Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another sewing machine followed me home!

I went to a thrift store last week, and saw 3 different sewing machines.  One unfixable old Singer, a treadle (I have enough of these, unless it is in wonderful shape) and a vintage Japanese sewing machine.  Well, I was a GOOD GIRL and walked away from all three machines.  Problem was, that vintage Japanese machine just kept calling my name.  I finally decided that if it was still there (they seldom are still there), then I'd stop by and buy it.  DARN!  When I called yesterday morning, it was STILL THERE! 

Vintage Japanese sewing machine
This is a 'badged' machine.  That means that some company had their name put on the machine, instead of the makers name.  I don't know who made this machine, but, I'm hoping that one of my vintage groups will be able to help me out. 

Illinois DeLuxe 'badged' name on arm of machine

plate on machine near base of arm
Since I currently live in Illinois, I guess this name fits.  There is a sticker on the top of the arm of the machine (why do repair places put their stickers on these machines???) that says

repair shop sticker ON TOP OF THE ARM  of the machine.  What a stupid place to put the sticker
I did a Google search, but couldn't find this company listed.  This sticker is so old, they don't even list the area code by the phone number.

This machine is missing a few parts, too.

missing the needle holder/needle clamp screw
missing the bobbin case and bobbin
needs a new spring on the tension
Did you notice the numbers stuck on the machine in the picture above?  From what I can tell, the list the order for threading the machine.  I've never seen this done before.  Since that stupid repair sticker is stuck to the top of the arm of the machine, maybe I'll just leave these in place, too.  Especially since I don't have a manual.

Stitch lever, yipee, it has reverse!

outside motor, wiring is good on the outside of the machine, and the motor runs

inside motor wiring, not so good

The feed dogs can be lowered by turning a button on the base of the machine.  Cool!  Now if I could just free motion quilt.... oh well, can't be good at everything.

arm that moves feed dogs up and down

arm that moves feed dogs up and down
Serial # TA.51868
Most Japanese machines start with JA or JC in the serial number.

Hopefully I can get some info on this machine.  I'd love to be able to get some parts, too, so that she can sew. 


We were supposed go to the tea room yesterday, as an early birthday lunch, but, they are closed for the month of January, for vacation.  We didn't find this out (who knew you needed to call ahead for food) until we got to The Fabric Center in Morris, IL.  I love shopping at this store. The people are so friendly and helpful.  It's a fun, bright store, with lots of lovely fabrics and some of the best prices around here.  I purchased several yards of white on white fabric for only $7.99/yd,  Since the tea shop was closed, we'll have to go back another day (darn, more fabric shopping). 

We did stop at several thrift stores, and another sewing machine followed me home, too. 

treadle music box

top of music box, sew cute

Yes, another treadle followed me home!  This one plays 'Buttons and Bows'.  Hubby was concerned when I told him that another treadle followed me home, until I showed it to him.  He was very relieved to see how small this one was.  I also found a teapot, still in the box.

my newest teapot
I figured that this teapot was small enough to fit almost anywhere.  I loved the blue and white colors. 

Today is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day – January 24

I'll be visiting 2 different local quilt shops today.  Prairie Stitches in Oswego, where we have our regular Thursday sew-ins, and Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia, where we are having an evening Quilts of Valor sew-in.  I'll be using an Accuquilt to cut squares for our signature quilt blocks.  We'll also have service members from Great Lakes Naval base come by and pick up lots of quilts for their next Returning Warrior Weekend.         

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cleaning Sewing Machines

I purchased 3 vintage sewing machines in October.  Because of my father-in-laws bypass surgery, then the holidays, I haven't had time to clean these machines up and test them.  Today, I made time to clean 2 of these machines. 

This is the first machine I cleaned (yes, these are BEFORE pictures).  See how dirty this Singer 99 from 1925 was?

tape on the base of the machine

tape and lots of dirt

scratches all over the bentwood case
There was lots of lint in this machine.  It took me quite a while to get all the lint out before I could start cleaning the machine and oiling it. 

this is the bobbin area BEFORE (minus most of the lint)

these are some of the cotton balls and the pipe cleaner I used
cleaned Singer 99, the tape came off with lots of work

cleaned bobbin area

lovely faceplate on this machine

view from the back

doesn't this look much nicer now?

key that goes to the bentwood case

 Yipee!  One machine done.  I still need a slide plate for this machine, and a hand crank.  I had a spoked hand wheel.  I will try to rewire the light for this machine.  Not sure when I'll get around to messing with that.  I haven't rewired anything before. 

Now for the 1949 Singer 66 that I got while in Arkansas in October.  This machine has a crinkle finish as the paint job.  I personally think that crinkle finish paint jobs are ugly.  Still, I went back and purchased this poor machine. 

Here are some BEFORE pictures.

dirty machine 
told ya it was dirty!  This was under the motor area

dirty bobbin area

I took the motors off both of these machines.  I didn't even test the motor on this machine, the wiring scared me too much.  The motor worked on the other machine, but, needed to be rewired.  This machine also had a light, but, the way it was wired, I could only use the light if I used the motor. 

Here is the cleaned up machine.

clean, but, with this type of paint, she'll never be shiny

clean bobbin area

see how clean the back is now
This machine also needs a face plate and a hand crank.  I used my last spoked hand wheel on this machine.  This machine also needs a base.  She didn't come with a base.

I tested the stitches on both machines.  The Singer 99 worked right off.  It was harder to change the stitch length on her, and, she doesn't have back tack because of her age.  That's ok.  The Singer 66 has back tack and the stitches are much easier to adjust.  It helps that she is a much younger machine.  I had problems with the tension.  I got it partly adjusted, but, I'll have to work on her tension more after I get a hand crank.  It's hard to do just by turning the hand wheel.  These machine both use the same bobbins, too.  I can get a dozen metal bobbins for these machines for about the same as the cheap plastic bobbins from the store.  I'd much rather the metal bobbins. 

Tomorrow, I get to go back to Letty Mae's Tea House in Morris.  Some of my friends are celebrating my Birthday early, since my Birthday week is very busy, quilting wise.  We are also going to visit 2 different quilt stores while we are out (of course).  I'm looking for some white on white fabric for an upcoming project.  I'll try to take some pictures.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quilts of Valor, Book Review, Harry Potter project, etc.

I went with Rita (the leader of our local chapter) to a Quilts of Valor presentation for 2 Marines back in December.  I actually got to award one of the quilts to one of the Marines.  It is such a moving experience to attend one of these presentations, even more moving to get to actually present a quilt to a service member.

2 Marines with their mothers and their Quilts of Valor
On Wednesday, I again went with Rita to the Itasca Quilt Guild, to tell them all about Quilts of Valor, and how they can help.  It's always fun meeting other quilters.  We got some new longarm quilters, and several ladies that were interested in making quilt tops, and attending some of our Quilts of Valor sew-ins.  While at the meeting, I saw a great quilt that the Itasca Quilt Guild had presented to the library (where they meet) back in 1995.  I thought you might be interested in seeing some pictures of this quilt.  The quilt is 'under glass' so, the pictures do have some reflection (yes, I turned the flash off). 

Itasca Quilt Guilds quilt, donated to the local library in 1995

close up's

I loved all the nursery rhymes in the quilt.

Also at the meeting were members of another guild, selling raffles for their quilt.  Faithful Circle Quilters had this quilt at my little guild, selling raffle tickets back in November, but, I was in Texas at the time, and missed seeing it.  I purchased tickets for this quilt.  They have a quilt show in Woodridge, IL September 14 & 15, 2013.  

Last night was my large guild, Pride of the Prairie's monthly meeting.  Karen Musgrave is a former member of this guild.  She wrote a book, "Quilts in the Attic: Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts we Love".   I purchased the book before Karen started her lecture last night.  I loved flipping thru the book to see upclose pictures of the quilts that she was talking about.  I read the first 2 stories last night.  This is a great book!  One of the featured quilts has been shown at this same quilt guild (by the owner) last year.

Great book!

Karen Musgrave, author

I have not gotten any sewing done this week.  After the sew-in on Saturday, hubby loaded my machine into the back of my car, and, while he was driving us to dinner, the case fell over.  My machine already needed to be cleaned and oiled (lots of lint that needed to be cleaned out), but, it jammed the lint in the bobbin case area, and, when I tried to sew on Tuesday, it wouldn't work at all.  Ugh!  I've cleaned and oiled, and it still isn't quite happy.  I think I messed up the feed dogs adjustment when I put them back.  I finally gave up, and my little Singer is taking a break for a few days.

Harry Potter paper piecing

Harry Potter paper piecing

Harry Potter paper piecing

Harry Potter paper piecing

Not being able to sew (nope, I didn't want to switch machines at this point), gave me time to get ready for some upcoming projects.  I did get some embroidery done on a VERY delinquent wedding quilt.  Hopefully the wedding quilts will be finished soon (yes, both are VERY late, OOPS!).  I WILL have my trusty little hand crank up and running before the end of the month, so that I can do the project in the next paragraph. 

Terri, over at QuiltNCards, and I are going to make the Harry Potter Paper Piecing Project of Doom quilt, over at Sewhooked.   There are 30 weeks worth of blocks to make this quilt.  It was a 2011 Block of the Week Mystery Quilt.  I didn't know how to paper piece when I finally saw this quilt at the end of 2011 (when it was over, of course).  Terri and I will be giving each other encouragement while we each attempt to make this quilt (not sure if Terri will be making this quilt, or just some of the other great paper piece blocks for Harry Potter on the Sewhooked site).  Terri and I plan on starting this February 1st.  If you want to join us, let us know.  I'll be happy to link to your blog so that others can see your pictures.  I don't know how to do a linky, but, if there is enough interest, I'll figure it out.  Let me know if you are interested in joining Terri and I

Oh yea, I almost forgot... my 50th Birthday is coming up next month.  I'm planning on a Giveaway for YOU, my wonderful followers!  I'm gathering lots of yummy, quilty things together.   The Giveaway will open in February, and last all month long.  As I said, it is ONLY FOR MY FOLLOWERS!  I'm not trying to get new followers (it's ok if I do), but, as a special THANK YOU to my current followers.