Monday, March 31, 2014

Vintage Sewing Machine Care

What is the most important things to caring for a vintage sewing machine in working order???

Love it... Sew on it... Oil it :)
(See my cute nieces and nephew?? lol)
This bottle should have enough oil for a pile of machines for years to come.  You will probably replace it because it is old before you will use it all... so buy a smaller size if you can find it!  But use only Singer machine oil or similar quality oil in your machines.  It is their life blood!

If you are in the "market" for a new vintage machine... here are some questions to ask yourself...

Do you want straight stitch or do you NEED zig zag?  I use straight stitch and reverse as my mainstays for piecing quilts and repairing clothing for my kids... My main machine lowers the feed dogs easily and can darn like a champ!  Too bad I am not into FMQ! lol

Do you want Singer or something more trendy?  All pre 1960's machines MOSTly have all metal parts... so it is necessary to keep them oiled and to use them instead of looking and petting only :)  IF they are in running condition... however I have found the Japanese clone machines from the early 1950's fun and useful AND trendy!

Japanese clones came about from a loophole in the patenting of sewing machines in the US.  Thus for a few years Japan via the Toyota and Koyo plants produced a lot of machines that were then put together in the US and given a motor here as well.  Each one was branded by the company that "sponsored" it... thus lots of names... such as Universal, Wizard, Morse, Nelco, and many many others... I saw one on Craigslist called a "La Salle" :)  Fun machines with outside motor... cool paint jobs and indestructible stitches with bobbins that never miss a stitch when cared for.

Singer at this time had the portable featherweight machine as women started being more portable with their sewing... and in the 50's opened a plant in Anderson, South Carolina (previously all Singers were made in Elizabeth, NJ I think) and started producing the 301A.... this machine was just a few pounds heavier but did all the featherweight did PLUS has a screw to disengage the feed dogs!  It comes with plenty of attachments available and is a great machine to have in your stash...

If you buy a vintage straight stitch only machine ... you will find minimal issues if you sew on it and oil it scant but regular depending on how much you sew... the machine will tell you when it is ready for a drink... just don't over feed it please :)

If you buy a vintage zig zag machine ... have a repairman grease and oil it for you the first time... save some money by cleaning it up before it sees the repair person too!!!  This will give you time to get to know your machine... then after it has been serviced... enjoy and ONLY oil your machine... grease is only necessary around metal gears inside the machine.  They don't need a repairman for regular oiling... it is possible and if you are the tiniest bit handy (I am not handy and I can do it!) to keep your machine oiled yourself once serviced :)

Not sure what to do?  Look and maybe try to test drive a few that are in running condition... a good machine is quiet (if the belt is noisy that is an easy fix) and peaceful to listen to as you sew.  Or if you find one at the thrift store consult your local vintage repairman for assistance in deciding on a purchase... most vintage machines don't stay around long...

For a vintage machine in restored running shape in a cabinet or table expect to pay $150 up for a Japanese clone or $300 and up for a Singer from this or earlier era.

If accessories are available for a machine you are interested in you want the accessories too.. you should expect to get a manual describing care (oiling points diagram, threading diagrams, bobbin case care and threading diagram) for your specific machine but for the Japanese clones this information is only available online.  They all work basically the same... easy to find parts for to if more bobbins/case/race is needed.

So now... do you wanna sew vintage???

Hope this post has informed you and helped you decide if vintage is right for you and if it is what is your style?  Do you want a desk to open or a cabinet/case to be portable?

Do you prefer modern.. if so why?  I get needing an embroidery machine or serger... but all else we can use what has already been made that will last my lifetime or longer to use to create with.

Love to know how you piece n patch!

If you prefer not to leave a public question please feel free to ask me and my honey anything via email listed in my signature :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Feathery Friday!

Welcome to my blog... I am hand quilting feathers today on THE MAN quilt for my honey :)

This is a queen sized snuggly quilt I am have been working on since Christmas... but now I am on the downhill slide!  Less than 1/4 of the hand quilting remains to be done!!!  Yippee ;)  Read more about this quilt on my post here.

So today I will focus on feathers!  12 left after this one... but I will mix them in with the 10 blocks remaining to quilt to keep it fun!

What I am really excited about is a new-to-me product I just found that removed my heavy handed graphite (Fons & Porter) marks...

Here is the bottle next to the feather I tested it on...

Check out the close up of the first area I "tested" it on...

It made the pencil marks kind of foam up then following the directions on the bottle I rubbed off the pencil marks... I used a dry paper towel... then rinsed the area with a damp rag... which I did... I also asked for feedback from my fave facebook group "Celebrate Hand Quilting" as I was afraid it may have a chemical in it to do this that could hurt the quilt... however from that I found out there are several brands of this pencil remover and a good recipe was shared too!

Wanna make your own?  Try this on a test piece first!!!  Don't go for your actual quilt to test like I did :)
Recipe for pencil removal spray... use a 4 oz spray bottle that is easy to use... esp at an angle for ease of use!
3 oz. water, 1 oz. rubbing alcohol, 2 - 3 drops PALMOLIVE dishwashing liquid. Mix together and apply with a soft tooth brush. Dawn dishwashing liquid will NOT work!  Shared from my facebook group for later reference and because I like to share with my readers!

My professionally bought marking pencil remover looks like this...
made by Quilter's Rule who provides lots of quilting notions for traditional quilters so I thought it sounded great for under $7 for the 8 ounce bottle!  I shopped on her Ebay shop and in later correspondence found out she runs a little quilt shop in her home and advertises her wares also on Ebay... so I am supporting a LQS with my Ebay purchase :)  Yippee!
afquilts is her eBay name... and here is a link to her store on Ebay... :)  Debbie is friendly knowledgeable, and ready to try to find what you want.

I currently have her looking for a specific needle type for me... hard to find for sure !!!

The OTHER information I got from my Celebrate Hand Quilting facebook friends was a link to this review on the spray...

It is long and fairly tedious but interesting read for me... basically it can also take out or lighten permanent marker... but is not know to hurt the fabric if using it for pencil marks on any colors which is this formulas intended use.

I hope all these links I have shared have been helpful if you are like me and like to mark with graphite... with my arthritis didn't make me so heavy handed to draw pretty lines! lol

If you have made it this far in this post I want to reward you with a cool pattern I found on Youtube... it is from last year and is a great tute on these cute ornaments you see below... about 4" square finished or so... hand sized!  Check that out here!


I hope you have a Fun Weekend whatever you do... as for me it is back to swirly feathers... hand stitching an overcast day away!

Linking this Whooping post to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict here!
Also linking to the fun going on at Kim's SEWjo Saturday here!
And to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching here!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Getting jiggy on the downhill slide!

My work on THE MAN quilt nets me a 76% completion now... and this and the chain around the border are all that are left to hand quilt...

Yep... I have 10 blocks... 4 cornerstones... and the chain border to finish.. then bind and wash!  Yippee!!!!

So my plan is to start with these 2 top rows that are left in the middle and work my way out :)
THEN I want to bind it BEFORE doing the chain in the outer border so I know the quilting lines up right with the binding :)

Then we found this beautiful but dirty girl here locally...
She is a Singer 128 (not sure which specific model in that class yet) I have named ONYX for now :)
             Blackside (for all her metal is black not silver)... 
             Crinkle finish also known as a Godzilla finish. 
A crinkle finish was only done on a limited number of machines by Singer...  It has no real sheen to it as we are used to the black shiney finish... she is more a collectors edition because she is RARE!
She was a one owner but has been stored and was soooo thirty for oil... but once my honey oiled her she sewed wonderfully!
Here she is stripped down some and getting all clean and oiled...
Singer sewing machine oil only and these cleaning products used sparingly with LOTS of elbow grease mainly is how we are cleaning this one up :)

Do you sew vintage?  What do you use for your vintage cast iron machines to keep them happy and clean to use?

Well... back to quilting!  Have a happy rest of your week!  Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Progress and Recap for THE MAN quilt :)

Are you really here to see the great Janome 8077 sewing machine I have for sale then click here.

Once upon a time.. I made this flimsy for my honey... truly this flimsy came to be on December 7
And he imagined... that I had it finished! Ha ha!

In actuality he was beside me as I marked this top for hand quilting here....
And when WE pinned the flimsy for quilting here...
He watched as I fashioned my first feather in the sashings here...
And he cheered me on figuring out such a detailed pattern he decided he wanted on the blocks here...

I have had to learn HOW to use a pounce pad with chalk for marking this colorful quilt... it has been challenging but I am loving all I have learned :)

See how to take hand stitches in some close ups here...
And a better pic of my stitches on the blocks here...

Today I am working on the 20th block... and with all the feathers I have done... THIS block will mark a 75% completion of the hand quilting!!!

My supplies for this project are simple...

Of course there is also a needle.. I prefer a short stubby needle that doesn't bend much... each hand quilter likes a different kind it seems... I use a John James #8 to accomplish my work... and since I don't have lots of gadgets the ones I do have a fun! lol

Here are 2 views of the 20th block on my journey hand quilting...
 I am right handed... so I decided to start about the 9 o'clock position and work my way counter clockwise around the circular pattern of swirls... it is working out quite nice I think!

  If you look close you can see the stitching I have started about 9 o'clock going to about 8 o'clock at this writing... depending on the day as to how much I quilt but these blocks usually take a few days to finish :)

And that is where I am at with my project... hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me on the journey this quilt has taken us with it... can't wait til I can talk my honey into posing with the finish though! lol

Linking this to:
A great blog I just found SEWjo Saturday here :)
Karen at Sew Many Ways ~ here :)
Kathy's Quilts ~ Slow Sunday Stitching ~ here :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Janome 8077 ~ For Sale to a happy home :)

Check out the deal of the week! A 1-owner sewing machine! From THIS Ebay listing...
It is my Janome 8077 Computerized Sewing Machine!

UPDATE~  Sold on Ebay April 8, 2014 :)

I am writing this post to link to Ebay... but if any of my readers are in the mood for a great sewing machine this is a GREAT deal!

It is a free-motion capable machine with a free arm too...
And attachments are included for buttonhole feature and other feet.  Currently it has a universal foot that does all the stitches nicely!   Also with the arm off you can lower or raise the feed dogs... just the flip of a switch... thus FMQ capable! :)

I tested each stitch and after adjusting the tension from the thorough cleaning I gave it she was GREAT to go!  Here she is on with a nice bright light at your work surface for good visual of you sewing space.  No nicks or scuffs in her finish either!

She is also very handy to carry around with a handle that hides in the top when not using it...
And the view from the top...

If you look closely in the pic above you will see bobbin winding and machine threading instructions are ingrained on the machine for easy threading... but no worries... this machine comes with thread top and bottom for using RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!  Yippee :)

It does 30 stitches total included are 6 buttonhole settings and as I mentioned earlier the attachment for buttonholes hide in the "free arm" portion of the machine until you need them :)

The display for stitch choice, stitch length, and stitch width if applicable is easy to understand and use...
A view of the back shows more branding and her model and serial numbers...

And lets not forget the end...
You can see her plug and pedal are original and in like new condition...
And one of my fave things about her besides how nicely she stitches and the fact she is LOW maintenance by design... you can see your bobbin before it runs out so you won't be sewing air! lol

Okay... here is my review now...

I have owned this machine for 3 years... it may have 20 hours of use on her... and all gentle and loving for sure :)  I mainly pieced quilts with her but also quilted a quilt without a big clunky walking foot and it did great.  Binding a quilt is a breeze with this baby too!

There are no triangle tips eaten with this model... when my much more experienced friend sewed on her she fell in love with how she does handle all fabrics from super delicate to corduroy with ease... I never sewed those type fabrics with her but my friend did as a test :)  You steer and she will pull for you and sew a GORGEOUS stitch of your desire from a large menu.

She has a needle thread and a manual thread cutter on the side.  She also comes with an extra bobbin and a fresh needle in her for medium weight quilters cotton (all I have in my stash these days!) lol!

She has speed control and will work automatically if told to do so using the button on the front left of the machine.  She has needle down function that totally rocks!  Also the speed control is good when learning to sew .... so the pedal will only go as fast as you tell the machine you want to go :)

I want her to go to a happy home where she will get used as I no longer use her and don't want to see her life squandered.  If you are interested in her she is $250.00 with FREE shipping in the continental US only.  This machine retails for $300 to $500 dollars new.  You can see Amazon reviews and info by clicking here.

She comes in her original box that is a little scuffed but complete and intact as well as her original packing.  I bought her in Tennessee at Hancock Fabrics ... her tag is still on the box too!

She is without a manual but they are available online as are a multitude of youtube videos so I never repurchased this item... she is easy to work and what I couldn't figure out (and I don't figure things out too easily) I found online no problems.

This is a FINAL sale but I am happy to be support as you get to know this machine... Feel free to email me directly with questions or to purchase this great machine... Will update when sold.

Payment is via Paypal or Cash only at this time.  Pick up is fine if you are local to the Daytona Beach, Florida area. I am available by Skype or Facetime for assistance after you recieve this machine if you purchase it and need anything getting it sewing.  You should be able to sew as soon as you plug it in though and be ready to have fun!

The plan is to put her on Ebay and Craigslist linking to this post.  For the nitty gritty details of how wonderful she is and what a blessing for a small price she really is....   Get your like new version with FREE shipping and real support once you get the machine!

Still have a question?  Contact me directly or leave a blog comment here or where you saw the ad.. I am always fast to return emails when I have something to sell :)

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I have a surprise for you!

Welcome :)

With all we have been up to lately rehabbing sewing machines and such we found ourselves craigslisting and thrift shopping for older sewing machines that needed help!  We have seemed to be on a roll and my honey so enjoys it... and I reap the rewards of his labor! lol

Anyway, while thrifting locally we bought this beautiful zig zag machine that has 13 decorative stitches... for less than $13.00!!!  $12.78 with tax! lol  For my honey to fix and then sell for seed money to start a side business and expand his new hobby.  Ha!

I fell in love with her... the more research I did, the more I liked her... then he sewed on her.. it was LOVE!  For both my honey (as he lovingly repaired her unoiled parts and frozen gears and figured out her broken bobbin) and also I realized THIS machine would be my Janome replacement!

He and I decided Nelly would be her name... after her brand name Nelco. 
Nelly is a light seafoam green and white and is cast iron.
Nelly's cast iron body was made in Japan... she is a "Japanese Clone".  Then she was shipped to the US for branding and assembly.  For Nelly that meant St. Louis, Missouri!  And she is extra special with all her added features so they called this model a "Centennial Series".

I love that Nelly is a Japanese import like my Fiona (she is featured on my blog header :).
My Fiona ~ Showin' off her new spool doilies my bestie made for her!
These machines were all made in the early 1950's when there was a loophole in sewing machine patenting.  Most of the machines made in Japan during this time are straight stitch machines... a few zig zags and even fewer like her with extra metal cams built in for the buttonholes and other decorative stitches!
So now I just gotta clean up the Janome and take posing pics to sell her so we have money for my honey to buy machines to SELL! lol  Anyone want a great deal on a Janome 8077 sewing machine?  lol

Hope you have enjoyed meeting Nelly... she is still getting cleaned up... as you can see in this pic...
Used to raise and lower the feed dogs on Nelly!
But I couldn't wait to share!  I will only have 3 machines... I can't use more than that! lol

Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day :)

I do have a little irish in my blood but have never been one to like beer... much less green beer! lol  So we thrifted some today... and came home to find this in the mail...
and while we had been out I had bought the jar with glittery sea shells.. the other shells are from another area of our home... my dd picked them to join the beautiful vase full of shells :)
Also while we were out today I stopped by my local big box office supply store and got a book spiral bound ... it only cost $6.00 for the service!  SCORE!!!
Last week my brother and his family came to visit... we celebrated my mom's birthday at a local restaurant :)  While we were waiting we snapped this pic of my dd with her cousins :)

The next day my dd showed them our local park and they got a little excited and formed this cool pyramid!

We had a great visit and a fun time was OBVIOUSLY had by all!

What fun things do you have in your week's plan?  Today I am hand quilting on a green block on my current project ... you can see the project in my blog header if you are reading this in your reader :)

Have a blessed week!