Sunday, December 11, 2011

Occupying My Sewing Room

Well...I, err, didn't  get much SEWING done in my occupation of my sewing room..but I did create a glorious mess by pulling ALL of my stash out of the was several feet deep on my cutting table and my ironing board..Its gone down a bit since I folded a tray of fat quarters..but still have oodles to decide what to do with...I am in need of a different way to storing my PIGZ (Projects In Gallon Zippys)..At least 15 of them...sigh..

I did get the fabric squares for the taggie blocks picked out..and I cut several taggies..then went looking for more ribbons and that's kinda what started the avalanche...that and looking for some yardage to make some other gifts (can't say WHAT I am making as the recipient MIGHT  read this blog!)

Shall be occupying my sewing room again next weekend..Hafta get the gifts done...which means the mess has to go back into the I can use the cutting table and the ironing board!

Occupy Sewing Room

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Occupy Your Sewing Room this is an Occupy Movement I can relate to..the other ones, not so much.. Our list of demands is short: Leave me alone. I'm sewing!
Head over to Barbara's blog (by clicking on the picture) for the details on her giveaway...
I will be making some taggie blocks for my nieces' babies (two beautiful baby girls! they were born in September - 5 days apart). I am planning on using the treadle.
And maybe some other stuff...we'll see...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Folded and Spindled

Today I joined in the fun with Planet Patchwork's Wonderful One Day Mystery - Merry Mayhem Presents Case #13: Fold and Spindle

I used some fabric that I had pulled for a table runner back in 2003..and had never gotten around to making the table runner (it was in PIGZ status ALL that time!)...and I sewed on Aurora..

After part 3

After part 4

After part 5

After part 6

TA DAH! Done...first project finished using Aurora! I really liked using the treadle for this project. I didn't annoy her too much (trying to sew backwards..she breaks the thread when you do that!) I got a lot of exercising done!

Did this with a small group of ladies on the Forum. It was fun seeing them come together!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Opps...I did it again!

well..I was looking at Craigslist..and saw a picture of this cute little lonely sewing machine and I just HAD to go look at her...and she followed me home...

Meet Borealis...Aurora's Little Sister...

She is 3/4 the size of Aurora...a Singer 99...She has a few flaws...the slide plate is missing, the hood to the light is missing, the key to the case is missing (but you can open it with a small screwdriver), the knee lever is missing.. and the case needs a good restore...Oh...and no accessories..

I intend on getting rid of the motor and turning her into a hand crank...hopefully I can separate out the light fixture from the motor..

But..overall, she needs less restoring than Aurora did..I think she has been locked up in her case for almost ever! She needs to come out and play!

Haven't checked her serial number to find out when she was made..Will get to play with her more on Thursday afternoon or Friday..

Monday, September 05, 2011

Driving Miss Aurora...

I got out some pre-cut patches of fabric today and sat down at Aurora...

On the seam on the third patch, I managed to get a piece of thread caught around the oscillating hook...eppp..Aurora came to a dead stop...OH what?  I ended up taking the needle plate and the slide off to see better - could see both ends of the thread but tugging on either end got nowhere...dribbled a little Liquid Wrench on the thread and that worked its magic and I was able to get the needle to move just a wee bit..allowing the thread to be pulled out..WHEW!!! Back to sewing!

Here are the first 4-patch blocks I made..

The fabric for the 4 patches being exhausted (I got 7 of those 4 patch blocks out of the stack of squares), I used some other pre-cut patches that I bought at a thrift store..fabric quality is not really high (I suspect most of these patches were 'salvaged' materials like old shirts or skirts)..and started making HSTs...

Don't quite know what I am making yet, though..

I am getting the hang of starting the treadle going forward (sometimes without using the hand wheel!), but small patches are a bit of a bother, since you have to stop so soon after you 'get going'.  I am loving it though...very cool to be using my feet to generate the power...

A perfect Labor Day activity...

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Saga of the Tooth

Back in February, I had a tooth that went had been crowned over a root canal, but decay set in under the crown and it was time to remove the poor thing...Options were either a bridge with two new crowns on the adjoining teeth..or an implant...

I asked around and the consensus was the bridge is a PITA to keep clean..and that I might be happier with the implant..

I opted for the implant...and went to the periodontist associated with my dental office..from the information given, I knew there was some risk of numbness especially if the nerve canal was breached..and that the numbness typically can last from 3 - 6 months or more..

The periodontist pulled the bad tooth and  placed the stem/screw piece of the implant...and I went home..the lidocane wore off..but my jaw stayed numb..Periodontist looked at the x-ray and said the stem is not into the nerve canal so he had no idea why my jaw was still numb...but to be on the safe side, he took the implant stem back out... and filled the hole with bone material..and said to give that a few more months and we can try jaw meanwhile still was numb, but the numbness was getting less and less.. July, I had the implant stem put back in..a shorter, stubbier, plumper version... and thankfully, the numbness in my jaw did not get any was however, a good bit more painful than the first stem placement. I discovered that cutting Percoset's in half and taking half every 4 hours was way better than taking a whole Percoset every 8 hours..

Its six weeks later..and my jaw still is a wee, wee bit numb..but I can see there is light at the end of the tunnel..

I get the abutment put on in October and the measurements for the new crown in November..and by Christmas I will have a full set of choppers again!

And hopefully, full feeling back! Oh that will be nice...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Put Another Candle on My Birthday Cake...

Had a late lunch with my parents and my DD on Sunday. Went out for dinner last night on my birthday to Claim Jumpers..the waiter brought me a Red Velvet cupcake with a candle...very tasty!

A couple of my presents (other than Aurora!):
A Braided Money Tree, a very old book signed by my Great Grandfather ( 1878!!),

 A lovely rose pin and a treadle charm necklace.
Also got a new shirt in turquoise and brown and a set of towels and matching bathmats..the bathroom is looking pretty spiffy!

A very good birthday!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Aurora, Restored she is - restored!

(click thru on any of the pictures to get to the Photobucket album with more details)
The front plate:
Front Plate restored

The bobbin winder area:
Bobbin Winder Restored

The bed and throat area:
Bed Restored

The back of the head: (still needs a wee bit more of the Tar and Bug remover and some more rubbing!)
Back of head restored

All cleaned up!
Aurora Restored actually SEW something!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Aurora Restoration

I've rubbed the treadle cabinet with Howard's RestorAFinish..and it looks pretty good overall..the black rings are still somewhat visible - I have heard I need to treat them with 1/2 bleach 1/2 water..but just haven't done that yet..

DH and I re-assembled the cabinet and re-installed Aurora..

I have oiled and lubed everything that I can find that moves in Aurora..she still squeaks a bit though..may have to disassemble the feed dogs area as that's where the squeak comes from..

I replaced the winder ring on the bobbin winder - the old one looked kind of warped and chipped off like old chewing gum!! I had no idea rubber could 'rot' like that..

I cannot get the clutch knob to come loose..not that its a big deal though, it just means the needle still goes up and down when I wind a bobbin. One of these days I will probably  get DH to take the head out of the case and up-end it so that Liquid Wrench can soak down into the of the guys on the TreadleOn list suggested whacking it with a rubber hammer..eeekk!!!

The decals are glowing brighter at least on the front of the machine (the back of the pillar is still quite dark - it will take more oil and rubbing!!) I just used sewing machine oil and most of the grime has rubbed off...

I put the belt on (fun...NOT) and then learned there is a simpler belt made of a rubber tube that has a metal join.that you don't have to pound a nail I ordered one of has arrived (and came with a cute little treadle sewing machine charm!) but I haven't tried it out yet..

I ordered a quilt foot from a lady on the TreadleOn list..

I learned how to operate the treadle... It's a 4 step learning process...first you get your feet coordinated by treadling without the belt - you can 'throw the belt off' by using the belt shifter (it's how you get the head back down into the case), then with the belt in place and the presser foot lever up and no thread...then with a piece of paper and the presser foot down (still no thread)...then finally..once you can run the treadle for a goodly time, you add the thread and a couple of pieces of scrap material!

I successfully wound a bobbin, threaded the machine correctly, and SEWED!! This machine makes gorgeous stitches...

What a gas to have a machine that is so well made that 90 years later, it's still cranking and can be fixed by little ole me!

Here is Aurora - almost restored...(with all my tools still out), in front of the workroom window:

Aurora during restore
Don't know if you can tell she is on top of two pieces of plywood so the legs don't sink into the carpet..its very hard (nigh well unto impossible) to move the treadle when its up against carpet!

She still needs all of the chrome polished..but my polish dried up so I need to get a new can...

Meet Aurora...

My Mom called me up a couple of weekends ago and said she and my Dad wanted to get me either a Featherweight or a Treadle for my birthday later this I should start looking..I popped onto Craigslist and found a couple of candidates..I really liked one of the treadles that was not too far away...

Went to look at her..and she followed me home!!

She is a 1921 Red-Eye Model pretty good condition - the decals are not worn at all and the cabinet has no breaks or bad scratches (the lady that owned her last I think did not sew even a single stitch on her..just used the cabinet as a plant stand - how sad) I need to do some scrubbing on the cabinet and use the Howard's RestorAFinish..and the head needs to be de-gunked..and she needs a new belt (the guy that sold it to me said the belt had been broken as long as he remembered his Mom having the machine)..

We broke her down into 3 pieces to get her home..the treadle legs and the head (in a box with an old blanket for padding) fit into the trunk, and the cabinet fit into the back seat..

cabinet open

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEE!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Road To California 2011 - Day Three

O. M. G....if you ever get a chance to take a class from David Taylor..DO IT!!! He is one of the best quilt teachers I have ever had...he is totally funny.. has figured out how to make award winning, very expensive quilts...and he is not afraid of sharing his techniques..

In the morning, we learned how he makes his patterns, prepared a tracing of the pattern we chose to do (either his penguin or hummingbird - I chose the hummingbird...) and made a freezer paper tracing of the pattern..cut those apart and ironed to the fabric (provided in the kit, thank goodness!) Then we learned how he 'buries' the points so that he does not need to make sharp points (except if they are on the outside edge like the point of the hummingbird's beak..)..and learned how he does the starching

During lunch..he was demo'ing the HandiQuilter Sweet 16...its the sit-down table model that HandiQuilter makes..I sat and watched him quilt for around half an hour!

After lunch, he broke us up into small groups and we gathered around his table to learn how he does applique..its a pretty neat technique..very close to how Ami Simms does her applique..only his pieces are prepared vs Ami's where the pattern is drawn on both pieces. He explained how he does the quilting using Sulky's Blendables threads..and how he changes colors...and buries the knots as he goes..and how he does binding..with a layer of polyester twill tape that keeps the edge from ever stretching!

I don't really have anything to 'show' for today as I only got 3 pieces of a 50 piece pattern sewed down!! So I will leave you with the teacher's version of the pattern:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Road To California 2011 - Day Two

Just went around the vendor mall today..bought a few things..
a fat quarter of a rock wall... the littlest kit of Wheel of Mystery (Laser cut batiks - finished size is 16x20) and the Texas Star pattern (Lone Star with 5 points instead of 8) from John Flynn's booth, 1/4 inch hexie papers for English Paper Piecing....package of John James sharps..

Did not buy a lot..but it was interesting...We went out for barbecue ribs and yam fries after shopping.. yummmmm

Class in the morning from David Taylor..really am looking forward to that!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Road To California 2011 - Day One

Just got back from my Scavenger Art Quilt was really enjoyable and the teacher (Terry Waldron) was great.

My scavenged pieces for this quilt are the green ribbon on the left, the crocheted doily behind the cup of tea and the doily in the saucer (which was a plastic-y paper that was wrapped around one of the pots of flowers that I got in the hospital)..I used decorator fabric that I got free from the Fullerton Civic Light Opera (they had huge bundles of fabric scraps in plastic bags in front of their office - I was fortunate that one of the guys in my office mentioned the bags were there) to make the sunflowers, a piece of trim is the tea bag label and the teacher handed out a baggie of trims that had the green stems for the sunflowers..

There is an inspirational quote on the quilt as well - reads:
"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." Ray Bradbury

The pot for the flowers is a wee bit dark in the photo..its really much brighter in real life..but I may have to change out the brown behind it.. The cup I added last and its not quite really done yet..but you get the idea..

I only went into the vendor mall for a few a couple of sample pieces of wool batting...and a couple of green fat quarters that I thought might make good leaves but ended up not using..but since they are batiks..they will get used somewhere!! There is this lady selling trims and buttons that I want to investigate a bit more tomorrow..She's selling hanks of stuff - $18 for a dozen hanks...

Got to see the quilts last night when I picked up my badge..some really wonderful quilts..the best of show was won by one of my teachers at Road 2010. best pictorial was won by the teacher I will have on painted surface was won by one of my teachers from Road 2010.. a lot of this year's quilts are definitely art pieces as they are quilted to 'board stiff'..but they are beautiful..

It's warm and clear and a bit windy...wearing short sleeves for most of the day!