A surge of interest: a gadget called a serger

A surge of interest: a gadget called a serger
Source: Reusableart.com

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.  

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • My friend, if you had asked me about this, I would have said, "Serge me."

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Very punny. Many thanks. Actually, it's "Serge Kathy!"

  • Nice post, Margaret. I, too, am enamored with Kathy and her quilting blog. You both teach me things, and I love to learn!

  • In reply to Planet Michelle:

    Thanks very much, Michelle. I'm glad to know I teach!

  • I love this post, you're too kind. It gave me a surge of happiness!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    You're very kind too, Kathy... especially for writing the comment before I edited the headline.

  • My mother wanted one about 30 years ago. She had a sewing machine with one needle and a cam for designs. The distinction seems to be that serger has a large number of needles.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you, Jack. You're always good at finding distinctions.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Basically, that's my real job. Also the second hour of a legal reasoning class.

  • In reply to jack:

    Aha! I was just going to say that you'd revealed it all, but then I'm left wondering: taking the class, or teaching it? Or, knowing you, maybe both!

Leave a comment