Saturday, October 29, 2016

Measure Twice

cut Once.

For years my sewing surface was a cobbled together collection of sewing machine stands.  These were the ones that I might need someday.  One is a Kenmore stand that fits my all time favorite Kenmore: (click to see her photo)  Lila .

The other came with a 404.  I had removed the machine and parked it at the Quilt Zoo, in hopes that someone, needing a machine, would use it and fall in love.  IT WORKED!!  So when the buyers told me they wanted a stand, I said HOORAY, and happily removed it from my loft into their truck.

 I am not lacking for sewing machine stands.  So when a nice lady from Vermont called me and asked if I had any sewing machine stands, specifically a Queen Anne or a Model 44, I said COME GET IT!
She has a 201 and was looking for a stand for it.  She would cruise Craig's List looking for machines with stands,  thinking that she would buy the machine, use the stand and ditch the machine.  Just the opposite of what I used to do.  Perfect match. 

The Queen Anne was in the living room holding a lamp and a photo and one of my Red Heads.   I needed to replace it, so I moved Lila's stand from the loft to the living room.  

That night, at dinner:  "Honey, do you remember how you promised you would make a new table top for my treadle stand?"

"Yes, I do."

"Do you think now would be a good time to  make good on that promise?"

Turns out, he agreed.  I wasted no time in designing the top.  I wanted plenty of space to my left to support the large quilts as I pieced rows together, added borders and binding.  I also wanted space to support the fabric as it passed under the needle.  We decided on a 48 inch square with a cutout for seating.

By now all that was left in the loft was the treadle stand itself.  When Steven asked how big to make the cut out, I merely measured the length of the treadle stand.  

I decided to live with it.
I positioned a school cabinet underneath the left side of the top.  We trimmed the feet just 3/4 of an inchso it would slide right under it.  I moved all four drawers to the left side of the cabinet and Steven added two more to the right. 

I love it.

The only problem is that I have to use the Necchi hinges because Singer hinges don't fit the Necchi.  I am in love with this Necchi.

But not to worry, thanks to Betty, who sent a link to the McKenna Linn's site, we drilled out the holes in the Necchi and now I can switch out machines at will.  Oh and Steven decided that yesterday would be a good time to add an extra piece to the top to correct my measurement error.

I finished the quilt so I have time to sand and paint this repair before its time to attach binding.  If you notice, that is a Singer 15-90 in the stand.  I like this machine.  It is noisier than the Necchi; much noisier.  The Necchi dislikes my polyester thread.  My Super Nova is just as fussy. I think it has to do with close tolerances in the machining.  I doubt I will give up this machine in favor of the Necchi, but if I had to choose between the Necchi and this one, well, I'll let you guess.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Don't sweat the small stuff

I'm not sure that it is all small stuff.  Some of my stuff is big.  Some, not so big  But there is one certainty, I have a lot of stuff.  All this stuff creates chaos and the shop was ground zero.   Betsy came over on Sunday and we cleaned it up.  It really didn't take so long.   I should have done this ages ago; I just couldn't.  All that stuff. It paralyzed me. 

I had some interest in the Vibrating Shuttle I have posted on Craigs list.   No bites. I love this treadle stand but I prefer the action of my other irons.  I need more working area,  too.  Maybe I will pop a different machine into this stand to see if that garners more interest. 

 I need to address this chaos so it's time to move some machines out.    I had a 15-91 with no foot controller  because it came in a cabinet hard wired for a knee controller.  The wires are in pretty good shape and I am not going to re-wire its motor.  OK OK  maybe I should it is 82 years old.  I will at least service the motor.  Maybe.  OK  change the brushes and put n new wicks and grease.  Oh, yeah, that's servicing the motor. 
It's in remarkable shape.  Today I cleaned it and oiled it.  I even took apart the tension assembly.  Betsy found a foot controller in my chaos when she was cleaning.  So this one could be ready for a new home.  Once I service the motor; or not. 

I also found a 201-2 tucked away.  It's had the whole re-furb.  New motor wires, new foot controller wires, cleaned oiled.  I am sure the motor has new wicks and grease.  It's not as old; AK serial number so it's after the Singer Centennial.  Nice machine, though.  Decals in great shape.

It felt good to be out in the shop again.  There simply isn't enough time to do it all.  At least I am never bored.


Friday, October 14, 2016

It's the Little Things

For some reason I decided to put this Necchi in the treadle stand.  The challenge: hinge pin holes were larger on the Singer than on the Necchi by about 1/16th of an inch.

I got out the chisel and the drill, made room on the stand for the Necchi hinge pins and voila.

Big problem.  The treadle stand is O L D.  There isn't enough wood to hold the hinge pins to my satisfaction.  I guess the time has come to design a new top for the treadle stand.

I have several machines that I like to treadle: the 201, the 15 90, the 237, all Singers.  I would love to get the Brother to fit, too.
I would love a large smooth top with an area just to my left that will support large projects.  I am sure it can be built.  I know just the person to do it.  For now, though, I will be happy to play with the Necchi.  It is very smooth and quiet, making sewing a true pleasure.  It's the little things.