I learn a lot from reading Chicago Now's Quilting Sewing Creating: a Modern Traditionalist's Quilting Blog. Writer Kathy Mathews provides a fascinating mix of how-to columns, profiles of artists, and tales of her adventures in creativity.
I've had a surge in attention to her posts lately as she keeps mentioning something new, a serger. This post introduced the machine.
I wondered at first whether it had to do with the fabric called serge, as in "blue serge suit." My dictionary, Webster's New Twentieth Century, Second Edition, says serge is "a kind of twilled worsted cloth used for suits, etc." or "a twilled silk, rayon, etc. used for linings." (Funny, we don't talk about a double serge suit.)
"Serger" isn't there as its own word, but that might be because Richard Nixon isn't on the list of U.S. presidents. I've enjoyed following Kathy's adventures as she gets to know the new machine.
So I knew it's a machine, but I still wasn't sure whether it was named for the surge of its speed, as implied in this post, or the surge the company wanted owners to have. (Well, I never said machine-makers were spellers.)
On Monday, Feb. 12, she gave the best sort of definition, what my teachers used to call an operational definition -- what something is based on how it works -- when she mentioned getting to use the serger in a post about making towels out of scraps. She even said what the project would have been like if she hadn't used the serger.
Kathy and I have struck up a friendship over our writing, so I've asked her for permission (graciously granted) to link to her posts. I could just have easily asked "Hey, Kathy, what's different about a serger anyway?" But instead, I've enjoyed a little project of my own in following her adventures and finding out indirectly.
When you're looking for a different kind of creativity, I recommend reading Quilting Sewing Creating -- even if you don't do the first two, you'll find plenty to enjoy in the third.
This is the kind of fun reading that makes Chicago Now a great site to explore. I'm happy to be a guide around here!
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.
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