Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You do quilt, right?

Considering how I’m a quilter, you’d think I’d be posting more about quilting projects, right?

Well, I’ve certainly been finishing my backlog of customer quilts, trying to get caught up after my machine had been down for so long.  In fact, I’ve been in such a hurry to return them that I’ve forgotten to take pictures of TWO of them before giving them back to my customers!  I never do that!

Remember that I taught a Foundational Quilting Skills class last January through Continuing Education?  I used a Rail Fence pattern with sashing to talk about color value, contrast,  and practice consistent straight 1/4” seams.

Two of my students asked me to quilt them after they were completed.  Both of them liked my freehand swirl design (I’m getting pretty good at that one!) and even picked the same exact thread color…but they look really different from each other, don’t you think?




Lorraine’s purple, green and white quilt color combination was inspired by her frog border fabric.  She was so careful to make sure the directional borders were placed all the same way and re-sewed a few of the blocks when they didn’t line up like she wanted them to.  She chose a cotton/poly batting and it’ll make a lovely gift for one of her nieces.




Carol, of mouse nest fame, brightly colored quilt is very much out of her comfort zone, she normally goes for earth tones, but she plans to keep it for herself.  She chose a washable wool batting which shows the definition of the stitches, and it feels like a lighter weight quilt, although it will work really well for all seasons.  She’s a bit of an over achiever, and was the first one done with her quilt, even before the end of the class!

She’s was also taking a class on how to make half square triangles at the same time and also made this quilt for her dog:DSCF7510









Personally, I think it’s too nice for the dog, I’d hang it on the wall!

I’ve got more to show next week.  I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving holiday!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

More Knitting Obsession!

Kato-cowlYesterday I finished a very warm, beautiful cowl made out of  Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grand Hand Dye 002. The pattern is called Kato Cowl, by Rae Ann Vandeputte.  Her pattern is shown with some beautiful buttons, but I think I’ll be getting some shawl pins, or using some of my scarf pins, to add to the cowl.  I got the yarn during a visit to Seattle for a family funeral this summer and found Main Street Yarns in Everett, WA.  Unfortunately for them, it was the first day of their going out of business sale.  However, I took advantage of the sale and got 4 great skeins of yarn and a set of Kollage knitting needles.

This alpaca yarn is quite squishy and soft, but once I got it worked up and sewn into the cowl so I could try it on, I found it a little bit itchy.  I'm going to get some wool wash and see if that makes an improvement.  Otherwise, I’ll be wearing it with a turtleneck!

I can't believe I actually used something out of my stash in the same year I purchased it!  This knitted up so quickly, I think it's the fastest I've ever done a project!  I might have to make these for Christmas gifts!

I started a top down felted slipper pattern yesterday to keep me busy on the bus.  I’m having trouble with it, though, I’ve ripped it out about 5 times now; the right side is supposed to be on the OUTSIDE!

Sigh.  I’ll get it, though.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I Finished!

Since I've been riding the bus, I've been taking my knitting with me. I started a hat for my husband and I finally finished it!
I'm really a pretty basic knitter, I haven't done too much fancy stuff, although I absolutely adore yarn and and am quite fascinated by all things fiber.  I've even started up a yarn stash again, much to my chagrin. I certainly don't need more collections!
I found this pattern on Ravelry called the Big Man hat.  For once I actually checked my gauge, and I decided to go with a size 8 instead of the size 6 this pattern called for. Now that it's finished, I really think I should have used the size 6 ...its huge!
Rather than ripping it out again, yes again,  (I started this last year with a different pattern, and it was way too big) I decided that a little roomie is ok and I finished it up just in time for the cold weather.
I'm considering making him another hat with a different pattern, or redo this one using smaller needles, as I really would like it to fit a little more snugly. But I may have to put that off for now, I have lots of other projects in the queue; I hope I can find the right size needle.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Accidentally, On Purpose


Well, what do you know?  I’m now the  proud owner of a Singer Featherweight….accidentally, on purpose, that is!

So, I was trolling ShopGoodwill.com, like I’m prone to do, and I saw a listing for a 1940’s Featherweight…with a scroll plate, no less!!…. no power cord or foot control, no case, but a few accessories with a very low price.  So, I bid on it.  That happens a lot. Disappointed smile

I got curious because I got outbid each time, and I wasn’t bidding scroll-faceplatea whole lot higher than the listed price.  But it was still a low price, and I was hooked, like the rat pressing the button for more treats, I wanted to know the high bid…I don’t know why, because, hey, I wasn’t going to buy it anyway, right?

Well, the 3rd time was the charm and I was now the high bidder.  And there was still about 3 hours left before the end of the auction.  No problem, I’m heading to bed and I KNOW someone will come in and scoop this up ahead of me while I’m in dreamland.

But wait.  What’s this?  An email from ShopGoodwill.com?  I’m the what?  High bidder?  No way!  Uhh….I was only curious, I didn’t really mean to buy it…. Smile

After about a week long wait, the box arrived and I….couldn’t open it.  I had to put in some overtime on the night it arrived, and I KNEW I wouldn’t want to open it and then walk away from it.  So, it was just easier to leave this big box next to the couch, unopened.  It was killing my friend, Julie, that I didn’t open it.  That was even more incentive to wait!  Hee hee, I’m such a stinker! Angel

bubble-wrapI’d emailed to ask about how it was going to be packed because I’ve heard lots of stories of machines broken on arrival.  They replied that they would take extra care with it, and it arrived protected with a whole bunch of air filled packing bags.

I could tell it had quite a trip from Florida because the outside of the box was gouged in a few places, and I was a bit nervous about top-askewit when I first saw everything; as I removed the bags I found the top panel to the machine, where the thread holder attaches, was askew, but ultimately everything came out just fine.   I’ve purchased 3 machines from ShopGoodwill.com,  so far, located all over the country, and they’ve all arrived in great condition, so I feel very lucky.  


bed-scratchesSo, last Friday night I turned off my phone and just enjoyed getting to know her.  She was bone dry, needed both grease and oil, and a good rub down.  I even removed a couple of pieces of thread that had wrapped themselves around the shaft behind the bobbin case.  I’m suspecting those threads were the culprits behind the overall good condition of the machine, if someone didn’t know how tostuck-thread find them to remove them.  There are a few deep scratches in the bed of the machine, but the decals are in absolutely wonderful condition.

I contacted my OSMG, Jerry, at Treasure Valley Sew n Vac, and he has the power cord for my machine, he just didn’t have the button control foot for it.  I asked him to wire in a regular clam shell control instead; I’m really not a fan of the button controls and at this point I’m not looking to sell it so it doesn’t need to be in “original” condition.I’ve been patient so far, but now I’m really getting excited to sew on her and find out what so many people like about the Featherweight. 

bone-dryI tried to set the tension on it, but moving the hand wheel by hand just wasn’t working for me, so I’ll have to wait until I get the power cord.

I haven’t looked inside the motor yet, either; I’ve never serviced a motor before and I’m just a tad worried about what I might find.   I’ll get over that once I’ve reviewed all of the wonderful documentation I know exists on the multitude of forums out there, though.

And, since it’s 73 years old, I’m sure it will need to be re-wired; I’m just hoping it’s in good enough condition right now so I can play with it for awhile before I have to take on that project.   That’s another thing I haven’t done before.

I’ve been patient so far, but now I’m really getting excited to sew on her and find out what so many people like about the Featherweight.  And, that’s the story of how Josephine, my 1940’s Singer Featherweight came to live at my house.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

You Never Know What You’re Gonna Find….

Singer-Ultralock-14My customer, Carol, came over yesterday to revisit her thread choices for her quilting projects.  She also brought along  3 sewing machines she had been gifted, as she knows I collect vintage sewing machines, and had asked if I’d be interested in taking a look at them.

After we confirmed her thread and batting choices, we took the machines out.  One was a Singer Ultralock 14 serger with lots of rust and the area next to the throat plate was missing, so it would be impossible to sew on it without replacing that part.  She’s not looking for a rehab project, so we moved on to the next one.

A Singer Touch & Sew 758 was revealed when we removed the protective plastic bag she had used during transport.  The Touch & Sew line, especially in the 700 series, doesn’t have a good reputation.  The owners had so much trouble sewing with them, even after taking them to the repair shop several times, they got set in the back of a closet, never to be seen again.  They weren’t cheap machines, either.Singer-TS-758

At first glace, it didn’t look too bad, a bit of corrosion on the throat plate, a bit of light rust on the needle bar, but those are easily corrected.  I was interested to open the top and take a peek.  Once I removed the top, I could see more rust, but really, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  Still, I was certain I didn’t want to take on this project!

Carol said she’d plugged it in and tested it out when she got it and it sounded terrible.  Well, no machine is going to be happy after sitting in a garage for a long time, and it certainly needed some TLC.

That was as far as I was going to take my inspection, but, at Carol’s urging, Carol-mouse-nestwe took the bottom cover off to look inside.

As soon as the cover started to come away from the base, I immediately recognized that we were invading someone’s home.  And he was still there.  In skeleton form.  Graphic images warning: if you want to view the corpse, click on the photo and zoom in to the lower right section of the sewing machine case.

The interior was packed with shredded plastic bags and bits of sparkly yarn from Christmas past.  Not surprisingly, we also found that the wiring had been chewed.  No wonder this machine sounded terrible!  It’s a wonder the whole mess didn’t catch on fire!

I was sure glad I’d put down some newspaper before I opened it up!  Gloves were immediately donned, and after I cleaned up the mess, I made sure to use several disinfectant wipes on the table and all of my tools, too!

Carol’s last machine turned out to be a Singer Quantum LE from the early 1990’s.  It was in pretty nice shape, although it needs a new power cord.  Of course, after the mouse nest, I completely forgot to take photos of the nice machine!  Ha!

Carol’s going to take all of them to my OSMG (Old Sewing Machine Guy), Jerry, at Treasure Valley Sew n Vac.  He used to work for the Singer Sewing Machine Co, and he specializes in vintage sewing machines.  He can use the first two machines for parts, and he’ll service the Singer Quantum LE so Carol can use it for regular sewing while her new embroidery machine is hard at work.  Jerry doesn’t work on the computerized parts of a machine, but he said he’s never had to on the Quantum, so I’m confident he’ll get it fixed up and sewing perfectly.

If you’re in the Boise area and have a machine you want serviced, call Jerry, he does a great job.  His phone number is 208-870-8148.  He’s a vendor at the Idaho Indoor Community Farmer’s Market at 4983 N. Glenwood, which is at the corner of Glenwood and Chinden.  Several of the vendors there just moved from the Boise Flea Market at Cole and Barrister.  The new venue has a lot more space, some new vendors and a different feel to the place.

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