Monday, November 22, 2010

Woman's Work: Retro Chic Vacuum Cleaner

I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on.
–Roseanne Barr

Once upon a time my front door was open to anyone. I would jump up to answer no matter what I was doing and greet each visitor with a smile. Our neighborhood is popular with the door-to-door sales people, and so I found myself constantly turning away magazine and book and frozen food and cleaning supply sales people. One day a young woman knocked on my door and wanted to know if she could clean my carpets — the carpets with the heaviest traffic. She assured me that I would be under no obligation to purchase anything and it was a completely free service that she was offering. Of course I let her in because we had that awful light-tan-goes-with-everything-but-is-impossible-to-keep-clean carpet they've put in every new home since 1996.

She brought in a vacuum cleaner and proceeded to show me how much better it would clean my carpets than my current vacuum; she actually hooked up a filter system that showed me exactly how much dirt was coming out of my carpet with the two different vacuums. She showed me every attachment that came standard and told me all the ways to use the attachments for cleaning the blinds and vacuuming out the couches and how much easier my life would be with this vacuum. She then had a moratorium for my vacuum cleaner, covered it with a cloth and proceeded to offer me a huge discount on a new vacuum, a Kirby Vacuum Cleaner, which involved her throwing in a couple of extra accessories and some cleaning supplies, giving up {part of} her commission, arranging for six-month financing at 0% interest, and made it clear that this offer was only good for as long as she stayed in my house. If she left and had to come back, the price would go up. For the grand finale she set up the vacuum with the carpet cleaning attachments, mixed up the carpet cleaner and went to town on my living room. I went to my bedroom and called Mr. Bug, because I had to have this vacuum cleaner. It was the vacuum of my dreams and was going to make my chores so much more pleasant. Never mind that it cost more than my first car. I was convinced that I needed this vacuum. And Mr. Bug was at a loss to tell me I couldn't have it.

This absolutely adorable vacuum cleaner is not a Kirby. But I love it. A lot. It is section three of the Woman's Work quilt. The plaid is a bit of Cider Mill Road by Nancy Halvorsen. I picked up a fat quarter of it a year ago at Shop Hop and since then I've been looking for its coordinates because I knew that plaid had to be used on the vacuum cleaner. But I couldn't find any that would work for a vacuum cleaner block. So I picked a sickly sort of pea-green from my stash that went well with the light stripes in it. When it came time to make the block, I needed a third fabric, and so I rummaged through my stash some more, but couldn't come up with anything perfect to go with the plaid and pea-green combo. When I pulled out these terrific Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics that my kind friend, Iris, had sent me for my birthday, the coral was an immediate in because I can't think of anything that would make vacuuming funner than a plaid-and-coral-pink vacuum cleaner. There was a pretty tan in the bunch {I think the fabrics are from the Melon Patch collection} that was a shade tamer than the pea-green and I used some ironing board fabric for the silver in the wheels, giving me the perfect components for a so-ugly-it-is-cute Retro Chic Vacuum Cleaner.

I've had my Kirby for 8± years. And I find I don't love or hate vacuuming more or less than I did before, although it is nice to have a reliable vacuum that has lasted for eight years without incident. It doesn't make the vacuuming more exciting and less of a chore, because a Kirby is, after all, just a vacuum. And the moral of the story is this: a No Soliciting sign on the front door is a wise investment.


Michelle said...

Now, why don't they make vacuums in cheerful colors? Huh? Yeah, I know it wouldn't make vacuuming any less of a chore, but I like a little cheerfulness. Your block is terrific!

You've got to watch out for those vacuum cleaner sales people. I had one come to my door in which the vacuum filtered through a tank of water to insure nothing escaped back into the air. It was quite impressive and I would have been willing to pay several hundred dollars for it. But $3,000? Nope. Not unless it knew when to vacuum, got itself out of the closet it plugged itself in and went to work without me lifting a finger. Then maybe...when I win the lottery.

Threeundertwo said...

Love this block and the story! The plaid is so perfect. I would love to use this cute vacuum. Thanks so much for linking up to Finished for Friday.

Shay said...

The vaccum block is so sweet. How many blocks is that that are done on this quilt because Im getting impatient to see it all together!

I have a kick butt vaccum, and it's going strong after about 4 years. I think Vaccum's are like irons. There are lots of bad ones out there so if you find a good one -enjoy it !

whimsyfox said...

My uncle swears by his Roomba Vacuum Robots. He's got two stories, so one on each story. Has had them for at like 10 years. I've thought about getting one! I hate vacuuming almost as much as ironing, but the vacuuming has to get done while I can live with wrinkled clothes. My DH picked out our current vacuum - Dyson canister - back when HE used to vaccum 5 years ago. And while I love the ease of disposing the crud it sucks up and the suction, I don't like pulling it around. But then I've thought about getting their upright and worry about being able to get under things. Would still have to deal with attachments and hoses for those hard to reach places......oddly enough, while I hate vacuuming, I love shampooing my carpet. It only has to be done about 4 times a year, the warm water feels good underfoot as you go, it smells fantastic, and you get the satisfaction that it really IS getting clean! =D We are due for a shampoo but I was too busy/tired to take advantage of the heat wave we had two weeks ago :(

Paulette said...

Very cute vacuum cleaner block! Love the metallic ironing board cover bit in the wheels-genius!

Memories of the ONE & ONLY time I let the Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman into my house for a demonstration came flooding back. That dude was there for hours on end! My carpets took days to dry and were never the same afterward. But he almost had me convinced I needed a Kirby. My husband would have strangled me, but we did agree to upgrade our vac to a better model after that.