Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pillowcase Party!

I've been working on 17 pillowcases this week.  My sister-in-law suggested pillowcases for Christmas presents this year, so, I obliged.  I've only made a couple of pillowcases before this week. 

chain stitching pillowcases
I pinned pillowcases last night, until I ran out of pins.
pillowcases, waiting to be stitched
Near Chicago, we are getting snow.  Thank goodness I live in the far western suburbs, and, we've been lucky, and only have a few inches.  Other suburbs (north and west of Chicago) have been hammered with as much as 12-16 inches.  This is what it looked like out my sewing room window, as I was stitching the last few seams.
snow in the suburbs
And here are the finished pillowcases. 
the monsters glow in the dark

I purchased the Eiffel Tower fabrics about the time Paris was being attacked, last Friday.  We have a niece that is studying abroad, about 2 hours from Paris.  Scarry!

I still have lots of stitching to get done before Christmas.  I guess my break is over.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

More Machines, less stitching

I'm still cleaning machines.  I got 4 new (to me) machines this week, so, it's to be expected.  I've only cleaned 2 of those machines, so far.

The first two machines I picked up Tuesday evening.  They were FILTHY! 
1921 Singer 66

back of Singer 66
After taking the motor and light off (they are connected, so, both had to go), I went to take the machine out of the base, since it is easier to clean that way.  Look what I found when I lifted the machine back.
insulation and the remnants of the manual
There was a hole in the middle of the insulation.  I think something lived there at one time.  I did a thorough cleaning of the wood base, don't worry.  Lots of elbow grease to get the grime off, too.
cleaned & polished base

felt added to the bottom of the base, to prevent scratches
Doesn't that wood look much nicer now?

Next, I cleaned all the silver parts of the machine, then cleaned all the lint out.  I changed out the solid hand wheel to a spoked hand wheel, and, after cleaning the machine (LOTS of grime on the machine) I added a hand crank.  The hand crank is an original hand crank I picked up in Princeton, IL a year or more ago.

Here is the cleaned up 1921 Singer 66.
all cleaned up (you can see where they 'pinned' the decals on the arm)

back (this machine didn't come with a silver cover, since it had a light over the hole, instead)

face plate is much cleaner now

This is an original hand crank that I picked up a year ago.  Not sure if it will stay on this machine.

This machine came with a bentwood cover.  I also cleaned it up a bit.
bentwood cover (back)

bentwood cover (front)

cover half oiled
When I went to put the cover on the machine (it was sitting next to the machine when I got it, not on it), I found out that it didn't fit.  I put it next to another cover/base that I have, that is for a 3/4 size machine.

bottom is the cleaned & oiled cover, top is a empty 3/4 size case
Then I put a full size bentwood cover next to the 3/4 size covers.
bottom is a full size cover
The full size cover came with my new (to me) Gritzner that my sister-in-law found for me.  (it doesn't go with the Gritzner, either). 

Now it has a new home.  I'm hoping to get a handle for it soon.  No, I haven't cleaned up this cover (yet).
cover on Singer 66 base & machine
Next, I moved on to the other machine I picked up Tuesday evening.  A cute little 3/4 sized Singer 128.  This machine was pretty rusty, but, it has great decals.
1923 Singer 128 (3/4 sized machine)

back of Singer 128

notice the rust, and the broken light bracket
Someone decided that this machine needed a new spool pin.  Interesting way to re-purpose a knitting needle.
even the knitting needle was rusty

knitting needle was bent, too.
Because of all the rust on this machine, it took even longer to clean.  I had to use steel wool to 'sand' away as much of the rust as I could.  I also used Evaporust on the chrome parts (don't leave them in the solution too long, or they change color).

Remember that empty 3/4 sized Bentwood base and cover, from a couple photo's above?  Well, it isn't empty anymore. (yes, I still need to clean & oil the wood some more).  Look how pretty this machine looks when it is clean.

cleaned 1923 Singer 128

back (It still has rust, where the hole is)  the light covered this area before.

look at that face plate shine

almost no rust on the slide plates, and look at those decals

I even got the rust off the hand wheel
I was exhausted after cleaning all day and evening on these two machines.  I even worked on them while watching the CMA's.  I could have done more, but, I was too tired.

This morning, I decided to finally clean the Gritzner hand crank (original hand crank, not converted) that my sister-in-law found for me in New Mexico, earlier this summer.  I didn't get it until late September.  I've shown this machine in a previous post (Arkansas TOGA).

The Gritzner wasn't nearly as dirty as the first two machines, but, it still took a while to clean.  I couldn't take this machine out of the base, because of how it is installed.  I didn't want to damage the base by removing screws.

no hinge pins, but, screwed into the base

This machine came with some goodies.
lots of extra bobbins, some needles (regular size, thank goodness) and the original foot (not rusty anymore)

Here is the Gritzner, all cleaned up.
Gritzner hand crank

shiny face plate

back of Gritzner

Gritzner hand crank
I did go to the Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday, but, I didn't sew (or stay long).  Before the sew-in, I helped a friend convert her Singer 66 into a hand crank.  (sorry, no pictures). 

Because of all the cleaning of machines lately, I have not been sewing.  I'm hoping to get some stitching done next week (Christmas is coming, and, I'm not ready yet).    I still have two machines to turn into hand cranks, too. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Busy with 'pre-sewing' machine cleaning

I've been busy the last few days, cleaning 5 different sewing machines.   These are all ready to stitch now.

First, I cleaned a Riccar Dressmaker Model RS-98.  This was made in Japan, around 1989, and, is a free-arm machine.  It came with attachments, but, no manual.  I've contacted the company, and, hopefully, a manual will be headed this way soon.  I do need the manual, since it stitches differently than my other machines, and, even setting the stitch length was hard to figure out.  Once I get the manual, it will be simple to work.  This is a metal machine, not a plastic machine.
1989 Riccar Dressmaker Model RS-98
The second machine I worked on is for a friend's daughter.  I should have cleaned this in July, but, I got it days before I hurt my hand, and, since this is a VERY HEAVY machine, I put off messing with it. 
The lady I got it from said the tension would never work for her.  I figured out why.  There was a ball of lint between the bobbin case and the tension spring.  I had to take it apart (tiny little screw I almost lost) and clean it out.  It stitches nicely now.  It came with lots of attachments and a manual.
Kenmore Green Zig Zag, 148.12050 (Model 1205) 1970-71
The next machine is also a Kenmore (Kenmore's are great machines).  I got this earlier this month.  It is very similar to the machine my mother had (now my son's machine).  I learned how to quilt on my mother's old machine.
Kenmore 158.14301 (Model 1430) 1974-75
Today, I worked on 2 machines that got re-wired at the Arkansas TOGA, the first week of October.  Since I knew that they had to be re-wired before I could use either of them, I never cleaned them.

I got this machine, back in May 2012, from another collector in downstate Illinois.  I was going to turn it into a hand crank (I still may).  If I do, I'll find matching paint, and paint a spoked hand wheel and hand crank to match.  I like that the motor, foot control and light are all matching (blue). 
Home Mark Super Deluxe (C34422) Japan class 15
The last machine I worked on today was the dirtiest, by far. 
look at all that oily lint

drippy grease all over the bottom of the machine, yuk!
I had to get all that old grease off the gears before I could start oiling the machine. 

This is what my counter looks like, as I clean machines.
parts, parts, everywhere
And this is what happens when a screw is stuck, and the screwdriver slips.
blood, blood everywhere
Don't worry, I cleaned it up.  It's hard to finish cleaning a machine with this on your hand.

This is the cleaned up machine.  It was also re-wired at the Arkansas TOGA.  It stitches very nicely.
Stitchmaster (DA201062) class 15, Made on Occupied Japan
What started all my cleaning is that I have 2 different ladies who want to buy a hand crank from me.  I needed pictures of the machines I would consider selling and converting to hand cranks.  I knew the machines were in the dining room, but, I didn't know which machines they were.  As I went thru all the machines in the dining room (22 machines, oh my!) I made a list of what I have in there, and labeled each machine case or cabinet.  I still have to double check the machines for sale, and convert them to hand cranks. 

Since I'm in a cleaning mood (gotta clean house before Thanksgiving) then I am planning on going thru all the machines in the living room, too.  I have a couple in there that need to be cleaned. 

Tomorrow is a sew-in day with my little quilt guild.  I'm taking the last 2 machines, for other's to sew on (that is why I had to clean them today).  The Green Kenmore will also be going, so that it can head to it's new home (that will leave 21 machines in the dining room).  As for the 21 machines in the dining room, you'd never think I had that many machines in there.  I have them 'hidden' in corners, on top of cabinets (with machines in them, too), under cabinets, etc.  Don't worry, I have LOTS of room to get around my dining room table.  Thank goodness for the bay window (most of the machines live there). 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

I started a new project (actually, 8 of these sewing caddys) yesterday, at the quilt guild's sew-in.  I'd spent a day before cutting everything out.

Sewing Caddy from Jenny of Elephantz
Here is a link to Jenny's free pattern.  I am changing a few things up.  First, I've added some batting to my hexie.  I'm also going to change up how it is bound, and how the ties are added.

Here is what I've done so far....
I've made 2 of these, with this lace trim ( I ran out, so, had to change trim for the next 2)

here is the 2nd trim I used (2 like this)

there are 4 of these, and I've stitched on the hexies, too
You have to pay attention when you use directional fabrics, like the scissors above.  It wasn't hard.

I still have 4 hexies to stitch on, some decorative stitching, and, I need to make the pin cushions (added last, after everything else is done).  Here is what I still need to do (besides binding).
4 more hexies to stitch on, and the circles will become pin cushions
Here is what I'm using for the back of these.
I have lots of sewing theme fabrics, and, I'm finally starting to use some of them.  It is hard to cut into them the first time.  Now you know why I've been embroidering the sewing machines.