Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nw OSM - Part 2

Okay, I've had quite a few e-mails from people with information about my new old-sewing-machine. I phoned my friend, and she will look for the power cord for me. Therefore, I will use this lovely Singer 15-91, which is gear driven rather than belt driven, to do some free-motion machine quilting--as soon as I have a chance to pick up the cord and to go purchase some more Tri-Flow and do some minor servicing.
I'll keep looking for a Singer 15-90 or a Japanese clone that I can convert to a treadle. Or maybe I'll get lucky and someone with a rotary Singer treadle will offer me a machine. (The reason I think I need a rotary bobbin is that those bobbins hold a lot more thread than the spindle type; free motion quilting, especially the fancy feathers I love quilting, takes a lot of thread!) However, since I've spent a good six months trying to find one, I suspect I will have to keep looking for a machine I can convert.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New OSM (Old Sewing Machine)

This is the Old Sewing Machine that came home with me today. Actually, it's not all that old--1951. One of my friends purchased it ten years later in Palo Alto, CA (she was a student at Stanford) to make her wedding dress.

It has a striated face plate with the tension control on the rear.
It has the electrical posts for the same kind of plug and footcontrol as my Featherweight, but the power cord that goes to the outlet is missing, so I'm not sure what it looks like.

It has a cord going from the motor down through the plate on the right to the foot control.

The cord to the foot control is worn through where it enters the button-type foot control, so I don't feel I can plug it in, and I'm not sure if just binding it with electrical tape would make it safe enough. (At the moment, it's a moot point since I do not have the cord that goes from the machine to the electrical outlet.)

Here's a view from the top of the machine that shows the motor and where it's screwed onto the machine.

There is no belt. My friends said the gears were directly driven by the motor. I do not know how this affects the fact that I'd like to convert it to a treadle.

Anyway, there is a lot more I'd like to learn about this machine, and I welcome comments.

Thread, Needles, and Batts for Quilting

I've been asked about needles and thread for machine quilting.
First, most often I quilt on the Viking/Huskvarna model 6430 home sewing machine I purchased after graduating from college. Occasionally I quilt on the model 6020 I purchased a couple of years ago from a lovely lady who was moving with her husband into assisted living.
For quilting, I love shiny threads; I think they make feathers and other decorative yet functional quilting just glow. One of my favorites is Fil-Tec Glide thread. These threads really do glide through the needles, and they come on 5000 meter spools. When using this thread, I sometimes use the same thread in the bobbin or, if the backing I've made for the quilt is fairly busy, I use Superior Threads Bottom Line, which I also use on the top when outlining the print of pictorial or toile fabrics. Unfortunately, the person from whom I purchase most of my threads has found the demand for Fil-Tec threads to be so low that she's discontinued them so she can use the space for items that are in greater demand.

The needles: Schmetz size 90 topstitch or jeans needles. Sometimes when I use Warm'n'Natural batting for Victory Quilts, I need to switch to size 100 needles. I understand that long-arm quilting machines use much larger needles. In fact, it was Betty Standiferd who is the longarm quilter for Southwest Decoratives -- -- who first showed me the needles the longarms use who convinced me to use jeans needles.

My favorite quilt batts are Quilter's Dream Request and Mountain Mist Rose. We use Warm'n'Natural for Victory Quilts because we are able to order it on rolls and cut pieces as we need them; however, the batting is heavier and the finished quilts stiffer than with my favorite batts. We haven't been able to find the Dream or Rose batts on large rolls.
For my friend's Tuscany quilt I used a 50% bamboo/50% cotton batt. I'll be interested in hearing how it holds up, since it was quite expensive.

And, yes, I just love quilting feathers--to such an extent that some of my quilts should have been named "Tickled to Death"!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another Amazing Rain Shower

Alexandra managed to catch another amazing rainshower this week. Yes, the foreground is blurred because we were in the car--and I didn't stop because we were late for an appointment.
I love these sights!
Alexandra is now registered for high school and ready to start Band Camp Monday morning.
I'm not ready for her to be in high school, but I suspect I will always feel the years pass toooooo

Dresden Plates

This is the Dresden Plate quilt Judy R made for our church's Victory Quilts Ministry. She does beautiful work, and her artist's eye is always evident--as is the fact that she has been piecing for several years now.
She said she just wasn't sure how to quilt all those open spaces, so I begged her to let me be the quilter. I quilted with shiny gold Fil-Tec thread and a lovely bluish-green thread I've had for years, and as usual all the quilting was done freehand with nothing marked on the quilt top so I could have total freedom. The ribbons quilted on the plate sections are just barely visible--but it's easy to right-click on any photo, open it in a new tab or window, and see a larger closeup view.

If the binding gets finished, this quilt will be dedicated at our next quilt dedication Sunday, August 9 at our traditional and contemporary services.
I'm hoping I'll be able to have one or two quilts ready by then, although I have a tremendous number of things to accomplish before my school year begins August 10.
The good news about my school year is that I'll be teaching students with severe and profound disabilities as well as one section of reading to kids with far less severe disabilities. As is true every year, it's impossible to predict what the year will be like or what I'll actually be able to do to help many of my students--which could be a great challenge given the change in the way we must submit lesson plans. I'll adjust. One of the things I like about special education almost as much as I like the kids is the fact that every year is new and different.
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