Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blocks, Machine & Cupcakes!

I made another set of blocks for my upcoming TOGA.  I made these blocks on my 1925 Singer 99 hand crank.  I haven't done much sewing on this machine over the summer.  This is the machine I use for paper piecing my Harry Potter blocks.

1925 Singer 99 HC

I also pulled out a machine that I got quite a while ago, but, hadn't cleaned or tried out. 

1925 Singer 66 with a motor

serial #AA574350 tells me that this machine was allotted on Aug 11, 1925 at the Elizabeth, NJ plant

this machine was really dusty and cobwebby

back of the machine (before cleaning) showing the motor

lovely scroll work on the face plate, and the light works, too

cobwebs, lint and gunk in the base of the case.  YUK!

tons of lint kept coming out of the bobbin area
I took all morning to clean this machine.  Every time I thought I'd gotten all the lint, more lint would appear. 

more and more lint in the bobbin area
a cleaned up machine
The machine is clean now.  I'm still having problems with the tension on this machine.  I now have 2 Singer 66's with tension issues.  I'll have to keep playing with it.  For the moment, this machine will keep the motor.  It is easier to test the tension issues  using the motor.  Besides, I'm running out of hand cranks.  I'll have to get more of them soon.  I'm trying to build a collection of hand cranks, so that when I have a demo of my machines, I can have something to sell when someone asks.  I've only sold one machine before, and it was one that I didn't want to sell, but, was pestered into.  I'd really like that machine back, but, that won't happen.  Oh well. 

Friday evening we went to a church dinner.  Someone brought the cutest cupcakes!  I took pictures so that you could see them. 

Minion cupcakes using half a Twinkie

Cookie Monster cupcakes
I did get one of the Minion cupcakes.  It was good.

Now to get some stitching done!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Week of Finishes!

Usually, I'm the Queen of Unfinished projects.

my T-shirt, describes me well
Not this week, though!  I've finally got some projects DONE! (we won't count how many are still waiting to be worked on....)

First, I finished the 7 preemie quilts for my guild's philanthropy project (that were due 2 weeks ago, Oops! better late than never).  The first three quilts were made from a quilt I 'disassembled' and used the blocks from.  All the quilts have flannel backs.

showing each side (2 quilts)

showing each side (2 quilts)
Including these 7 quilts, the guild made a total of 68 preemie quilts for the local hospital.  Pretty good for a tiny group of ladies.

I also finished the embroidery on another Harry Potter The Project of Doom block.

up close of book titles
Not to totally miss out on the 'Pets on Quilts' (yes, I know, I missed the deadline).  Here is Katie on her 'moving' dog bed in my new sewing room (we can't decided just where to put the bed and her be out of the way).

This past weekend I finished a commission baby quilt.  I'd made a baby quilt (my first) for one of hubby's co-workers.  For the 2nd baby (same co-worker) I cheated and purchased a baby quilt.  Well, that purchased baby quilt was 'loved' to death.

'loved' to death baby quilt
I was asked if I could possibly make a replacement quilt, just like this one.  All I had to go on was this picture and her guess of block sizes.  I've never sewn on Minkee before (boy does that stuff s-t-r-e-t-c-h).  Hubby helped me spray baste the top and bottom together (no batting in the original, so, no batting in this one, either).

top & bottom spray basted together (yes, I also used safety pins, just in case)
Since I can't free motion quilt AT ALL, I decided to straight line quilt on my Janome.  Hopefully, there is enough quilting in it to help hold it together for a L-O-N-G time.

straight line quilting on my Janome
Here is the finished quilt.

top of finished quilt

top & back of finished quilt
 I bound this quilt in pink Minkee.  It worked really well (didn't stretch on the binding).  I quilted it in variegated thread.  I just love variegated threads.

On Tuesday, we had a Quilts of Valor sew-in at Sewing,Etc in Yorkville. 

I finally finished my string quilt that I've been working on.  I've only sewn on it at sew-ins. 

my finished string quilt top
I will be attending the River Rat TOGA in Minnesota in September.  This is a group of vintage sewing machine enthusiasts.  This will be my 2nd TOGA.

They are having a block exchange with the TOGA.  I decided to make a set of blocks on my new blue treadle, Victor.

Victor, my newest treadle
I only made 10 blocks because I ran out of this blue fabric. 

10 bow-tie blocks

finished bow-tie block on Victor
I had to change from the lovely blue belt on Victor (it was too short for this cabinet).  Sewing on this treadle was FUN!  

Since today is Thursday, I'm off to the regularly scheduled Thursday sew-in at Prairie Stitches quilt shoppe.  Maybe I'll get another Harry Potter block embroidered. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Machine and cleaning machines

On Monday, while running errands, I dropped off several bags of stuff at the thrift store.  Of course I had to go inside and see if they had anything I needed.  I'd gotten a third of the way thru the store (with an empty basket, no less) when I spotted this!

Trapezoid case
I've seen pictures of this case before.  I sauntered over (ran, actually) and carefully opened the lid....

Singer 301A sewing machine #NA344107
Well!  I quickly closed the case (hard to do since the machine was in upside down) and didn't even check to see if all the parts were there.  That case went into my previously empty basket, then I checked the price.  $19.99.  SCORE!  Oh yea, on Mondays (yes, it was Monday) people who have Savers cards (they are free) get 25% off everything they purchase.  Woohoo!  Total cost was $15! 

This Singer 301A sewing machine is from 1951 (thanks for dating it for me Michelle).  The Singer 301A is like the big sister to the featherweight sewing machine.  They use the same bobbins, bobbin cases and needle plates.  My model has the long bed instead of the short bed (the part that folds down to make a sewing table).

long bed, and light works
I unpacked my new machine when I got home.  It is missing the bobbin case, but, it came with 2 bobbins.  The new bobbin case will cost me more than twice the cost of this machine. 

Yesterday, I cleaned 2 machines.  This one was pretty dirty and stained.  I think it was in a house of smokers, by the color of the stains. 

lots of yellowish stains

more dirt

these stains may be old machine oil

stains under the light cover area

stains where the hand wheel goes, yuk!
There wasn't much lint in this machine, but, because of the stains, it took a while to clean.  I didn't get all the stains removed, but, I'll work on it again.  You can see in the above picture that the bobbin winder tire also needs replacing. 

Here is my new machine, all cleaned up, and packed properly this time in it's also cleaned up case.  I have a friend with a featherweight sewing machine, and, I'm headed over to her house later to see if this machine sews with her bobbin case.  The motor runs very nicely, and the wiring is great.  Did I mention that this machine only weighs 16 pounds?  That is what the manual (free download) says.  

my clean Singer 301A
Back in February, I found another sewing machine.  I posted about it here.  It had all it's parts (some bent or busted) and it was dirty!  This is a Japanese version of a Singer 15 machine.

Challenge sewing machine motor (Sears motor)

see all that dirt?

bent thread tension spring

Yuk! where the motor was
lint in the bobbin area
This machine cleaned up nicely!  The motor works on this machine, and, after replacing the tension spring, belt and bobbin winder tire (ordered last spring), the machine looks much nicer.

Challenge sewing machine

back of machine, see how much cleaner the back is now?
I put this machine back into its cabinet, and it is now in my new sewing room.  This machine does NOT have a light, but, I have several moveable lights in my sewing room, so, it shouldn't be a problem.

All dressed up, ready to sew
This machine will keep it's motor.  It still has that 'old motor smell' since I didn't run this motor at full speed for several minutes.  I'll do that in the next day or two.  I haven't threaded it, or tried to sew with it, but, I'm sure she will sew nicely. 

Now I have three sewing machines in the new sewing space, waiting to be used.  Anyone up for a sew-in?