Showing posts with label sewing machines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing machines. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ode to sewing machines #23

Many of you follow my "Ode to the Sewing Machine" posts.  We've all seen the ads on craigslist, ebay and elsewhere.  The clueless sellers give those of us who sew a belly laugh, or two!

No one in their right minds would continue reading, but who says quilters are in their right minds, so here's installment #23...

Hand held!  What will they think of next?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What a beauty!

I found this on craigslist, located in Kansas City. A very rare 1889 Willcox and Gibbs Treadle.
I so want this machine!! Alas, it's a 2 day drive.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tension problems?

I'm trying to use a new thread this weekend, a 50 wt So Fine variegated with luscious colors.  I'm having fits with it though... arrrrgh!  The thread is falling off the cone too fast, gets caught and 'snap', the thread breaks.  I have 2 variables that could be causing the problem.

I placed a thread sock on the cone, but the thread is still loose near the top of the cone.  With the thread sock, the thread doesn't fall off the cone, but the thread is loose as it unwinds near the top of the cone.  I also have high static electricity in the air, so that could be the problem as well.

I placed a pot of boiling water on the stove to put humidity in the air.  We will soon see if static is the problem.

While taking a break from the break, I found a great video on tension problems.  You don't need an expensive TOGO tension gauge, it's simple!  Take a look and let me know what you think?
Update: Feb. 6th Here's the url, for some reason over 700 of you visited my page today, and blogger is having a temper tantrum over it.  (smile)

He really knows tension!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

And now, back to the long arm!

I've had a few questions about quilting with a long arm.  So I thought I'd load some photos.  I think visuals might help the confusion among the non-quilters reading my blog.   

Long arm quilting is simply stitching the backing, batting and quilt top together, forming a quilt sandwich.  The first task is loading the backing fabric onto 12 foot long rollers.  The fabric in the photo above is a beautifully dyed batik from the island of Bali.  After the backing fabric is loaded and rolled taut, the batting is placed on top, you can see cotton batting lying on the fabric in the photo.

I have 2 choices as I proceed loading the batting and quilt top.  There are more 12 foot rollers, one set for each layer of a quilt.  I can load the batting and top on those if I want to.  The other choice is the one I always use, it's called floating.  I simply float the batting and quilt top on top of the backing fabric.  To start the long arming, I stitch along the top and sides to anchor the 3 layers together, and then the fun begins!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to lube your thread

I've been long-arming happily all day.  I finished one quilt, and will place another one on the frame tomorrow. I wish the holiday could be extended, I'm not ready for school to start!  For those who are new to the blog, I home school my son.  I'm also taxi-driver for my oldest in college (she has a disability and can't drive for now).

I thought I'd share a tip to help those who are tempted to oil your thread when you sew velcro or use metallic threads.  My method works for long arming, sewing, serging, upholstery  just about any type of sewing.  I've used this method for years and it works!

If you have continual thread breaks while sewing velcro or use metallic threads, try this!  Cut a tiny piece of stick-on velcro, use the fluffy side.  Place it under the thread path AFTER the tension disc.  Then place 1 or 2 drops of silicone (Sewer's Aid, etc.) on the velcro.   As the thread glides across the velcro it lubes your thread without ruining the entire cone, and without gumming up your tension dial.

Use velcro to sew velcro, brilliant! Let me know if you try my method?  I'd love to hear how it worked for you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You must be a Master Gardener if...

What the finished quilt will look like.
My finished blocks.
I started piecing a new quilt today.  It's a Patchwork Party quilt.  This one is for my mom.  I've been using the Singer 201 sewing machine to piece this week.  What a wonderful machine!

Singer 15-91 affectionately called "the tank".  I use this to sew leather, heavy canvas, etc.
In this photo you see leather I used to reupholster my chiropractor's table.
It was 1/4" thick and this machine went through it like it was butter.
 (The blue bin you see in the above photo are my worms.  .... What?  You don't keep worms in your dining room?)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My quilting room is comin' along!

I'm remodeling a room next to my sewing room so I can set up a long arm quilting machine.  Insulation is going in the walls for sound proofing.  I've been told it'll only take a week for the last month so hopefully it will be finished before the year's out?  rotflol

The view on March 20th

The view on April 20th

This is the view if you're standing in front of the door seen in the photo above.  My sewing room is through the open door.  I'm using the 'formal living room' as my sewing room.

What this means is, everyone who comes over sees a MESS upon entering my home.  Compared to that, the rest of the house looks fabulous!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Long arm quilting machine and frame

I bought a long arm quilting machine and frame from someone in Portsmouth, VA yesterday, and I did some pretty significant drooling over the many vintage machines she had. Wow, she had a beautiful New Home treadle with a coffin top on a fabulous table. It wasn't for sale, but it was wonderful seeing one is such fine condition.

I spotted a beautiful 201 for sale! The Singer 201 is in wonderful condition. It's not in a table but the wiring was sound, and the paint looked great.  Look at the throat space!  The 201 is supposed to be the quietest machine available.  The Singer 201 is considered by most collectors to be the best machine Singer ever made. It is gear driven and has an internal motor, which makes it very strong. It is also extremely quiet when sewing.

Once I get my long arm set up I'll be posting about that. We have to finish the ceiling and walls with drywall before I can set it up. Hopefully that will be finished this week.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

How can I be expected to cook and clean?

I've been sewing all day!

Not really, but I have been in my sewing room all day.  I decided I HAD to get the piles organized.  And this is what I came up with!  I bought the bins at Lowe's on clearance!  I bought all they had, and still have 8 more ready to be filled.  In another corner I added shelves above my embroidery machine.  Thread went on the wall and I can see it at a glance.

The quilt on the left was made by my great grandmother when I was born.  It's very worn and tattered, it was used for all 4 kids, I'm the oldest.  She used old shirts, aprons, sheets and anything else she could find.  It's entirely hand sewn and tied.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What to look for in a sewing machine

A friend of mine has been looking for a sewing machine for several weeks. She's researching brands, trying the new ones and also looking at used machines.  I found a blog that has WONDERFUL advice for anyone looking for a sewing machine.
What to look for in a sewing machine

I've had several brands of sewing machines through the years, including a Featherweight 221 and 222. Currently I use a 1951 Singer 15-61 Centennial, a Bernina 640, a Tin Lizzie 26" longarm quilting machine and a 1501 SWF embroidery machine with 15 needles.

I thought I'd share a photo of my Singer. I restored the top recently.  It looks beautiful, I keep it by the front door. I call it "the tank". I'm using it this weekend to reupholster our doctor's chiropractic table. The leather he chose came from a huge, huge cow! It's gigantic! It's also very thick but the tank will handle it nicely.

You can see the leather in a pile on the floor and the pieces from his table can be seen in my dining room.  The blue bin you see on the floor are my worms. I keep the attachments for the tank in the suitcase.  I found the machine on craigslist for free!

Then there are the Singer Featherweights, wonderful little machines.  A few years ago I bought a 222k as a doorstop.  It lived outside in someone's back yard for 2 decades, and was not a pretty sight.  I bought it for $40 and restored it.  An automotive shop repainted it for me, and then I replaced or repaired everything else on the machine, including the decals.  I used it for a year or so, and made a few quilts.  I sold it for $1,200 on ebay (it had every attachment known to man, which is why it went for so much).  The new owner absolutely loved it. 

I need to get off the computer and sew! ... until another day my friends, may you have no thread nests.

( .....What?.... you don't keep worms in your dining room??? ) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to clean your iron using vinegar

It's just like using vinegar to clean a coffee maker or a steam humidifier. It softens the calcium deposits that can gunk up the vents or cause particles to break loose and cause leaks where once water was kept tight.

Step #1
Pour half water, half white vinegar into your iron. (Vinegar will not hurt your iron). Fill the iron, turn it on and let it sit for an hour. The auto-shut off will turn it off eventually, this is ok, just let it sit to soften the crud.

Afterwards, take the iron to the sink, hold it upright and shake it gently to loosen the crud. Then turn the iron upside down and pour the vinegar out of the iron.  Fill with water, shake and pour the water out.  If you've never cleaned your iron before repeat step #1 two more times.

Step #2
Add white vinegar to the iron, fill it to the top. Turn the iron on high, turn the steam to high and hold the iron horizontal over your sink, as if you're ironing.

Let the steam vent out until the iron is about half empty of vinegar. Then turn the iron upright, shake it gently as before and turn it upside down to pour the remaining vinegar out of the iron.

Fill with plain water, empty, fill with water again and repeat the process of venting steam until you're satisfied all the vinegar is out of the vents.  Now you've just added another few years of service to your iron! 

Note: This is the cutting board my husband made for me.  A tupperware colander fits perfectly.  I place a plastic cutting board on top of the colander and slide the veggies into the bowl of the colander as I go.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Did you know...

Right click, and choose "save image as"
This photo can be shared with others!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Friday, August 13, 2010

Habitat Restore sewing machine

Just came back from the Habitat Restore, there are 12 sewing machines waiting to be loved. One was crying out to me as I left, a 1951 Singer 201 in a nice table, missing the power cord, no attachments but the gears were so stiff I could barely rotate the flywheel. Looked inside and it was black with hardened crud. They wanted $125 for it. I explained to one of the workers the machine was worthless as it was, but the table was worth maybe $40. Left my name and phone number behind... maybe they'll call me, maybe not. I need another Singer like I need a hole in the head.  Someone willing to put the time into it is all it needs.  Poor thing needs major work though.