Friday, October 1, 2021

Lyon's Farm and Stitching

 Lyon's Farm Fall Festival was last weekend.  I've had a booth at their festival every year except one since 2012.

This year, one of the projects that I worked on at the festival was 2 pairs of ruffled pants for my granddaughter.  

sewing on a Singer 301A at the festival

I don't sew clothes.  I did make my granddaughter some T-shirt dresses earlier this year.  Those were my first clothing I've made since Home Ec in 9th grade.  My shirt in Home Ec turned out looking like a maternity top (despite the teacher checking every step).

Well, I bit the bullet and decided to try this pattern (found at Goodwill).

ruffled pants pattern

The pattern suggests either surging all the seams or using a zig zag stitch.  Well, all the machines at the festival were straight stitch machines.  Because of the straight stitch issue, I decided to do rolled hems on each seam.

Pinning each rolled hem takes LOTS of time.  I didn't get much sewing done at the festival.  Once I started, I had to keep going, so that all the seams were the same.  After the festival, I stitched on my purple Featherweight.

stitching the hem

I made lots of mistakes, but I learned from each mistake.  I did use the serger on the inside leg seams, and on the ruffles.  I finally finished both pairs of ruffled pants late last night. 

If you look close at both pairs of pants, you can see one of my mistakes.  I decided that that mistake was going to stay.

I also made a satin and flannel blanket for my newest grandson.  His big sister and big brother both have one, and I was told he needed one, too.

I also got the binding stitched onto one of the Harry Potter Castle quilts.  I haven't had time to take photos yet.  The quilter did a great job on both quilts.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Some Finishes, a Gift and Getting Ready

 Yipee!  I finished both Harry Potter Castle quilt tops this weekend!  The long arm quilter has them now.  I started the blocks for these quilts back in February.  I didn't get a chance to work on them over the summer, but I finally got time to get the blocks in the Castle setting this past week.

Harry Potter Castle quilt

2nd quilt top is folded on the cutting table

Yes, I made 2 identical quilt tops.  My newest grandson will get the first quilt, and I'll keep the 2nd quilt to put in my large quilt guild's quilt show.  

These quilt tops are much larger than I was expecting.  The directions don't mention sizes, other than the paper piece block sizes.  I didn't care enough to stop and graph it out to pre-determine the finished sizes.  The quilt tops are 58" x 82.5".  Way too large for a baby quilt, but, the paper pieced quilt tops I make for my grandkids are usually hung on a wall, not slept under.  I always make them plenty of quilts to sleep under and throw on the floor.  

Monday night was my little quilt guild's Annual Tea.  One of the members made gifts for everyone in the guild.  She made us all sewing kits.  Each kit was made using different fabrics.

closed sewing kit

open sewing kit

continuous threaded needle & thread holder
(each holder has 10 threaded needles) 

finger pin cushion, pop-up thread catcher and pip

each pip had a rubber thimble and 2 Clover clips

Much of each of these items is hand stitched.  She made around 24 kits.  Everyone loved their kits and have asked her to do some demo's on how to make each part.  

This weekend is the Annual Kendall County Historical Society's Lyon's Farm Fall Festival.  Last year the festival was cancelled due to Covid (like everything else).  This year the festival is happening. I've had a booth at the festival since 2012.  It's always fun.  Well, this is the first year that I have to set up by myself.  I usually have my husband or son help set up, but they can't help me this year.  It will take me 2 trips to get everything to the festival this time.  I've already loaded my car, even though I can't set up until Friday afternoon.  I'm bring fewer machines this year than I normally bring.  I'm only taking 12 machines this time.

three machines on the floor of my car

four machines on the back seat of my car (room for one more machine on the seat)

four machines, 3 chairs, several quilts, a Featherweight table and a 401/301 short bed table

I'll have to come back to get the treadle base and the projects that I'll be sewing on during the festival.  I expect that the crowds will be much smaller than normal this year, due to Covid.  Illinois' numbers are getting smaller each day (less than 4% now).  

If you want to see my past blog posts about Lyon's Farm Fall Festival, then scroll way down to my post list and look under Lyon's Farm.  

Now to go get my projects and sewing notions together for the weekend.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Little Bit of a Lot of Things

    I never showed the completed pin cushion I made for the Treadle On Pin Cushion exchange.  I made a cute little mouse pin cushion.  I made a 2nd one for me to keep.

1st Mouse pin cushion

2nd Mouse pin cushion

Both  Mouse pin cushions

These are the only mice I ever want to see in my sewing room.

On Monday, I finished the embroidery on my Olde Treadleonia map.
map of Olde Treadleonia

    This map is from the early days of Treadle On, back when Captain Dick had lots of fun and games on the website.  I'll use this map as the center of a quilt.  I have lots of blocks from previous Treadle On Block Exchanges that I've participated in, that I've never sewn up into quilts.  

    I ordered a special tool kit designed for vintage sewing machines.  All of the bits in this kit are for the screws in most vintage machines.  The kit arrived yesterday.
Chapman set #9600

    I ordered this screwdriver kit from Sew Purty Workshops.  These kits are made in the USA.  I'm looking forward to using the kit the next time I clean a vintage sewing machine (several are waiting their turn to be cleaned).

    I started the Castle layout for my latest grandson's Harry Potter quilt.  Parts of the layout are paper pieced and parts are traditional pieced.  I'm making the paper pieced parts first.  These are the largest paper pieced blocks I've ever made before.
tops of Castle

    The Castle layout is from the Fandom in Stitches Disney Princess Quilt Along.  The layout uses the same size blocks as I was making (10" finished).
Castle layout

    I didn't want the roof of my Castle to be purple, and I also wanted my Castle to be made of gray stone, not wood, so I'm making several other changes, too.  Yes, I'm making two of this quilt.  One for my new grandson, and one that I can show at my quilt guild's quilt show (whenever we get to have quilt shows again).  Eventually my grandson will get the 2nd quilt, when the first quilt wears out.

    The end of August I visited a thrift store that I don't get to very often.  I found this quilt there for $10.  Of course I couldn't pass it up.
thrift store quilt

    I don't know if this quilt had even been used before.  It hadn't been washed.  It washed up nicely.  It may become a charity quilt.  Both of my quilt guilds are always needing charity quilts for different organizations.  

Now to go finish the Castle doors and the rest of the Castle layout.  

Friday, September 10, 2021

Happy (2nd) National Sewing Machine Day 2021!

Yes, today is the 2nd National Sewing Machine Day of the year!  Sewing Machines are sew important that they get 2 days each year, June 13th and September 10th.  

To celebrate, I cleaned some vintage sewing machines. The first machine is NOT mine.  I'm cleaning it up for a friend. 

New Home 'Ruby' treadle

New Home 'Ruby' treadle

Those are the 'before' photos.  I've cleaned this machine (spent almost all of Labor Day cleaning this machine), but it is still really dirty.  I'll have to clean this machine a few more times before all the dirt and grime finally come off.  There is also some repair work to be done on the treadle base.

The next 2 sewing machines are 'new' to me.  A friend saw an advertisement for this next sewing machine and sent it to me.  The machine would move, but wouldn't make a full turn when I got it.  Also, it is missing the knob off the hand wheel.  Thank goodness it had a shuttle and bobbin, since those can sometimes be impossible to find for some machines.  These are the 'before' photos.

The Royal hand crank

lovely decal in the center

missing the knob to turn the hand crank

some rust and grime

really dirty tension


This sewing machine is called The Royal.  It was made by the Gardner Sewing Machine Company, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  The company was only in existence from 1871-1886, when it went bankrupt. The few hand cranks similar to this that I could find on the internet date from around 1875.  If that is correct, then this will be my oldest sewing machine.  There is very little information about this machine that I could find.

Here are photos of The Royal cleaned up.  It turns nicely now.  I haven't tried to sew with it yet.  I need to figure out the threading (and I didn't finish cleaning it until late at night Thursday).

The Royal

now you can see the decals

back of machine

hand wheel is clean, but still missing the hand crank knob (for the moment)

cleaned tension, but I need some felt to replace that tan piece in the tension area (it's falling apart)

Last week a friend gave me another sewing machine.  So far, she's given me a cute, vintage, Casige toy sewing machine, and another vintage sewing machine (I haven't shown it on the blog).  This time she gave me a Featherweight!!!  She bought the Featherweight years ago at a thrift store for $9.  She's never sewn with it.  It is missing the bobbin case, and needs some parts (bed cushions, belt, oil drip pan, etc).  It will also get an LED light bulb, since I reach under the arm of machines to lift the presser foot, and I've burned myself many times on my first Featherweight bulb before I bought an LED light for it.

1948 Singer 221-1 Featherweight

This machine didn't come with anything, but I don't care (other than the bobbin case).  I have 1/4" feet to fit this machine.  What else do I need?  I will probably make it a cover for the folding table, and a bag to store it in, like I did for the purple Featherweight.  

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Purse Caddy, etc.

 I did a demo on a easy to make purse caddy at my little quilt guild earlier this month.  I totally forgot to post it here, despite saying that I would.  Oh well, better late than never.

I was shown a cute little purse caddy when I was at the Missouri TOGA back in June.  I was given one so that I could present the idea to my little quilt guild.  

The purse caddy came with a little sheet that included the website where she got the idea, and what the purse caddy could be used for.

note that came with the purse caddy

purse caddy I was given

purse caddy opened up

I decided to make some of these, and also make kits for all the ladies in the guild.  The lady I got my purse caddy from said that she used pot holders from the dollar store.  I went to the dollar store and bought a stack of pot holders.  The pot holders need to have the hanging loop in the center of one side, not off a corner, since the loop holds the button to close the purse caddy.

Just to let you know, I didn't check out the website Find It Make It Love It until I'd already made my samples for the demo.  It turns out that the website uses rectangular pot holders to make their purse caddys.  I used square pot holders to make mine.  I'll point out the differences between their purse caddy and mine as I go along.

Finding pot holders was easy.  Finding snack bags wasn't so easy.  I found lots of the new style that are square, but couldn't find any in the rectangle size needed for this project.  I finally found a jumbo box that had the large green ends.  Oh well, they worked, especially since I needed enough snack bags to put 6 in each kit I made (about 22 kits), plus snack bags to make my samples.  

I layered my snack bags on the pot holders, and held them in place with clover clips.  I marked a line down the center, using a chalk marker, so that the chalk line would disappear as I stitched.

ready to stitch

To make it easier to sew over all the plastic, I used a roller foot for my sewing machine.  You can also just cover the bottom of your sewing foot with blue tape to make it slide easier.  I did that for one of my samples, just to make sure it worked well, too.

roller foot and blue tape

Of course, these were all stitched on a vintage hand crank sewing machine.

1927 Singer 15 hand crank

I stitched 1/4" down either side of the line that I marked.  Here is the stitching line from the back (easier to see), and from the snack bag side.  With the square pot holders, your snack bags will overlap more than her snack bags do with a rectangle pot holder.  

stitching line from the back

from the snack bag side

Here are the first samples that I made.

4 finished samples

While shopping at Walmart, I found these cool, reusable snack bags by the kitchen utensils.  I figured I could make a purse caddy with them. The set I got at Walmart had 8 bags for $4.97.

set of 8 for less than the cost online

These bags are larger than the standard snack bag size, so I had to improvise.  I pulled out some pre-quilted fabric that I had, and made pot holders to fit these bags (9.5" square with rounded corners).  I even had some packaged binding laying around in matching colors.  I only used 4 bags for each purse caddy, so a package makes 2 purse caddys. 

2 larger finished purse caddys

inside of one purse caddy

One lady at my guild meeting loved these so much that she went out and bought all the reusable snack bags at several of the local Walmarts.  She is going to make them for several relatives that fly often, so that they can use them when they travel.  I plan on using some of mine to hold my scissors, threads, etc. for embroidery.


Update on the bleeding red backing fabric for my Family Reunion quilts. I tried a method that someone else recommended.  I soaked the fabrics in hot water with Dawn for 12 hours (several different times), but, this fabric still bleeds.  After washing the backing fabrics 20 times (including soaking), I gave up and bought new backing fabrics (light tan, and no bleeds).  Does anyone want 2 large backing fabrics that might turn your project pink?  Free to a good home.


Update on weight loss:

I've now lost 56 pounds in 7 months!  Woohoo!  I still have a ways to go.  Now I need to see if I have more, smaller pants in the basement that fit.  Mine are falling off.