Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Singer Improved Family

I have more or less decided to fit the Nolting in the Sewing Loft.  Steven agrees.  I think he would like to have the guest apartment for guests. 

My sewing loft is in the upstairs of our Dutch Barn.  It is so called because it looks like it came out of a picture book of Holland.  It has a gambrel roof with shingle siding.  All that is missing is the windmill.  It gets nice and toasty out there with the little Jotul stove but the firebox holds only enough fuel for a few hours.    Anything larger would cook us right out of there.  My solution, which I had proposed YEARS ago, is a hard wired, electric baseboard heater complete with thermostat set a 45-50.  Steven finally thinks this is a good idea.  We must contact our electrician and once the heater is installed,  hire someone to blow in the expanding foam insulation.  It’s the dead of winter now.  This is a spring/summer project.  I don’t know when Steven will contact our electrician.  I might ask him, but he  might perceive that as nagging. 

“Honey, would you consider it nagging if I asked you when you were going to contact J.”

(Pregnant pause long enough to complete gestation and deliver the baby)

“I don’t know when I am going to contact J.”

“That wasn’t the question.”  OK, OK, I could be considered a manipulative bitch, but he does love me.

(Another pause.  We now have Twins).

“I don’t know….”

“Good,  I will take that as a No.”

Now  I know that he doesn’t know when he will contact J. and that he doesn’t consider it nagging that I asked. 

“I think I will wait until it is warmer before I call him.  Why, do you think you are going to have that space ready soon?”

I confessed that I will not have the loft ready at all soon.  But I am preparing.

Today we brought the Singer Improved Family from it’s storage space in my sewing loft to the shop.  I have an interested party coming to look at it on Saturday.  I thought that I had better make sure it works, since I advertised thusly.

Ever see an IF shuttle? 

It is a bit of a pain to get the bobbin in there and threaded but it is doable.  I am thankful that Singer abandoned this in favor of the central bobbin with removable bobbin case. 

I used Howard’s Restor-a-finish on the cabinet and the bonnet.  I cleaned the irons superficially with Tuff Stuff and then rubbed them with a Goo Gone rag I had used on my hands.  The machine looks fine.  Of course, I don’t want to sell it now.  It is from 1886 and is one of my oldest machines. 

There is a chance that the interested party wants it for the irons to use for a bathroom vanity or such  Something tells me so.  If that is the case, he will go home empty handed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I have Wednesdays off every week.  Technically I work part time.  That means I get paid for working 32 hours but I usually work more like 34-35.  It is just the nature of my job.

Today I had to go in for BLS refresher.  I was finished before 10 AM.  Now that I am certified for another two years, I can save human lives, should the occasion arise.  I hope it never does.

I much prefer saving sewing machines.

 I took Wilson to the vet later this morning for his suture removal.  He was such a good boy.  He just stood there while Dr. B. snipped those stitches away.  He didn't even flinch.   Then we went to the car wash.  That was a waste of 15 minutes and 4 dollars.  Just the same, for five minutes my not yet paid for car was clean.  OK, it was clean for longer than that, but the last three miles of the trip home rendered the car muddy and salty.  With sub zero temps coming I won't be able to wash the car for weeks.

I really thought that the BLS refresher would take all morning and that the suture removal would take much of the afternoon.  Not that taking out stitches is a big deal.  Trekking to the vet and waiting sometimes takes longer than one would think.  But, no.  I was home well before 1 PM.  Bonus time.  What to do with it all?

Get that 158.1931 out and see how wide that ZZ really is.  Which is exactly what I did, after I broke trail through the back field on snow shoes so the dogs would be able to get out of the yard.  We got out, but they wanted to come right back and Frannie said " No way, I will wait here."

I knew that I had a set of attachments for this machine.  I just couldn't find them.  I looked in my box of miscellaneous Kenmore attachments and cams but did not find the set.  I did find a button hole attachment and a full set of cams.  If nothing else, I could see how they worked.

The Kenmore 158.1931 has about a 5 mm ZZ.  The button hole attachment did work well. Very nifty  set up.   Not being a garment sewer I have little interest in button holes.   I can see why folks like a built in button hole stitch.   This attachment required some effort to set up but once attached to the machine it worked quite nicely.  I might even make some button holes, for fun.  

I played with some cams, too.  I have never had success with the duck, fish or tulip cams on other Kenmores.  They worked beautifully on this machine.  The built in special stitches were equally gorgeous.  So now what?

"No wonder I have a problem," I said to Steven as he helped himself to a snack.  "I love all these machines."

"Well, it's better than boats or cars."  he replied.

 It makes me nuts that I can't find stuff.  I remembered putting all the attachments that came with this machine in a box.  I knew that they had to be in the shop.  I looked for a third time, I moved a bunch of empty shoe boxes (I am saving them for some reason) and there they were.  WHEW!

Now, machine and attachments are all together in a canvas LL Bean bag I bought really cheap at the outlet store years ago. Who cares if my name isn't Harrison?  The bag is tough, big and will house this machine AND its attachments in one place.

So, it was a good day: BLS re-certified, Wilson sutureless and happy, sewing machine and attachments reunited, car cleaner than it was and a path made for the dog walk.

Oh, yes, and Steven did the dishes tonight.  I suppose I should make note of it on the calendar.


Sunday, February 1, 2015


I think that I am more comfortable.  I worked for another 75 minutes today.  Mom called and as it was time to advance the quilt, I figured it was a good time to quit.

I am learning how to use the bobbin winder.  Making mistakes helps.

I turned up the speed a bit.  I don't remember this much lint from yesterday. 

I think I will swab out the hook tomorrow.
 I am already thinking how nice a stitch regulator and more room would be.  Hmmmm  Maybe I will retire later than I planned.