That’ll quilt out


After I finished the treadle quilting on the last quilt (  I began thinking of the hundreds of quilt tops I have.   Some of them are really great and deserve hand quilting.   Some of them aren’t so great.    One of the reasons a quilt top gets packed away and not quilted it that the maker wasn’t really happy with it.  Most often  it seems that it is because they really aren’t flat and therefore very hard to quilt.  I decided to try quilting one of my less than perfect tops with the treadle .

It might be hard to see how off this one is in the picture but it really is bumpy


The pink center squares are polyester knit. Polyester was first introduced to the American public in 1951. It was advertised as a miracle fiber that could be worn for 68 days straight without ironing and still look presentable.   It still looks presentable and it does help date the top as no earlier than 1951.

I could have separated all the blocks, pressed them, squared them up to all the same size and reassembled it but this one just didn’t seem like it was worth the effort….sometimes a quilt top is in really bad shape but it speaks to me and says fix me…this one didn’t.

I used Natures touch cotton batting and a green print backing fabric and pin basted it as flat as I could.  I used a walking foot to sew between the blocks and then free motion quilted on the Treadle machine.

Here you can see how it looked part way through the quilting.


The setting squares really were puffy!    It made  for a challenge to quilt that out without a bunch of puckers and pleats.   There are a few but overall it turned out pretty good.

Lots of quilting helped push down the fabric and make it look flat.


I washed and dried it and the shrink of the batting causes the “antique crinkled look”  which hides many flaws.    There are quite a few stains that did not wash out.


I’ll spot treat them and wash it again to see if they come out.

The finished quilt is 72″ 84″ .   Here are some pictures , It just came out of the dryer so it is a bit wrinkled (click pictures to enlarge)

Teddy tested it


He says “not bad”

I am back to work on my applique rose top.

Happy quilting






I finished the Treadle machine quilt.  Finished size 78″ x  84″

I did all of it on the treadle…..piecing, quilting and binding.  Teddy thinks it is for him.

Here are some pictures (click pictures to enlarge)

Back to hand work for now

Happy quilting




Free Motion Treadle video


I made a video of myself free motion quilting on the Free treadle machine.

Before the video here is a bit of what went into getting the treadle to work for free motion quilting.

The machine didn’t fit singer style feet so I couldn’t get a free motion foot for it.     I tried making my own with a paperclip which worked pretty good but kept bending out of shape.

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I tried putting a singer 127 presser bar in the machine but it didn’t fit correctly and was wobbly, it worked but not the best solution.

I bought a spring needle which you use without a foot….. (in this picture the wobbly singer presser bar is still in the machine)


It worked pretty good but I kept getting skipped stitches and loops in the thread if I went too fast.   I decided I needed to modify the presser bar to fit a standard low shank  foot.

Here is a picture of 2 presser bars. The bottom is a singer , too long and too narrow for my machine but with a side attaching set screw that fits many different feet like a walking foot and a darning foot.  The shorter is one that fits my machine, with no quilting feet available.


I bought another presser bar that fits my machine so I can put back the original if I want (you can find anything on eBay) and used a grinder to reshape the end and then drilled a hole for the screw and a tap to add the right sized threads.


It worked and I can now attach a regular short shank darning foot to the machine.


It really is amazing how much better it works when the presser bar fits the machine.

I tried out a tool to help hold the quilt and move it while quilting ( The Gypsy Quilter fabric glide)

It has rubber fingers on the back to grip the quilt.


It works pretty good but I found that I do better with just my hands (hate to wear gloves but might try some quilting gloves at some point)

So that is what went into it the last several days.    This is the block I quilted in the video


and here is the video

Happy Quilting


Free motion treadleing


I really will be posting hand quilting updates soon, but I am in the process of finishing the snowball quilt ( done all on the treadle machine)

I am doing free motion feathered wreaths in the snowball.    Since I am not good at it yet I marked them first.     I found an alternative to a darning foot and it works pretty good.    A spring needle….which was an idea from a reader.  I found it on-line and it is a Schmetz.   You quilt without any foot just the needle with the spring. ( be careful not to sew your finger because there is no foot to protect you )


The spring puts enough pressure on the fabric when it goes down into the quilt so that the needle will catch the bobbin thread on the back and make a stitch.      It also makes it very easy to see where I am going with no foot in the way.

It is a learning process and I am getting better as I go.   Here are a few pictures (click to enlarge)

Teddy says HI


There is a bone in his mouth here but it is hidden on each side by his newly groomed beard.

Happy Quilting


Vintage Machine Obsession


I couldn’t help myself.    I found another machine at a price I couldn’t pass up.  This one is a Japanese made version of the Singer 128 which is the 3/4 scale version of the 127.    I had to change the belt and replace the bobbin winding tire and rebuild the tension disc assembly and oil it and it is running like new.


I finished all the piecing on the snowball quilt (all on the treadle machine) and started to quilt it


I use thread on a large cone with a cone stand like this

cone stand

But it always seems to want to jump out of the thread guide on top of the machine.   The machine was not really designed for the thread to be up above it that much so I put a safety-pin over the spool pin on top of the machine and run the thread through it and it keep the thread in line better.


I put the singer presser bar back in this machine so I could use the walking foot for the straight line quilting.  It is sort of hard to see the quilting in the picture


here it is so far


The backing is  off white with a blue grey design


once the ditch quilting is finished I’ll free motion in the snowballs.

I am still working on the applique top and Teddy is helping.   I can hardly wait to hand quilt it!


Happy Quilting



The Sphinx


The New sewing machine came today.


It is a Singer 127 and  It’s serial number is   AA251096


That makes it’s birth date  January 25, 1925.  You can look up your singer machine based on serial number here

It was in pretty rough shape (so it was inexpensive)  It had been unused for so long that it was frozen.   It took a lot of work oiling it get it running smoothly but it is now running like new!    The decals are in pretty good shape.    The Sphinx pattern is pretty cool.

It will some day go into a treadle (it doesn’t fit in the Free cabinet) once I find a good deal on one.   For the time being I put it into a basic sewing machine cabinet.   It had an old dressmaker machine in it that I wasn’t super fond of (really rough running and clunky).    I added a motor and foot pedal to the Machine and gave it a test run and it is pretty darn good.

Yesterday I wrote about free motion quilting on the free machine.   I sort of solved the issues with it by making my own darning foot.   I used a paperclip to make it.


That might be hard to see….here is a closer picture.  The paperclip I used was one of those plastic coated striped kind)

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I will post more about that after I spend some more time testing it.

I finished all the blocks for the snowball quilt.


Now to sew them all together.

Teddy says Hello


Happy Quilting