Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A New Lady and a Face Lift for a Grand Dame

This week I am working nights.  Around 11:00 a.m. today I heard a honk in my driveway.  I realized it was the mailman.  He was already on the porch by the time I got up.  I didn't go to the door in my pjs.  I am sure he is very glad of that!  He left me a package.  The new drawers for my treadle!

This is my lady

And, her cabinet:

Notice all the damage on the upper left drawer.  A rogue mouse did that during her former life.  She also has paint dripped on her and is in need of a face lift.  That started today.

Sorry for the poor picture.  I couldn't get the lighting right in the bedroom this afternoon and wanted this on here tonight.  My husband is going to make a new piece to go between the drawers.  So, her face lift is under way but not complete.  I will keep you posted!

This is my new lady:

She is a Singer 301A with a long bed.  The deal was supposed to be that my husband would paint her red for me.  I have never been a fan of this color that Singer used.  My husband was home when she arrived.  I could tell she was a little tight but I threaded her anyway.  The bobbin thread just wouldn't pull through consistently.  She needed cleaned so badly.  This is what she looked like an hour later:

My husband got hold of her.  As he dug deeper he kept telling me she had very little sewing time.  He has decided he just can't paint this machine.  He thinks I should find another to paint!  He was really enjoying tinkering with her.  I actually planned to do most of that myself but who am I to ruin a man's fun!  As long as I have one back together and functioning well before I go to a retreat I will be happy.

I did sew a little this afternoon before she arrived.  I am working on two tree skirts from a Thimbleberries pattern. I have to say, I am not a fan of how her patterns are written.  But, I am wading through.  One will be a table topper and one a tree skirt.  They are different and the final decision will be based upon which one turns out worse....that will be the skirt!

I am going to see about a couple more 301s in a week or so.  The lady told me one is only a donor machine.  Be something good for M to practice paining on!

Keep stitchin'!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cyber Monday and Playing with the Treadle

Today has not been the best of days.  I had to go for my annual MRI.  It was very rough this time.  I can't eat for 6 hours before. It was at 1:30 this afternoon and I woke up at 8:00 a.m.  We ate afterward and I got sick within the hour!  Trying to remind myself of the good things of my 48 hours off.

On Saturday I mentioned my version of Cyber Monday - a sale at Connecting Threads.  They were sneaky.  I knew it would be samplers but they changed what they had available.  I also bought some clearance fabric for some projects.  I couldn't remember everything but this is what the email said today:

1 4970 * Batik Vacation Half Yard Sampler
1 4955 * Birchtree Lane Fat Quarter Sampler
1 4961 * Bits & Bobbins Half Yard Sampler
20 2187 * Bristol-Red
2 4949 * Canning Day Fat Quarter Sampler
2 4954 * Canterbury Fat Quarter Sampler
1 4589 * Christmas Cheer Stack
1 4590 * Christmas Cheer Strips
16 2901 * Cozy Indoors-Toffee
1 4599 * Fairytale Charms
1 4688 * Farmhouse Fat Quarter Sampler
1 4582 * Harvest Time Strips
8 2504 * Trees-Hollyberry
8 2505 * Trees-Leaf
1 4594 * Wilderness Strips

My SIL went to JoAnn's for me and got me 22 yards of Warm and Natural Batting.  I think my stash is full enough for most anything right now!  I have to confess when Moda's Cattails and Clovers became available I went to my LQS and bought enough to make a queen size Orion's Star for my DIL.  CT sent me an email that said thread is 40% off and they have added more samplers but I am resisting.  So far....

NO more fabric!  I am grounding myself!  Starting in January I am going to try to monitor my usage and post it here to keep me honest.  Wish me luck!

Now....playing with the treadle.  My treadle is a bit of an odd duck.  She is a Singer 9W7.  She was manufactured between 1910 and 1914.  Singer bought out Wheeler and Wilson but continued to make the same machines badging them as Singers.  That is what I have.

Mine really does look a little rough like that!  It does have the Celtic scroll work on it.  Thanks to my smart husband coming along behind me and jury rigging the problem that stymied me, she now sews!    This is what I did trying to fix her tension after the oiling and repair work:

It took some work but I got her lined out.  I think it might have been easier if Mike hadn't torqued on the tension knob!

After that I did some piecing.

I really need to work on those quarter inch seams!  It pulls the fabric really hard to the right.  I think the feed dogs need cleaned and adjusted.  But, I was happy to be able to say I sewed on her.  I am using these pieces to make place mats and potholders.  Very forgiving and then I am not wasting anything.

This is what her cabinet looks like right now:

She is a little rough!  I can make her beautiful again, I am sure.  In my sewing machine obsession I found two replacement drawers on eBay.  They are a perfect match.  Mike will put a new cross piece between the boards.  We won't have the beading work that was there.  I believe a mouse took care of that!

Someday, I hope she looks like this:

The cabinet, not the machine!

I don't feel the need for another treadle.  I love this one.  It is the first of Singer's full rotary hook bobbins.  I believe they got that technology from Wheeler and Wilson. She is quiet and had a nice stitch despite the fact she is still filthy.  I did find I can't treadle well on the carpet.  Mike made runners for under her and that made treadling easier.  He just called and said the power is out again.  See why I need a working treadle??

Keep stitchin'!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

My "Black Friday" shopping

I am working all weekend.  Tomorrow Connecting Threads is having a sale starting at 0600.  I think I know what it is from the hints they gave on FB.  Same sale as last year.  I preloaded my cart!  All I have to do is log in at 0600 and buy it.  If I am right, my DILs will be very happy and I will be DONE buying fabric for quite some time.

At least I will try.....very hard.

I may have to try harder.  I bid on another sewing machine on eBay.  It was dirt cheap but I forgot about shipping!  Shipping is 2X my current bid!

Have to stop this nonsense!

Keep stitchin'!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My name is Mary and I think I have a problem...

I know.  You all are thinking I have fabric addiction.  I do.  But, that isn't really a "problem" far!  What may be a problem is the sewing machines.  I just bought another.  That makes NINE!!!

See what I mean?  I may have a problem. I am comforting myself that nine isn't the entire truth.  Here is my roll call:

#1.  Twenty five + year old worn out Kenmore: I want to get rid of this one. It was my first machine and when I bought another about 5 years ago I just couldn't part with it for sentimental reasons.  I made all the curtains for more than one house, my sons' clothes and coats for years, my best friend's wedding dress, an untold number of formals for weddings, proms and choirs and all the bed spreads (I hesitate to call them quilts) for the boys' rooms when we built this house.  I also made hundreds of Christmas presents ranging from pot holders to coats on it.  It truly is worn out.  I got it out the other day and played with it and decided it was time for it to go.  Just where? is the question.

#2.  Babylock Ellegante I bought in 2004 to replace #1.  Somehow I decided I needed an embroidery machine.  I go through spells with that.  For the past month it has ran like a train nonstop.  It is a pretty machine and functions beautifully.  I named her Irene.  I actually really like it but I got tired of waiting on it to embroider and wanted to sew simultaneously.  So.....

#3.  Janome Memory Craft 6600P that I call Mae.  I bought her to supplement Irene.  She is a workhorse.  haven't found anything she can't sew and I love that she goes at 1000 spm.

#4.  Janome MyLock 744D serger.  I bought at the same time as #2.  My serger was a throw away from Sam's Club that I had worn out.  It wasn't salvageable.  This one is so much nicer but I still covet a Babylock Imagine with the jet air threading.

#5.  HandiQuilter HQ16.  I was saving my money to buy a quilting machine some day.  Then my grandmother died.  Because my mom had died the year before I inherited a small amount of money.  I decided I would buy a frame to use Mae on.  When I went looking for what I thought I wanted I was offered an amazing deal on this machine.  I ended up taking it and the QuilTable that the frame was on.  I don't regret that at all.  My DILs both use it, too.

#6.  Is a Simplicity something or another that a man at church gave me when he found out I sewed.  It was brand new.  He couldn't make it work because he had put craft thread on it.  I offered it back to him and to show him how but he told me to keep it.  So, I "loaned" it to my sister.  Technically it is mine but I don't intend to ever take it back.

#7.  I then decided I would love to have a treadle machine.  My then future DIL must have decided she liked me because she went to her dad and asked for her grandmother's treadle for me.  Her grandmother's name was Agnes and that is what I call my machine.  She is a pretty little thing and is actually a rather rare model.

#8.  Janome MC3000.  One day this past September I wasn't feeling well and was scanning craigslist just to keep me awake.  I found a listing for a Memory Craft sewing machine.  My son had an eye dr's appointment nearby and I road along and went to look.  I bought this machine and a cabinet and stool for $25.  My plan was to loan it to my DIL and use it for a travel machine for me.  She was so happy with it and said it should count as her birthday present.  So, I don't really have that one anymore either!

#9.  Singer 301A long bed.  I decided I want to go to a quilt retreat.  I don't have a machine in my possession  I could fly with.  After some research I decided I wanted one of these.  My husband is going to refurbish it and paint it for me.  I hate that mocha color Singer used in the 50s through 70s.  He is going to paint it red!  I just bought it on eBay day before yesterday.  I am super excited!  Can't wait!  She only ways 16 pounds. She has retractable feed dogs and a reputation for a great stitch. She can stitch at up to 1500 spm!  My husband is excited because I am getting one I will let him work on. 

I have never been to a retreat before. I think I am going to go meet my aunt in Dallas and we are going to go to one over near Tyler. Should be a blast. I hope my machine is done in January so I have a couple of months to play with her first.  She doesn't have a name yet. 

The more I research old machines the more I want.  I could easily become a collector.  I really want a 201 now.  There is another I want but the model # is slipping my mind.  I want some of the older ones that have style and are so pretty.

I am sick, aren't I?

Keep stitchin'!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Taking a Break from Christmas Gifts

Yesterday I started a Jelly Roll 1600 Quilt.  I have no need for this.  My husband asked me, "Who is that for?" plan.  Just needed a break from the intense projects and this looked fun and simple.  When I got up today - I am working nights this weekend - I went straight to my sewing room.  In less than 30 minutes I was finished.

Isn't it pretty?  But it seems unbalanced to me.  I didn't like that all the pastels ended up clumped together in the middle.  I decided the solution would be some big happy flowers.

I happily sent off a picture to my sister and my aunt asking what they thought.  I don't think they were as delighted as me. 

So, I tried moving the flowers to the other end.  I apologize for the poor picture quality.  Didn't realize it at the time.  I will try to replace it tomorrow.

I think I like the first option best because it fills in the spot where all the pastels are.  I plan to put a blue border on that is a blue polkadot on a lighter blue background.  The binding is bright red gingham.

If you are reading this PLEASE leave me an opinion.  I am going to link up this unfinished item to Sew Darn Crafty Party in hopes it will get some traffic and I can get some opinions.  What do you think?

Keep Stitchin'!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday's Simmerings

Today I had a lot of simmering going on.  I tried to sleep since I am working nights this weekend.  I woke up for good at about 11:00 a.m. but I laid there "thinking"....simmering....planning...

Going back to my first pot: I am still working on the pond quilt.  I actually took some pictures of it today with my camera instead of my phone but they looked worse than what I have.  I have been embroidering on it.  I have added 6 or 7 fish, 3 frogs and some dragon flies.

Those are blue gill for the unknowing.  There is another on the quilt at the other end.

This is a bullfrog on a rock.

Each fish I embroidered had somewhere between 22 and 36 thread changes.  It was nuts!  I am still going to add a rocky border and then a fishing scene border.  I am free handing the quilting so I don't break any needles on those darn fish!

I left that pot simmering since yesterday. I finished up those blue gill as I cleaned my upstairs.  Last night I made a new to me discovery.....1600 Quilt.  Have you seen these?  They are so stinking cute! All it takes is a jelly roll and NO cutting.

The other pot I had simmering is this beauty:

I bought this panel when I went to the neuro on Thursday.  (It is called shopping therapy.  I was STRESSED!).  I thought I could use it to make a wall hanging for my living room but it is a little big.  I think it is going to be a throw.  When I got up I dug through my fabric looking for what I wanted to go with this.    That pot is stewing.

I felt so useless today.  I just couldn't resist.  I decided to start one of those jelly roll 1600 Quilts.  I have all of one jelly roll.  It is Hello Betty by Moda.  I started sewing the strips together.  About strip number 13 I realized I was sewing my miters BACKWARDS!!  I cursed a lot.  At least in my head.  Went down and sat by my napping husband and picked those out.  Back to machine.  This time I got it right.  Took me about 25 minutes to sew all 40 together.

Off to ironing board.  That took another 30 minutes.  I recommend doing this in 5 sections of 8 strips.  Doing the pressing and then connecting the 5 sections.  Much easier to handle than what I did.

I sat down and sewed that first 800 inch seam.  My DIL came in.  It was nearly time for supper.  I am probably 100 inches into the next seam.  I swear I will finish this tomorrow.  But I have decided it needs a huge flower appliqued on it.  I don't do hand work or I would put it on after quilting. I see something red.  It is simmering...

What have you got simmering?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bag Ladies for Finish it Up Friday

Hello, all!  I unintentionally took the same hiatus that Amanda took.  Mine was due to my health, work and slow internet.  I have been busy sewing.  Since she said it isn't done until you blog, I am blogging about my bag ladies.  This the one I made for my sister.

Sorry, if you read this immediately.  I hurried up and linked the post before it was done so I would make it before the deadline.

Anyway, I bought this fabric because I just couldn't resist it but I had no idea what I would do with it.  Then I was looking through a Connecting Threads catalog and saw a couple of what I call "Bag Ladies".  I thought that would be the perfect use for my fabric.  I texted my sister my idea and she said, "Yes, that would look great in my kitchen."  Smart alek!  But, I had enough fabric I thought I could do two.  So I did one for each of us.  The above picture is hers.

Here is mine:

 Very similar but mine uses 30s repro for the ruffle and the band.  Hers uses a fabric that is warmer but not as bright.  I put rick rack on mine and used a decorative stitch around hers.  I actually have buttons to add to mine because I liked what I put on hers.

If you look closely you can see my bag lady has blue bloomers.  That is where the bags are stored.  I just used a fat quarter of fabric for them.  I hemmed the short edge first.  That was another super exciting moment.  I got my rolled hem foot to work perfectly.

I know I did it and it is technically bragging, but I am still amazed.  They look like "store bought"!  The key, I learned, is to cut the corner of your fabric on a 1/4" diagonal and start it in the foot.  Worked like a charm.

So, I did that.  Sewed in some quarter inch elastic about an inch above the hem.  Gathered my apron at the waist and attached it to the "bloomers" about 5 to 6" from each side all the way across.  I CAREFULLY bunched it all together and sewed the seam of the bloomers down the back.  Added the waist band to the top with a little gathering. And a piece of ribbon, rickrack or fabric to hang it by.

In this picture you can see a little bit of the bloomers on Sharri's. 

I essentially used a fat quarter for each apron turned the opposite direction of the bloomers.  I started out with the full fat quarter but eventually cut about 4 inches off because I was adding the ruffle.

My sister was surprised and absolutely loved hers.  Mine looks so much better than the one I have been using for FIFTEEN years.  The elastic was all worn out in it.

That was my finish it up a couple of Fridays ago but I just managed to post about it.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Keep Stitchin'!