Saturday, January 21, 2012

Road Trip To Catch A Grasshopper

ETA: I have since realized that the Supermatic is not a true Grasshopper, but its larger (and later) relative. Oh great, another machine to desire.

Ever since I bought my 600E, and the fellow showed off his herd of Elna Supermatics, I've been lusting for one. It's another sturdy old 50's vintage machine but it's a free arm who's case converts it to a flat bed. And it takes design cams. Lots and lots of cams. Another Elna SM owner once showed off their embroidery cam design of little ducks in a row. I was smitten. So when I found a Supermatic for sale in Port Townsend with at least 20 cams...I had to get up there and take a look. These machines are rumored to be built like a Swiss watch. They do have problems, though. Their paint doesn't hold up well, their metal cases rust like a dickens and they have some kind of rubber cone inside that gets a flat spot when they are left to sit too long. That flat spot causes the machine to growl. The seller was firm on his $95 price. That's a bit steep for a  Supermatic. But the cams sell for about $5 each. This machine came with 21 cams, so it's like buying the cams and getting a free machine. That's how I'm justifying this purchase. This morning the husbeast, Beanie and I headed to the top of the Olympic Peninsula to have a gander at this machine. I was prepared to either try to convince the seller to accept less, or walk away, if the machine had issues. But it was in amazingly good condition. He had purchased it from the original owner who was elderly and had let the machine sit idle for many years. Yes, it growls and I'll have to replace the cone. But the machine itself looks great. No missing paint.

No rust on the case. 

It came with some feet, bobbins...and the cams.
No duck cam, but there's a cool one with leaves. 

I decided to give the man his $95 and bring my new baby home. I don't think the cones cost more than $10. Not a deal breaker. By that time we were getting hungry and headed into The city of Port Townsend to feast at the Courtyard Cafe

This is a cozy little place. rather like going to your friends house and they fix you a plate. The service is kind of slow but the staff is something like 3 people. Coffee is self serve. I opted for the chicken pesto sandwich....which is a monster. I'll get 3 meals out of this. The bread is 1 1/4" thick.

That's a quarter in the foreground, for scale. You could repel off the side of that sammie. With a very full tummy (and a to go bag) I headed to the next stop on our adventure, Creative Union, a quilt shop.

Another quaint location. The building looks to be a former model home (?) in a neighborhood of other homes turned shopping plaza.

I was on a mission to obtain the coveted "jelly roll". Of course I couldn't stop at that. I will not be making frequent trips to quilt shops. I have no impulse control when it comes to cute fabric. This is what $65 bought me. That roll of strips is a jelly roll which is destined to become a quilt for the guest bed in my sewing room.

The other items are called fat quarters. Mine have themes of wine, sewing, coffee and vintage aprons. Adorable! I am on a serious fabric induced high right now.

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