Friday, April 11, 2014

Mickey and Disappearing Nine Patch

I went over to the QuiltZoo this afternoon.  Nina and Bonnie encourage us to come and hang out on Fridays so that we can sew and commune.  I haven't had a chance to get there much.  Today I was determined to do so.

I vacuumed 5 months worth of crud out of the front of the red Jetta this morning and then gathered up some fabric, a machine and some sewing notions and headed over.

When I got there, Barb was having tension issues with her Singer.  She had given up on Mickey, her brother embroidery machine.  It seems that when she was vacuuming that morning, the thread from Mickey got caught in the vacuum and before Barb noticed, all of the thread was unwound from the spool and wound onto the beater bar of her vacuum.  This activity bent the needle and rendered the machine useless even though Barb changed the needle, and rethreaded top and bottom.

We figured out that the Singer tension problem was using a class 15 bobbin in an Apollo bobbin case (class 66 bobbins).  She began, happily, sewing on her quilt binding .  I tried my hand at Mickey. Trusting that what I had been told was true,(new needle, new thread top and bobbin)  I took off the needle plate and tried to figure out what was wrong.  I could not.  The machine would pick up one stitch but would not sew after that . AT ALL.

I looked at the top threading.  It was impossible to figure out.  I saw a bobbin in there(not pictured) and asked:

"Did you re-thread the top, when you changed the needle?"  I asked. 

"Yes, we did." Barb admitted to using a bobbin, not a spool of thread on top.  WTHK if that makes a difference. 

 I suggested that we use a real spool of thread.

That whole gizmo comes out.  Really.  What you see under that plastic is a cartridge of sorts.  You wind the thread through its path and then, with the machine turned on, gently place the whole thing back into the machine and it automatically threads the needle. 

It worked. 

That will be fifty bucks, Ma'am.

 I wasn't surprised that the machine wasn't stitching when I saw the condition of the bobbin she was using on top.   It was loosely wound and very uneven.  I bet that automatic threading mechanism was confused and just doing the best it possibly could.

So I was finally able to sew.  I had taken along my Keatherweight (I love that machine) and some pre-cut squares.  I wanted to construct a nine patch block and show Barb how to make it disappear.

First make a nine patch block.   Then cut it in half one way and then the other to make four smaller blocks.  I used a Jewel pack that has been kicking around for ever.  I didn't really like this combination.

The fun begins once you have the smaller blocks.  There are many possible arrangements.

Sorry about the lousy iPhone photos.  But you get the idea.

I finished piecing a D9P (Disappearing9patch) on Wednesday.  I used a lovely, 1938 201.  I love that machine too.

I strip pieced these blocks and got confused in the process.  There are 16 original blocks.   I had intended to piece all 16 identically but made a mistake and ended up with 8 each of two different combinations.  It worked out OK, though.  I love this fabric.  Yes, some would prefer that the peacocks and other birds were all oriented in the same direction.  I don't mind.  The vibrant colors make up for that error.

My goal is to finish this and quilt it on the frame with the mid arm Baily Home Quilter.  Lofty goals. 


  1. Is "Lofty goals" a quilting joke?
    Loft, batting...
    Well it seemed hilarious at 12:22 AM

  2. Oh! I did not know you have a Bailey quilter!! I am going to go look at one next week at the store. I was thinking maybe I could quilt faster as the tops are piling up. What is your opinion on it? I was thinking a 15" with the table, as I don't have room for a frame. Love the fabric on the quilt!! Will send you a photo of what I have done with Dis 9 patch, and a photo how to orient the blocks to have it right side up. Wish I could go to the quilt zoo and sit and sew with you!! Great you could fix the machine, it is like magic.

    1. I have not used the Bailey in quite a while. It is a class 15 front loading straight stitch machine. It has plastic shuttle gears. I have the stitch regulator. I have 17 inch bed. I am anxious to use it again but when I did use it it was great fun. No feed dogs. I don't know if he makes them now with feed dogs or not. Have fun.

  3. Great quilt tops. I need you to help me put the wiring back on my 201. One day, I'll pull up your post about it, and play with my machine. I keep forgetting about it until time for me to leave, or do something else. One of these days....

    1. Rain has the best tutorial for potted motor repair. The Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog

  4. Gotta say this: Who wants a SEWING machine with the Disney name on it. (Mickey Mouse was here?)
    Glad to see you're back talking to us though!

    1. I know. But I think Barb likes this machine. I must admit, the automatic thread winding was startling. I do prefer the older machines. But we know that