Monday, October 31, 2011

I Definitely Have a Problem

LOL*  I can't believe I bought another old sewing machine.  Another $5 Goodwill special.  I think this must be a pretty common machine because I see them all over the place.  The only thing wrong with it, is it was missing the power cord.  It has a knee bar and a foot pedal, but the knee bar isn't connected and the foot pedal has a crack in it.  I brought it home and hooked it up to the foot pedal of another machine and voila - it sews!  LOL*  There is some cracked rubber over the wiring which I am debating tackling myself.  But who knows, it may be too much a job for me, I am not yet sure.  I'd like to think I can do just about anything myself so long as I am motivated enough.  Lol*  Anyhow the whole purpose of purchasing this machine was to experiment.  It only cost me a few bucks and I want a machine I can pull apart and fiddle with and not feel guilty about it.  I'd love to refurbish this myself, and see if I truly can do it without paying someone else.  This will probably be an ongoing project, so I'll keep you posted.  Lol*  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Custom Diaper Tote

I haven't been able to add things to Etsy lately because I've been busy with custom orders...this is a good thing though!  :)  I made this custom baby diaper tote for a neighbor...I think it turned out so cute!

**Oh, and I am thrilled to mention that the teacher friend who ordered the two zippered totes was so happy with them, she ended up keeping them both!  LOL*  She had purchased two, one for herself, and one to give as a birthday gift...what a compliment!!!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wheeew, Totes and More Totes

Well now that my sewing machine is back home, I sure have been keeping it busy.  I made a couple custom order totes for a teacher at my daughter's pre-school.  I hope she likes them!  Hopefully I didn't send my machine back to the sewing machine doctor either...I don't like the sound it was making after sewing through all these layers of fabric and batting to attach the straps...I was bad though...I did break a needle hitting the zipper on one of these.  Zippers are NOT my favorite thing!  People don't always understand that there is a difference between a seamstress and a quilter.  I'm good with quilts.  I'm comfortable with quilts....but my MOM is the seamstress!  Lol*  :)  So zippers are a bit of a daunting task for me, but I'm learning it's probably worth it to get more familiar with them.  Let's just home my sewing machine lives to learn with me!  :)

Here's a few pictures of the totes...and their zippers!  LOL*  Not as pretty as some of you pro's out there with the zippers, but they are functional and pretty much hidden so I don't think I'll get any complaints.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Sewing Machine is Back!!!

Thank goodness too.  This stay at home Momma goes a little batty if there's no sewing going on.  :)  The best part - NO MORE SKIPPED STITCHES!!!  The true test happens in a few hours here, after dinner I'm going to put in some monofilament and see what happens.  My order arrived today from Patsy Thompson Designs for a spool of Superior's Polyester Monofilament.  I'm thinking it must be good stuff since they are sold out on the website.  LOL*  Right?!  I haven't tried it yet but I can feel a big difference.  It's not stretchy and it feels heavier, or thicker.  I don't know how it will work out for quilting but we shall see.  If it doesn't skip or loop on me then I'll be a happy girl!

So of course I've been busy now that my machine is home...

I made this bag today for Etsy.  I am proud because I finally figured out and made use of my ruffler attachment for my featherweight!  Here's a couple shots of the attachment in action...

WOW am I sorry I didn't learn to use this little devil sooner.  Ruffles go SOOOO much faster with it!

Also attempted a 10 minute block...the picture is horrible but you get the idea.  It makes a cool block that's kind of like a cathedral window...but minus the window.  I really like it!  I have had a few people ask me to make cathedral window projects, and they get costly with all the time, handwork, and materials, but boy this would be wonderful to get a similar effect for a more affordable price.  Well...that is if I can part with it after I make it.  LOL*  I've decided I'm pretty awful at selling my work because I want to keep it all...and I do keep some!  LOL*  Oh well, it's not as if I'm ever going to NOT sew.  I can always make more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sewing Machine Down. :(

All these sewing machines, and don't ya know it, the one that I use for all of my quilting is down and out!!!  I took it in yesterday after I bought my THIRD pack of needles to try and remedy the skipped stitch problem I've been having for some time.  I had thought it was the polyester, and the monofilament, but when I switched back to my normal recipe of size 14 quilting sharps with 50 wt. cotton thread, I still had skipped stitches and this time worse than ever.  Here's a picture of what was happening...

I have quilted several big projects on that machine with no issues, but now all of a sudden this is what my stiching looks like.  They suspect it could be the timing going because my thread has all of a sudden begun to break with brand new fresh needles in place.  Argh.  How frustrating.  I don't even know what to do with myself without  my sewing machine.  I can piece my heart out, but it's the quilting that I need to get done!  He says hopefully a week...oh I hope it's sooner!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Old Sewing Machines

Alrighty well ever since I brought the 301a home I'm on an old sewing machine kick!  A friend who recognized my obsession sent another oldie to my house even!  LOL*  I'm a lucky girl.  I just thought I'd post a few pictures of what I have in my little collection right now.  I didn't really set out to collect these things, I originally only wanted a treadle to sew on, and a featherweight.  The others just sort of fell into my posession...and now, I'm HOOKED!  :)  So here it is...

Singer Model 15 - this one I just discovered the model of thanks to some help from the "Vintage Sewing Machine Shop" on the Quilting Board.  I always thought it was really neat, and I guess it's special and I didn't know it because it has an "oscillating bobbin" instead of a vibrating shuttle.  Lookee...

...there...see the bobbin?  I guess this was one of the first machines to use these bobbins and these in particular don't often come with the Sphinx decals...or so I'm told.  Ok I'll be honest I still don't know enough about these machines to really know how significant that is, but now I'm hooked and have to learn as much about it as I can!

If you've been here lately you've seen my "new to me" Singer 301a.  I am PSYCHED to try free motioning on this.  :)

Singer Model 15-91, or at least that's what I think it is.  :)  I have been told that this is a good one for free motioning on too...

...and of course I have a featherweight!!!

Sears and Roebuck model "Howard".

I adore the pretty ornate cabinet...
A little toy machine the Hubby gave me for my birthday....

...and you've seen this cutie my parents recently gave me...

...and here it is!!!  My monster machine came home today!!!!!  It's a Kenmore model 58...ugly as heck but really neat!  It has a knee bar which I am fascinated with.  Lol*

...a little yucky, needs some cleaning...

...and it came with one of my favorite surprises...attachments that haven't been touched in a VERY VERY long time!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vintage Attachments

My new sewing machine has inspired me to dig out all the old boxes of machine attachments I have had around the house for years...

...but first, a few tidbits I have learned about my new Singer 301a...they are a slant needle machine and they take a slant shank attachment.  I don't have a single one either except for the foot that came with it!  An excuse to shop...  I dated my machine and it was made in 1956 in Anderson, South Carolina.  How awesome is that!?  It was one of the last 301a's made.  I also learned it is a short bed version - the 301a's apparently only come in shortbed version.  The 301's are the same machine, but made at a different plant, and they come in short or long bed form.  Also - a neat sidenote, the bobbin casing for the 301a fits featherweights.  They alone sell for $30-$35.  I thought that was pretty neat.  :)

So attachments...

Here are a few pictures of some of the goodies I have been collecting over the years. I know I have a matter of fact after I took these pictures I found another box in a cabinet.

Most of the ones that are in this box fit my featherweight.  I don't know if they are all original to the box or not though.

Some of these fit and some of these don't.  The bobbins work in my featherweight and 301a and that makes me happy!  I don't know what the lightbulbs will fit.  I have another vintage Singer in a cabinet but I have no idea what model it is.  I oughtta go check tomorrow morning and see if it takes those bulbs.

These are my treadle parts.  I was informed some of these go to a Singer Treadle, which I have, but they were found in the drawers of my Sears and Roebuck Treadle.  They are a little rusty, but nothing that will rub off on clothing.  I think most of them are still usable.

Here's a shot of the front of the box.  Isn't it pretty?  Once you get into late 1800's early 1900's the writing and designs on things are just so pretty.  Check out the skeleton key too!  No idea what that goes to, doesn't work on the sewing machine drawers.

This is my buttonholer, and it also fits on my featherweight.  I'm itching to try this out.  I really want to play with it tomorrow if I can find sometime.  :)

Well, I'm exhausted from the day, and I didn't even get any sewing time in!  Just wanted to share some of the interesting attachments I have.  If I get time I'll demo some of them as I learn to use them myself.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

$5 Thrift Store Score!

Oh how I love a good yard sale, estate sale, garage sale, or THRIFT STORE!  I come from a long line of junkers.  ;)  We hit a good sale today at the local thrift store, and I still can't believe I found this pretty little machine.

It's a Singer 301a - not a featherweight, but "related" to a featherweight.  It sews just as beautifully but is a bit heavier and clunkier.  From what I understand it's more heavy duty but I'm still learning about these machines.  I'm so thrilled to have it !  I plugged it in at the store but you never know if it "runs" but doesn't stitch...I was so happy when I got it home and tried it out and it stitches!!!  Yay!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mail Day!!! It wasn't squishy, it was BETTER!

Oh my goodness what a sweet surprise I got in the mail today!  My bloggy friend Leah sent me the sweetest package today!  If only she weren't all the way on the other side of the country, I would give her the biggest hug.  :)  Look at what she sent!

Oh and you know she's a good friend because...(insert lots of girliness here)...she sent me thread!!!  I have had a mild thread obsession for the past, oh, 10 months.  LOL*  I have been itching to try some new threads, Superior has been at the top of the list, and lookeee there!  I finally get to play!  Oooooh pretty pretty!

These two are pegged for my compass quilt...aren't they PERFECT!?

Oh and the pretty green batik fabric she sent!  Ooooh I'm in love!

Leah thank you so much, you are such a thoughtful person, that meant so much to me!  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A tip I discovered while trying to fix something else...

Of course, I haven't solved my original problem...but when I went looking to fix an issue with skipped stitches while free motioning I happened to find this little trick.  NEAT!  An issue I had been having with monofilament and poly threads is that they are so fine that they tangle and break before I even get to the sewing part!  After several broken needles and a few swear words I ended up employing this really neat set up.  A safety pin duct taped to the back of my sewing machine and my thread placed in a jar.  It works!  I still am having skipped stitches so I think my next move is onto another brand of thread.  BUT, no more tangles.  :)  Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good Job Husband

The Hubbers got batteries for the camera this afternoon - good job Hubby!  You know I can't live without my digital photos.  Lol*  So here is the little toy sewing machine my parents gave me...aren't I lucky?  How old would you guess this is?  We are thinking 1930's - 1940' think newer?  Older?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Up Late on a Saturday Night

It's official.  My "partying" days are over.  Lol*  I don't know if it has anything to do with turning 30, but it's 12:30 am, technically on a Sunday, and I haven't the least bit of interest in being out and about.  Does this mean I'm a real grown up now?  LOL*  Sometimes it hardly feels like it.

Anyhow, today was a  nice lazy day indoors.  Rainy, cold, and yucky outside, so we spent the day together as a family.  We had a nice pancake breakfast, and stromboli for dinner - everyone's favorite dish.  It was such a nice day.  I had to run out earlier just by myself, (a rare treat!), to pick up some batting and on a whim decided to stop by my parents on the way home.  I cannot wait to post about it, my parents had been out shopping earlier that day and picked up a little old toy sewing machine for me!!!  I have always wanted to collect them but they are so hard to come by ... and when you do come accross one, lovely as they are, they are often out of my stay at home Mom budget.  My camera battery just died on me though so no pictures tonight.  PHOOEY!  I so wanted to show it off.  :)  Hopefully next post...

So this is what I've been up late working on...

I've actually had this log cabin top sitting in my UFO pile for quite some time, and I knew it would be a beauty once it was quilted.  That's the amazing thing about the quilting in particular about making a quilt...the design you choose can take an "ok" top and make it a showstopper.  Those little details, they are huge, and it makes such a difference.  It's so fun watching the transformation from scraps to an elegant heirloom quilt.

I am having so much fun with my feathers.  Lol*  Aren't they pretty?  I love them combined with scrappy patchwork.  Feathers are so elegant and fancy, it's almost like wearing pearls and jeans...but it looks so good!!!  Hoping to have this quilt in my shop by Monday.