Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

The New Paintstiks Are Here!! The New Paintstiks Are Here!! Am I Somebody?

     Oh boy! The Shiva Paintstiks have arrived in the mail today. Can't wait to try them out. Thanks Jerry's Artarama. This is the first time I've purchased anything from them. Their service is pretty fast. I used the cheapest shipping I could and it came in just 5 working days.

     Time to go upstairs and find stencil brushes and something to start working on.

I feel a bit like The Jerk:
 "The new paintstiks are here! The new paintstiks are here! Am I somebody?" We'll see. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recently, I was able to add to my sewing machine collection.

     Thanks to Tamara, Maggie's co-worker, I have received a new-to-me old Singer sewing machine. She knows I like old Singer machines and thought I would like to have it. You bet!

     This is a 1926 Model 99. It was manufactured in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
     I wondered about the screw/clip on the metal cover to the right. I unscrewed it and nothing happened. Hmmm. I thought it was some sort of motor cover. I picked up the machine to move it and the whole machine about fell backwards. Yikes! You know how heavy these old machines are.

     Oooo, look at that! Turns out there's storage under the machine. The clip was the closure for the storage compartment. I found all sorts of presser feet and gizmos. Cool!

     I know what most of these are for, but not sure of those 3 circle things. I'll have to do an internet search. If you know what they are, please let me know.
And it also came with this cover.
      The machine has a knee operated peddle and seems to work well. Do you call it a peddle when you don't use your foot? The cord looks good. I plugged it in and ran the motor a little. I didn't want to run it too long without having it serviced. A little cleaning, oiling and greasing and I'll be trying it out. Thank you again, Tamara. This is special and so nice.

      Since I was showing you my latest addition, I thought I would show you the other machines in my Singer collection. I went to the Singer  website to look up the serial numbers and find some information about them. It's fun finding out about all these old machines. I think about all the people who were involved in making them and the ladies (mostly I'm sure) that used them to make things for their homes and clothing for their families.

      My husband called me at work one day a few years ago and said there was an old Singer like my mom's (a Featherweight) at a yard sale. Turns out this machine is a 1902 Singer Model 27 with the Sphinx decal design. Sorry, this picture is awful. It really doesn't do it justice. It was manufactured in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as are all my Singers.  

     The wooden box shown in the front of the machine is a cool little thing. It holds all the presser feet.**   The contents look like Frankenstein surgical tools.

      It came in this cabinet, but I'm not sure it was the original; I'm thinking not. It doesn't look like any cabinet I've seen before (like I'm an expert).
      The next one is a 1937 Singer Model 15. My husband found this at another yard sale a few years ago. It came in a cabinet, but no attachments, etc. It is very clean. Since I have so many machines and don't have space for them all in my sewing room/guest room, I am using this cabinet as a night stand in the spare bedroom.

     The last machine is a 1950 Singer Model 221-1, also known as a Featherweight. This model is LOVED by quilters: small, portable (and heavy), but easy to take to a sewing class. It has that great clinky sound. You know what I mean if you have one. And it's darn cute! ("...and gosh darn it, people like me.") This machine had belonged to my mother. Dad bought it for her in their early married years. This is the machine my sisters and I learned to sew on. As a child, I made many a Barbie & troll doll dress on it.

      This particular model of the Featherweight is the centennial edition. Using my cell phone camera you can't see the details on the medallion below, but it has a blue rim around the edge and shows the dates 1851-1951. None of the other models of the Featherweight have it. I knew mine was a centennial edition, but I had not looked up the serial number until today. This was manufactured in 1950. I had always thought it had to be made in 1951 to be one of the centennial machines. Okay, this is confusing. I thought I'd try to research.
      According to the person at seabreezespinners:  "The serial number says it was manufactured October of 1950 although it has the 1851 – 1951 crest. 50,000 were certified for manufacture that month which were destined to go out to the stores in 1951." That makes sense to me. My machine was also made in October of 1950. You have to have inventory prior to January 1, 1951. HA.

Now on to the Singers that aren't black
(wait, that doesn't sound right):

      I also have a 1975 Singer Stylist 534 (Now vintage? My kids would say so.) that I got when I graduated from high school. I used it exclusivly until the early to mid 1990s (when I got a new machine - another brand. sorry). I was like those ladies of old, making many things for my home and many, many clothes for my daughters and T-shirts for my husband. Emily is now using it. She's made curtains, purses, etc. with her Craft Night group. It still runs like crazy. I don't have the machine here to take a picture, so I'm borrowing a picture from this website. My daughter, Maggie, recently told me she feels about this machine the same way I feel about my mother's Featherweight. Awwhhh. That makes me happy.

      This is a toy Singer machine my sisters and I played with. I think it's called Sew Handy, maybe model 20, made mid to late 1950's. I have it on display in my sewing room. I don't remember it ever working very well. The wheel hasn't turned in years (did it ever?). I was the fourth child to play with it. Wonder what that means? I still like it.

       That's all I know about my machines. If you have other information, I'd appreciate the help. The following website has a short history of the Singer Manufacturing Company.

** I liked the accessory box of the model 27 so much, I showed it to my dad. He made a few, enjoying  the challenge of piecing it together just right. The wood grain looks like lace. We thought they would make interesting jewelry boxes. They open up like a little treasures.

     I hope this little show-n-tell is better than Josephine Hedgepeth's blue pillow.   :^P

Friday, July 15, 2011

No sewing today?

     It's 10:55 p.m. I just realized that I didn't spend ANY time sewing today. I didn't even poke my head in the sewing room. Hmmm. Let me feel my forehead . . . Seems okay.

     Turns out we didn't can those peaches. Thank you, Lord. We put them in quart size freezer bags. It took a lot less time and a lot less boiling water, which seems like it would be less hazardous. However my husband sliced a gnarly cut on his finger. :(  He was finished peeling.

     I ordered some Shiva Paintstiks today. I can't wait for them to get here. 12 regular colors and 12 iridescent colors. I'll let you know how I get along with them.

     Upon reflection, haha, it was nice to take a break from the sewing.

I Can Step In It In Any Language

     We needed to get out of the house today so we decided to run some errands and see if we could find some peaches to "can". Gee I hope we aren't really going to do some canning. What an ordeal.

      We have recently discovered some buckwheat noodles that are so good and low gluten (?).  We stopped by an Asian market to buy some more. We went inside and perused every isle and shelf. It was a very interesting place. All kinds of strange and wonderful things: dried, frozen and canned fish, fruit, beans, seeds, noodles, etc.; bottles of soy this and soy that; cooking pots, tea pots, incense pots; toys; music CDs; many different kinds and designs of chop sticks.

      As we were standing at the register to pay, I noticed the interesting things on the shelves behind the counter. One thing that caught my eye was a clear bag of sliced deer horns. Now, being a sewer, I started getting ideas. I once saw a deer horn button that was beautiful, but cost $10, just for one! I thought, "I wonder if I could buy those and make some buttons, drill a couple of tiny holes in the center. Hmmmm."

      One of the owners was standing in the isle near me and I stepped over to her and asked her what those are used for. Apparently she didn't speak English. She said something to the man behind the counter. "Medicine", he said. My husband said, "Aphrodisiacs". I wonder if the lady just didn't want to have to say it. Medicine. Haha When we got back in the truck I started getting embarrassed. Thank goodness for language barriers. None of us had to really talk about it.

      I had to laugh. What if I had bought them and made buttons with them? Can you imagine their faces the next time I went in there wearing a coat or sweater with "those" buttons on it? I can hear them laughing now.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What Is Wrong With Me?

     This was going to be Finish Those Quilts Hanging on the Back of the Bedroom Door summer. Instead I've started two more and will be taking a class next month on a third.

     The first quilt I started during the Finish Those Quilts Hanging on the Back ... summer was in June. The design is called Bullseye.  I have been saving fabrics with circles and dots, not so much polka dots, for a few years. I once saw a quilt that had varigated thread bubbles and thought "I must!"  I have a few blocks put together. I haven't decided what size it's going to be, but, Yep! It's going to be as good as it is in my head.

     The second quilt I started during the summer of Finish Those Quilts Hanging... began last week. See July 7th post and story of human drama. Get used to it. I always have a story.
     I cut MANY 2 1/2" squares and 2 1/2" half-square triangles for this project in darks and lights. I didn't know what design I would choose until I got to the class. I finally decided on Scrapaholic. It's basically a 9 patch. Only two of the pieces are half-square triangles. It's not like I won't use the MANY left over half-square triangle pieces, but I spent quite a long time cutting and sewing them in preparation (while on vacation at my dad's house) to not use them in this.

     SIDE NOTE: Tuesday I went out to the car to get all my fabric, having just showed them to my sister a couple of days before. I had spent the afternoon collecting everything I needed for the class on Wednesday. When I got in the house I noticed the ziploc bag with the squares wasn't there. Hmmm. "Oh, I must have left them in the car. I'll get them the next time I go outside." WRONG!!! When I went out "the next time" our two puppies, 10 weeks old, had already found them. Only a few were still in the bag. Some were under the car, some in the mud-hole flowerbeds, some in the yard. I layed on the ground to rescue some pieces from under the car, but the puppies thought I wanted to play and proceeded to climb on my head and bite my hair. The puppies are no longer cute. I put the pieces in a mesh laundry bag. Most came out clean, but I had to iron about 100 little 2 1/2" pieces. See, I told you I always have a story. I can always make a long story longer.

     ANYWAY, the block for this quilt looks like this:

     Depending on how you arrange the blocks, you get light and dark stripes in a diamond pattern. The picture below shows six blocks sewn together.  Actually my light fabrics needed to be lighter. I needed a stronger contrast between my lights and darks. Hopefully with many more blocks sewn together the pattern will be easier to see. My darks were all browns except the ONE dark tourquoise. I decided to use it for the center of the nine patch, which then looks like an accent color, like I meant to. Yeah, that!

    So, why am I going to start a third one next month during this Finish Those ... summer ? It's a mystery to me. No, really. It's a mystery quilt. A bunch of fabric, lights-mediums-darks in this-and-that amounts, but I have no idea what it's going to be. I have directions for cutting in preparation for the class, but that's it.

     I have four quilts on hangers on the back of the door in different stages of "ready" and about 6-8 plastic shoe boxes with a different project/idea in each. AND I saw a cute idea for a baby/kid quilt yesterday on Sewing With Nancy. OOOOoooooo. I'm already there! It's really cute in my head!

     What is wrong with me? I asked my sister, Kathi. She said, "Nothing that an adult beverage won't help."


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Only In The Ozarks

This morning my friend, Kathy, and I were on our way to a quilting class in Springfield. We left early so we could have breakfast out. We talked about several places to go and decided to go to the VFW post. I know, sounds like a strange place for two women to be having breakfast, but they have a great breakfast menu - FAB pancakes! AND it's cheap. Free coffee too.

We finished eating and got some coffee to go - yes, we offered to pay for it. What do you think we are? (It was free too!), and headed out to the car. I put the key in to start the engine and the car made this loud, terrible noise. There hadn't been any problems prior to this. It was weird enough to scare me, so I turned off the engine, but it didn't stop. It kept making this scraping, spinning sound. I got out and opened the hood, all the while the screeching continued.

Three or four men (veterans, I'm sure) were standing around talking. They noticed the car going crazy and my panicked face and came over to see if they could help. One guy said it was probably the starter relay and tried to get the cover off of it. He said he works on this kind of thing all the time. He was worried about the engine getting ruined and said if it goes on too long it could set the engine on fire. Eeeek!

By now 6 or 7 men are hovering around the car. The guy decided he should take the battery cable loose to get the engine to stop. He said, "What I need is a wrench." This one quiet old man nonchalantly reached in the pocket of his very high-waisted jeans and pulled out a wrench, wrapped in a rag. HAHAHA  Who would have thought? HAHAHAHA

The guy loosened the cable. The engine stopped. The noise stopped. He reconnected the battery cable and said to start the engine. It started fine. Weird! He told me to be sure to have it checked out. We were finally on our way to our class.

We started talking about what if we had gone to one of the other places for breakfast. I had to crack-up. We probably wouldn't have had anyone to help and there CERTAINLY wouldn't have been an old man veteran there with a wrench in his pocket. I wonder if he had once been a boy scout.

Only in the Ozarks.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Purple Mountain Majesties. The story of Katharine Lee Bates and "America The Beautiful" by Barbara Younger.

      This morning we sang America The Beautiful in church. This song takes me back several years to the first time I read this book to my student.

      It's the story of Katherine Lee Bates' 1893 train trip across the United States. She was an English professor at Wellsley College, on her way to teach a college course in Colorado Springs. She kept a journal, later writing a poem about what she saw. This poem was originally called Pikes Peak, published in 1895. In 1910 it was put to music and became the song America the Beautiful, music by Samuel Ward. I love the drawings in this book, beautiful colors. 

     Read this book to your child. You will appreciate the beauty of our country, the beauty of the story, and you both will love the time spent together.

     Since reading this book that first time, America The Beautiful has become my favorite patriotic song. I pray that God will continue to "shed His grace on thee."

     I get verklempt...

     Talk amoungst yourselves...

Friday, July 1, 2011

I've Been Told I'm A Little Twisted

   I've heard that a quilt project is still new if under 5 years old. This is my Twisted Bargello quilt top (started 2 years ago - still new!). The class was offered through Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild (I'm a member) and taught by Tony Munoz. It looks like a nightmare to make (20+ different fabrics), but if the chart is followed, it's not too bad. Strip piecing will be your BFF. There's a lot of prep time, so it's not going to be something you crank out in a week. Remember, still new - only 2 years old.

      If the quilt is turned on it's side, it reminds me of a fish. It is quilted with a purple/silver thread and just barely sparkles in the light. The thread makes me think of iridescent scales.


     The quilt is too big to put on a wall in my house and too small to put on a bed - not even lap size, so a few borders need to be added. I've collected more purple fabrics, but haven't decided which ones I will use. I am ALWAYS drawn to earth tone fabrics, but wanted to go out of my comfort zone. I am now a BIG time purple fan. No, I haven't changed the decor of my house to purple (do I have decor?) and the house is still basically earth tones, but I can't hardly leave purple fabrics in the store. I must feel them! I must have them! I must become The Purple!

     It's amazing how different this design looks in other colors. Several were shown at the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild show in September 2010. My friend, Kathy, made one with blues and yellows. Another one was made in reds and looked like a Valentine. I will see if I can find pictures and edit/update this post then.

     Okay, this computer and the internet have about become my undoing tonight, huh, Bari? I have a few other quilt tops to show, all under 5 years old. Still new! That will have to wait until another day. AND wouldn't it be amazing IF they were finished before posting?

7-21-11 Revision: I found the quilts. They come out so different. Kathy has made 4 or 5 of these. I'm not sure I will do another. I'd better get caught up with other quilts first.

Red Puzzle by Sandy Higgins
Twisted Bargello
2010 Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show
Bargello Quilt by Kathy Haymes
Twisted Bargello
2010 Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show