Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Adelle... Stradivaro Blues

Look what the UPS Man brought me today!

A Box... That says, "FRAGILE".
The UPS man delivered today...

And INSIDE that box... An ugly case that has been made even uglier by adding wood print contact paper!

Wood cases are nice.  Fake wood cases are... Well... Not so nice.
She was well packed, all tied down with industrial plastic wrap, trust me she wasn't going to move in there.  Having an old machine shipped to me made me a little nervous, but they packed her well and she made it in one piece!
Tied down with industrial plastic wrap and bubble wrap.
Upon seeing this machine, I knew I wanted her.  She was lonely in the midst of a bunch of old Singers that were drawing all the bidding action, nobody wanted the blue Stradivaro, so I got her for $5.95.  Yep, SIX Dollars!!  It cost me more than three times that to ship her, so all in, her total cost was $28.98.  I have paid more than that for paintings that adorn my walls, so even if she never sewed a stitch for me, she's a nice piece of art for a shelf, so how could I say no!?

All unwrapped and ready for inspection.

"Stradivaro" must be Japanese for "Singer" because she looks just like a Singer 15-88.  If she were black and the badges removed, I guarantee people would think she was a Singer 15-88 with an odd faceplate and back gear cover.  Her faceplate is striped, not scrolled like the 15-88, as is her back gear cover.  (I can't believe how blatantly companies will copy another company's product!)

Her faceplate is striped, not scrolled, but
in shape and size, it is identical to a 15-88!

I will need to build her a table in which to sit so she can be used, and her wiring needs to be completely redone.  I almost didn't even plug her in to test her functioning, but curiosity got the better of me, though I was a bit nervous about the possibility of electrical shock.

Bare wires in places, tape over wires in many places.  This was just
not pretty.  Not the worst I've seen, but pretty darn bad!!

But, she runs great, she sews, and I have done nothing to her yet.  Once I clean her up a bit, put a new needle in her, and make some adjustments, I am sure she will sew a fine stitch.

She is clean as a whistle!! Even her undercarriage is clean!
Light is nice and bright, though I will likely replace it with an LED version.
The only real messy part about her is the motor.  I'll take it apart when I
rewire her, but for now, she'll be shelf decoration.
I have decided to call her "Adelle" because every time I see the badge, "Stradivaro" I think of the famous Stradivarius Violins, and music.  Adelle sings the blues, and this little gem is most definitely blue, so she shall be christened, "Adelle".

I will clean her up and polish her soon and I'll post some photos when I do.  The rewire job will be fun... I hope!

Until His work in me is complete,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quilt for my Niece... We finally celebrated Christmas!!

About a week after Thanksgiving my Sister in Law called and asked if I would sew a quilt for my niece if she bought the fabric.  I, of course, said I would love to.  About an hour later I got a call from my Brother in Law... They were at the store and were picking out fabric... The next day, I had their fabric in hand and it was time to design a quilt that would work with what I had to work with!

I am normally NOT a pre-washer, but this fabric needed to be pre-washed.  So, I had a new experience...  I read a few posts on pre-washing and tossed the material into the washing machine in a zipped pillow case with Color Catchers.  This is what I had after that washing!

After washing the fabrics in Pillow cases with color catchers!
After untangling and pressing those fabrics!
They look so much better this way!

I had three colors to work with, so I went with a simple diagonal step pattern.  I did some quick calculations and grabbed some markers, some graph paper and started to sketch. 

After sketching the pattern, I identified how many of each piece size and
color I would need.  10 8"x4" and 20 4"x4" pieces.
Once the pieces were cut, the pattern made sewing them together a breeze.  This is a very quick and simple quilt to put together.  Just what I needed for a short order Christmas gift!

With only three colors and two shapes, assembly was a breeze.
Yellow to Pink, Pink to Blue, Blue to Yellow and start again.

String piecing at it's finest.  The top half of every block,
done in one long string!  Gotta like that!
After pressing the first pieces open, it was just a matter
of matching the next top in line to the next bottom in line.
Again, Easy Peasy.

This is how I keep pieces organized when I am working on several projects
at once.  Each project, or each portion of a project gets its own clear bin.
I like the clear because I can see what's inside.  (Mikaila's Quilt on the left,
Step one of the GIMQ in the middle and Step two of GIMQ on the right.)
The next day I retrieved the blocks from their box and pressed them open.
NOTE the iron... Do you "Set Your Seams" before pressing open?
I was taught to do this and you will always get a MUCH
cleaner seam when you do!

Once pressed open, they all get layed out
on the floor to insure I got 'em all right.
Looks like I did!

This is how I organize my assembly.  Those little pieces of paper are
marked A1 to A7 (Left Row), B1 to B7 (Center Row) and C1 to C7 (Right Row).
I carefully pick them up in reverse order, C7 to A1.

Then I sew that label right into the seam
and then I can fully assemble the quilt
without ever laying it all out again.
Assembling the quilt, and you can see the tags, helping me stay organized.
After the entire flimsy is complete, I remove them.
So, another reason I am so far behind on the Mystery Quilt this year, but it was so worth it.  I had to wait until now because we couldn't celebrate Christmas until January 3 because of sickness.  So here it is... And here she is...

All smiles... LOVE to see this!

And this.  Cuddling with her Mom while
snuggled in her quilt!

She has Thanked me for it several times already.

I'm Glad you like it Mikaila!

Now to get to work on posts about what I have been doing with GIMQ...

Until His work in me is complete,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quiltville Mystery Quilt 2014 - Part ONE again...

Well, a few weeks ago, I posted about starting Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt.  I took off and then was quickly sidetracked and derailed by other projects.  A Baby Quilt, another gift quilt which I can't reveal until next week, and yet another gift which I can't reveal until next week, and another that I can't reveal until March!!

So What CAN I reveal?  Well, when I saw step ONE of GIMQ (Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt) I realized I was going to need to sew many, many HSTs.  I have heard many times before that the best machine to sew these on is an old Singer Featherweight.  I have one, in fact, I have had it for over a year, but it didn't work.  

It needed some work before I was going to be able to sew on it.  She barely moved when turning the fly wheel.  Her motor seemed to have plenty of power, but her drive belt was frail, and she was bound up.  SO, I decided to work on her so I could use her to complete the GIMQ!

So, I pulled her out of her ragged old box, and identified the things I NEEDED to order to make her operational.  Her power cord was in horrible condition.  Her rubber feet were non-existent, and she was filthy dirty!  I had one old rusty bobbin, and her felts were in horrible condition.  So I ordered all new parts to replace what needed replacing.

Last Friday, I received those parts.  Bonnie also released her next clue in the GIMQ, which included... yep... More HSTs! so I was motivated and equipped.  I must say, the internet is a wonderful place!  I found YouTube videos galore, and a Facebook group dedicated to Singer Featherweights proved to be invaluable in getting me the resources I needed to take my little hunk of black painted aluminum from greasy, seized, mess of a not working sewing machine to a clean, working, although not beautiful, machine, sewing beautiful stitches!

So, while the only sewing I can share from the past week is the first four HSTs sewn on my "NEW Featherweight", I CAN share my adventure in taking her from not moving to sewing.  Without further ado, here she is... Built in the summer of 1940... My Featherweight...

This case pretty much tells her history...
I'm hoping I can give her a much better future!

Here you can see that she has no clear coat at all on about 80%
of her body.  There are a few places where she has some finish, but very few.

The Bags of parts I needed to to bring her to life.  A new power cord, belt,
felts, rubber feet, twenty new needles and a dozen new shiny bobbins.

As I disassembled her, this is how I kept track of what screws belonged to
which parts.  All were cleaned thoroughly in a bath of Kerosene
and scrubbed with a toothbrush before being bagged with the
identifying Post It Note.

The beautiful scrolled faceplate which was standard on the earliest
Featherweights.  Dirty, gunky, yellowed and in desperate need of cleaning in this photo.

Another part full of gunk ready to be cleaned.  All of the surface parts were
gunky and filthy dirty.

Here, the bobbin hook assembly has been opened and the bobbin holder
has been removed.  I followed directions from a YouTube video and wiggled
and wiggled for twenty minutes paying very close attention so I would know
how to get it back in.  After twenty minutes or so, I lost focus for a few
seconds and all of a sudden the holder popped out and fell to the desktop.
I have no idea how I got it out!
I thoroughly cleaned this out though and managed to replace the bobbin
holder in just a matter of about a minute!

The piece that needed wiggling out... Took twenty minutes to get it out
and one to put it back in.  The clean parts spun freely.  THIS is what had the
whole machine bound up.  The gunk behind this piece was literally holding
it tight with pure suction and made the whole machine barely move.  Once
the bobbin assembly was removed and cleaned, the whole machine
moved easily!

This is what a belt looks like when it sits without moving for decades!

THIS is why I ordered new wiring!  This was a fire waiting to happen
under my foot!

This photo shows the "rubber feet".  That gray circle is supposed to be a black
rubber foot.  Decades of decay and neglect left this machine literally sitting
on the screws that held the feet in place... (see next photo)

Here is a side view of the "foot".  Well,
more like the absence of the foot!
And her new rubber feet... No more scratching my desk!

When I opened up the top and removed the faceplate, I was amazed at
how clean the innards of the machine were!  This is before I cleaned it!

 Twenty four hours before this video was taken, she would
barely even move...

My first few stitches after reassembly!

Ready to sew another line of stitches.  Here you can see that the machine was
previously cleaned with some sort of harsh cleaner that stripped the clear coat
right off the machine, and ate away at some of the decals as well.  She isn't
pretty, but she purrs like a kitten, and sews nice straight lines.
Most of her isn't very pretty, but LOOK at that face plate!
I love the fancy scrolled plates on the early machines...
No more yellow or brown gunk!!
And here she is with her first official work!
First four blocks pressed, trimmed and perfect.  Another 20 sewn for good measure.

SO, I have a LOT of work to do to catch up, but now that this little baby is working and I'm almost done with my Christmas quilting, I'll be able to get to work very soon!

If you came from Bonnie's Link up, get back by clicking HERE.  If you want to see what others are doing on Bonnie's Mystery Quilting, go ahead and click, I won't mind!

Until His work in me is complete,