Thursday, May 31, 2007

Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine

This morning I was looking at the current issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine and saw an ad for some refurbished Singer Featherweight Sewing machines. It took me down memory lane when I remembered my mom's white Singer Featherweight machine. It looks just like the one in this picture. My mom bought it back in the 1960's and used it to sew everything. I also used it when I was in junior high school taking home ec classes and first learning to sew. It's the only sewing machine she ever had and she still has it and sews on it to this day. She's had to have it worked on 4 or 5 times, but after about 47 years, I guess that's pretty good.

I just love the machine and I told my mom that it was an antique and no matter what she did, to not get rid of it because I want it. I don't think she realized the value of it until I told her. It's just a working, functional machine for her. I'm so glad she has it. I'm sure we never expected it to be so valuable.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Grandmother's Flower Garden

I've been recovering for the past two weeks from some kind of food poisoning. I don't know for sure where I got it, but I have a pretty good idea. I think it was from a local BBQ stand. Anyway, it was miserable. I've never had anything like it before and I hope I never do again. I've been really careful since then what I put in my mouth. I don't want to overload my stomach, so I've been eating fairly bland foods and just sort of grazing all day rather than eating large amounts at 3 meals. I'm still paranoid and afraid I'll get sick again.

After that ordeal I didn't feel like doing anything. It was a whole week before I began to get my enthusiasm back for crafty projects. I was watching TV over the weekend and happened to land on a quilt show called Sewing With Nancy on my local PBS station. I only caught the end of the program, but it was about binding quilts and all the different ways you can do it. This episode featured instructions from her book and CD, The Quilter's Edge (which I ordered by the way). I saw a really pretty Prairie Point technique that I want to try sometime, but the one that I was really interested in was how to bind a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. There are all kinds of different ways to do it, but I was interested in her technique. It's hard to describe here but, hopefully, when I'm finished it will be obvious how I did it and I'll describe more at that time. I remembered a Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern that I had started last winter with the idea that I would make a queen size bed quilt. I really enjoyed the hand piecing, but knowing myself and how I tend to put projects down after awhile, I put it back in favor of another project. I guess I always knew in the back of my mind that I would never be able to finish a bed size quilt. Anyway, after seeing this episode of Sewing With Nancy, I decided to dig it back out and make a wall hanging out of it.

I really love this pattern and I enjoy sewing it. It's a bit tedious and cumbersome at times. You have to sew one side of the hexagon and then pivot to get the next one. It's not too bad at first, but when the quilt top starts to get larger, you have to man handle the thing, so to speak, to get it pivoted the way you want. I guess I like it because I can sit in the same room with Eddie and watch TV with him or talk to him. It's not only that, but I realize that more and more I like projects that I can do by hand, such as embroidery, hand sewing, quilting, etc. It's just nice and relaxing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dishcloths and Quilts

I've been working on several different things off and on lately. I don't seem to be attached to one thing. All along I've been working on knitting and crocheting dishcloths. I decided that since I had such a demand for them last year that I would start early and get several made ahead of time. Last year right before Christmas, while I was sick with the flu, I had a request for 12 at one time from someone who wanted to give some as Christmas gifts. I had run out previously and didn't feel like making more. Of course, I could have just told the person that I felt like death warmed over and wouldn't be able to do it, but I didn't really want to do that. I did manage to make 6 for the person, but I really felt like I shortchanged them. So, this year, hopefully, I'll be prepared for that or any other requests that might come up. I have many more than what is shown in this picture. I just couldn't fit them all in this basket.

I've been intrigued lately by landscape quilts and decided that I would try to make one. I borrowed a book from our library on making landscape quilts and last night I cut out some pieces and arranged this. I'm not quite sure if it really looks like a landscape quilt or if it's just pieces of fabric lying on top of each other. Maybe I've been looking at it too long. Today I'm going to decide how I want to sew it together.

I brought my digital camera with me this morning to take a picture of a quilted wall hanging that I made that I have hanging outside my office door.

Since I'm doing show and tell, I thought I would post this picture of a pineapple quilt that I made a couple of years ago for a friend. This is a technique that I learned at the American Quilter's Society quilt show in Nashville a couple of years ago. It's a workshop that I took with Donna Poster. It's her Foldy Stuff technique. This technique is really fun. The hardest part is getting all the fabric pieces cut out and preparing the muslin using her pattern, but once that's done, that's when the fun starts. I have already cut out enough pieces to make a two color wall hanging. I'm not sure when I'll get around to making it, but hopefully after Mother's Day things will settle down some and I can work on it.

And here's another one that I have hanging in my sewing room.