The Collected Adventures of Diesel

Part I

It was a dark and stormy night in 1965. In a factory far far away, the sewing machine that would become Diesel sat shrouded in darkness beyond the end of the assembly line. In flashes of lightning our young Diesel caught glimpses of the others. Hundreds of metal machines just like himself, squared off in rows, silently awaiting the packaging, boxes, and detailed manuals that would be there come morning.

Diesel swore to himself in that moment that he would be different. He knew he was different…



Part II
The next day, Diesel was packed tightly in a cardboard box and loaded into a truck. His only company inside the box was User’s Manual, who was dry and humorless and not the best conversationalist. Eventually Diesel stopped trying to engage him and let the truck engine drown out their attempts at connection. 
After a lonely stretch of time on a shelf in a sewing shop, Diesel once again felt motion and the rumble of an engine as he was driven to his new owner’s house. At first simply being out of the box felt like incredible freedom. Air, light…and stitching. Diesel’s owner quickly got him saddled up, threaded, and into production mode.

His seamstress’s joyless hands worked him through the same patterns over and over. Diesel quickly got bored of the starchy aprons, the colorless quilts and perfect table runners. Soon every time he stitched a corset he felt he couldn’t breathe. For too long Diesel endured the mind-numbing repetition of each order, the swearing, the cigarette ash falling on his gorgeous metal frame. Until one day, he got an idea…

That night, Diesel stitched slowly and quietly until dawn. As the sun started to rise, Diesel finished his last seam. His seamstress and her children woke to see Diesel taking to the sky in his homemade wings. They chased after him, but to no avail. Diesel had taken flight, and was gone.

Diesel Takes Flight

Diesel Takes Flight


Part III 

As great as his construction skills were, Diesel’s home-sewn feather wings could only keep a metal sewing machine aloft for so long. With pieces of his escape plan floating to the ground beneath him, Diesel looked back and saw that he had come a long way. He could no longer see the house, nor the town that he had fled. He slowly landed. 

Diesel was lucky; he had stopped in a town that was kind to strangers. His skills were in demand and Diesel was able to barter for whatever he needed. Food, and a sewing table to crash on for the night.

For awhile Diesel stayed at a motorcycle shop, where he stitched red leather chaps in exchange for a place to sleep. When the chaps were done, the owner of the shop presented Diesel with the ultimate gift. “You’re bigger than this town, Diesel,” she said. “You know you’re different. Now get outta here.” With that she laid a set of motorcycle keys on his slide plate.

Diesel hit the road on his new bike. Finally, after all his travels, the only engine driving him was his own.

Diesel takes to his bike...

Diesel takes to his bike...


Diesel eventually settled down a bit, as much as an Adventurous Sewing Machine can. He got a flat in Western Massachusetts outside my house awhile back, and since then we’ve been collaborating and happy. Diesel even got a “Mom” tattoo to show his love, though that was a tad embarrassing I was secretly thrilled…He’s part of the family, celebrating holidays and birthdays, sunning at the Cape with us in the summer and tobagganing with the kids come winter. Every once in awhile, though, Diesel suggests that maybe I’d prefer one of those new electric computer type sewing machines–I could never imagine it, but I think it’s his way of telling me he’s itching to adventure again…



  1. […] The Collected Adventures of Diesel […]

  2. Elsie Brockett said

    Diesel ‘s in hot air balloon, inspired by patchwork quilt!

  3. Elsie Brockett said

    Diiesel soars in balloon over patchwork quilt!

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