Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Murna Marita.............

I have received feedback from several people asking about how I travel as a flight attendant and am still able to sew on my layovers.  In the business I am in, it can get really old looking at the walls of a hotel room.  For those of you who travel extensively for your jobs, I am sure you can relate?  Now, some of you may be thinking.........this guy gets to travel to several different destinations daily?  Why wouldn't he want to get out and explore?  There are a few reasons why I choose to stay in my hotel room and sew:

1.  Keep in mind I have been doing this for 12 years.  I have usually been there, done that.
2.  We for the most part are NOT put in a hotel with great exploring possibilities.  We usually stay very close to the airport.
3.  Renting a car, eating out, tips, incidentals add up! $$$$$$$$$
4.  We are sometimes only in a hotel for a very short period of time, 8-12 hours sometimes.
5.  EXHAUSTION!  Yeah, sometimes flight attendants get tired too!

Sewing, and quilt making have become my therapy.  It's nice to know I have a little machine that I can bring along with me while I lay over that will provide me solace and entertainment all at once.  Yes, you CAN take a sewing machine in a carry on bag through the security checkpoint.  I was somewhat surprised myself?  But, check it out:  Transportation Security Administration

I am pleased to introduce you to:
   Murna Marita!

At 11 inches tall, and 12 inches wide Murna Marita weighs almost 20 lbs.  (Notice the pageant lingo! LOL)  She was built by the Singer Manufacturing company in Great Britain.  This is the vintage sewing machine I learned to sew on as a child.  She's petite, and every bit a lady, but, don't let her size fool you, she is a heavy duty machine!  Just like the woman that owned her, my Meemaw!  Yeah, that's what I called my paternal grandmother.  So, it is only fitting that this machine be named after her.  

I knew I had her packed away, as this was one of the acquisitions I received after my grandmother's passing many years ago.  I stumbled upon her much by chance, and she truly is the reason I started sewing and making quilt tops.  She hadn't been sewn on for several years, and when I first tried her out, she ran like a champ!  A little oil, and cleaning, and she hummed her little Spartan tune!  

Here is her travel case.  My very first issued luggage from the airline.  This is a Crew3 bag by Travelpro.  I never ever used it until I started carrying Murna with me!  The bag is soft sided and is approximately 12 inches by 14.5 inches.  
Murna fits in the largest compartment, and I still have two more zippered compartments that I can carry supplies, fabric, books, magazines, or any other items I may need for sewing in my hotel room.  She DOES fit under the seat in front of me for when I commute, so I NEVER have to worry about checking her at the gate.  For those of you who know Bonnie Hunter's tragedy, with her beloved Singer Featherweight, I think I would die if anything like that happened to my little Spartan.  I use finger nail clips for thread cutting, and I pre-cut A LOT of fabric before I go to work.  I mainly string piece on Murna because I enjoy it so much, I get a lot done, and I love the patterns in Bonnie Hunter's String Fling book!  
Here's a photo of some completed string blocks, and some magazines in the front zipper compartment.
Not a bad set up?  The sun shining in, watching TV, and just sewing along!
She's a BRICK........HOUSE!

In other news, I did get 30 blocks completed for Alycia's QOV block drive and they are on their way to her!  There is still a small amount of time to participate!  The blocks go together very quickly, and will be greatly appreciated!
Patriotic Blocks
Plaid Blocks
I also received these beautiful batik fat quarters I won in a giveaway from Connie at Freemotion by the River 
They are in such a nice color scheme!  I can't WAIT to find something to make with them!  Thanks Connie and Vicki at Quilting Lodge

Feel free to ask me any questions!  I love hearing from all of you!  
Until next time, thanks for all of the encouragement!!
Kevin the Quilter


  1. I don't travel for business, but we are an Army family and we move a lot and each move normally requires lots of time in hotels. We sometimes get a bit nostalgic for the time when we remember staying in a hotel as being a "treat." What a little gem of a machine and just the perfect bag for her!

  2. Another great post! Thanks for the 1980's throw-back! :) I love your machine and the way you pack all the necessities in there! I have 2 featherweights that are great little machines. So far I haven't traveled with them, but I know I can if I need to. (Our trips usually consists of visits to our kids' and both of them have sewing machines!)

  3. You so rock, Kevin! Thrilled this was your meemaw's machine --- she would be so proud of you!!

    Now i want to come sew too...LOL


  4. Beautiful machine Kevin! I don't have a featherweight but I love my 15-91 Singer which was born in 1951! In fact just today my brother replaced the motor and she is good to go again, I actually bought 2 more on ebay.....not the best place to buy a heavy was almost destroyed when it got here but I now have parts. I wondered how you got all your wonderful quilting done!

  5. Wow, that is brilliant! It is great you can take your hobby with you and not just have to hand stitch. Fantastic to have something you enjoy to do at the end of a shift!

  6. love that your Meemaw's machine says Spartan across the front! how nice to have a machine with such a sweet history to sew on :) You have a fantastic assortment of plaids in those blocks {and you know, plaid is one of my favorite things on the planet}

  7. It totally tickles me that you take your sewing machine on work trips with you. :) I have *got* to get me a featherweight!

  8. Where there's a will, there's a way. What a beautiful gift to remember you Meemaw by.

  9. How cute is Murna! Great idea to tote her along as a faithful companion. It was fun to read about how you get things done in your off hours on the road (sky?).

  10. How cool that (a.) you have a machine you can take with you to work and (b.) it was your Meemaw's! Your blocks for Alycia's block drive look great.

  11. But where is there room for your clothes? Or do you get to have two small bags with you? It's great that you can take your sewing along with you....Now if you could only take your dog! Those blocks are awesome. I was a bit afraid to take on the plaid request. See yours makes me want to give it a try!

  12. So - I think I am officially jealous - sewing, the sun, and Scraps!!! Hmmmm mmmm!!

  13. OK what Nina said, "Where is there room for your clothes?" ;-) I envy your traveling life even though it's a job. AWOL here needs to get nack to the QOV blocks for Alycia. I think they might be tardy.

  14. Lots of pre-organization :) Thanks for sharing this lil' part of your traveling life.

  15. I love your little machine and that it's part of your family is lovely. How GREAT that you can get so much sewing done while waiting to go back to work - fantastic organisation and time management. The QOV blocks are wonderful. Such a simple block but looks fabulous in all sorts of colours.

  16. The blocks look great, and I can't believe how cool it is that you can tote little Murna around on your trips!! You know if I ever bump into you on a flight I will HAVE to see her in person. :) I love that she belonged to your Meemaw. What a special treasure. (We called my grandmother Mammaw.. my grandparents were originally from MO, too.) :)

  17. Your little Murna Marita is a sweet little lady!!! I travel with my featherweight and love it! I'm really loving your plaid blocks too :*) I've got tons of recycled shirt plaids that I need to do something with soon. Yes, Bonnie has rubbed off on me too :*) Bonnie will be at our Guild in early April - I'm so excited!!!

  18. Love your QOV blocks, especially the plaid ones. It's great that you've found a way to take your quilting with you.

  19. Maybe on layovers you could go scouting new fabric stores, if you only you had a good partner to go with you!

    Love your productivity on layovers!!

  20. I love the bag you carry your Spartan in. I just acquired one, and I was wondering what the original case looked like? Thank you!

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