Years ago, my parents gave me a box that contained my Grandmother's sewing machine. All I knew was that it was an Elna and needed repair. I never opened it and packers put it into a collection of boxes over the years as it moved from place to place with us. This year I finally opened the 4 layers of packing materials and this is what I found.
An Elna Lotus SP, designed by Raymond Loewy.
I learned from the International Sewing Machine Collector's Society that it was made between 1969 and 1977. The Museum of Modern Art in New York selected this compact machine, with its clean lines, for their 'Design Collection.'
Like a lotus, its petals open up to reveal a compact, but utilitarian machine, with a variety of stitches and functions. The top of the machine has its own built-in tool caddy, but a few of the tools are missing.
Raymond Loewy also designed the Avanti.
I had a friend in college who drove one. I thought the car was so James Bondish and he was just the coolest for driving it! Unfortunately, I never succeeded in getting more than a spin around the block (in the car, that is.)
How does it sew?? It has a beautiful stitch, but is probably better suited for garment sewing. I have a very hard time getting it to stitch over bulky seams and I have to give it a little manual help every once in awhile to get it to start a seam. Each time I use it, I learn a little more on how to make it function the way I need it to.
Why am I sewing with it??? We moved up to Colorado in mid-July and I brought both my daughter's Bernina (lighter than mine) and the Lotus. The Bernina will not turn on, so the Lotus is all I have to sew with. I have restricted myself to sewing things I can over-size and custom cut to help deal with the lack of precision. I sure miss Bernie and now have more empathy for students with older machines!
And besides, I have not done all that much sewing. Here is what I have accomplished:
From Kim Diehl's book, Simple Appeal. The name of the quilt escapes me.
I love the graphic nature of the quilt, but had a hard time picking the border.
My progress on 'Sunflower Gatherings' by Lisa Bongean. The wool applique extends into the pieced setting blocks, so each block is only partially done. Wow, each block is so detailed with lots of embroidery...not my favorite thing to do! Like my Pennies from Heaven quilt, I think this will also be a scaled down version of the original.
'Mini Around the Pumpkin Patch'
Red Button Quilt Co.
I did not lug my Sashiko machine up here, so this one will have to wait to be finished until I return home in mid-August.
Now back to gardening, hiking or anything else we can think of to do in the glorious out of doors!