Friday, November 28, 2014

One Thursday in November

Thanksgiving morning I arose and made a list.  I knocked off 8 of the 13 items  by 10 AM.  I felt downright VIRTUOUS.  True, I included: get dressed, turn up the heat and eat breakfast.  I did not include make the bed.  I should have.  Just the same, my list was shrinking and the day was ever so young.

 Days off, I walk the dogs.  Usually they start to torment me around mid morning. They don't whine.  They don't bark.  They just follow me around relentlessly and look at me, THAT WAY.     Since I had been so diligent already in accomplishing so much, I took them up the hill. (Mind you,  I did  take credit for it and gained much needed endorphins by adding the walk to the list and then, TADA, crossing it off.)

We were forecast to get ten inches of snow Wednesday into Thursday.  I predicted five and I think I was right.  It was a heavy snow that blanketed branches and packed well under foot.  Perfect for snow creature creation, which I did not do.  It wasn't on the list.

It is hunting season.  Thanksgiving day is prime hunting day.  I dressed the dogs accordingly.  Wilson hates his vest.  He loves his walk.  He endures.  Wrigley doesn't care a hoot.  Frannie won't be caught dead in orange.  She prefers red.

Item number 6 on the list was "remove practice quilt from frame."  I did that.  Before I did that I took a couple of shots of the quilting.  I post them here because, where else will I post them?

I practiced and practiced with ink and paper.  I definitely have a hard time twirling right. Doodling helps for sure.  I am pleased with the stitches.  The machine seems to be working well.  The frame is much better now too.  Steven attached leg extensions and replaced the blocks I had been using for added height.  I tried a different carriage but went back to the original, wooden one.  The so called upgraded carriage created too much vibration. 

 The DNP is ready to go.  If we get a delivery of propane tomorrow,  I may be able to quilt.  If not, I will work on machines.  I need to service a Kenmore 158.1814.  I have it set up for chain stitching.    It is a noisy sucker, likely needs oil.  I use it to attach the cloth leaders to the quilt.  I also need a class 15 machine for bobbin winding.  I don't use the BW on the Bailey.  I don't like to re-thread the machine that often.

Yes, you noticed the not so subtle reminder in each photo.  Those of us who are white must end our oblivion.  Racism exists in our country.  The tragic events in Ferguson, MO indicate so.  The culture of violence and injustice must end.  NOW. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I awoke at 4:15 AM.  Since I could not enter another sleep cycle, I got up, motivated by the fact that we don't have to pay for our internet usage before 0500.   We have a dish and have almost maxed out our usage.  We recharge tomorrow and are perilously close to the slowdown.  We never lose connectivity.  It just S   L   O   W   S     W   A   Y    D   O   W   N.

Our department is providing gifts for a local family.  The thirteen year old girl wants a sewing machine.   I have just the one for her.

It came with a home made, plywood, weighs a ton carrying case.  I think I will make a tote for it instead. 

I have the quilt frame set up with some cute winter fabric.  It is a practice piece but I could use it for the tote.  Think I will.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I like this one better.....

It is sixty-three by eighty and almost as busy as the OBW.  This is strictly a stash quilt.  I did not purchase any fabric for this.  Yes, it is true, I carried the narrow white and wider dark green border over from the OBW.  Actually, I decided on these borders first.  

I wanted to use the Wittenberge 201.  What a nice machine.  It is so quiet.  It took me a while to get it set up in the treadle stand.  The coil spring belt worked great for the 15-90 but it was too tight for the 201.  The machine worked, but it was just too much effort to treadle.  If I want to switch these machines back and forth, I guess I will have to replace the coil spring belt with one that is just a bit longer.  I found a leather belt, set it up and went to work.  What a nice machine.

 It is so quiet.  The Necchi is a thunker (must have something to do with the mounting in the cabinet.)  The 15-90 also clunks along, but I forgive it because it will go through anything. This 201 is almost silent.  It is a pleasure to use. 

I am now ready to quilt.  I have been practicing swirls with paper and pencil.  I suck.

I watched this video (for some reason it will not load to Blogger directly from YOUTUBE.)

She demonstrates this on a table.  I will use my frame.

There is another demo using the frame.

Next up, getting the 24 ready so that I can use it to chain stitch the leaders to the quilt. I suppose I could use the Wilcox and Gibbs.  Now, there's an idea. 


OK.  So I had to publish the post before I could see how the video came out.  I must be somewhat deaf.  The machine is much quieter in real life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hard to tell.....

if it is any better with borders. 
I guess I will just have to wait and see how it quilts out. 

The DNP is just as busy, but less disagreeable, probably because of the variety of color.
It is bigger.  Seventy-seven by fifty-one. 

Both will be ready for the quilt frame by the weekend.  That means I will be setting the frame up again.  We tucked it away in September when we used the apartment for guests.

I would love to finish the OBW.  Then I can do something fun. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


I wish I were in love with this quilt.  I am not.  It includes my favorite colors but I don't like Christmas fabric.  True, I selected it.  I was going for a twenty four inch repeat and the price was right.  When the piece arrived, I found that it has a twelve inch repeat. According to the book, a twenty four inch repeat is ideal.  I could have cut twice the strips, but I chose to make a throw.  Mostly I wanted to experiment with this pattern. 

There is no straight edge when you work with hexagons. Your choice: remove a half hexagon or add a half hexagon to fill in the open spaces along the edge.  I chose to fill in the spaces.  Thus,  the very edge, every other row, has no match.   Follow the rows and you can see the pattern in each block.  I think this quilt might have benefited from some half triangles in between each block.  Too late now.

As I was about to piece the fourth column to the first three, I noticed a mistake. Luckily,  I only had to  partially rip out the seam between the BA strip and the A strip.  I then had to remove the  B and A hexagons from the rest of that strip and flip them around.  WHEW.

There is another mistake. It is subtle and I did not fix it. Since I don't throw up when I look at it, I figure it isn't that bad.  But I do wish that I had noticed it before piecing.  

Border decision time.  I will add half triangles to the top and bottom to create a straight edge.  I think that I will have to use green.  I hope I have something that will match.  Then I plan to sew on a narrow, white border.  I think that the outer border will be a some of the original fabric.  No getting around it,  this is a Christmas quilt. 

When adding the half triangles, it is helpful to know that this is the plan ahead of time.  That way, you can sew the half triangles to the hexagons before sewing them into strips.  I learned the hard way.

201 Madness

Even though I said that cleaning the bobbin case and hook area of the 201D is a morning project, I didn't get to it until after noon on Saturday.

I became distracted.  I have two sets of cabinet drawers.  One set came from a school cabinet.  The other set, I believe, actually came from the treadle cabinet that I refurbished a couple of years ago.  I painted the top green but left the drawers off.  I decided that I can never really sell it because it is just too rough.  So I decided to keep it.  Don't tell Steven.  Well, hell, he will find out anyway, when I ask for his help moving it back up to the sewing loft.  We just did a switcheroo with a different stand (7 drawers) a month ago.  

I attached the school drawers to the cabinet top and fastened the back onto the top as well.  That dang piece has been kicking around here for too long.  I was either going to use it or turn it into firewood. 

 (Please note: Frannie rarely tolerates Wrigley in such close proximity.)

I know it looks a little funky, but at least that cabinet back piece is where it belongs.  I may, one day, paint the drawers green too.  They need some gluing, but for now, are functional.   The  201 in the background  is the one I  re-homed yesterday.   ("Oh good,  only 99 to go, commented the DH). I changed some of its tension parts and had to test the stitch again.  Gotta say, changing those parts helped.  The stitch is much nicer now. 

The 201D makes a lovely stitch, too.  Isn't that what it's all about?  That is why I have so much trouble.  I love them all.   As I was threading it I realized that I had not cleaned the tension assy.  It is a bit different from the common Singer assy.  I don't think that I will take it apart.  I may just run a dollar bill between the discs.  It sews wonderfully well, so maybe I won't need to clean it at all. Oh hell, yes I will.  You know I will.

I also fixed the bobbin winder problem.  I found a slightly larger BW tire.  DUH.

By two o'clock I was ready for lunch and some sewing.  It is cold enough to require heat in the sewing loft.  I had a fire in the shop and one in the house.  Three's a charm?  I don't think so.  I took my design wall, covered it with a sheet and schlepped it into the house.  I placed it right next to my 201-2 and set to work sewing those hexagons together.

 Point to point.

Piecing a quilt is tedious work saved only by the pleasure of seeing how the design emerges.  The strips on the left are sewn together in twos.  I think that once they are all sewn together, the pattern might emerge.  It was not the best choice of fabric for the OBW.  (The strips on the right are not yet sewn together.  )