Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Cute little sewing table...

A friend of mine wanted to get rid of this cute little sewing table so I decided to give it a loving home for now and see if it can be useful with my herd of antique and vintage sewing machines.  Isn't it the cutest little table?

 I tried a Pfaff machine that I have here, but the free arm is too wide.  This Bernina 707 mini matic fits very nicely, except I have to find something thin to raise it just slightly.  It has a nice large surface to piece quilt blocks on and a handy lower edge for your pin cushion, thread catcher, scissors, etc.  I think I'll like this table...now to get the machine fixed so it'll sew.  It has a few issues, but my trusty resident sewing machine repair guy could get it working again, I'm sure :-).  It also folds flat so it will store conveniently in a corner.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Remember the Indian Orange Peel?

What is this that stirs up long forgotten, distant memories? :-)

Ah yes, it is the Indian Orange Peel!! 

Reading my friend Kathy's blog this morning, I was inspired to share progress on my Indian Orange Peel quilt.  Kathy breaks up a lot of her projects into little tidbits of progress, which is inspiring me to work on my UFO's and get organized (again!).  I started to piece my center blocks together in June and aimed to do at least three or four per week.  We went on holidays in between and haven't gotten back to it, but this morning I decided to put a block together before venturing into more organizing.

Here is the whole layout on my guest bed pinned to a tablecloth:

I have one complete row sewn together and the second one ready to piece.  Then I can get the first two rows sewn together as well.

My goal is to finish putting together the whole center of the quilt by the end of the summer and then cut strips for the border sections.  I have to choose colours carefully to flow into the borders.  Once I have the strips cut and pinned to each paper piecing unit, I can grab a couple and paper piece in between other projects.  Meanwhile, I'm audtioning fabrics in anticipation of taking the Diamond Borders Class with Kaffe Fassett himself (!) in October.  I will have plenty of leftovers to do the diamond quilt.

Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE Kaffe Fasset fabrics? :-)

Friday, 3 August 2012

It's that time of the year......

I've been sewing in the garage again testing sewing machines that Jake has been fixing up.  I love that as I 'have' to help my husband and this is a great excuse to sew LOL!!  We put the cars out in the driveway for the summer and the garage has turned into a sewing machine workshop!  Here is my worktable and Jake's in the back.  I also had an ironing station set up.  It was nice and cool in the garage and we had the door open enjoying the outdoors and the neighbours who waved or stopped to chat.  Ah summer!

The first machine I tested was a Singer 127 handcrank machine that is going to Haiti.  This machine has some heritage marks and wear on it, but still sews a beautiful stitch.  I worked on a delectable mountain border for my Oh Canada table topper (that didn't get finished on time for Canada Day, but it will be for next year :-).

 Just check out the stitch quality of this machine....

Left is the top stitching and on
     the right is the bobbin stitch. This is why I love the dedicated straight stitch machines...no dog leg stitches, but nice and straight :-).

In between, I polished up all these sewing machine benches that had accumulated in my sewing room.  They fit under tables so nicely that I didn't realize I had 15 of them.  Most of these have gone on to other homes now.

The next machine I got to try was a Singer 28 handcrank.  It is 3/4 the size of the above machine. This one is also destined for Haiti.  It sews very nicely too and I sewed a lot of mountains with that machine. 

 Doesn't she have lovely decals?

 The cool thing is that it is made in Great Britain, but marked in French...wonder if it was originally sold in Quebec?
This lovely machine is a Singer model 115 with the Gold wing decals.  It is a unique machine and has a full rotary hook which makes it a very smooth machine.  

 It also sews a very nice stitch:

 Aren't the decals stunning on this machine?

 This is the endplate!   They really knew how to make things beautiful in the early 1900's :-).  Wasn't it William Morris that said, "Never have anything in your house that isn't useful or beautiful?"  No plain old white sewing machine for me LOL.

 Next up was a Singer 201 which is destined for a treadle cabinet.  I used a hand crank attachment to try it out. This is also a rotary machine with a drop in bobbin and sews very smoothly and quietly.

 Another lovely stitch! (Click on the photo for a closer view)

 Last, but not least, was a lovely two tone Singer 301.  These are the big sisters (or brothers :-) of the Featherweights and have the same bobbin system.  They are aluminum machines making them quite light weight and have a carry handle on top so they are very portable. 

Have I mentioned lately that I love the old machines? :-)