In Unrelated Quilting News…Cats in Tents

Lots of random things all tied themselves together transpiring as yesterday.  First I would like to share the photo for which this post is named.  We have kittens again.  Two that are spry and jumping around and full of life and troubles (troubles for us).  The other 5 kittens are just beginning to start playing with each other and are not quite there to have full run of the house, keeping to one room.

The kitten pictured here is a quiet kitten.  From birth till now, its personality is very like-able for a cat.  It likes people.  It likes sleeping with me.  It currently likes attention and just hanging around people.

This cat fell asleep on my daughters bed.  She was playing with her Tinkertoys and decided to use them as props while I snapped the photo.  Fun, funny, and clever that little girl is.  She amazed me when she called me to see this spectacle.

cat

Glad the toys are actually being played with and put to good use!  Such randomness, better than any random a computer algorithm could ever compute.

I also managed to get my Vintage Domestic 69 up and running.  I am very impressed with its speed and ease of use.

I have before and after photos of the clean up of the machine (the wood is still in the same state).

Before:

machinereveal

After:

domesticclean

Ok…so the before and after photos pretty much look the same.  The grime is gone.  It is nice to feel its cold cast iron surface with the old paint and the chips and imperfections with it’s age.  I will eventually play around with this and turn it into a quilting machine.  The feed dogs do not drop on this.  Perhaps there is a way to remove the feed dogs all together.  In the mean time I will be sewing the projects on this machine that are too heavy duty for the feather weight.  The Memory Craft 9000 will probably go into retirement, only coming out to make an embroidered label for the quilts I give away.  Out with the old, in with the older.  Doesn’t this machine look wise?  What kind of name will I come up with for this one?  Hmmmmm, still thinking about that one.

I did decide to start on making a rug late yesterday.  I have seen these rugs on the internet, and refuse to purchased a pattern.  Using a jelly roll of your choice, and batting strips cut 2 1/2 inch wide, you too can make a rug.

jellyroll

Doesn’t this look yummy?  This is a huge 50 piece jelly roll.  All colors in this roll are different.  None are too white to put into a rug that will reside on the floor to get dirty.  Perfect earth tones, that will match the dirt it catches.

First you join your ends of fabric together, sewing end to end, making one very long strip of 2 1/2 inch fabric.  Next using batting, place batting on the wrong side of the fabric.  Finding the center of the 2 1/2 inch strip fold ends in to the center over batting.  Then fold ends in again to hide the raw edges.  Stitch for the long run of this fabric strip.

batting

This is a perfect opportunity to utilize your batting scraps.  I took the pile of batting scraps I had and I was amazed how many strips I had very quickly.

jellystrips

I am not usually a connoisseur of Bentarex fabrics.  I was pleasantly surprised with the rich colors and beautiful bulky feel of the fabric.

And here is the strip folded in twice on itself stitched down with the Vintage Domestic with not a skipped stitch or hiccup.  This looks like fat, flat cording.  This machine likes this heavy duty project.

cording

My plan is to work on this all day today, and definately have it done within the week.  The process of pinning and folding, is time consuming.  Once I get all of the batting stitched, I will then move to my newer Vintage Domestic sewing machine for the zig zag of putting the rug together.

I have met my goals for this long weekend.  I look forward to the randomness of the week ahead.  Have a great week and thanks for reading my blog!

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Flying Geese and Leaving the Nest

I have been able to scoot-ch in some sewing time this week.  After the last few weeks of nose to the grindstone at work with overtime to boot, alas…a THREE day weekend!  I am practically a hamster left out of it’s cage, running amuck!

So my week wrapped up right on time Friday with a b-line to the house.  Make supper, get changed out of work clothes and into a nicer outfit.  Hitch a ride 35 min east, and attend a graduation.  My son’s girlfriend graduated high school.

I must give my son credit.  While off to college, he managed to get tremendously good grades, now taking summer classes, all the whilst juggling a relationship.  It is working for him, but he is having to work at it.  A wonderful life lesson.

I was surprised to find out at graduation, his girlfriend had taken enough accredited courses for college to graduate with an associates in Dec.  She is becoming a pharmacist tech.  She will continue fourth earning her bachelor’s degree.

As a mother, attending anyone graduation, wells up moments of your youth, watching all these snap shots of time, like time flashing before your eyes.  You see them as they are small and then all of a sudden they are young adults.  For me, this brings the floodgates of tears.  Everything is before them.  They have only school as a notch on their belts with so much knowledge to acquire in the next 20 years.  Their youth is now gone.

I cried through much of the ceremony.  Remembering only a year ago, when my own son graduated, welling up all those emotions, vicariously in this moment, about ready to leave the nest.  Much to learn, gathering wisdom along the way, with happy times behind, and happy time ahead.

I deemed it appropriate to work on my fanciful flight flying geese (oh say that three times fast!)  I have shuffled all my sewing stuff around so much lately I am afraid I will loose parts of this kit.  I want to keep focused on this, and get this to a manageable level and keep it all together one stitch at a time.

fanciful flying geese

I think I have managed to sew nine of these this week.  Here is a snippet.  I now have a whole stack and am eager to work onto the next step which I think is a mariners compass sort of paper piecing pattern.  I am anxious for the next step!

a whole stack

A new leather belt was ordered this week for my vintage machine and is supposed to arrive today.  HIP HIP HOORAY!  I will be making a trip to the hardware store to finalize my sewing machine wire upgrade and start sewing on it soon.

I also got all the vintage sheets mailed off as I was involved in a vintage sheet swap.  I have a new lovely assortment to add variety to my accumulation.  I have so many scraps of sheets.  I am thinking I should make rugs out of the pieces I have left.  There is certainly a gob of fabric to make it any size.  And since it is poly cotton, it should last and last.  If I only had two more hands and 40 more hours a week.  Perhaps I should be careful what I wish for. 😉

sheets1

sheets2

I hope to have the Domestic 69 machine in my next post, humming along.  Thanks for reading my blog and have a wonderful weekend!

Tatting and Tote

Recently I learned how to tat.  I continue to learn from my mistakes and youtube is wonderful as a reference when you mess up and need help figuring out how and why.  After many exhausting days of overtime, I am too pooped to do much of anything.  They say quilting is relaxing…..and it is.  But when you are really tired, you only have enough energy to relax (not relax and multitask with your hobby).

The great thing about tatting is, once you learn it, it only amounts to counting over and over.  You can set it down with life’s interuptions and pick right back up without missing a stitch.  You can take it anywhere as it is very small.

Sew, once again……no sewing happened this week.  Of the last three weeks all I have managed to do is trim and press some already sewn HSTs and sew a pet screen tote.  The pet screen tote was a couple of hour job.  My instructions were not that good, so improv sewing it was.  It turned out alright.  I guess you learn what not to do.

tatting3

The contents of the bag I cannot show you, but will show you in the upcoming weeks.  I was involved in a small vintage sheet swap.  Some lovely sheets are hiding themselves inside.  And here is said tote, with stray threads NOT trimmed (oh the horror of noticing this after you have snapped the photo and are too tired to take another)!  The idea behind this tote is going to the beach and having wet things inside. This somewhat would let it dry.  Most of the ones I have seen have pockets all over the place which would deter the drying power of this craft….ah well.  Logically, I have no intention of getting anything wet at a beach….so it will haul my stuff around when needed.

tatting4

I have also been doing a lot of improv tatting.  I have no patterns for these, just made a loop here and a stitches with hitches there.  Today I practiced a thrown ring.  I have made a bunch of spool pin doily’s for people I know with vintage machines.  A couple of these I will keep.  I am not sure what I will do with the rest.  Some of my practice pieces with long tails not tied off, became cookbook book marks.

tatting1tatting2

Today I have the day off, tomorrow I dread (work stuff in my queue…..aaaarrrrggggghhhh.  Not looking forward to it, but my big girl pants are on and Monday will be behind me before I know it!)  My plan is to taper off the overtime and hopefully have a three day weekend.  Today will be laundry and vacuuming catch up as well as quality time with my children, in other words, working on my day off!  My children have been missing their momma.  Not even 7:30 and one is already up (who is usually a late riser past 9).  Perhaps I will get out one of my sewing machines and sew a little.  I am certainly tired, but my energy reserves may be high enough to tacking some cloth cutting or sewing.

I want to end by saying:  Come on holiday weekend hurry up, but that would be wishing my life away.  I am refraining.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.  Have a fantastic week!

A Goose Egg Week Here

Finally the weekend!  WHEW!

The week has been crazy.  I am ready for the crazy algorithm in life to come to a close.  Due to unrealistic timing at work with a gob of deadlines, and working oodles of overtime, I was too pooped to do anything crafty and relaxing.  I only had enough effort to relax.

I have really nothing to show crafty for the week, goose eggs here.  I did make a pet screen beach bag tote yesterday, but forgot to capture an image.  Easy project for an evening, but because I was tired made too many mistakes.  The relaxation of it all became a little more tense due to being tired and making all those silly mistakes.

I do have some sewing news though.  I have temporarily rewired my old domestic 69 sewing machine.  IT SEWS when energized with electricity.

machinebedfolddown

After ohming out the existing electric cord (which needed to be replaced anyway), I found there was a no connection between terminals.  I did take apart the foot control to see what was inside.  I will not be using this foot pedal either.  It will be retired to the parts to keep with the machine and restore if I can.

foodcontrol

I will be inquiring about a new round ferrite contraption to someone who knows a good deal about this stuff.  I am hoping he can point me to a smaller one that will fit inside the pedal so it can be used, but be electrically safe for my house.  This one is a dinosaur and probably about 80 years old.  I think it is a potentiameter or a fancy resistor.  I did break this trying to put it back together.  The ferrite was all crumbled around the screw head so when I applied a bit of torque to the nut, it broke the ferrite.  Probably can be glued back together with epoxy but I am not sure if it will then work.  For now I have a generic foot pedal on order and will wire that all up when I get.

leatherbelt

In the midst of trying out the machine and trying to wind a bobbin with out a foot control, I broke the belt.  The way this machine works, the bobbin adds tension to the belt, spinning the bobbin filling with thread.  Without speed regulation from the foot, it was wide open bobbin filling, breaking the leather belt, and created an unsuccessful bobbin winding attempt.

I did manage to clean the machine using lamp oil, and some Dawn dishwasing liquid.  Now when you use the machine, there is not grime.  I even gave it a wax job.  Not sure if you can tell a difference.  I did not snap a photo of that yet either.  I will do a before an after comparison soon.

I found out that treadlers use leather belts on their machines, and so I can get a replacement belt.  I have to remember to keep the fastener and not throw that away, so I can join the ends of the belt.  Look for more on this machine soon, as right now I have taken it as far as I can.

I realized yet again, after tidying up a couple of weeks ago, I still had too much junk laying about, making sewing impossible.  SOOOOO……I have purged, rearranged, and come up with a plan.  What ever was laying on my table needs to be finished before I can go on.

I finished the one fastener on Tilda 2.  She now resides in the toybox.

I had a slew of hst’s that needed to be trimmed.  So now I am using my folded corners ruler and using it a bit differently than planned.  I saw how the Booty Ruler works, and am applying that to this ruler.

You make sure the line is just above your seam on both ends of the triangle like so…

bootytrimline

The seam allowance does not matter.  Notice the x’s are right above the stitch line, that is perfect alignment.  I then trim the edges, and voila, end up with a perfect square without having to trim 4 sides.  I also snip the dog ears.

aftertrim

foldedcornersbootyfoldedcornersbootysquare

Not sure if I will get to sew again any time soon.  My table right now is cleaned up without a machine on it.  Perfect for trimming, sorting, and more cleaning.

I am starch blocking my two small tatting projects.  Hopefully they will be ready to give to Mom for mothers day and hopefully she does not read this blog today!  SSSHHHHHH don’t tell her.

Have a great weekend!  And Happy Mother’s Day too!

Cleaning up with a Reveal!

Gosh, it seems like every time I visit my sewing area, I just pile things up/on.  Never cleaning as I go.  It gets to the point where work is impossible.  I am not a neat freak.  Neatness is a downer for productivity for me.  I am somewhat of a slob.  Guilty as charged!

mess

I have not sewn in a week.  I have visited the craft store and gotten some more shuttles for my practicing of tatting.  I made a shuttle, but fumbled with it so much decided to spend a whole 3 dollars for another.  Most of this is trash, opening items from the craft store, utterly excited about my tatting practice with NEW colors of pretty thread!

tatting practice

One butterfly practice is a whole lot better than the second butterfly practice.  I know what I did wrong and will refrain from doing it that way again.  The flower was pretty good execution until I ended my threads.  It came undone, and finishing will require more practice.  I also made a snowflake, in the upper left corner.  That also had issues with knots coming undone after cutting my threads.  I will get it, I am in no hurry and enjoying my passes and fails.

I have quickly cut out a picot gauge as my picots are never the same size.  I thought about marking my finger with a permanent marker for the distance as a gauge.  But better yet, I had some of this plastic grid, and easily cut one out of the thin plastic sheet.

cleaned up picot gauge

The main reason I have cleaned up a bit is to make room for this.

machine

I bought a vintage machine!  Look at this crude case.  Believe or not this case is approaching 100 years old.

machine handle

The leather handle will be discontinued in use.  I have seat belt strap I will run through the tie downs and leave the leather handle.  Not sure how I will sew the handle in now that I think about it.  Hmmmmm…..I will figure something out.

And voila the machine is revealed!

machinereveal

It is a rotary Domestic High Speed 69 sewing machine.  It still has the original leather belt!

leatherbelt

That wooden compartment on the side is the precursor to the featherweight style of bed fold down, only difference is, this machine is made from wood, compartment….GENIUS!

machinebedfolddown

And that little hinged side is a hide-e-hole for sewing notions.  I was shocked when I opened that compartment and found the original manual, as well as all the original attachments.  This machine has a walking foot!

hidden gems

domestic greist attachments

This box contained an attachment for my scissors.  It is for cutting a straight edge from a straight edge.  I noticed it in the manual, and dug through the attachments in total awe that I actually have this…YIPEE!scissor attachment

Unfortunately something in the wiring of the machine is not working.  I can re-terminate all wiring and figure that out.  I am hoping the motor is good.  The motor will only turn one way.

Here is the antique foot control, gosh, I almost do not want to use it.  Look at that old contraption!

foodcontrol

This machine, for 1920 is state of the art.  You can regulate the stitch, small….medium—–, or _______ ________ _______ large, with reverse goodness.  I could not get the reverse to work, but have oiled the machine.  After oiling the hand wheel turned very easily, and it all felt right.

If I cannot get the motor to work, I will figure out a way to make this a hand crank.  I am very excited and pleased.

The amount of grime on this is outrageous!  Just handling and figuring things out, my hands got filthy.  Not sure if I need to wipe this down with lamp oil, but I think I will try a spot and see if it does get the grime off as well as not damaging its old surface.

Well, I will probably sew something this week.  I received a kit to make a Pet Screen tote.  This is like a tote you can put your wet clothes in at the beach.  It will be a quick project that will probably make a huge mess.  Will I be going to the beach anytime soon?  Probably not.  But one never knows what the future holds.  😉

petscreentote

Well, this wraps up all my excitement for the week.  What are you excited about?  Please post your excitement in the comments section, I would love to hear all about it!

Have a great weekend!