Thursday, January 23, 2014

I couldn't resist, really!

I started off being a good girl on Tuesday.  I went to the Quilts of Valor sew-in, and stitched away.  The trouble started when I left.  I haven't been to either of the thrift stores in that town since late summer.  How could I resist? 

Nothing special at the first store, just a few DVD's.  I went thru the second store, and, was almost thru the whole store, with NOTHING in my basket, when, I turned the corner to the very back of the shop.  Oops!  I saw a cabinet.  I ignored the cabinet, and looked at everything else in that area.  That cabinet kept calling to me.  I finally uncovered it (yep, covered in other stuff so you couldn't see what was under there).  I had to pull the cabinet out, so that I could lift the lid and see what was inside.  A dusty, Singer 66 with a motor, and really bad wiring. 

This Singer 66 has decals unlike any other Singer 66 that I own (yes, I own several Singer 66's).  My birthday is coming up soon, so, I decided that I needed to get myself a present.

My latest Singer 66
The cabinet isn't in the best of shape.  They even had tape on the side to keep the piece that supports the lid, inside, out of the way.  There was tape (clear and masking tape, both) on the base of the machine.  Yuk!  The stitch lever is painted a weird white color, too.  I've never seen one painted before. 

I borrowed a screwdriver from the guys in the back of the shop, and proceeded to give this machine a 'motorectimy' right there.  Boy were these guys surprised!  I then unscrewed the machine from the base before they loaded it in my car.  They didn't know I could do that, either. 

On Wednesday, I decided that this machine needed to be cleaned and tested.  Here are some of the before and after pictures.

what's left of the tape that crumbled when I tried to remove it

the serial number dates this to an allotment of 35,000, started September 30, 1941

told ya it was dirty, you should have seen under the motor area

before cleaning
Except for the tape removal, this was a pretty simple cleaning job.  I had to let the sewing machine oil set on the tape area to soften the remaining glue.  It worked pretty well, along with my fingernail.

see how shiny the metal is after a nice cleaning

this part was the hardest to clean.  I don't think it had ever been cleaned or dusted back there where the motor went

my new Singer 66 hand crank in the cabinet
I wiped the cabinet down with Murphy's Oil Soap, but, it still needs more cleaning, and some Old English Stain remover applied.  Maybe today.

top AFTER cleaning.  Wow, what did they do to this????
I even found a great spool pin doily for this machine. 

spool pin doily
Here is an example of the wiring, and why I didn't even mess around with it.  The guys at the shop offered to plug it in for me, until I showed them these wires. 

see where the wiring is split open????  Eek! 
I tested the stitches on this machine, and, after a few minutes of playing with the tension, she sews nicely.  Sorry I didn't get pictures of the stitching.  I think this one is going to stay in the cabinet, and head up to my sewing room. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Whirlwind Week!

The past week has been a whirlwind of stitching and quilt guild events. 

I finished both of my Tinkerbell paper pieced blocks on Friday.  Can you see my 'Oops!' in each block?  I didn't see it until I took the picture.  Guess what, the 'Oops!' are staying.  That is piece 26 of 35 in just that part of the pattern.  Too much trouble to fix, especially on two blocks. 

paper pieced Tinkerbell blocks

Next, I needed to make a gift for a friend's birthday.  Since I was already planning on making a pincushion for an exchange, I went ahead and made one for Marilyn, first.  I made 5 of these blocks.  You will see the rest of the blocks, when they are finished, and turned into special gifts for some other special people.

made 5 of these blocks
Here is Marilyn's finished pincushion.

finished pincushion
My large guild has a holiday party every January, instead of trying to have a party in December.  Much easier and more relaxed that way.  This year was the largest turnout since I joined the guild, several years ago.  We had 75 ladies. 

Pride of the Prairie Holiday Party (my table is the one missing the table cloth, you'll find out why later in this post)

At each table was a special treat, made by the party committee.

front of yo-yo key chain

back of yo-yo key chain
They also had another gift for everyone.  They called birthday months, and, when your month was called, you got to come up and pick a bag.  Each bag had different items the committee members had made.  I got a cute zipper bag.

large zipper bag, next to Mason jar candle table decoration I won
We also played some fun games.  The last game was for each table to design a quilt or quilt collage. 

first 3 quilts

next 2 quilts, the one on the left is a signature quilt and won 2nd place

more quilt designs

more quilt designs

My table WON!!!!  See the blue ribbon??? now you know what happened to our table cloth, we used it in our design. 

On Monday, my little guild met.  We'd had to move our meeting, since it was just too cold the Monday before (-20 degrees in the daytime).  Brrr!!!!  We had a fun meeting.

On Thursday, instead of meeting at the local quilt shop's classroom, some of us met at my house instead.  The LQS didn't turn on the heat in the classroom (it's around the corner from the shop, not in the shop) during the cold snap, and the pipes froze and burst.  There were 4 of us, stitching away at my house, and having a nice time.  4 is easy to fit, without having to set up extra tables.  We had sandwiches for lunch, and one brought doughnuts, while another brought chocolate chip brownies with peanut butter frosting.  YUM!

Last night was my large guilds regular meeting.  We were all getting ready for our quilt show this March 8-9.  If you are near Chicago then, come.  It's a great show, and, I'll have a booth with some of my vintage sewing machines.  You are welcome to come stitch on them.  I don't have any quilts in the show this time, since everything I've made over the last 2 years is either unfinished (normal condition for most my projects) or else they have 'flown off' to new homes. 

This morning, I finished the 3 blocks I started yesterday, while the ladies were here.  Yep, more sewing machine blocks, but, these 3 are smaller than the first ones.

3 blocks I started on Thursday

7 blocks I have left, see the size difference? 
The 3 small blocks will be made into pin cushions, while the larger blocks will be turned into mini quilts for some special people.  I'll show them again when they are all done, and mailed off. 

I will be teaching a beginning quilting class at my church, starting tomorrow (if the weather doesn't get in the way).  These are the blocks I made as examples for the class. 

20 blocks for beginning quilting class
I made these blocks last weekend from a fat quarter bundle I had.  I wanted to see how many blocks I could get out of the 5 fat quarters and some yardage of white.  I still have some material left over. 

Not bad for one quilting week.  I think it may be nap time, now. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Padfoot (2000-2014)

We lost a member of our family today, our dog, Padfoot. 

Padfoot was our 'Arkansas hillbilly pound puppy'.   We called her that, since we found her in Arkansas, while at a family reunion.  The town didn't have a shelter at that time, so, several businesses would have a pen by their front doors, with shelter dogs in them.  That is how we found Padfoot. 

Padfoot was named after a character in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book.  We were reading the book as a family when we adopted her.  As of book #3 in the series, there just were not many good 'girl' names, so, we chose Padfoot.

Padfoot in her Halloween costume, a yellow submarine
Padfoot has been one of the best dogs, ever.  She really loved our boys and all their friends. 

Padfoot in her new booties
One of my son's friends liked Padfoot so much that she even drew a portrait of her for us a few years ago.  The portrait hangs next to the pantry in our kitchen.

portrait of Padfoot
After 13 years in our family, Padfoot will be sorely missed.  Rest in peace, sweet Padfoot.

Padfoot in March 2013

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Treadle to the Rescue!

It's frigidly cold here in 'Chiberia'.  Add 9+ inches of snow before the temperatures started dropping on Sunday, and, it makes for one, very unhappy dog.  Our oldest dog, Padfoot, has been having problems with her feet in all this cold and snow.  In the last few days, it's gotten so bad, that she cried while we tried to clean the snow out between her paws, and, hubby has had to go outside and rescue her from the backyard.  Something had to be done, quick.

this is what it has looked like out my patio door (before the wind blew all the snow off this tree)

I pulled out some scraps of fleece that someone had given me, added some velcro cord straps I found at the thrift store last week, and, opened up my 'Victor' treadle (Victor has 'backtack' abilities, which was needed to secure the velcro, and ends of seams).  I checked out a few patterns online that hubby found, but, wound up doing my 'own thing' with the pattern.  After some trial and error, we have a set of booties for Padfoot.

me, stitching booties on 'Victor'

finished booties by 'Victor'
Padfoot didn't like us putting the booties on her (she hates having her feet touched), but, she did pretty well.

Padfoot in her new booties (licking hubby)

up close of a bootie
Well, the booties WORKED!  Not only did they stay on, but, Padfoot could walk in them.  She was a happy dog! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A new machine and a mini TOGA!

What a great way to start off the new year!  I've been holding a machine for another 'onion' (Treadle On member/collector).  Well, she stopped by on her way thru Chicago to pick up her lovely Frister and Rossman hand crank (I brought it back here from Minnesota this fall).  This is her lovely machine.

Jai's Frister and Rossman hand crank
I've been drooling over this machine since the end of September.  Well, Jai knew that I've been wanting a chain stitch machine, so, she went down to her basement to have a look around.  She decided that the machines 'breed' down there, since she found a lovely chain stitch machine that she didn't remember having.  Look what she brought me!

cute little chainstitcher

the spool pin is broken off (I'll need to find a donor one)

the presser foot is upside down, the metal plate says National Sewing Machine Company, Belvidere, ILL and New York (Belvidere is only an hour or so from me)

bronze medallion says B. Eldredge Automatic

Serial number 34990 is painted on
This little machine is dirty and very stiff with a bit of rust.  I'll have fun cleaning it up, finding a replacement part or two, and seeing if she sews.  Oh my, isn't she CUTE!!!!!!  There really are decals hiding under all those years of grime. 

Now to find out more about my new little treasure!

Here is Jai and Grant holding my little chainstitcher.

Jai, Grant and my new chain stitcher
We had a great time together, Friday evening and Saturday morning.  It was a great little 'mini TOGA' with lots of talk about sewing machines (Jai & I) and camping, hunting and outdoors (hubby & Grant).  Sew much fun!

To all of you that are also experiencing this bitter cold and snow, stay warm and stay safe!  To those of you 'down under' enjoy your summer and send some heat this way, please!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dec 2013 NewFO's

This is the last post for the NewFo's for 2013.  Barbara, over at Cat Patches.  Check out all the entries here.

Barbara will be continuing with her NewFO party in 2014. 

These are my NewFO's for December.  I had lots of finishes in December, but, not many new projects.  My finishes are on my previous post, here.

My father in law has his doctorate in physics, and was a professor for over 30 years.  I found this pattern for him, over at Doodle ee doo' blog under her free patterns.

paper pieced Atom block
This took me a few days to make.  It has 161 pieces in the paper piece pattern.  It was easy to quilt, since I only quilted along the black border, then, in the grey part of the Atom. 

The other new project for December is for a friend of mine.  Yes, I know Hanukkah is over.  I celebrate Christmas, so, she gets a Christmas present from me instead.  I found this pattern a while back over at Whims And Fancies blog, under the free patterns.  Her pattern measures at 5.5 inches.  I enlarged it to 7.5 inches.  It went together really quickly, and has alternate pieces, in case you don't want the candle in the middle of the star. 

paper pieced Star of David block

I made both of these on my favorite hand crank sewing machine.

1959 Singer Spartan hand crank
I have found that paper piecing on a hand crank is super simple.  The needle stops exactly where I want it to stop, while it tends to stitch an extra stitch or two with my electric machines. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 - Progress and Finishes

I don't due resolutions, since they are usually broken quickly.  This past year, I chose a word instead.  Progress.  I wanted to see if I could make some 'Progress' on several projects.  No pressure, didn't have to finish, just make some progress.  Some projects didn't see any progress at all (there is always 2014), but, many other projects did see various amounts of progress in 2013. 

In January, I found a small quilt that I'd made and hand quilted several years ago, but, never put the binding onto.  It was my first finish of the year.

small Flag quilt
In February, I started making blocks for the Harry Potter Project of Doom bookcase quilt.  I paper pieced the first 12 blocks, and started the embroidery on some of those blocks. I am making 2 of each block for this quilt, one to finish for me (keep your hands off this one, boys) and a spare of each block, in case one of my boys tries to steal my quilt.

first 10 blocks on my design wall

After these first 12 blocks were made, I made 2 for a charity quilt.

block for charity quilt

block for charity quilt
I also started embroidering the titles on some of the books.

My little quilt guild had a 'Box' exchange.  Several of us participated.  Here are the blocks I made for each person's 'Box'.  I've never done anything with the blocks that were made for me. 

block for Kay

block for Kay

block for Kay
block for Thelma

block for Thelma

block for Thelma

block for Thelma

blocks for Marilyn

blocks for Marilyn
block for Emily

block for Emily
block for Janette
I also finished two (late) mini Wedding quilts in February.

I learned how to make pillowcases in 2013.  I made my very first pillowcase for my son's girlfriend (now fiance).
Krystal's pillowcase
I made a graduation quilt and pillowcase for my niece.  It was only a year late (catching on to my 'theme' yet)?

Sarah's graduation quilt
Sarah's pillowcase
While I was learning how to make pillowcases, I also made 2 for my best friends daughter.

pillowcase for Rene'

another pillowcase for Rene'
A while back, another friend asked me to make a special quilt for her.  I finally got it done and delivered in May.

Betty and her 'Fat Cats' quilt
I also made a small quilt for another very good friend.  I found the embroidery (already done) at a thrift store, and made a border for it, using hexies (another new thing I learned in 2013).

Kay's quilt
My little guild also makes preemie quilts for a local hospital.  I contributed 7 this year.

I was asked to make a baby quilt, just like the one I gave (I didn't make the first one) because the first quilt was shredded.
the shredded quilt
the quilt I made to replace the first quilt

replacement quilt
This quilt was well received, but, she still won't turn the shredded quilt loose. Instead, she now carries BOTH quilts around everywhere. 

I participated in some Treadle On block exchanges this year.  The first block I made was for the River Rat TOGA quilt.

block for River Rat TOGA quilt
I also made block to exchange at the River Rat TOGA in September.  I used 2 different machines and made the blocks in 3 colors.

made on 'Victor' my post WWII treadle
made on my 1925 Singer 99 hand crank
made on both machines above
I was also in the advanced block exchange.  The blocks were pretty, but, I wouldn't paper piece them again if I had it to do over.  Just too many seams that came together.

Advanced TOBE blocks
I also got several tops finished for Quilts of Valor. 

finished and hanging at the Quilt Expo show in April
this one is my favorite
just needed to have the blocks sewn together

from a Joann's kit, top #1

from a Joann's kit, top #2

from extra 'orphan' blocks
from a pattern
I was asked to replace the backing on 'Grandma's' quilt.  They supplied the fabric, and, I tied it in place, over the old backing, so that we didn't have to take out grandma's quilt stitches. 

commission quilt
I'm also helping some finish a block of the month quilt.  So far, I've made these 20 blocks.  I'll start on the borders this month.

Saltbox Sampler blocks
My little guild had a Snowman block exchange at our Christmas party.  Here is the block I made.
16.5" block
I made Maple Leaf mini quilts as gifts this year.  Several years ago, I sent a mini quilt and a frame to several family members and friends.  Each year they get a new mini quilt for their frame.  I didn't get any good shots of the finished mini quilts, so, you get 3 of the quilts, with my nephews gift, before I wrapped and mailed them.  I finished 11 of the 13 I started on.  #12 is for me (just needs the binding stitched down) and #13 is an orphan block on my design wall.

3 of the Maple Leaf mini quilts (and Ross' Mustang plaque
I also finally finished my youngest son's graduation quilt.  He graduated in May 2012.  The main reason the quilt wasn't finished was that he was also helping to design the quilt, and, he left home a week after he graduated, then moved to Oklahoma for college.  Kinda hard to design something when one of the designers isn't around.

Connor's quilt, finished
pillow shams in the making
Connor on his quilt and shams.  I think he likes them
label on Connor's quilt, he helped design this, too
Here are the last 2 things I made in 2013.  They will also be in a separate post for 2013 NewFO's.

My father in law has his doctorate in physics.  I found this block, and made it for him.  With 161 pieces for just the paper piecing part, this was way more labor intensive than I was expecting, but, he's worth it.

Buddy's Atom mini quilt
I also have another friend who already has TONS of Maple leafs, and I knew she didn't want any more, so, I found this block, just for her. 

Marilyn's Star of David mini quilt
I finished all my projects by the day after Christmas.  Not too bad.  Connor's quilt is now living in Alaska, where he moved the Sunday after Christmas.  I now have my sewing room back, but, at a cost.  I'd rather have my son home, but, he has a life to live, and he's enjoying his new adventure.