to present at my quilt guild. First I had to come up with something to demonstrate that was easy to make and could be used as a holiday gift. I decided I wanted to do something with shirring because it was a skill I had recently learned. I found shirring quite easy and I wanted to share it with others. (Shirring is when you use an elastic thread in the bobbin of your sewing machine and sew it directly onto the fabric - it's what makes this cute dress cinch in at the waist, neck and sleeves - isn't it cute! It's a pattern from Pink Fig Patterns, and I made up this sample for Whimsy. When I get more clever with this blog I will put a link to her website here.)

Finally after an extensive search for ideas on the Internet I decided I had to figure out something on my own. I concluded that I would make bottle covers with shirring at the top. You know the kind of cover one might put over a wine bottle when they take some to a friends house for dinner - but in my case it would be to cover Sparkling Cider since we don't drink alcoholic beverages. Now that I had the idea I played around and came up with a design I liked. Next I had to write it down so that someone else could follow my directions and make one. Check, and check.

The day and time finally arrived for the demo and I had to drag all my stuff (very heavy ancient sewing machine, iron, ironing board, bottles with sample covers, papers, scissors, thread, etc.) down to the library where our meeting was held. I set up and enjoyed the meeting while I
waited for the demonstration part of the evening to begin, all the time trying to be confident that my part would go well.

I sat down at my machine when the time came and nothing. The light would not come on, it would not sew. Had I carted this 50lb heavyweight for nothing?!! I plugged in the iron and still nothing - thankfully, it was the plug. It was dead. I quickly found a new plug and then some very helpful ladies helped me to move all my stuff to the new plug on the other side of the room. I tried to hurry to set myself up again, and plugged everything in. Suddenly a ghost started to use my ancient sewing machine. Honestly! The machine was sewing on it's own! This was no time for an exorcism, I had to do something, and so I was practical. I decided that I must have messed up the foot pedal when I moved everything and so I would have to hold on to the wheel to keep it from going when I didn't want it to. This was going to be a fun demonstration with only one hand!

When it came time to show the ladies how simple it was to hand wind elastic thread onto your bobbin, I couldn't find the elastic thread. I wasn't sure if I had it before we moved the table and so I didn't know if I had lost it or left it at home. I did my best to wing it and was grateful I had made up samples of the entire process so that I had something to show the ladies. As I showed the samples, I found a bobbin I had wound at home with elastic thread. It was a miracle! I remember looking at that bobbin while packing up at home and thinking that I didn't need it, but I put it into the sewing case anyway. Thank you God! By the end of the demo I was still a bit discombobulated and I totally forgot to show them the best part of shirring: STEAM! Once the elastic thread is on, you use the steam of your iron to shrink the elastic. You can actually see it shrink up and it gives you such a rush! Well, at least it does for me. It doesn't take much to please me.

Fortunately after finding the bobbin, things continued to change for the better, and I was able to relax with the second and third groups. They were able to see the entire demo, and someone even found some elastic thread for me which was on our "to be given away" table. I even remembered to show them how the elastic shrunk and they all made the appropriate noises of amazement.

Before pulling the plug for the night, the ghost was still trying to send me a message through the machine. . . however I'm not sure what she was trying to tell me. Any ideas?

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