Saturday, August 27, 2011

Didn’t Need It/Couldn’t Leave It

By now, no doubt, you think I’m a sewing blog sluggard. It is partly true but I’m still blaming the weather.

I love to go to restaurants at lunchtime, but I’m avoiding them as a little mid-day walking gets me through the afternoon better than a heavy lunch. Occasionally I will go - I’m not a recluse after all.

Last week, as part of my move/don’t sit lunch, I took myself to a “new to me” thrift store. On the way out, I spotted a yellowed plastic box that promised to be a sewing machine cover. My attention was focused, and I admit I was entertained, with the large number of curled price stickers all over it. The corners couldn’t stick due to the cobwebs and the dust…To me, the little red and yellow stickers looked like birds in flight.  I studied them, looking for a pattern. I decided there wasn’t one – someone had just had fun with a pricing gun.

Curiousity got me when my eyes made it to the top of the cover and read “Bernina.” I had to lift it.  Underneath, the machine was white – not yellowed like the stickered cover. I plugged it in, the screen lit up and when I pressed the foot pedal, the needle started moving up and down. I took that as a good sign.

Now, you know that I really do not need another machine. And, you have to agree that just because it powered up doesn’t guarantee that it won’t need expensive repairs. Yet I couldn’t walk away. A quick check to see if the bobbin case was there (it was) and a glance at the accessories: only a zipper foot, an appliqué foot (?), and a few other bits. Nope, no manual and no little table but still I grabbed it up and made a beeline for the register.

My sewing time this week has been spent on getting acquainted with this machine, a Bernina Activa 140. I downloaded and printed a manual. Sewing on scraps has been trouble free. I haven’t been able to find much information about it, other than it is (was?) on Bernina’s low end of quilting machines. The machine and accessories were fairly dirt free, but I gave them a thorough cleaning anyhow. It appears to have been cared for and I found only a small amount of purple fuzz around the feed dogs. The cover? Well, after vacuuming inside and out, it ended up in the tub. Looks so much better, but I don’t know what can be done about the yellowed plastic and scuff marks. Any clues?

Ok, ready to take it for a test drive…


  1. What a fabulous find! Would you mind sharing the name of the thrift store? (I'm a fellow San Antonian and love to go treasure hunting in thrift stores)

  2. Barb - It came from the Goodwill at 281 and Evans. I was told the rarely get anything sewing related. My favorite thrift store is the Assistance League of San Antonio (2611 West Avenue). I have found many treasures there, though it is hit and miss. Good luck!

  3. I have a Janome 9000 that the plastic cover yellowed. It was recommended to let it sit in the sun for several hours. I do that periodically on my back deck and it does whiten it back up. Might be worth a try.