WWQP Bulletin Board

Saturday, March 24, 2007

When I run my sewing machine

it ends up running me. The faster my sewing machine goes, the faster I go until I feel like that frantic rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, which is what I was trying to say in my earlier post:

"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date.No time to say hello, good-bye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm lateI'm late and when I wave, I lose the time I save.My fuzzy ears and whiskers took me too mych time to shave.I run and then I hop, hop, hop, I wish that I could fly.There's danger if I dare to stop and here's a reason why:I'm over-due, I'm in a rabbit stew. Can't even say good-bye,hello, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late".

And I'm an oddity amongst my friends who absolutely LOVE their sewing machines.


Brushed Cotton Fabric

I've recently received a fabric that I can only call "brushed cotton" (or at least that's what I recall my mother calling it back in the 1940s). It is not cotton flannel (and it was not listed as flannel on the website where I bought it) and it is not regular "quilting cotton" as we have come to think of it. The back of the tightly woven fabric is taut and smooth as cotton should be but the front surface has a slight nappy feel to it. I recall this kind of fabric being used for my fancy winter nighties, the ones my mom made with ruffles on the cuffs and down the front. (Am I dating myself or what? LOL)

Anyhow, when I ordered four yards of this fabric for quilt backing I was not expecting to receive brushed cotton. I was expecting to receive ho-hum cotton novelty print.

When I opened the package and saw what I received I did not bother to complain to the shop owner because the fabric will work out OK for the planned couch quilt and, as a matter of fact, might be even better than normal cotton. But I don't think I will shop at that online quilt shop again because of the owner's casual, less than 100% accurate listing of that fabric. The fabric was called "Fuzzytale Frogs" so consider yourselves warned ...



"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get"?

Pat in Rockport, TX

Faster & Faster

Who was it in Alice in Wonderland? The faster I go...the...now I can't finish it. I've been making quilts since the early 1960's so Jane can spill the beans as to my age now...I'm old enough for people to say: my, I wouldn't have believed it, you look good 'for your age'....but I've been at quiltmaking a long time, long enough to remember the fine quality of 100% cotton instead of this artificial cloth we have now, so filled with chemical resins that one can hardly 'feel' the cloth. But what has dismayed me all the years of teaching quilting, of quilting and speaking to guilds is the race that people are in to make as many quilts as they can before they pop off. Not enough time in the day, is true. But as I do primarily handwork, I have always found it to be a form of meditation for me. When I sew on my sewing machine, eventually it drives me. The faster it goes, the faster I go until I feel like I'm spinning around like a top.

I guess I'm just not machine-oriented...as those on the chat board are aware.

TerTer, retirement, oh my...make sure you have your own space.

I can say that sometimes I race and sometimes I pin but mostly med speed and hold the fabric.

I love the flying geese quilt, wonderful job and the blue border does it justice.

QB is doing one smaller all the way around all out of batiks but the g's are all facing up, do hope she does a block going the other way...we all need to walk to the beat of our own drum.

Hoping someone will get back to me about meeting in VT this coming May (10 to the 16).

Started cooking at 11:30 in the am and dinner was served at 5:30, a long day. Well, stir every 45 min then in the oven for another hour. Made lassagna from scratch, just not the noodles :). Kids loved it and sent them home with a mini for another night.

The FOX IS RETIRED, oh my how shall we manage 2 in the house 24/7..... Somehow since we have been looking forward to both being home.

Finished the gray sweater from class and now am working on a teal with a bit of purple for added color. I shouldn't be starting this as I do have 3 ufo's set aside (knitting ones) won't go in to the quilty ones. ) But while the class is still fresh in my mind I do think it's important to tackle again for brain retention. lol
off to hug the foggy day

Friday, March 23, 2007

Eric, Can the chat link be put back at the top of the page?
Thanks, Mayme
Nancy, I love your quilt.

Flying Geese

Here are my geese! I was a little skeptical at first as to whether this was going to look okay, but after all the blocks were sewn together and that blue border added, it came to life. This was a group effort so there was a real diversity when it came to fabric selection. Can't wait to get quilting on it. The blocks are 9" finished. Just had to share this one. NancyH

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Speeding along

I race my machine for all it's worth when I sew. I seem to have better control when I go faster. Before I was married and still lived at home, my father used to always get a good laugh out of the "race car driver" noise coming out of my room as I sewed all my clothes. I think I also just like the sound of that machine running on all its cylinders, or whatever it runs on! Just finished my flying geese top that I had asked questions about several weeks ago. I really wasn't sure I was going to like it till I got it all finished - all those geese look much better when they're flying together. I'll post a picture as soon as I get one taken. NancyH

speed demons

I doubt that I'll ever be a speed demon. In a quilting class I attended as a relatively new quilter, some of the more experienced quilters sewed so fast we called them "quantity queens." One teacher urged us to set our stitch length longer so we could get finished faster. That seemed a bit extreme. She also told us not to pin. ahem. My work looked like a disaster.

That said, last fall I took a MQ class from Sharon Schamber. With all the intricate quilting she does, she'd never get finished if she didn't keep her pedal to the metal. One of the other students commented when she heard Sharon's machine she thought Sharon must be winding a bobbin because the machine was whirring so fast.

I guess the point is that we shouldn't run faster than we can walk. My work is getting faster (at least the piecing is) but I won't sacrifice quality for quantity.

The chat page is having a discussion on sending out quilts to be professionally MQ'ed. If it's larger than a baby quilt, my creaky shoulders beg me to get professional help. 8^)

SeamSTRESS Sally


I'm a little of both. When I start out I'm very relaxed and steady. Come to the last 1/4th or so I get excited. Thats when I work like wild fire to get it done. I already have the next quilt in my mind ready to go. I like to finish what I start; don't have ufo. Other than family and friends; quilting is my life. I like my life just the way it is. We are having a beautiful sunny morning 59 degrees. Vi

"Short End of Life"

Ricky Tims made a comment about why he always stitches at a high rate of speed when he's sitting at his sewing machine ... he claims he is at the "short end of life" and he has so many quilts to get finished. People on The Quilt Show forum were discussing pet peeves and grumbling about how they get annoyed by "racers" in quilt classes who are speed demons and make the table vibrate by gunning their machines. Ricky said that's his style of stitching and explained why. Another quilter said she sews that way at classes as well but then admits that she's also the first to get out her seam ripper.

So, I am here to say that I am not a speedy stitcher. I may be on the short end of life but I'm never in a hurry at the sewing machine probably because I use my sewing time as a time for relaxing. Just wondered how many of the BB crowd consider themselves "racers", people in a hurry because they have so many ideas they want to get out of their heads and onto fabric ...


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Sorry, Rosey, I've had several questions this week on machines and since I've slept since, didn't remember that yours was one of the Canadian machines that we don't have records on. Maybe one of these days you'll find a cabinet worthy of that lovely old machine. I'm betting with a bit of oil and love, she will continue to sew a fine seam for another 100 years. She will use regular needles, unlike some of my old dears. In the pictures, I can't see if there's a motor boss on the right side under the hand wheel? If there is, you could get a reproduction hand crank to bolt on, and use her as a hand crank machine, in a wooden base. When I got my first hand crank machine, I thought it would be very difficult to sew with one hand and crank with the other, but I found it was really very simple, and you have absolute stitch by stitch control of the sewing process for getting tricky areas just right.

Pat in Rockport, TX

Singer Manufacturing Company

Hi Pat, the number was posted to the chat page earlier this week. The number is: JA361191
It has a picture of a half-man in a throne with wings on his back and a pharoh type head decoration. The flowers that decorate the edges are of Central Asian design type...or Wm Morris type flowers which he took from China, Persia, etc. I moved the bobbin cover and it slid out like a Cadillac on butter...what quality. The cabinet is not of good quality at all...a veneer finish that is peeling off. The wrought Iron base is attractive.


Hi, Terter, make a nice cup of tea and visit www.treadleon.net and check out the sewing machine pages there. They will give you an idea of how to get your treadle up and running, and the group is very helpful if you have questions. You can arrange to get the Digest daily in email. I love the group. They are all folks who love to actually use their old people-powered machines. They do quilt block exchanges, and get together for a day or a weekend to enjoy socializing with like-minded folks. But you needn't join the group to visit the website and learn about the machines. There are other groups, too, but that's a good one to begin.

Pat in Rockport, TX who just had a houseful of quilters for the evening.

Rosey's machine

Hi, Rosey, your machine is a Singer model 127 and in very nice condition. The decal set is called either "Memphis" or "Sphinx", depending on who you ask, LOL. I can't make out the serial number in the overhead shot, but if you post it, I'll be able to tell you when that batch of machines was commissioned for manufacture.

Pat in Rockport, TX

Thanks, Celia, once again...

Just to explain the background....notice the grey sweater, notice the nobbly nuckles, that's hiding a stack of plastic boxes full of material....and that is my tummy, my hands...worn with years of work and quiltmaking... Maybe someone might recognize the machine.

Just had B&B call for tonight, guess who has emptied the milk container...(not me, I'm lactose intolerant)...on the hunt for some milk.


Rosey's Sewing Machine

I am posting these pics for Rosey and she is hoping one of our antique sewing machine experts can help her with any information about it.



The chat re: old sewing machines interests me. I have a white treddle that son bought me a few christmas's ago but do not know how to make it work.. might have another go at it, now that I can spin. lol I have a 1938 featherweight which I do adore, her name is Sophia. Now she I can work and enjoy.

Celia, thanks for setting up the picture, it will get thur.

Sondra what fun a free place to stay in Hawaii. I can't wait till we go this June to Kona.

Leaving for Vt on 5/9 and coming home 5/17. Is there anyone out there for a "meet"???

The Fox is putting up shelves for me in the closet, I need to be more organized and am hoping this will do the trick. Now to figure out where to store the q mags in their little cute mag boxes? Have a bookcase but dont' want to look at box ends. lol.

off to hug the rest of the day

Rosey's Sewing Machine

I am trying to post two pics of Rosey's treadle sewing machine for her, but seem to be having a problem. This is just a test run to see if they are actually attaching.

Monday, March 19, 2007

great sewing machines

i am enjoying the discussion and pictures of sewing machines, not to mention the stories that go with them. i learned to sew on a 403 and have the very machine as my grandmother gave it to me when i got older. i collect singers, especially 221s, and my youngest machine is a 503 recently found left behind after a garage sale -- free to me just for hauling it away!

the quilt pictures posted have been inspiring, i hope more people will show us their current, finished, unfinished, or problem quilts. since moving i have really missed my adult ed quilt class where someone would bring in their quilt top in progress and ask for suggestions. some pretty terrific ideas were thrown into the mix, and lots of the ideas that weren't used on a particular quilt were used by someone else on another project. this format allows for that kind of group participation -- thanx again to sue and eric for the new board!

this weekend my friend visited from georgia and brought the t-shirts i'll use in a quilt for her brother. we spend national quilting day shopping for sashing, border, and backing -- found a great flannel with cheerleader motif which is perfect to represent his deceased wife. it will be a wonderful remembrance of her and i will start it today as soon as the dryer goes 'ding.'

here in WA waiting for spring to have sprung,
dutchrose ---{-@

Here's my first attempt at dyeing fabric at home. I folded the fabric and wrapped rubber bands around to keep it folded. It's sort of the color of black sweet cherries on the colored part.

The second piece was scrunched up and rubber banded. I used the dye that was left over after dyeing a dozen pairs of socks. I'll put a pic of the socks on the other board. This was a lot of fun, I'm going to try to do some more fabric next week, and maybe a t-shirt or two.

Pat in Rockport, TX

Elisabeth Redeye

Is a lovely machine. I used to have one very similar, but sold it when we moved to TX. The only Singer model 66 that I have now is a Lotus-decal hand crank. My Singer treadles are model 12s, model 13, model VS2, VS3, 27, 127, 28, 128, 15, 115, 48K, 31-15, Singer I.M., and 319. I also have a White VSIII (foster treadle--a long story), a Wheeler & Wilson #9, Willcox & Gibbs chain stitcher, and a Davis Vertical Feed. Won't go into the hand crank machines.

Pat in Rockport, TX who does enjoy working on elderly sewing machines, LOL.

My eighth and favorite machine

Here's my favorite machine and the one that I hope to never part with. This is a Singer 66 treadle in a parlor cabinet and is almost identical to the one on which I learned to sew. It was gifted to me by my online quilting buddy after she double-dared me to travel 2400 miles to "show up on her doorstep". (BTW, she is very good at double-dares and has gotten me into several of quilting adventures with her DDs.) If I had to give up all my other machines I could happily sew anything I needed to sew on this machine. It has a host of gizmo-like attachments that allow one to make wonderful special stitches. If you've seen the fancy-seamed pin-tucked blouses of the early 1900s you should know that the women of that time were able to sew every stitch on their treadle machines with those attachments. I call this machine "Elizabeth Red-Eye". The red-eye is a name fondly used by collectors to denote the fancy scrollwork. The "Elizabeth" was added by my quilting buddy in memory of a previous-generational family member. It is quite appropriate for that name is also my grandmother's name. One of these days I am going to do some more stitching on this machine, just as soon as I get aroundtuit. I have to add that along with the sewing aspect...I simply love the mechanical workings of vintage machines. They are just tooo coool.
Elizabeth Redeye in cabinetElizabeth Redeye


Bits and Pieces

Vi asked how to find the chat room...for some reason today you have to scroll wayyyy down to the bottom of the screen to find the chat link.
The sewing machine in my previous post is a Singer 15-91. It is very similar to the Singer 201-2. Both have a gear-driven motor (no belt) which gives the machines considerably more power than the belt-driven machines. Both are straight-stitchers only. I like the 15-91 for machine quilting for it has a vertical bobbin which makes for better tension when doing free-motion quilting. Of course, you need to replace the pressure foot with a simple plastic darning foot - you can pick one up for minimal cost at most sewing machine stores. The advantage of the 201-2 is that it has a longer arm space...sorry I don't have either machine set up at the moment so can't measure them for you. I have one of each...the 201 once belonged to a dear neighbor and I can't part with it. And since I machine quilt with the 15-91, I can't part with it either. Darning (quilting) foot
I currently use my Singer 403 (a tan 1960s machine) to do my major piecing...not that I've done much piecing lately...we're retired and I've taken on tooooo many volunteer activities. If you are curious about any of these machines, simply go to ebay and do a search. Please beware, however, that if you get toooo interested in vintage Singers you'll become addicted (ask Pat in Rockport) and you'll find your sewing room full of machines that you LUV and can't stand to let go. I've downsized to seven machines. Six are Singers, including a Featherweight and a Singer 301 (another marvelous machine which is portable and weighs only six pounds more than the Featherweight). The seventh is a vintage Viking which has wonderful decorative ZZ stitches and lovely tension. The very nice thing about vintage machines (prior to mid-60s) is that they were all-metal (no plastic gears to break or wear out) and maintenance is a simple process of cleaning and oiling periodically.

Quilt Sampler

Since I have loved buying this magazine I had to get to the store to check out the current issue. What I discovered was that the magazine which is out right now is "The Best" of Quilt Sampler and updates it's reviews of 20 shops it has previously written about and reissues the patterns they designed. It is not unlike the books BH & G will put out with patterns previously featured in their magazine & I imagine anyone who has not bought all the published Samplers at $6.99 each might find some of the 20 patterns to their liking for the $12.95 price. It said that they had reviewed 150 shops over the years. The regular Summer Issue with ten new shops will be out May 15 according to a piece in the front of "The Best" Sampler & there will be a Fall issue, but I've forgotten that date.
March 19


Sunday, March 18, 2007

chat page

What happened to the right side of the page? I can't get to the chat side.
Here is hoping the snow is gone. Vi


Jane, most Featherweights were originally black. Toward the end, there were a few tan ones made in Canada, and they usually sell for about twice what a nice black one does. And really toward the end, they made some white ones, which were not as nicely made as the black or tan ones. The ones you see now that are other colors have been stripped and repainted. There's a fellow in a neighboring state who does this for folks, but it's very labor intensive and costs more than $300 to have it done. Singer also made a few free-arm Featherweights. I have one, but never use it. I do use my slightly beat-up regular black one, though, it's great to take to workshops. Judy's machine is a Singer 15-91, a full-size machine, and a real workhorse. We kid that you could sew fenders on a Buick with that bad boy.

Pat in Rockport, TX