I have been busy sewing away the last few weeks on my newly refurbished Bernina 802 Sport.


I am not quite sure why Bernina decided to add the word “sport” to the name as it doesn’t really do anything that would make Jeremy Clarkson want to take it around the track, but nonetheless, 802 Sport it is.

There is a story to this machine and why I have titled this post about happy coincidences.

I do believe in the idea of “happy coincidences” or things that appear to happen randomly but they have meaning to the person who in receipt of the coincidence.  And here is why.

I learned how to sew on a machine like this that was my Mother’s Pride and Joy (I hope she isn’t reading this as we speak as she will know by the italics that I am having a bit of a poke at her…). Everything she sewed – curtains, clothes, covers for sofas – were sewn on this workhorse. And when I decided to have a go at sewing at an age probably not to different from my daughters age now – 12 – I learned on this as well.  After 30 years, who knows how many sewing miles and the motor being rebuilt three times,  the engineer told her  that it couldn’t be rebuilt again and it was time to put it to rest.  You can bow your head out of respect at this point if you would like. She often talks about her old Bernina like an era where everything was lovely and sweet – it could no wrong and she misses it terribly.

About three years ago, out of the blue, I got a phone call from the Cheshire Constabulary (for those reading this in a non UK location – constabulary=police ) asking me if I wanted to come and have a look at a few sewing machines they no longer used and wanted to donate to someone who could use them.  They  had heard about our lending stitches programme (we lend machines for free to people who are in need) and thought we might be a good match.

So a week later, there I was in a shed at the main police headquarters, having a very large policeman hand me over two sewing machines. Actually, if the story be told accurately, he took them to my car and stuck them in the boot. He was very polite…and very big.

And when I got home and took them out of the boot and into the Studio….I realised one of them was my Mom’s Bernina. It was absolutely perfect condition.  I called me Mom and laughed (I think I even sent her a photo to prove it!) and even got a little tearful. Of all the set of circumstances  – a newspaper article, a policeman reading it and  making a phone call, me not hanging up when he called thinking it was a prank (trust me – when someone starts a conversation out with “This is PC Smith from Cheshire Constabulary can I speak to Maeri Howard” you do feel your stomach lurch towards the floor!) and me going to get it, it was no doubt a “happy coincidences” and that machine was meant to come back to my home.

I have had another “happy coincidence” happen- I now have a lovely helper named Caroline (when I see her at my door, I see a little halo over her head!) who came to the studio under a set of circumstances which has led her to the Studio for craft workshops and now mean she gets to help me control my chaos. I had tried on several occasions to get help in and it just didn’t seem to work. I was starting to wonder if I was meant to burn out and fade away with ideas and workloads  – but “happy coincidences” had other plans!

Have you had any happy coincidences happen to you?

Maybe you too will have a “happy coincidence” this week?



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