Monday, December 31, 2012

My First Kenmore

DSCF6209Isn’t she pretty?  I picked her up for free from a Craigslist advertisement!  This is a Kenmore 158.521, and I’m learning a lot about her.

First…..she is DANG heavy!!  How do I know?  Well, she came with a cabinet.  A very nice cabinet.  But DSCF6202the previous owners removed the machine from the cabinet in order to facilitate transportation, and now I can’t get her re-mounted back into the cabinet.

DSCF6205See these tiny little pegs in the back slots?  They are what I’m supposed to put this machine onto, using the little holes in the back of the machine, and then tighten down the set screws.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, we’ve done that, and every time I rotate the head back into position either the machine moves and pops off the left side post (even after tightening the screw) or the mounting mechanism moves in its natural arc and when it DSCF6214stops, the back of the sewing machine doesn’t lie flush with the table.  All the while, either my DH or I are hanging onto the machine to make sure it doesn’t fall and smash someone’s toe!

I’ve posted my dilemma on a couple of online forums, gotten some good information and suggestions, but as you can see, the machine still isn’t mounted.  So, if anyone knows how to resolve this, please let me know, I’m at my wits end!

DSCF6218The second thing I learned is that this machine’s needle is “left-homed” .  That is, while using a straight stitch, the needle sits at the left side of the throat plate.  You can see what I mean on this photo, where the needle is just coming down through the presser foot on the left.  Using the edge of the presser foot as a guide, this starts the sewist out with a 3/8” seam allowance.  So, this is not the machine for a quilter who uses a 1/4” seam allowance because to do so means the fabric will only ride on one of the feed dogs, which will not feed the fabric through the machine evenly. 

She sure sews a nice stitch, though, and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at some other sewing projects that I’ve put off in favor of my traditional quilting projects.  Yes, in fact, I think I’ll use her to make the jean quilt I’ve been saving up old jeans for, and get those piles used up and cleared out of my sewing room (and garage)!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Birth of a Quilt

psq-1-smThe Birth of a Quilt.  That’s what my DH called it when he saw the first Postage Stamp Quilt block I made.    I like it!

My goal has been to work these units in while working on a “regular” project.  Lately, though, I’ve needed some mindless sewing, so I turned to these, which has been perfect.  I absolutely adore how it’s turned out.DSCF6160

Last night, I completed 2 more of these and I lined them up to show off a preview of what’s to come.

This is going to be one cool quilt!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dog Panel with Satin Binding

DSCF5995My neighbor commissioned me to do a quilt for her from a purchased panel made from chenille and flannel.  She got this one at the same time she bought the pink and white panel, which I also quilted for her. 

I used high loft polyester batting with Sew Fine thread, which created a trapunto look. It’s quite cuddly and soft, and I think it will be loved for a long time.

She likes satin binding on the baby quilts, and while I understand why, they aren’t exactly the easiest thing to apply.   However, since I made DSCF5994the first quilt I saw a demonstration on TV by Nancy Zieman that showed how to sew the corners closed as you attach the binding, and I tried it on this quilt.

Of course, I wasn’t able to find the demonstration online anywhere after I saw it aired on TV, DSCF6006so it took me awhile to get to finishing the project.  I used a straight, rather than a zigzag and it finished up quite nicely, although it does leave a bit of a “lip” on the back of the quilt.  I think I’ll try a decorative stitch next time.  The only thing I wish I could have figured out DSCF6002was how to hide the seam that connects the ends of the satin in that corner.  Maybe someone out there can tell me of a better way?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It’s a Sickness….

DSCF6028Yesterday I brought home a Singer 603E.  It was made in 1964 and it was just calling my name.

This machine not only has the decorative “Top Hat” cam system, it can also do a chain stitch DSCF6029and came with several extra cams, throat plates, bobbins and several feet.  There was even a magnetic seam guide!  How’s a girl to resist that??

I also made a new friend, Jerry, from Treasure Valley Sew and Vac.  He’s got a booth at the Boise Flea Market and repairs and sells sewing machines.  As a former Singer service and sales rep, he’s quite knowledgeable, and I spent most of my afternoon soaking up information.  I had a blast!DSCF6052

The new one followed me home, of course, but Jerry also made a generous offer to work with me and my Education Outreach team at Boise Basin Quilters to furnish low cost machines to the guild for our workshops.  He’s also offered to mentor me in the process.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!

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