Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wheeler & Wilson #8

I got my first Wheeler & Wilson sewing machine.  

The story of this machine started on July 21st, when someone put a Wheeler & Wilson #8 flyer on the freebie table at quilt guild.  
Wheeler & Wilson #8 flyer (front cover)

inside pages (check out those prices)

back and front covers
 Any time a collector finds something that goes to a machine that they don't already have in their collection, we refer to it as 'bait'.  Well, I guess this was my 'bait' for a Wheeler & Wilson #8.  

Two days later, hubby and I drove to LaSalle, IL, to visit a quilt shop and drop off both Family Reunion quilts, to be quilted.  We checked out a couple of the other shops downtown, and, I spied this Wheeler & Wilson machine.  I knew that a part was broken off the machine, and, it was in a base, but, it didn't have a hand crank, so, I didn't know if it was worth the price.  I took a couple of pictures so that I could send them to a friend who runs the Wheeler & Wilson online group.  The broken part wasn't a big deal (it's the corner where the stitch length lever is located), and, the machine was probably a treadle, but, not a hand crank (hand cranks for these machines are not easy to find).  I decided to get the machine anyway, as I could always use it as a display machine if I couldn't figure out how to make it work.

I called the shop, paid for the machine, and told them I couldn't pick it up until after I got home from Alaska.  A friend and I went a couple of days after I got home, and picked up the machine and the quilts.
Wheeler & Wilson #8 (before cleaning)

broken piece

broken piece, just laid in place
 I haven't had time to play with this machine until today.  I've been busy prepping and sewing, and prepping and sewing and prepping and sewing (lots of paper piecing here). 

Today, not only did I clean the machine, but, I did some research, too.  So far, we've narrowed down the date for this machine to somewhere after Aug 1878 (last patented date listed on the machine) and before 1885.  Miller (who co-runs the Wheeler & Wilson group) is hoping to get me a more exact date soon.  

I had gotten some extra bobbins, hoping that they would fit this machine, but, they are almost twice as wide as the bobbin from this machine.
bobbin from this machine on left, other W&W bobbin on the right
 Miller things that someone built the wooden base for this machine as a display base.  Most Wheeler & Wilson #8 machines came in a treadle, and, this one was most likely a treadle, too.  The hand cranks I've seen pictures of, all have a geared hand wheel.  

I wasn't going to clean this machine today, but, I couldn't read the slide plate, where the serial number and the patented info was listed. 
before cleaning

after cleaning
 Once I got started, I just couldn't stop cleaning until it was done.  The shiny metal parts on this machine weren't shiny at all.  Most were dark brown or black, from old oil.  It took a long time to clean all that old oil off.  Here is a before cleaning, and some after cleaning photos.

before cleaning

after cleaning
before cleaning

after cleaning (sorry, the photo turned itself, and I can't correct it)

Can you see the foot in the picture above?  It has a glass insert on the foot.  That is a cool thing on Wheeler & Wilson machines. 

Before I started cleaning, I couldn't figure out how to get the bobbin case out of the machine.  My son thought that the lever was broken on the bobbin case area.  Miller confirmed this.  While cleaning, I accidentally snapped what was left of the lever piece, and now the bobbin case won't stay in the machine.  Since parts are rare, this will be a display machine, for sure.

This is one of my oldest machines.  My oldest is my Willcox & Gibbs (1880) 
1880 Willcox & Gibbs chainstitch hand crank

and my second oldest is my Singer 12 treadle (1881),

1881 Singer 12 treadle
I started cleaning up the Singer 12 treadle, but, had to stop because of the sweltering heat we had last month.  I finally got some of the last sanding done this week, and hubby is helping me to glue several parts of this before I stain the base. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wego Quiltin' Purse Class

On Saturday, my little quilt guild had a purse class.  We had 10 ladies in attendance (over half the guild).  It took us about 5-6 hours to make our purses.  I didn't get pictures of all the finished purses, but, I did get some pictures.

This is Jo.  She was our teacher and also our hostess.  She has a great place for everyone to gather and stitch.  We had 3 ironing boards set up, cutting tables, lots of tables for our machines, along with a kitchen.  
Jo, our teacher

Janet makes lots and lots of purses.  She was finished first.  Janet added some 'extra's' to her purse (faux piping along the trim and pocket).

up close of Janet's purse with faux piping accents
Phyllis has made this purse before.  She was also adding some 'extra's' to her purse.

Phyllis' purse, with accents on the accent strip and the pocket

Here are some of the other ladies with their purses.
Marilyn, stitching on her purse

Marilyn's finished purse

Jeanette and Emily working on their purses
Sue, trimming the last piece for her purse zipper

Sue and her finished purse

Jo has LOTS of beads, and thought we all should add some bead bling to our zippers.
Jo's bead closet

Jo, stringing beads for my purse zipper

Here is my finished purse.  I used the fabric that my daughter in law helped me to pick out in Alaska last week.
My finished purse

bead bling for my zipper
I hand stitched to lining closed yesterday afternoon. 

This was a fun project, but, I don't know how well I'd have done without Jo being there to help (I wasn't the only one).  I'll make this purse again.  I love that I didn't have to pre-quilt the fabrics, like the other purse I make

I used my purple Featherweight, Betty Sue, to make this purse.  Sorry, I should have turned the light off before taking the picture (I always forget that).
1939 Singer Featherweight (221) 'Betty Sue'
Have you made any purses?  Were they easy for you, or hard?  I'm not good at following pattern directions.  I'm a 'visual' person.  Give me lots of pictures.  I took lots of pictures as I made each part, so that next time, it will be easier for me, since Jo won't be there, helping with each step. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Our youngest son moved to Anchorage over 2 years ago.  This was our first visit to Alaska.  Don't worry, I didn't take many pictures.

On our 2nd day, we drove drove south, to Portage and Whittier.  Whittier is as far south as you can go, without getting on a ferry. 

There was a great Fudge shop in Whittier.  I loved the sign in the window (great fudge, too).  I've been trying to convince people for years that chocolate is a vegetable.  They had proof!
See, chocolate IS a veggie!
Here are a few pictures driving back from Whittier/Portage, to Anchorage.  It rained almost every day, so, it was hard to take pictures.  Waterfalls coming out of the mountains are common.  You will see several on the same mountain.
one of the many waterfalls on the mountains
 Clouds covered most of the tops of the mountains.
glacier at Portage

up close of the Portage glacier
On Friday, hubby and my son went hiking.  My daughter in law and I shopped quilt stores and the shops downtown.  I didn't take pictures of any of the quilt stores, but, the 3 I visited were great!  Across the street from one of the quilt stores (The Quilted Raven) was a yarn store.  We just had to go in, despite the fact that I can't knit or crochet.  The store was named The Wooly Mammoth.
I did take a picture of a quilt inside the Wooly Mammoth. 
Isn't he CUTE!  His ear and his tail are 3D.    You can see some of their yummy yarns below the quilt.  Many of the quilt stores also sell yarns.

On Monday, we took another day trip, and headed to Talkeetna.  I did get a few pictures, between rain showers.
between Anchorage and Talkeetna

between Anchorage and Talkeetna

My son really wanted some of their Spinach bread.  Boy was it good!
Spinach bread trailer
Across the street from the Spinach bread vendor was an Alaskan stretch limo.
Alaskan stretch limo
There was a shop in Talkeetna that also sold fabric.  Woohoo!  I bought a couple of batiks.

After Talkeetna, we headed to Denali.  The park is about 100 miles across.  We drove until we got to the ranger station area (where all the shops were).  What beautiful mountains in Denali.

On Tuesday, we headed south again, to Girdwood.  Hubby and our son took a short hike, while Krystal and I shopped and enjoyed the scenery.  This time it wasn't raining until we drove back (it rained every day we were there).  I got a few pictures on the way back to Anchorage.

the clouds cover the top of the mountain

clouds on the mountain

I did finally get a picture of our son and his wife, while we were waiting for our Salmon Quesadillas.
Connor and Krystal
Aren't they a cute couple!?! 

Krystal found a pattern and class for a snow skirt at one of the quilt shops.  Since we hadn't found her a birthday present yet, we signed her up for the class.  I can't wait till September, when the skirt is made. 

I didn't get lots in Alaska.  We'll be back, since our kids live there now.  I did get a few things from the quilt stores.

Hubby has an Alaskan Malamute.  They are the Alaskan state dog.  I found this pattern in every store, so, of course I had to get it, along with some fabrics to make it. Since it only makes a 10" mini quilt, I'm thinking of enlarging it, and making it bigger.
pattern and fabrics to use in it
My little quilt guild had a purse class today (Saturday), so, I needed fabric for the purse.  My daughter in law helped me pick this fabric out.
batiks for a purse
Of course, I needed a few 'Alaskan' fabrics, too.
Alaskan batiks
I also found some patterns.  I have the ruler for the pattern on the right.
I loved the moose table runner, and my daughter in law loved the owls.  I've not made 'stuffed' animals, so, I hope I can make them. 

Anchorage has a local artist that is great.  I was drawn to her stuff from the beginning.  I'll get some of her fabric when I go back to Alaska.  I just got a card and a bookmark. 

Here are the three quilt stores I visited in Anchorage.

I found the cutest pj's, too.  Hubby thought these suited me best.
Chocolate Moose (with a cherry on top)
We got home on Wednesday.  It's been crazy since we touched down.  We went to a funeral (close friend) on Thursday.  On Friday, another friend and I drove to Princeton, IL, and checked out the quilters garage sale at Quilter's Garden.  Then we drove to LaSalle, IL, and picked up the family reunion quilts, and dropped off another quilt to be quilted at Quilting in the Valley.  Lisa did a great job quilting both family reunion quilts. 

We then went around the corner and picked up my new (to me) Wheeler and Wilson #8 sewing machine.  I saw it when we dropped the reunion quilts off, last month, and called and got it.  I took a couple of pictures, when I first saw it.  I haven't had time to take any more pictures since I picked it up late yesterday.  I have lots to research about this machine.
Wheeler and Wilson #8
I'll have another post about the purse class tomorrow.  It was another busy day, today.  I need some rest.