Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gone with the Wind

Not really. But sure does feel like it. LOL I guess you could say we are tired of the wind blowing. But March will be over before long.

I was reading Stash Manicure this morning and the guest blogger is Jane from Sew Creat It. It's a tutorial for a Dresden Plate. Did I tell you I love Dresden Plates?

 It just looks hard! Hurry go check it out.

If my want to do list gets any bigger -- well, I don't know what I'm going to do.  Sleep isn't an option -- my body kinda takes over.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Vintage Sewing Machine

Recently DH and I went to a local auction and picked up a couple of vintage sewing machines. This one has Newport Sewing Machine on the top of the machine. You can click on the picture to enlarge and read the
badge. It is in pretty much mint condition. You can see the dome lid behind the machine. I checked out the bobbin case and gave it a brushing and oiled everything. When I first attempted to sew I noticed the pressure foot wasn't coming all the way down. DH adjusted it and ta-da! sews beautifully. Through many layers. Denim included. It didn't come with a light or seam allowances on the throat plate. Easy to fix.

I did some research online to find out what I could about the machine. Best I can tell--it probably is a HA-1 or what some call a Singer clone. I'm not completely sure of this though. When I tilt the machine and look at the under carriage. There is a stamp of ZH on the bottom. From what I've read those made in Japan would have JA stamped on them. Anybody have a clue? Further explanation--Japanese companies began manufacturing these machines and copying Singer 15 after the copyright ran out.

Many believe their machines are superior because they have added amenities. Such as--again you may click to enlarge -- the knob on the base of the machine just left of the spool pin. It lowers the feed dogs. It has three settings. Normal sewing, silk, or embroidery. I haven't tried it yet. The machine only came with one pressure foot for basic sewing. It is a low shank machine so finding a foot should not be a problem. It is a beautiful machine.

The other two machines are Singers. One is a 99K made in Scotland in 1957. It needed a lot of cleaning. Very dirty especially in the bobbin area. My Q-tips and sewing machine oil took care of that. But I almost made a big mistake! I saw this red stuff and thought it was lint. I got the tweezers and started pulling it out. Something in the back of my brain said wait a minute. Then I remembered reading or someone telling me that some of the older machines have felt wicks for oil. Yup, that's what it was. So glad I didn't remove it all. Hopefully I left enough! I got it all cleaned and oiled good.

Started to wind a bobbin and had to make a slight adjustment to the bobbin winder screw. I got a bobbin wound. Threaded the machine. And sewed. Through many layers. I kept doubling the fabric strip. When the strip had gotten too small to fold again there were ten layers of 100% cotton. It didn't have a problem with four layers of denim. My 70s model Kenmore would have balked. It doesn't have the seam allowances marked on the throat plate but I can get one pretty easily.

The case it came in needs a major makeover. My DSIL does wood work. My DD is wanting a machine. This would be a good one for her and DGD Aimee. And since I was originally supposed to give the Elna Lotus SP to DGD Aimee (I am such a bad grandmother--but I love that little machine and it makes such a good one to take on retreat or to sew days and she will get to sew on it when she comes to visit--can I stop feeling guilty? I will keep a lookout for another one.) this would be a good one and could hem pants, make curtains, piece a quilt (Aimee) and would look really neat in her vintage house as well. So I am going to email DD a picture and see if I can entice her to come see me this weekend. ; )  Besides it's Girls Scout cookie time and we have an order due! Gotta have me some Thin Mints and Lemonades!

The third machine is a Singer 600 Touch and Sew. We paid $5 for it. It's going to need some repair. DH seems to think the clutch is out. It was a very dirty machine. I got it all cleaned and up and oiled. I got all set to sew and motor works but no sewing. It comes with cams to do fancy stitching. I was so looking forward to it sewing. Just for the fancy stitches! When DH gets some time --bless his heart.

He had a day yesterday. He is working for a welder. They were manufacturing flares for gas wells to burn off whatever it is that gas wells need to burn off. Somebody help? That slowed down then they built sound walls and wind walls for drilling rigs. Now that slowed down and they are working on the welder's personal farm taking down old fences and putting up new. They've had good weather for it. Yesterday DH worked fence, then came home and fed animals, had promised an older gentleman he would check out his bull dozer that wasn't working and he had to go by and check on some animals for someone. And I had started baking cookies yesterday afternoon and the first two sheets weren't done when the timer went off. My oven was on the fritz. DH always knows what to do when that happens. It's wire connections in the back. He couldn't find his box of connections so went shopping. Our little town's Auto Zone was closed. Begged some off his employer with a promise of cookies. Guess what? He got all that done and his fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk before 8:30pm.  He was one tired Papaw. And he took cookies this morning for their coffee time.

Ya'll be blessed today,
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Spring is sprung and a lot of yackety yack

If you haven't listened in to Pat Sloan on Creative Talk Radio you are missing out. DH was out and about last night and I turned it on. So much talent and so many talented people still not discovered. Aneela Hoey was one of her guests via skype. Aneela is from the United Kingdom. This is a link to her blog. You simple must see her adorable embroidery patterns. Look at those stitches for the hair. Love it.  I like her style.

On the home front--the fruit trees are beginning to bloom. We went from deep freeze to spring in the matter of a few weeks. We need rain. It is very dry. There have been wildfires in west Texas. We have had a few around here but if we don't get rain there will be more. The wind has been blowing and blowing. The dust came with it. I don't know if it is the dust, pollen or what but I came down with allergies/cold/crud/yuck over the weekend and am still trying to get over it. I haven't been this sick in a number of years. I feel for you folks that suffer from allergies on a regular basis. Saturday I tried to cough my head off then Monday I tried to sneeze it off. My head is still attached although SOME people who I know and love really don't think so at times LOL; better known as my DH.

I woke up at 12:30 the other night. Couldn't go back to sleep for hours. Last night slept like a rock. Boy did I need that!  And during these unscheduled early wake ups--the thought occurred to me. You know we all have been hearing about Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan in the news. We who are Christians and pray ought to pray for these folks. I know I am so quick with the thought : ). But really I should be quicker to pray than to shake my head. But for the grace of God I and many others might be in the same turmoil. Just sayin'!

Daffodils are up and blooming. The tulips aren't far behind. They are very small this year. Lack of rain and probably time to replant.  The redbud tree across the road is about to burst into bloom. The wild plums are blooming. It seems early. We could easily have a frost and lose the fruit.

I sewed some string blocks in the last couple of weeks while working on other stuff. You know Bonnie's leaders and enders style? The ladies at Paradise Piecemakers put me onto making string blocks using Bounty paper towels for the foundation. At that time they were eleven inches square. Now they are not. More like 11 X 10 1/2 or even 10 1/4. More down sizing of product. If you think about it--fifty sheets multiplied by 1/2 inch. That is a LOT less. Are they putting more sheets in a roll? Hmm. I gotta go check. You know what? It doesn't say. I buy the big packages of like 8 or 10 and store in the garage. All it says -- 12 giant rolls = 18 regular rolls. If there are fifty sheets to a roll (sorry I don't have my grandkids around to count them for me and don't expect me to okay?) multiplied by 1/2 inch = 25 inches less in a roll. Multiply that by 12 = 300 less inches. That's 25 feet less. I know you stuck around to get to the bottom of this. LOL

Dishwasher is swishing, breadmaker is kneading, and since I have regained the status of free breathing -- I got lots of work to do. See ya.