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Archive for the ‘Sewing machines’ Category

This is George, my Brother Window-Matic sewing machine, after his “rejuvenation” last year. My other vintage sewing machines all have girls’ names, but my little daughter insisted that a “Brother” machine had to have a boy’s name.  So, George it is.  🙂

I love this sewing machine so much — it works perfectly, and it’s very quiet.  I wish I could find out more of its history, but vintage Brother sewing machines are very difficult to trace.  The Brother company doesn’t have an extensive database of serial numbers online like the Singer company, but if you write to them and send a photo of your machine, they are very helpful and will send you whatever information they have.

I discovered that Brother started making sewing machines about 1951.  I found some dated photos of earlier and later models on the Internet, so I am estimating that this model is from about 1955.  If anyone else has this particular model, I would love to hear from you.

I bought a nice little sewing machine table for one of my old Singers, but the machine wouldn’t fit into it.  Happily the table was a perfect fit for George.

Here it is when it’s just being a table with the sewing machine stored inside:

and here it is with George folded out and ready for sewing:

Happy Quilting!

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We had a fantastic holiday in Northumberland.  We went to the beach, explored castles and took long walks every day.

I took my Featherweight (Singer 221K) with me for a little relaxation sewing in the evenings, along with a box of pink and green strings that I’ve been saving for a travel project.

I like string blocks because they are so easy and stress-free when I am sewing in less-than-ideal conditions.  There are no instructions to follow, and the seam allowances don’t have to be a perfect 1/4 inch.  I was sewing on the dining table, so I used thick bath towels folded over as an ironing pad for my travel iron.

Here are the first four blocks where the pattern is beginning to emerge.

I finished three more blocks this morning, and this is what I have so far.

We didn’t find any quilt shops in our travels, but I did buy a lovely bar of soap that was wrapped in nice quilting cotton.

And that little piece of fabric wrapping has found its way into my quilt!  🙂

It’s going to be a very nice memento of a beautiful summer getaway.

Happy Quilting!

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I have a zillion projects in the works right now, but as soon as I saw Judy Laquidara’s new pattern, Paint Stix, I loved it and knew I had to try it right away!

I’m using some fabric from stash that I have always liked but found difficult to use before.  This pattern seems just right for it.

Here are the first six blocks:

I am sewing on “Ethne” today, which is my Singer 319K from 1960.  She uses special 206×13 needles, which are difficult to find these days.  Just last week I was lucky enough to find some more needles for her, so now we are off and running again.  She has many amazing features for a 50-year-old sewing machine, including some incredible embroidery patterns.

To see what other quilters have on their Design Walls today, please visit Judy’s blog for a list of links.

Happy Quilting!

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After we left our children at school the other day, my friend Jeanette asked if I could come around to her car because she had some sewing stuff in the boot (trunk) for me.

It was 30 metres of grey corduroy!  Some of it has been cut, but most of it is still on this huge (and heavy!) roll.  She had started recovering her living room sofa but got frustrated along the way and decided to just buy a new sofa and be done with it.  I don’t blame her — that’s a very hard job.

It’s lovely fabric, very good quality but too thin for clothing — so what in the world can I do with it?  Our living room is mostly jade green, so grey corduroy won’t work for us.  I’d really like to use the fabric for some kind of charity/donation project.

I thought about making reusable grocery/shopping bags for the next school fair and decorating them with brightly coloured twin-needle machine embroidery — but that’s my only idea so far.  Even Nigel the Quilting Dog is drawing a blank on this problem!  😉

And my biggest dilemma of the day — do I have to count this fabric in my stash report?  Yes, I suppose to be really “legal”, I should count it.  And then when I sew it up, I’ll get to count it as a big finish.

I have been sewing a lot this weekend but haven’t finished anything yet.  I’ve been using two of my favourite vintage Singer machines — that’s Nancy, the 185K, on the left, and Gloria, the 404G, on the right (and the corduroy in the middle!).  😉

Here are my figures for the week:

Bought this week:  0
Received as a gift:  33 yards (30 metres)
Bought year-to-date:  16 yards
Used this week:  0
Used year-to-date:  24.5 yards
Used (net):  -24.5 yards

To see how others are getting along with their stashbusting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

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I have two new additions to my sewing machine collection this month.

This is “Emily,” a 66K treadle with the Lotus design, from 1917.  Her cabinet could use a little work, but the machine itself is in perfect working condition.  She is just sitting in the living room right now, but eventually I will find a place for her in my sewing room.  We thought we didn’t have room for another treadle, but…sometimes exceptions just have to be made.  🙂

Our other new baby is “Esmeralda.”  She is a 327K from about 1962, and she does forward and reverse stitching and zig zag.  She is the prettiest shade of sage green, although this photo looks a bit grey-ish.  She also has her own little green extension table.  I believe this model was marketed in the United States as a “Spartan” brand, but it’s got a Singer badge in the UK.

And finally, more sewing machines — but the kind that are much easier to find room for in the sewing room!  😉  I thought this fabric was so cute, I just had to buy a yard.

My Stash Report for this week is:

Bought this week:  1 yard
Bought year-to-date:  10.75 yards
Used this week:  0
Used year-to-date 18.75 yards
Used (net):  8 yards

To see how other quilters are doing with their Stash Reports, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

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I have managed to refrain from fabric purchases this week, but I have bought some parts for the 1908 Singer 27K that I am trying to restore.   We named this machine “Cleo” for her Egyptian motif (Memphis) decals.

I bought Cleo last November, and she was in a sad derelict state.  She had been converted to electricity a long time ago but was no longer safe to use that way.  Her original treadle mechanism had also been removed from her table, leaving it very rickety and unstable.

The good points were that her decals were in excellent condition and all the moving parts ran freely, and she cost less than my lunch in a sandwich shop!   I don’t have room for another treadle machine, so I decided to try and restore her to good running order as a portable machine with a hand crank.

Here she is today, after Part 1 of her transformation.  I have removed the ugly white motor, and she is sitting in a 1950’s sewing machine base that has a hard case to protect her.  I am hoping later to find a nice antique case for her.

My sewing machine man was able to find me a hand crank for a 27K, and my husband put that on for me.  It fixes with a bracket that is screwed in underneath the wheel.

Now she is ready for cleaning and oiling!

As far as sewing, I have been working on my “Big Three” projects this week — turquoise quilt, Puss in the Corner blocks, and my “Too Good to Cut” challenge quilt — but haven’t finished anything to count yet.  My totals for the week ending January 24 are:

  • Bought this week:  0
  • Bought year-to-date:  9.75 yards
  • Used this week:  0
  • Used year-to-date:  3 yards
  • Used (net):  -6.75 yards

I think I’m very near to finishing a quilt top, so maybe next week I can finally show some real progress in my stash busting!

Happy Quilting!

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These blocks are still on my design wall this week.

Sewing room UFO3

I feel like I’m on UFO Overload — just flitting from one project to another, not making any significant progress, and wasting my precious sewing time, which is never as much as I’d like, anyway!   😦

I’m going to put everything away except this one project and just work on it for a while.  (seems like I’ve said that before…..)

I can’t decide if this quilt should have sashings.   My husband likes it the way it is, but I’m thinking about using white sashings with purple cornerstones.   It could make a nice secondary design.  Or, it could look like the blocks are floating in space with no anchors.  Hmmm…

Cornerstones

I’ve added a new page to my blog called My Sewing Machines, if anyone wants to look at pictures and compare notes.  I love to talk about sewing machines almost better than anything!  🙂

Please take a look at Judy’s blog to see what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Happy Sewing!

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I didn’t buy any fabric this week, but I did buy another vintage Singer sewing machine.  This one is a Model 27K, one of a group of 100,000 manufactured between January and June 1908, at the Kilbowie Factory in Clydebank, Scotland.

Singer 27K

She used to be either a treadle or a hand-crank, but she’s been converted to electricity with a little white motor on the back.  The electrics look a bit dodgy and the cord is frayed, so that will have to go.

At the moment, the machine is sitting in a treadle table, but the cast iron treadle mechanism has been removed which causes the table to be rickety and unstable.  I don’t think this was her original table, anyway — she doesn’t fit exactly right.  The top opening is much too wide for her base, and on the interior of the cabinet, several notches and slots have been sawed into the wood to fit her shape when she is folded down.

Luckily, her shuttle and several bobbins were included, along with a complete assortment of feet and attachments.  She also has her original instruction book and both slide plates.

So!  This is will be a wonderful project for an amateur sewing machine restorer like me.  First I’ll clean her up and then think about how to proceed from there.  Someday she will be a thing of beauty again, and we will make quilts together.  🙂

My Stash Report totals this week are unchanged.  Next week I need to get busy sewing if I’m going to make that 100 yard goal!

  • Bought this week: 0
  • Used this week:  0
  • Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
  • Used Year-to-Date:  92.375
  • Net Used:  67.5 yards

Happy Sewing!

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I am now officially moved back into my sewing room after not having the use of it for a while this year.  My design wall has a new home, too, and it has grown to fit the new larger space.  It’s now half of a folded tablecloth, instead of a quarter!  😉

Sewing room1

This used to be our garage, and my husband had it converted for me a few years ago.   The room itself is 9 x 12 ft, and there is a 9 x 5 ft box room at one end.  No windows in there, so that is where my fabric stash lives, safely away from sunshine and dust.

At the front of the main room is a lovely large window, and there stands my Lillian.  She is a Singer VS2 (vibrating shuttle) treadle sewing machine, manufactured in 1888, and she sews a beautiful stitch.  I use her sometimes to piece blocks and make small projects like pillowcases.

Sewing room2

I found lots more UFOs when I was re-organising.

Sewing room UFO1

I’m glad I had the presence of mind to label these pieces.  Otherwise I might never have figured out where they are supposed to go now!

Sewing room UFO4

I found these colourful blocks and thought they would look cheerful and nice on display.  It’s great having a permanent design wall now — it’s very inspirational to see the blocks from a new perspective and also fun to use them for decorating!  😉

Sewing room UFO2

Here’s a larger group:

Sewing room UFO3

The fabric scraps from this project were used to make a very special quilt…

2Quilt for Nigel

for my little dog, Nigel.  🙂

To see what other quilters have on their Design Walls today, please visit Judy Laquidara’s blog, Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting!

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I had a little bath mat that was looking kind of sad and threadbare.   I could have thrown it out or given it to the dogs, but I’m on this recycling kick lately, so I decided to make something with it.   It is now a “New and Improved” Bath Mat!

Here’s the mat in its original state, with assorted fabric strips from my scrap bin.

Mat1

Using the bath mat as a foundation, I started piecing the strips from the centre of the mat and worked out toward the edges, using the “flip and sew” method.

Mat-first strips

And I just kept going, adding more strips…..

Mat-more strips

…until the mat was totally covered.

Mat-strips sewn down

I was sewing through a very thick, looped cotton bath mat, so I used my strongest, most powerful sewing machine, my Janome 6500P.   This is the machine I use for quilting, and I could never say enough good things about it.  It’s a wonderful machine.  🙂

Mat-machine

Then I trimmed around the shape of the bath mat…

Mat-trimming around

…and it looked like this.  Nigel the dog was helping me again.  😉

Mat after trimming

I bound the edges with bias tape, and then it was done!  🙂

Mat-finished

This project used approximately 1/2 yard of fabric, so my Stash Report for Week 43 is:

  • Bought this week:  0
  • Used this week:  0.5 yard
  • Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
  • Used Year-to-Date:  85.375
  • Net Used:  60.5 yards

Please visit Judy’s blog, Patchwork Times, to see how others are doing with stashbusting this week.

Happy Sewing!

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