Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Sue - How about a Blog!

Greetings!! I’m Sue Hausmann, Host of America Sews and because this year will be one of the most exciting ever for sewers, I’d like to begin to share some of the excitement with you!

Blogs, YouTube, chats, bulletin boards---I’m celebrating my 65th birthday—who would have ever thought I’d start a Blog at this age. Just a short time ago, I had no idea what a blog even was!

Everyone asks How do I get your job? “Sew” why not travel with me over the next few months and then see if you still want it. Many people ask “Where in the world is Sue”

Today, I fly to Sweden. I’m going to be spending a great deal of time in Sweden the first half of this year getting ready for the most exciting new top of line Husqvarna Viking sewing machine ever and if you keep watching this blog, I just might let you in on a few secrets.

Here you see me this week in the office embellishing a warm jacket on the Huskystar ER10 Needle Felting machine (so fun!) since it will be cold in Sweden. I left my boots (on purpose) at the hotel in January so they will be there waiting for me!

People often ask how long I’ve been sewing on a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. Well I first experienced sewing on a Husqvarna Viking in 1976 and have been “hooked” on this user friendly innovative brand ever since.

In 1977 my Husqvarna Viking 6570 was burgundy red! One of the reasons I was so excited was that Husqvarna Viking had the only machine that did not need oiling. I had spoiled too many projects with sewing machine oil on them. The Swedish Engineers figured out how to make the metal parts with powdered steel, as the parts were heated the, the steel was permeated with oil creating sintered steel bearings. How great! Oil and fabric really don’t belong together!

The power gear which allowed the sewer to gear down the motor for full piercing power at even the slowest speed was another Husqvarna Viking first in the days before the wonderful electronic speed control and piercing power we have on Husqvarna Vikings today. Those same R and D engineers also developed the Selectronic Needle Stop so we could chose to stop with the needle up or down. Another Husqvarna Viking first was the color coded stitch selection—today no dials to line up colors thanks to computerized sewing, one touch does it all. I often wonder how we sewed before all these convenience features!

I’ll be sending some pictures from the factory next week but first I want you to meet by picture one of my favorite Swedish people Nanya Florin. I call her the “Linen Lady”. The town of Huskvarna (that spelling is another story) is on Lake Vattern, the second largest lake in Sweden in the center of Smaland about three hours south of Stockholm, 3 hours north east of Copenhagen Denmark, and 2 hours east of Gothenburg on the West Coast. It is a beautiful area and in the summertime Herb and I love to take the ferry from Granna (about 8 American miles north of Huskvarna where my great grandmother was born!) to the island of Visingso. The island is one mile wide and 7 miles long. The story of how the island was formed goes like this. Many, many years ago, a Giant from Smaland (the south area of Sweden) was going to step to the other side of Lake Vattern with his wife. The step was too big for his wife so he picked up a “giant sized” piece of dirt and threw it into the lake to make Visingso Island so she could step across the lake. We had read about a lady who grew flax and made it in to linen fibers she could weave but were unable to find her for some time. Finally I was asking at the Husqvarna Viking factory and someone spoke up and said “Oh that is my mother in law” and gave us directions to her farm.

The reason we had not been able to find Nanya is there is no road for a car by her home. You must go by Remmalog—a horse drawn wagon. You sit facing outward instead of forward and the story goes it is because when someone has had a little too much to drink and sits facing forward if he (or she) was to fall “off the wagon” and would be injured under the wheels of the wagon. When you face outward, you just fall onto the side of the road. They tell me this is where the phrase “fall off the wagon” (meaning beginning to drink again) came from!

Herb and I visited Nanya Florin and our friendship was born. We share our love of sewing, textiles, Husqvarna Viking and family. We learned she presents programs in her yard about how she grows flax and turns the plant into linen fiber, spins it into yarn and weaves it. She shared the history of linen in Sweden and more. We immediately set up an opportunity to bring a group to visit her and this special visit has been a tradition for many summers!

When Herb and I visited Nanya last summer we took her a new Husqvarna Viking Sapphire sewing machine to thank her for her many presentations for our groups. You see, she was still sewing on her red Husqvarna Viking and it was time for her to experience the exclusive Sensor System, the largest sewing space in the sewing industry, the fabulous Sewing Advisor and “sew” much more! She was thrilled and started sewing immediately! In fact she already knew about the Sapphire because she was teaching a young teen how to sew and she owned a Sapphire 830! What fun!

While we were in Nanya’s little gift shop, a baby hedgehog ran across the floor. Kent Einmo, husband of Kimberly Einmo, one of our Sewing Stars, picked the little guy up and let us pet him then let him go in the field. Wow was he prickly!

Later in the day, Nanya and her husband serenaded us playing instruments made in Sweden in years gone by. Amazing!

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing the Swedish heritage of Husqvarna Viking and why Husqvarna Viking sewing and embroidery machines are the industry leader in innovative features that make your sewing and quilting faster, easier and more fun.

Today’s Tip—don’t be afraid to buy bobbins! The new multi-color bobbins are great for specialty threads. I have my fine bobbin weight thread wound on red bobbins, my wash-a-way basting thread on yellow bobbins and my fusible thread wound on dark blue bobbins. I’m continuing to use the classic green Husqvarna Viking bobbins for standard weight sewing thread.
More next week from Sweden!
Until then, Happy Sewing!! Sue H