Saturday, April 15, 2017

More Vintage Sewing Machines

Oh yeah, I am a vintage sewing machine junkie for sure!  Last week, I bought three more of the old beauties - I just couldn't help myself!  The difference this time is that these three are actually in nice working order and not from someone's junk pile.  While I do love doing rescues, once in a very great while I have to get one (or, in this case, three!) that's already cleaned up and working.  A very nice gentleman had a bunch of beautiful old machines he was selling.  He said that after his wife passed away a few years ago, he has gradually lost interest in the old machines.  I do understand that when you lose your life partner, many things just don't mean the same.

Well, anyway, he had lots of machines, but I just don't have room for treadles, so had to walk by those.  But, he just happened to have some very nice table models that caught my eye.  Most of his machines were "special."  In other words, not your everyday Singers and Whites, but not ones you see very often.  Since he was cleaning out, his prices were way below reasonable, so I had to get three...haha ;)

Even though all were in great condition, I still had to spend some time this afternoon polishing, oiling, and just plain fondling the old girls.  Oops, I hope that doesn't sound too perverted...haha.  Those of you who have been bitten by the Vintage Sewing Machine bug know what I mean!  I haven't sewn on these machines yet, but all three are in great working condition.

One is a Davis Vertical Feed with a hand crank.  This one was made some time between 1860 and 1870.  I haven't been able to track down a closer date, but hope to find it one day.  She doesn't have feed dogs, but has a foot much like a modern walking foot.  As you sew, the food actually moves front to back to feed the fabric through.  It's more than fun to watch!  This one has a coffin top lid.

This one was manufactured by Hengstenbeg in Germany.  She's called a "Housewife's Delight" and was made around 1895.  She has a beautiful Mother-of-Pearl inlay in the bed.  I had not seen that before.  This one also has a coffin top lid.

The last one is a Willcox & Gibbs, Model 64.  The closest I can get to a manufacture year is 1912.  What a unique machine this is!  It runs so smoothly and is super fast!  It's hard to believe this is the newest of the three.  It's amazing how heavy it is too.  It has a huge foot pedal.

Here's a video of the machine running.  Better keep your fingers out of the way on this one!

I guess the nice man I got these from saw that I was completely hooked because before I left, he GAVE me an absolutely gorgeous 1919 Singer 66.  That worked out perfectly for me, because I wanted to switch out a 1901 Singer 27 I had that was in very poor condition with a machine in better shape.  Well, I put the Singer 66 into the nice cabinet in place of the 27.  It was perfect!

What a great end to a week!  Oh, I also took three quilts in for a quilt show coming up next weekend.  I will have another story and pictures next week about that show.  Stay tuned......

Monday, April 3, 2017

Piecing Today - Queen Sized Quilt Top

I finally got some time to go to my "Outhouse" to start piecing a queen sized quilt top I've had fabric for sitting around for a long time.  I got out my Singer 301A to work on this project.  I love these little machines for straight stitching.  In my opinion, they out stitch any of the others I've used.  Don't get me wrong, I love all my vintage machines (Singer 221, 401A, 404, & 27), but the 301As overall perform the best for me.

Chain stitching the Half-Square Triangle Squares.

I never get tired of my view over the machine.  We had a beautiful day.

The center lines have all been scant 1/4" stitched and cut to form 2 piles of 50 HST squares each.  The left pile I will press the seams towards the darker fabric, the right pile I will press the seams towards the lighter fabric.  Why press the seams in different directions for half of the HST squares?  Once I begin stitching the squares together into rows, the seams will "nest" together because of the way each square is turned.

All 100 HST squares have the seams pressed in the appropriate directions.

Now, each HST square needs to be trimmed to 8 1/2" squares.

Here I start laying out all of the HST squares into their proper formation.  This is the start of the center of the quilt top.

Stitching the HST squares together into rows.  

I'm loving my new 1/4" foot I got from Nova's Featherweights & Quilting.  Not only does it work great on my 301s, but it will also fit the 221s.  It's just right for stitching a perfect 1/4" seam!

That's it for today.  I will post more progress in days to come.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Second Project On New Serger

I had so much fun making a new sweatshirt for Douglas that I had to try something else.  Today, I made a zippered bag I'm going to use for my toiletries when going on trips.  It should pack nicely in the side bags on my motorcycle!

After cutting my fabrics, I made the pull tabs.  I serged a long thread chain, folded the pull tab fabric over the chain, then serged the seam, making sure the chain wasn't stitched.  Then I pulled the chain to turn the tab right sides out.

All turned right sides out and pressed.  Next step was to cut in half.

I pressed fusible fleece to the wrong side of the main fabric.  Then I stitched the main fabric and lining fabric pieces to the zipper, leaving the ends of the zipper out a ways from the edge of the fabric.  Those ends will later get cut off.

I got the zipper all in to my satisfaction after only two tries and one rip out.  Oh well - that's how I learn!

Next, I pinned the edges together.  I cut off the zipper that was extending past the edge before I serged.

Edges all serged.

Next, I squared the corners by marking, pinning, and serging.

Tucking in the thread chains.

Thread chains all tucked in.  I was fairly happy with the way the seams looked.  They're getting easier as I stitch more.  Funny how that works....haha ;)

Bag turned right sides out and all done!

Yup - I like it!

Monday, March 20, 2017

I Finally Got A Serger - After 49 Years of Sewing

I've been thinking lately about doing garment sewing again.  With all the wonderful knit fabrics out now, I want to try some of them.  However, almost all of my machines are vintage and straight stitch only.  I have a newer Brother that has quite a few decorative and utility stitches, but nothing really suited to sewing knits.  So, I decided I needed to get a serger.  Since I've sewn for 49 years without one, I knew this would be quite a challenge and learning curve for me.

I decided on a Brother 1034D since those looked to be pretty basic for a serger.  I got it last week and have been watching lots of videos on how to operate one of the little buggers.  After information overload, I thought I would give it the hands on try.

My Brother 1034D.

Sewing some test pieces to check stitching.

The stitches don't look bad, so it's time to start the project.

Oh man...what happened to the stitches??

Well duh - they turn out so much better with the presser foot DOWN!

Stitching, stitching....

All done except for weaving in the thread chains.  Some of the seams don't look very good (those are the ones done with the presser foot up), but most turned out pretty good.
Now to weave in the thread chains using a yarn needle.

This leaves a nice finish to the seams.

Aw Mom......

It's a shame how I mistreat my pooch....haha.  He hates wearing clothes, but he needed a nice, warm sweatshirt.  He acts like he can't walk with it on.  I think it fits okay, but I do need to do some tweeking with how the sleeves fit.  It pulls a bit through the chest area.  Please ignore the thread chains sticking out.  This picture was before I wove them in.

All in all, I'm pleased with how my first serger project turned out.  Now, on to lots more stuff!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Colors of Spool Pin Doilies

I got a bunch of new colors of crochet thread and have been busy making more spool pin doilies out of it.  I have 9 new colors.  There is Burgundy, Multi-Oranges, Multi-Greens, Lime Green, Multi-Yellows, Multi-Pink Camo, Aqua, Multi-Passionata, and Multi-Blues.

This brings the total colors available to 40 to choose from!  I have them for sale in my Carter Creek Quilts Etsy shop.

Here are 3 of the new ones on a machine.  This one is Burgundy.
 This is the Multi-Oranges.
 This is the Multi-Pink Camo.

I think I just have too much fun making this cute little doilies.  I have them on all of my machines too.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Making Old Sewing Machines Live Again

I love working on old sewing machines.  I love the mechanics of them and how they will almost always come back to life after a bit of tweeking and lubrication.  They fascinate me.  

A couple of years ago, an acquaintance gave me several of her old machines because she was moving and didn't want to try to take them with her.  Well, that got me hooked on my latest passion of vintage sewing machines.  Most of them didn't work when I got them.  Two in particular were in very bad shape.  She had found them on an outside junk pile.  Who knows how long the poor things had been sitting there in the elements.

A few weeks ago, I finally got to those two old White machines.  I cleaned, oiled, greased, polished, and loved on them.  Guess what - they both are in working condition again!  I donated them to a local quilt shop so they could have a good, forever home.

The oldest of the two was a 1908 White Family Rotary treadle machine.  She was completely frozen up when I started on her.  I couldn't get her to budge.  Well, after doing my stuff to her, she absolutely sings now.  What a thrill it was for me to get her running again.

These are the "before" and "after" pictures of the 1908.   

The other machine is a 1929 White Rotary.  This one has an electric motor, but is set up as a treadle.  I didn't run the motor because of the condition of the wiring, but if it were up to me, I would remove the motor and use the machine as a treadle.  This one wasn't completely frozen, but she didn't turn over very well.  Again, after I was done, she runs so smoothly.

Here are the "before" and "after" pictures of the 1929.