Have I Gone Over to the Dark Side?

In the midst of all the very interesting discussion on Sharon B's blog about slow cloth, I went and bought a serger. Other than the fact I have wanted one for years, what on earth prompted me to do such a thing?

Well, in a suspiciously convenient rationalization, I think if I can go faster for some things maybe I'll have more time for other, more fun things, like hand embroidery. I do a fair bit of garment making, where the overlock stitches could come in very handy, but I also do a lot of quilting. A serger is darn near useless for quilting, although if I'm wrong, I hope some clever reader can enlighten me.

I must also confess to being slightly terrified of the thing. It goes so fast, has sharp blades, and an alarming number of unfamiliar parts. (Sounds like my first husband!) However, I did have a lesson with the lovely and patient Evelyn at the Pfaff store and I feel somewhat more confident - at least I know how to thread the machine, which sounds like half the battle.

But strangely enough, now that I have this powerful new toy, I just want to do a little handstitching. The above image is a detail from a piece I made a few years ago, called Falling Leaf. I embroidered maple leaves on an old, worn wrapping cloth. I remember the process as being very warm and fuzzy: sitting by the wood stove, watching movies on TV, with no deadline as to when I needed to be finished. So satisfying making all those hundreds of little stitches, watching the leaves take shape, each with their own unique character.

I can't imagine my new serger fitting in to such a cozy scenario. I hope I will discover its special talents and capabilities and learn to love it for itself. And if it gets me home from the studio an hour or so earlier each day, I won't complain a bit!

And as an effective antidote to the seductions of the serger, I need look no farther than Spirit Cloth, Jude Hill's beautiful and inspiring blog. If you don't know her work already, do pay her a visit - her words as well as her stitching are unfailingly wise, thoughtful and from the heart.


  1. thank you for the sweet words.
    and good grief, that thing is a monster. this is going to be some challenge! ha!

  2. I've got one of those that I've had since last year. It's my second serger and I actually love it much better than my old one even though more of it is plastic instead of metal. Be patient with yourself because it takes awhile to get proficient but it will come.

    BTW - hi Heather! I just discovered your blog. I'm in Vancouver also! I will read backwards some more.


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