Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A little stitching and some fun finds!

I made a little label for the baby quilt.  I wasn't going to put one on a baby quilt, but, my Aunt insisted she wanted at least my name on it. 

label for baby quilt
I should have made this before I put the binding on, but, I just forgot about it.  I was too busy rushing to get it finished to show off to my little quilt guild.  I had to hand stitch it to the back of the quilt.  My Janome does letters, so, I used that.  This quilt should be in Texas any day now.  The baby is due next week. 

Susan, over at Starwood Quilter, made some burp cloths a while back.  I used her idea and made a few for the new baby.  I shipped them with the baby quilt. 

burp cloths
Not too bad for a first time.  I need to make more of these. 

My Harry Potter Yahoo group is making some things for a little girl with cancer.  Make a Wish contacted one of the members of the group.  The little girl wants to go to the Harry Potter theme park as her wish, but, she can't while she is still on chemo.  The member was asked if something with a Harry Potter theme could be made for her, while she waits till fall for her wish.  OF COURSE some Harry Potter themed items can be made for her (and her little sister, too).  Several members have signed up, and started crafting.  I pulled out a mini quilt top I made for the Wicked blog hop back in 2012, and basted it.  I've started hand quilting it.  I will hand quilt some Harry Potter themed items  in the blank places, too.
basted mini quilt, waiting to be hand quilted
The backing is black with white polka dots.  I made binding to match the backing. 

Hubby had me hit the thrift stores last Friday and Saturday (the sacrifices I make for hubby ;).  Besides the new Sewmore #404 sewing machine that I got on Friday, I came home with a few other goodies I thought you might like to see.

I found a lovely, hand appliqued pillow.  This is hand made and hand quilted, this is NOT Chinese made.  I can't believe someone dropped this off at the thrift store.  It is in pristine shape, and lovely!

hand done pillow
Every applique stitch is hand done.  All the quilting is hand quilted, too.  How could I resist?

At another thrift store I found a whole baby quilt kit, unopened.  Couldn't resist it, either.  

unopened baby quilt kit
I came across a cutie that just called out to me.  He's now living in my sewing room. 

cute baboon
Yesterday was another Quilts of Valor sew-in.  This one was at the shop in Yorkville, IL, Sewing, Etc.  They have a brand new website.  They've been on Facebook for a while, but, I don't Facebook.  The owner, Kelly, is a sweetie. 

My youngest son, Connor, is getting married next year.  He has requested a quilt as a wedding present.  I decided I want to make Jean's Twist and Shout.

Twist and Shout by Jean Kritenbrink
As usual, I'm going to change it up a bit.  My son requested a larger quilt than this, that he and Krystal can snuggle under while watching TV.  I plan on adding more 'twists' and making each 'twist' longer.  I'm also making it in more colors, as requested by my son.  His favorite colors are blue, green and purple.  Krystal's favorite colors are pink, orange, lime green and purple.  While at Sewing, Etc. yesterday, I found a few fabrics to use in the quilt.

some fabrics for Connor's and Krystal's wedding quilt
The black, on the bottom will be substituted for the dark purple in Jean's quilt.  I picked two shades of each color (sorry, they look better than in the picture) for the twists in the quilt.  The ladies at the Quilts of Valor sew-in, and Kelly, the owner, all helped with the fabric choices.  I still need to find a bright white for the background, and, at least 2 more colors for more twists.  I'm thinking yellows and ????. 

Another one of our local quilt shops is closing.  Their rent went up too much for them to stay in business.  It's a great shop, and, we always went there on the shop hops, after we stopped at Ballydoyles Restaurant for Irish food.  The Quilt Basket will be missed.  A friend and I will make one last stop there on Friday.  We'll also eat at Ballydoyles for lunch.  Hopefully I'll find more fabrics for Connor's quilt at The Quilt Basket.  If not, then a trip to another quilt store (and IKEA) for lunch is planned for Tuesday. 

I can't go anywhere today.  My car is in the shop (again).  The engine light has gone off 3 times now, in the past few weeks.  Unfortunately , I need a new catalytic converter.  A very expensive fix.  Oh well.


Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm blaming this one on hubby!

I went to a thrift store yesterday (like that's a surprise) and saw a machine.  I was a GOOD GIRL, I resisted buying the machine!!!! (even though it intrigued me).

Well, this morning hubby asked me to look for him a pair of painters coveralls or a jumpsuit for a costume he needs.  Where else am I supposed to look for something like that?  I did warn him before I left that if the machine was still at the thrift store, it was coming home with me.  Guess what?

Sewmore Model 404
This is a series 66 style Japanese made machine.  I'd never seen a series 66 style Japanese machine before.  All the Japanese machines I've ever come across have been series 15 style machines.  See, you learn new things every day!


bed of machine BEFORE cleaning

Serial # B5331575
Most of the Japanese machines that I've seen in the past have serial numbers stamped on the underside of the machine, and usually start with 'JA' or 'HA'.  Not this machine.  This is the only number on the machine.

This machine was filthy dirty!
see all that grime on the back of the machine?
The cabinet is in pretty poor shape, too.  It has a knee control attached to the cabinet, and all the wiring is connected inside the cabinet. 


dusty wiring inside the cabinet

plug inside the cabinet (after I unplugged the light and motor)
The cabinet is broken near the knee control.  I'm guessing that it wasn't built to take the pressure of a knee control. 
broken wood from the inside of the cabinet, near the knee control

broken part of the cabinet from the outside
Hopefully hubby can help me figure out a good fix for this.  It shifts every time I try to use the knee control.  Really hard to sew that way (holding onto the side of the cabinet).

The plug for this cabinet is missing.  There is a place to plug it in on the back of the cabinet, but, the cord isn't there.

where the cord should attach

my temporary fix
Because the hole is small, and the plug isn't flush with the wood, but is recessed instead, it limits what kind of extension cord I can use.  I had to slightly enlarge the round hole so that this cord would fit. 

66 style bobbin area
 The bobbin case was STUCK!  My son and I worked hard at getting it out.  I've never had a hard time removing a bobbin case before.  This is the same style bobbin case as in my Spartan, Tinkerbell (my 99), Betty (my 1941, 66) and several other 66's (remember, we don't count how many machines I have, or I can't keep on collecting machines/ per hubby). 

all the dirt after the light and motor were removed (BEFORE cleaning)

cracked bobbin tire and motor belt (borrowing a belt from another machine for now)

dust and lint under the machine
I didn't take any pictures while I was cleaning, but, here is my kitchen cabinet after I was done. 
just some of the mess from cleaning the machine
Here is the Sewmore AFTER cleaning.
stitching

nice stitches

after cleaning

front of cabinet, missing hardware

light works fine
I need to figure out how to clean the knee control.  It is still stiff.  I'd like to keep the motor on this machine.  I may have to order a different controller to go with this machine.  I've never used a knee controller before.  With the condition of this cabinet, I thing I may need to ditch the knee control and even the cabinet, and get hubby to build me a base for this.  I'm just scared to work on wiring.  I've never rewired a machine before. 

Hey!  I won something!  Sharon Vrooman tested a pattern for BeaquilterBeaquilter was giving away 3 copies of the pattern, and, I WON a copy!  Thanks Sharon (for letting me know about the giveaway) and Thanks Bea!

pdf copy of pattern I won

Bea asked everyone what 3 colors they would like to use with her pattern.  Since I chose Red, White and Blue (Quilts of Valor colors, of course), she showed what the pattern would look like in those colors
'Boxes!' in Red, White & Blue
This will make a great Quilts of Valor quilt, don't you think? 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quilt Guild and a FINISH!

Monday night was my little quilt guild's meeting.  Because we are so small, we seldom have paid speakers.  Last night was an exception.

Linda Brodine, author and quilter, came and spoke about her book and the quilts that she has made to go with her book.  Linda wrote 'Grandma, Please Tell Me A Story!'
Linda Brodine

Linda's first book
Linda's second book will be out this summer.  She is now starting work on her third book.  This is a picture of her quilts.  Sorry I didn't get pictures of all her quilts, but, I was the quilt holder.  Hard to hold a quilt and take a picture at the same time. 
Some of Linda's 'story quilts' to go with her book
Here are some of the ladies in Wego Quiltin' quilt guild. 

Wego Quiltin' quilt guild
Two of the ladies brought items for veterans.  Jeanette brought 10 blocks for Kevin the Quilter's Quilts of Valor block drive.
Jeanette's 10 blocks
I just checked Kevin's blog, and WOOHOO!!!!!  He has enough blocks for 78 quilts so far.  Can he get to over 100 quilts????  Blocks need to be IN HIS HANDS by 6/1/14.  Have you made any yet?

Phyllis made 3 lap quilts for the Veteran's hospitals in Illinois.
Veteran's lap quilt made by Phyllis

Veteran's lap quilt made by Phyllis

Veteran's lap quilt made by Phyllis
This is just the most generous quilt guild.  These ladies are GREAT! 

I finished the binding for the baby quilt for my Aunt just minutes before I needed to leave for the guild meeting.  Today, I washed all the blue chalk marks out of it.  Other than it still needs a label, it's DONE!!!  Woohoo!!!
finished baby quilt
I stitched the binding on both sides with a machine,  I usually hand stitch the back down by hand, but, that is too hard to do on Minkee.  I did cheat and use my Janome for the binding.  Too much stopping and starting with binding to try it on the treadle.  When I went to  thread the Janome, I realized that it hadn't been used since early last December.  Poor, neglected Janome.  Here is a picture of the mitered and machine stitched binding.
machine stitched binding
Now to get some other projects done.  Have a great week!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Several Firsts for Me (and some misc.)

I've done very little machine quilting in the past.  I took 3 different free motion classes, and I stink at free motion quilting.  Oh well, we can't master everything.  I can do straight line quilting on my Janome 4800QC with it's walking foot, and I've made a few small projects on my hand crank using a regular presser foot. 

Well, earlier this month I got a walking foot for my vintage sewing machines.  Here is a picture of both walking feet, together.
vintage walking foot, and Janome walking foot

bottom of vintage walking foot and Janome walking foot
Can you see how much wider the foot on the right is?  That is the Janome walking foot.  Vintage sewing machines have more narrow feed dogs, so, the Janome walking foot is too wide to feed properly on my vintage machines. 

Here is a picture of my new, more narrow walking foot on my treadle.  The practice sandwich is from a long ago long arm quilting class.   I love quilting on a long arm, I just can't afford one.  The light pink line of thread is my practice stitching on the treadle (see the tip of the scissors).
narrow walking foot on my treadle, showing the stitches it made (light pink stitches only)
This is the first time I've ever tried to quilt on a treadle.  Yep, I'm SCARED!, especially since this is a quilt that my Aunt requested for her first great grandchild.  Pressure!

I bought a lovely thread stand several years ago, but, I've never used it.  Poor thing sits neglected on another treadle, with a huge cone of thread on it.  Here it is, threaded, sitting on the back of the treadle, getting ready to be used for the first time.  Isn't it pretty!
thread stand waiting to be used for the first time
To make sure that the thread feeds properly to the treadle, I used an idea I got from other vintage machine users, and threaded the thread thru empty bobbins on the thread spool pin.  I love all the great ideas I get from others.  Thanks!
thread threaded thru empty bobbins
Another first I tried was to use blue tape to mark my quilting lines on the quilt top. 
blue tape to mark quilting lines
 Others may have success with this method, but I did NOT!.  The tape kept shifting across the quilt top.  I had to unsew a whole line of quilting.  After that, I got out my trusty blue chalk marker and drew on the quilting lines.  MUCH BETTER!  My chalk lines didn't move.
quilt being quilted on 'Victor' my post WWII Japanese treadle
Here is the quilted baby quilt (just needs binding now).
treadle quilted baby quilt

up close of treadle quilting

up close of treadle quilting

back of quilt, showing quilting on Minkee
Oh yea, I spray basted this quilt, but, I did add some pins, just in case.  Nothing shifted.  Woohoo!

Now for my Miscellaneous.......

I picked up a treadle pillow at the thrift store on Saturday.  I can't tell what companies name is on the treadle irons but, it's a company I've never heard of (guessing they couldn't use the name of Singer).
treadle pillow

I was busy earlier in the week, too.  I made another set of 21 garden flower blocks for wedding quilts.  I need one more set done to make 2 wedding quilts.  Now to cut out more corner squares.
both sets done
I also cut out 5 sets of strips for my family reunion rail fence quilt.  I'll make blocks, with white in the center, and the family members will sign the white strips.  
5 sets, using 7 colors, plus white
I still needed one more color, to make 8 colors, so, I picked up some lime green Kona on Saturday.  It's washed, and ready to cut into strips.  I got half of one set of strips stitched on Saturday, during the beginning quilting class.  This will be my first all Kona quilt.  Solids are NOT my thing, usually.  I like prints.  This is really growing on me, though.

Wego Quiltin' (my little quilt guild) is tonight.  I get to show off my treadled quilt.  I won't get to show it to my larger guild, since I need to finish it and mail it before the baby comes this month.  Hopefully I'll get a picture of the baby on the quilt.