Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Love Your Curves and All your Edges...

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Pretty Bobbin's I Quilt.
Add Ms. Midge who is hosing TGIFF this week.

I had a few setbacks like my cutting mishap with the Kona Snow and the distraction of a vintage Singer but the wedding quilt top is complete.  Since I have surpassed the goal I set for the Sew Bittersweet Design's August ALYoFs I get to join the party this month! Pretty sweet since I had to do the walk of shame for two month running.

I do have to admit that I don't have all the fabric yet. I decided to include more Lark variety on the back so I dropped a few more pieces into my basket with my Southern Fabrics Deal of the Day score on Tuesday. Technically I did make my goal because they have been purchased, just not received.

Now on to my distraction:

I have been in the process of turning my dining room into a dedicated quilting space this summer. I have reached the point in my quilting adventure where I need a dedicated space and the dining room fits the bill.

I decided to go yard saling this weekend to find a small table for my Huskylock to perch on.  I was hoping to find a typing table or small sewing table that I could push my chair under when I want to do a repair or clean up the edge of a quilted sandwich before I bind. Lately I've been moving it around a bunch. Sometimes to use and others just to get it out of the way.

I did an online search and planned my yard sale loop. The last stop listed an "antique sewing machine." Hmmm, interesting. maybe it's a Featherweight? I'll have to check.

Early in my loop I saw a little traditional cherry table under a microwave and the conversation went something like this:

Is that for sale?
How much? (open little drawer and see that it is marked Pennsylvania House)
Five bucks?
I'll take it.

I have a confession...I prefer well made newer reproductions to antique wood furniture. I find that the really old stuff has an acidic smell that turns me off.

It looks like a bedside table to me. A bit traditional for my taste but I figured if I don't like it inside it will look adorable in an eye popping color on the expansive wrap-around front porch of my farmhouse style home.  Inside or out, it is getting a paint job.

I buy nothing more before I get to that last address. No machine. I inquire. Oh good, it is upstairs and I'm the first to ask.

She shows me a small sewing cabinet and I am instantly smitten with the mid-century lines and little strip of chrome on the bottom edge. I wasn't expecting a cabinet but I could picture my Huskylock perched neatly on top of it and I kiss the idea of finding a Featherweight goodbye. As far as I know 221/222s only come in a carrying case.

The cabinet is empty so I inquire about the machine expecting it to be one of those old zigzag machines with a bunch of cams. Instead she pulls out this curvy black model with gold decals that looks like it should sit on a wrought iron base.  It wears the iconic Singer decal.

The machine is frozen, the pedal cord was cut when she purchased it several years earlier, she doesn't know if it will run as she never got around to working on it. I fully understand, she has a two year old daughter, I've been there with boys. She gives me a price but I really only want the table so I snap a few photos and take her name and number. I'm having heartache about asking her to separate the pair.

When I get home the research commences and all of a sudden the machine takes center stage. The more I learn the more I'm interested. I find the cabinet. It is a Singer Model 74 made to compliment the new 301 model but able to accept other machines. I have a partial serial number and can affirm that the two were purchased as a pair in 1953.

My pictures are lame. I think its a 201. I put out a FB post on our guild's private site for some Singer guru advice. I quickly get hits. All positive. I text my offer. It gets accepted and I go pick up the pair.

I was hoping for some attachments but I only get a pdf copy of an owner's manual for a 15-91. Okay, it's not a 201.

I get it home, put my Huskylock on the table and assemble my tools to attack the Singer. Sewing machine oil, flathead screwdrivers, lint brushes, a towel to protect the table, a wash cloth, some pledge and, of course, my iPad. Simple tools for a simple machine. Later I would add a toothbrush and a toothpick.

Shortly into the process I realize that I do not have a 15-91, no potted motor, I have a 15-90! And that, my friends, is my final answer!

The plug and presser foot wires look very new so I have my hubby do a temp connection on the presser foot wire and we plug her in. The light comes on. I press the funny little button on the foot. Hmmmm. The motor is alive. No up and down motion of the needle. The thing is frozen. I flip through the manual and find the oiling section. This thing needs a lot of oil! I hit all the spots. The wheel starts to turn. I hit 'em with more oil. It frees up a bit more. I flip a page. There are more spots to oil. It loosens up some more. I flip another page and find out I'm not done oiling yet. I try the motor again and the needle bobs slowly up and down. She needs a new belt.

I thread her and hand turn a few lines of stitches. Beautiful.

I keep cleaning and oiling and I strip the motor off the machine and crack it open. The wires look pretty good, not as new as the external wiring but in good shape. The brushes are long. I put it back together and it still turns!

From looking at refurbishments and repairs on line I realize that this machine is not a "barn fine." She must have been serviced just before she went through her period of neglect. She was very clean, only a bit of lint around the bobbin and feed dogs and very little old oil varnish on her components. She was frozen from lack of oil and not gummed up.

I call my local sewing shops on Monday morning. I need three things: a belt, a bobbin winder tire and a set screw for the hinge that attaches the machine to the table. The first shop is no help at all. Branum's, on the other hand, bends over backwards to help me. I am able to score all three items and I pick up a big bottle of sewing machine oil with a long spout. The tech also tells me how to oil the motor. Something I could not find on line or in my 15-91 manual. The motor is what distinguishes a 90 from a 91.

I start a conversation with a saleslady I haven't seen before and find out that a MQG chapter was established in May! Bonus!!! I will be at the next meeting for sure.

Once home I oil my motor and the RPMs soar. I reinstall the motor and add all my purchased goodies and fire her up. The needle speed is excellent. I do some test sewing and decide to try out the bobbin winder.

I can see that there are several colors of thread on the bobbin. I remove about a foot of purple. Then the red and the black and the yellow, more purple, black again, gold, more black, light green and finally, white. No piece was more that about 5 feet long. It reminds me of how wasteful our generation has become. If I want a new color on a bobbin and I don't have an empty I look for one that is low or has an odd color on it and I unwind it and toss the tangle in the trash. It makes me a bit sad. I make a note to not shy away from winding thread on top of old thread on at least one of her bobbins.

I install the machine in the cabinet and hubby wires the longer piece of the pedal cord directly to the machine. I install the bakelite foot pedal in the bracket on the cabinet and now power is applied through the knee bar. She is home again. So cool.

Doesn't she look like my Grandma's sewing machine in my Mom's cabinet?

I had to do a couple more things after she took her rightful place in her cabinet. I realized I needed to oil the knee control. The bobbin winder just wasn't quite right. In the videos the users would push the little silver lever and it would click. Mine was not doing that. After inspection I saw another hole that looked like an oil hole. I added oil, messed around with it and all of a sudden it clicked. Now it winds a gorgeous bobbin.

For her maiden voyage I figure she needs to handle a retro project. I have one on my to-do list and I will share it when I get it done.

Thanks for reading about my new baby!

Linking up with Sew Bittersweet Design's August ALYoFs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tips on Tuesday-2

If you've been following me, and let's face it, not many are, you know that I love glue basting. I even bought a pair of the original glue tips from Purple Daisies. They are great, you should get some too. Go check them out.

What no lids?!?! How can you have glue without an air-proof seal?

My first try was a cute plastic tipped straight pin despite the warnings. Yuck, they were spot on. I had rust in short order and had to wash out my tip.

My next painters tape.

So not cute!

I've read a few others use the end of a plastic tag hanger. Not my favorite idea, too close to using something that should be in the trash can. I even had a good source for getting clean, unused tag hangers. Son #2 checks in the stock at a certain chain dress store that has a limited color selection. Would you like that in b**** or w****?

Then I came across this Post at Bee in My Bonnet and you can just picture the light bulb above my head. Can you see it?

I don't knit, but I have tried with disastrous results mind you, and I had some of those little rubber tippy things. So I went to my little stash of disastrous craft supplies. Yes, I still had the little buggers! They are not as cute as Lori Holts tips but whose stuff is anyway. If Martha doesn't already have it, Lori does and she's painted it!

Then I had the thought..embroidery 'em and they hang out in the ugly little slip case  they came with.  They need a little TLC too.

So, Ive gone from this... this.

And now the only thing shockingly naked are my knitting needles.

I also thought those foam ear plugs would do the trick if you don't have knitting needle tips or you do but they are in use because you happen to be a mutant who can knit! I'm so jealous.

So there's my Tip for Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

Now if you've gone to Purple Daisies lately you will notice that the new tips they sell come with little foam covers. They didn't back in the day when I bought mine. (March of 2014 I believe)

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

There's A Girl in the Castle

"There's A Girl in the Castle!"

That is probably my husband's favorite line from Beauty and the Beast. It comes in handy in a house dominated by males when an errant female enters our home. Even if nobody says it, we are all thinking it.

Well, a new girl has found a home in our castle this weekend, and just like Belle, she was a bit of an unexpected surprise.

Here is a little sneak preview. I don't have time to go into detail now and she deserves the proper attention.  I will tell you she came in feeling kind of neglected.

I did add to my solids stash again this week. I have a little surprise in mind for a special little boy who likes super heroes. That's all you get here for now too. I guess I'm a bit tight lipped today.

I also had to pick up more Kona Snow. It's for the wedding quilt I finally have under way. I miss-cut the first chunk I purchased for the project. I am sure none of it will go to waste. I am one of those oh-so-common quilters out there who is addicted to that stuff.  

Here's my progress on the quilt top. I would have had it all sashed if I hadn't gotten so distracted by that gorgeous girl! 

It looks pretty promising for my ALYoF August Goal! 

Smallcakes Update

Hubby stopped off on Wednesday to surrender his punch card for a freebie and a Key Lime Pie. Notice that there is no lime slice on either of the cakes above. 

Apparently, Key Lime Pie is only a Wednesday flavor during the Summer! According to SmallCakes summer is over. I have news for them...I'm still sweating like a faucet, the thought of putting on long pants still make me nauseous and it's still summer to me!!!

Thanks a bunch for visiting.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hunter's Quilt

I am finally getting around to sharing more of my pre-blog finishes. Next up is a baby quilt I made for Baby Hunter. This was delivered in early April 2014.

Baby Hunter is the first grandchild of a good friend I met during my home school years. I met this family when I took my boys to a meeting for a new speech and debate class that was being offered. Son #1 was reluctantly (on his part) signed up. Little did we know at the time that this would be a life defining moment in his life. God puts the most wonderful people in your path at unexpected moments. I could write an entire chapter here but I am going to focus on this quilt.

I paused in the process of quilting my Man-Quilt to cut this project. I ordered the Inside Out pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew. I used Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie which I purchased at one of my local quilt shops, Jeff's Sewing and Vacuum. The background fabric is Kona Snow that I purchased at one of the big box craft/sewing shops in town.

I fell in love with Elmer's School Glue while making this quilt. It made piecing so fast and accurate. A huge bonus was that I could lose my leader fabric since the stiffness of the glue eliminated that initial fabric suck that my machine is so prone to do. I was inspired by this post at Pile O'Fabric.

I chose the Plus version of the pattern but snuck one Inside Out block in the mix. Can you see it? I was inspired by a Pin I found while looking at Plus Quilts on Pinterest. I tracked down the original blog post. It's by Half Time.  I just hit the Follow Button her site looks so cute.

This top went so fast. 

Now for the backing...

I used a left over block some strips and some big chunks to make an adorable scrappy back. I love the bikes. That's what sold me on this collection. See the Hedge Hogs...Hunter's Mom's favorite childhood book was about Holly the Hedgehog. Who knew?

I FMQ'd a square spiral on the Inside Out block,

Straightish lines on the Plus blocks,

And a meandering loop on the body of the quilt. See those Love Birds on the park bench...Hunter's Mom's maiden name includes the word "Bird" so they are a common deco theme for her. I actually made her a throw quilt for her wedding that I will be sharing soon.

See Evora in the background...she gave her approval.

Thanks for visiting!

I linking up with TGIFF at the Devoted Quilter.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Emma's Quilt

This is a scrappy quilt of my own design that I made in March of 2014 for the baby of a young lady that befriended Son #2 when they were toddlers at Sunday School. Through the years I have had the pleasure of spending time with her as her Sunday School teacher, GIA leader, Awana leader, VBS leader and as a MS and HS Youth leader. It was such a pleasure making this quilt for her little girl, Emma.

It is a scrappy quilt that I designed on the fly.

It was my first attempt at free flow design and I did not piece this thing efficiently.

I started strip piecing but ran out of some of the fabrics and had to substitute an alternate pattern in the same color to continue the continuity. This meant that I had to cut the stripped panel into the thinner strips and then add pieces individually. Once I had my desired width I offset the strips by three blocks by removing a section at one end and adding to the other side end. 
This created a rolling pattern that I really like. 

I backed it with a piece of Ludovika I purchased at Ikea. I was trying to get the ever popular Britten Nummer but they were out so I picked up a collection that they had marked down. 

I want to make this again but change the order of the stripes so that they white 
and color widths are in the opposite direction.

 This is a tag I made on printable fabric that I have used on several projects.

The back grown is Kona Snow and the Binding is from the Comma collection by Zen Chic. 
Machine finished as always.

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tips on Tuesday / Floss + Needle


Here's a little tip for threading floss on an embroidery needle.

Collect your tools:
Embroidery Floss (I'm using six strands of DMC)
Embroidery Needle (I like a somewhat large but thin eye)

Loop your Floss snugly around you finger with a 2-4 inch tail.

Slip the eye end of the needle under the loop and make it tight to the needle.

Pinch the tight loop between your finger tips. Make sure that the two tails are not overlapping so that the loop is as narrow as possible.

Slip the needle eye over the loop. This can take some slight persuasion with six strands but it is very easy with four or less strands. Just make sure you keep all your strands neat and tight.

Pull your loop through until the floss is well seated in the needle eye and then free one end.

There you go, you are ready to stitch.

Thank you a bunch for visiting my blog!