Roses Blooming

I have some roses blooming in my garden today.

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A few warm days and everything takes off….. (click pictures to enlarge)

I got my little vegetable garden planted


And it looks like I have my work for tomorrow set.   Weeding!

I spent some time playing with a few old machines

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I put the Franklin in the treadle to give it a try.   It is running great.    Franklin was a Sears brand and this one is a nearly exact copy of the Singer 27.

A few people have asked in my last few posts about my thread.   It isn’t on the thread spool pin on the top of the machine.    I usually use a thread cone stand.    But I have also made my own for the  treadle base I made.    I have a big nail on the back of the machine that the spool or cone of thread goes on  and I have a safety pin in the window frame behind the machine that the thread goes up to and through and then it goes into the thread guide on the machine. (if you look closely you can see the thread in these pictures.


I went “Great Lakes Art Works” , a local store in Old Town that is an artist owned collaborative promoting the work of local artists.  I had to buy this seam ripper (which is so cool I feel like I need to sew something wrong so I can use it)

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It has been a long day and Teddy is ready to relax.

Happy quilting


Another Singer 127

A few days ago I posted pictures of the new White treadle machine I bought


When I went to pick it up the seller told me he had another machine if I was interested.    He wanted 20 dollars and I said yes…even before I saw it.

It is a Singer 127.  The serial number is G0542560 so that dates it to Dec 18 1923.


There were 35,000 of them in that batch.    So it is NOT a rare machine.

It had been stored in the basement of an old house and it was pretty frozen up but I knew it would be an easy fix.    Here it is before any work.


The motor and foot pedal in the case didn’t belong to that machine so I am unsure how they got there.

First I took it out of the old case and looked at the underside.


It really isn’t bad, no rust so it just needs a good cleaning to get the solidified oil off and get it moving .

I use WD-40 for that.    I spray it all over all the moving parts and let it sit.   That dissolves all the old gunk and then I can scrub it off.

I took off all the easily removable parts.


Those I put in a pan and spray with WD-40 and let them sit while I work on the machine


I also spray WD-40 into the holes where the cover plates were


After it has a few hours to sit I start to scrub.  I use an old toothbrush


That got the gunk off ….I don’t try to make it perfect and shiny new….just cleaner and freely moving.

I also spray the body of the machine to wipe it down


this takes off a lot of old dried oil and crud.    I don’t want to scrub to hard or the decals will wear off.    After a good wipe-down with WD-40 I used sewing machine oil and use my fingers and rub it into the machine to loosen any dirt without damaging the decals.


This machine was missing the needle clamp and one of the bobbin covert plates so I had to replace those (eBay to the rescue)   Then I make sure to wipe it down well to get out any residual WD-40 in the moving parts  and oil it well.

I got it all put back together and tested it out.  I did the quilting on the pink hexagon with it.


It sure runs great.   And it looks pretty 🙂

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It was a beautiful day today so I did a bit of garden work… much more to do!

Rain is in the forecast so I plan to do hand quilting the next few days….pictures soon
Happy Quilting



I got a bit of piecing done on the new sewing machine……starting with strip sets


and then adding some striped fabric


It makes a big block….16″….but I think the quilt will be pretty cool.

I got a fun vintage quilt top in the mail from a friend


It is going to be really great once I take it apart to individual blocks and put it back together…mistakes in the placement of the blocks are easy to make


I often leave mistakes as they are but this one will be an easy fix and I’ll post more about that when I do it .

Teddy tested it ….but he knew something was a bit off.


As you may have noticed I have been accumulating a lot of sewing machines.     I have been thinking about dong some built-in shelving to display them.    I started to add up the time it would take me to build them and more importantly the cost to do it like I want and I decided that I could live with something temporary for a while.  So I bought a few shelves.


This one has 10 machines on it and there are 4 machines in treadle bases and 4 in desks and 2 more in cases …so the total is 20..   I have another shelf to put together when the collection grows more.

I’ll post some more about the new top as soon as I get a few more blocks finished so I can show the secondary pattern.

Teddy says HI


Happy Quilting



I am nearing the end on the embroidery of the rose applique quilt top.     I can’t believe how long it has taken and how much thread I have used!

I worked on another sewing machine today.  This is a Montgomery Ward Signature Series.    I am not sure of the date yet but I guess it is early 60’s.   It came in a carrying case that is really gross.


It smells like a very musty basement and all the fabric is coming off but it is fairly solid so I might recover it .    To work on it I put it in an old cabinet I have.     It is easier for me to have it in a cabinet while I work on it .   It really was rusty and needed a good cleaning to get it to function.  I took it apart a bit to get to all the parts.


There is some rust residue on the bottom that didn’t come off but doesn’t really cause any functional problems.


It takes a 15 class bobbin and a standard 15×1 needle and basic low shank feet.   It does basic zigzag and it has the ability to do decorative stitching with cams……I have no cams for it. Where do the all go?    So many vintage machines are missing all of the accessories that came with them….do people really throw away all the extra feet and cams and bobbins and just keep the machine?   Anyway I’ll keep my eye out for a set of cams they are sort of strange as cams go sort of flat discs that snap on to the top of the machine ….if you look at the top of the machine  in the picture you can see there is a cam there ( just a straight stitch cam)


It sews great now that it is all cleaned up….so I decided to give it a go in the treadle.


It works great.    The one thing about treadle machines is that I miss the light but in many of the vintage motorized machines there is a separate plug for the light so I can still plug in the light and use the treadle rather than the motor.   I leave the motor on and just take off the belt to use it in the treadle that way I can easily make it back into a motorized machine by just putting the belt back on.

I have a plan for a new quilt top and I think I will do it on this machine but for now I have to get back to that rose embroidery

Happy Quilting


Using that Batting

Last time I posted about the batting I won….


today I pin basted my Peppered Cotton top….


I used the Dream Green batting and got a start on the quilting.


I am machine quilting on the singer 127 Treadle machine.   I decided on machine because I have 3 other hand quilting projects going that I really need to finish before I start another ( I really will post about them soon)

I also bought another sewing machine cabinet today.

One of my early vintage machine purchases was this Elna (from about 1952-62)

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It is a really fun machine, I have it tuned up and running great , I have lots of decorative stitch cams to go with it and it sews a great stitch, but I hate to  sew with it.   The reason is that it is too high……I prefer to have the machine flush with the sewing surface the way they are in a cabinet.  Im just not a portable machine person.

The carry case for this machine does turn into a work surface like this

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But it is too high off of the table for it to feel comfortable for me.

So I found a cabinet that will work.   It was designed for a Viking bit with a bit of a modification the elna will fit in the space


Not bad for 26 dollars.  I actually spent a lot more than that for parts to rehab the machine.   I’ll be glad to be able to use it.

Teddy was more interested in his toy bone than anything I was doing today.


But he reminded me that he gets Saturdays off.

Happy quilting


Marking to quilt a Baptist Fan

I made a short video of how I mark for Baptist fan quilting.     I used brown paper as the quilt top and a sharpie for marking so that it would show up well but you should use something washable!     I like Crayola washable markers….but chalk, or a waster erasable marking pen work well too.

I know there are many ways to do this but that is how I marked the one I am currently working on.


Sometimes I don’t mark at all and just follow the curve of the quilt hoop.

I have a power cord and foot pedal on order for the singer I bought yesterday


I also got the cabinet finished.   It was sort of a mess.


I use denatured alcohol and steel wool to clean the old finish ….it sort of dissolves the finish and then I wipe it down with paper towel.  the alcohol dries fast and is much less harsh than paint stripper.   After it is dry I put on a coat of shellac which also dries fast……dry to the touch in 30 minutes.

While that was drying I decided to have a go at fixing up the Montgomery Ward machine that was in it.


it was in bad shape, it had a lot of rust and was frozen. The wheel would not move …..I oiled it and let it sit for a bit and them turned the wheel as much as I could…oiled and turned….oiled and turned… finally started to move more freely.     I took apart the tension discs and cleaned out the rust….same for the bobbin case and hook.    I cleaned out a lot of lint so I know the machine was used a lot at some point.        I didn’t have to rewire it to test it because I had a power cord and foot pedal from another machine that fit  ( I will rewire it so that the knee control on the cabinet is functional)

It is working great now.    Nice stitches and it looks pretty too.


I put it back in the cabinet ( I still think I will put the Singer 201 in the cabinet when I get it running) and Teddy gave it a test run

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The feed dogs drop easily on this one so I tried out a bit of free motion on it….works great.

not bad…cabinet and machine 22 dollars!


Happy Quilting




Trip to the Antique Mall

I sold a few quilts in the last few days.  Most of the money will go to bills, which never seem to take a month off, but I had to buy something fun too.    I went to a local Antique Mall today to look for a sewing machine cabinet.    I have a Singer 66 that I would like to put in a cabinet to make it more usable.

I had hoped to find a treadle base for it but the only one I found was too expensive and had a Wheeler and Wilson machine in it…..which I might need to reconsider but another time.

I did find this.


It was 22 dollars.     It looks pretty rough doesn’t it?

here it is opened up.


I spent the day cleaning it up……I’ll put a new finish on it tomorrow and show you how it looks.

There was a machine in it.


It is not in great shape.   I might be able to fix it up …it needs a major cleaning oiling and rewiring.    But it is sort of cool looking.   I will give it a try but even if it doesn’t work I have the cabinet.

A little further down the aisle I saw this.


It is a Singer 201 made in 1955.    It is missing its power cord and foot pedal and the paint isn’t great but the 201 is a great machine.
The Singer Class 201 Sewing Machine features a low shank and a rotary hook. It uses Class 66 Bobbins and 15×1 needles.The electric gear-drive motor mounted on the back of these machines are typically referred to as “potted” motors.  The Singer 201 is considered by many collectors to be the best sewing machine Singer ever made.   It was 29 dollars.   I hope to have it cleaned up and running soon and it will go in the new cabinet. I looks like it has a bandage on it.    It was quite common for people to pin a piece of fabric around the machine to use a a place to hold pins.    Old machines often are very scratched up in that area from pins.   I have not take it off yet to see if this one has been scratched up.

I have been working on hand quilting .

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I didn’t get a chance to do the marking a baptist fan demo but I will have that for next time.

This quilt is so hard to quilt!    My hands get so tires that I had to take several breaks.    I decided to do some more treadle quilting between hand quilting.

I got this top a few years ago.


It was probably made in the 60’s -70’s.     It isn’t the most special quilt top in the worls but I thought it would be a good one to continue to practice on.

I’m using red cotton thread.  I can definitely see why some quilters like to use invisible thread! The red contrasted with the yellow really show my mistakes.


I am doing this one without marking….so it is a challenge for me to make them all look alike but again it is good practice.


I am continue having tension problems which causes the bobbin thread to break, It is a long  bobbin in a shuttle shuttle28

I think I have it set correctly now.   I will have to do a few more feathers and see if the thread breaks.

I changes out a few of the hanging quilts.

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And now I am back to hand quilting for the night.   And Teddy is happy….he like it best when I sit still so he doesn’t have to follow me around the house.


Happy Quilting