Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gertie refurbished

She sews beautiful! I had to break in the belt though, and THAT was a lot of foot peddling! I heard you could stretch the belt before you put it on, but I didn't want to end up with a floppy belt. The belt worked great when winding the bobbin, but with sewing it was very stiff. 

I did some reading and found out that using violin Rosin  would help! I had no idea what it was and luckily we have a music store within a couple of blocks of us! It was about $5, so I was ok with that. This is what it looks like:
Image result for hidersine rosin It is like a little puck that looks like a deep red color. It is very hard. You hold this little puck behind the leather belt and treddle until it coats the back of the belt. What it does, is helps the leather grip the wheel. Gripping the wheel, helps to make the needle go up and down. How is that for a very simple explanation! I think those experts out there are laughing at my explanation -- but as long as someone get's it, that's all that counts! This little puck was NOTHING like I imagined it would be! This is what the puck looked like when I was done:

After peddling for a bit, it loosened so it was easier to peddle! I figure if it take a bit of work, it will count as exercise! Hah!

You will notice on the first photo of Gertie, the finish looks ok. When you get closer, it seems to be a matte finish! I did the best I could with my limited knowledge. I read quite a few blogs of vintage owners taking apart everything, but I was terrified to do that! Remember when I took my mom's machine apart when I was little and no one could put it back together and an expert had to be called! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
so.... I did the best that I could!

  First I used Autosol Metal Polish

... then followed up with 

Finally I used an auto polish to buff. Trust me, There was a lot of elbow grease and I was impatient to work on her. Photo below is a closeup of the finish. It's been worn through the years. I tried a few different products.
This photo is with the flash. you can see little mottled spots. They were more prominent before the deep clean. 

This photo is without the flash and you can see there is finish that has flecked off.
The last bit was followed up with auto polish from our Auto Body friend. I'll have to keep trying, but as long as she's clean and smooth, I'm not too worried!

From a distance she may not be brand new! But she's brand new to me and I love her! She will be in the family for many years to come and I am sure that my dad is happy that I adopted her!

I took a week vacation this coming week so I can do some quilting! I have been quite tired lately when I get home from work, so this week is a chance to re-charge those creative cells and spend some time with Chef!  I'll try and update my progress!

If there are any vintage owners out there, I would love to hear your input on how to get your babies shiny!

Happy quilting everyone!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Meet Gertie!

This is Gertie! I found her on Kijiji! For years I have been looking for the one my dad refinished, never to find her. This is the second one I went to see and she's a beauty! I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to get her ready -- but she stitches beautifully now. The owner brought her from Belgium. Chef and I did some research and we believe she's a model 128. The manual that came with, said Model 27, but the serial numbers don't match. All the parts are working, but they need a good cleaning. The previous owner would put her down without taking the leather belt off, thus stretching the belt a bit too much. Easy repair. Gertie dates back to 1926. Her serial number indicates they made 20,000 of these babies, so she's not really "rare" at all. She has a vibrating shuttle and she has a shuttle ejector button. That's all I know for now! 

Her cabinet is quite nice, but certainly not the original. She's been refinished somewhat, but it will do for a long time before I decide to get a better job done. You can see the decals on the machine are still all there. 

 Her shank has a screw that is permanently in there. We have some WD40 soaking right now in hopes that the screw will come off so we can try the other feet! A little box came along with the machine with all these feet! You'll notice there are a couple of duplicates in there! I will have to see if I can find a manual on line for it. Otherwise I am really happy with it!
 She needs a good cleaning -- I am still looking for instructions on THAT part! I heard my dad's voice in my head as I was taking a bit of her apart saying, "Remember when you took Mom's Singer apart and we had to take it to the repair shop?" Those memories are making me take a step back and do a little bit at a time as I learn.
 Look at all that gunk! Wonder how old that gunk is?
The inside gears don't seem too bad. Off the bat she sews really nice. I tried to wind the bobbin, but of course you need the belt -- so I had to handwind it!

It's my first crack at a vintage machine! If anyone out there has any suggestions on how to go about servicing her, I would sure appreciate the input!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

WIP -- Progress!

It all started with this yesterday.....
  then this for dinner        

then we watched a couple of movies, napped, watched some more movies and then to bed! Hah! Happy Valentines Day! I had a pijama day! Was wonderful!

Today was a totally different story! 
I started cutting out the pieces for my son's quilt -- the pieces will be going to be to Retreat!

Then to press all those 1/2 triangles!

...while Mr. Tigger was snoring away!

Now a whole pile to put together!

I have been taking things easy with my left hand. Cutting has been slow and steady. Not piling too many layers together, and sliding my hand up the ruler while I cut with the opposite hand. Cutting, then piecing, then pressing, then back to a bit more cutting, etc. Breaking it all up seems to help a lot!

Chef has been prepping a turkey dinner! I love turkey! The smells have been wafting up to the studio to the point that I just HAD to quit and come closer to the kitchen! Hah! No worries! He'll put me to work setting the table!

Have a wonderful weekend all! We get one more day of weekend here in Alberta -- Monday is a statutory holiday called Family Day! The family is all scattered all over doing their thing, but it gives me another day to work in the studio! To all my U.S. friends -- happy President's Day!

Happy Quilting all!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

How do you say "I love you"

How do YOU say "I love you"?
Enter Fons & Porter Valentine's day contest here

The rules are posted on the link -- this is my entry:

  1. Send me a picture of the quilt you’ve created that you’re most proud of. It can be an original design or an interpretation from one in a publication.
  2. Tell me why you love it so much. --  It was my first paper-piece project. Once I got 10 blocks done, I was exhausted already! I think it was because there was so much more going on in my life -- divorce -- court battles -- moving -- going back to school! It wasn't  necessarily the technique of building this block! The blocks and remaining pieces were put away in a box and to be hauled around from one place to the next! It took 12 years before it saw the day of light -- after divorce, graduating school, kids grown up, and a new love in my live who gifted me with a new sewing machine! The small bits of fabric from my grandson's quilt, or the piece of fabric from my new love's quilt, even the "dark time" fabric that my ex would say was a waste of money! With every piece I remembered my journey. The different fabrics reminded me of my children growing up, my ex, as well as new grandchildren, and memories of the FARTs --[Fabric Acquisition Road Trips] with my new love!  While sewing, I would remember the painful past, but learned how to forgive and move onto the new with grace.  It is the quilt I am most proud of and love. I couldn't think of a better person to dedicate it to -- my oldest daughter on her 30th birthday! I think she gave up on it ever being finished, but when I placed it in her arms we both shed a tear or two! It was a journey -- one that reminds me that through everything we experience, we can mold something beautiful!
  3. Give me a short description of how you made it– techniques, tools, templates. I want the dirty. If you remember which magazine it came from, let me know. This quilt was started in 1996 from a pattern by Karen K. Stone "Lady Liberty Goes to Hawaii" that my oldest daughter fell in love with! The sheer terror of  making all the blocks to fit a queen size bed didn't hold me back! I came up with modifying it by placing borders around the blocks and adding a larger border to the outside. The tree's were to have significance as well. The top number of tree's signify the month my daughter was born in and the bottom would be the date. As for the tree's on the side, I decided to place an equal number to balance the quilt out.
  4. Make sure to include name and location so I can give you credit. My name is Margo Brown, Calgary, Alberta Canada - completed 2013. Quilting completed by Karen Morrison of Airdrie, Alberta
If you want to enter the contest -- make sure you send an email with your answers to  .

Last -- but not least... HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! May you all have a wonderful day doing what you love with the one's you love! 

Happy Quilting everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Even a "little" progress can make a big impact!

This is the start to my very first scrappy quilt out of 5" charms.

Happy quilting everyone!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

It's been a tough 4 days! I headed to the surgeon on Thursday for Day Surgery and had a whole bunch of injections in my left hand. Good thing I remember my Lamaze breathing from over 31 years ago! I was breathing in and out in the surgical suite as they were putting the injections in. This is the fourth time to have injections, but the last ditch attempt to buy me some time before taking the big plunge into removing joints. Today has been the first day I was up to doing anything and felt that typing was ok as well! I am headed back to work tomorrow and I NEED the use of my hands to do my computer work! EGADS. I have been a good girl though and not overdoing it!

So...onto the picture! I thought it would be interesting to take a snapshot of what my work table has on it! I am trying ever so much to use up my scraps. I feel horrid if I throw out anything! My basket is an old wicker one that is overflowing! I always, like you, have too many projects on the go, but I am so very limited with time. Further distressing is when I do have time, my hand isn't "ready"! I so feel for all of you out there with arthritis! It sucks getting old! (and those who have had arthritis before aging, my heart goes out to you).

My favorite quilter is Bonnie Hunter. She is so inspiring and has such a huge following! I've been sewing "with" her while watching her Quilt-Cam! It's great to watch and just listen to what she has to say. It's like sewing with a best friend! I do wish I had more sew days with my daughter or friends, but life gets in the way! Sewing with Bonnie IRL would be wonderful, least I have Quilt-Cam! Check her out on YouTube -- better yet, you can join her blog and actually sew with her in real time! I just got my first book from her and LOVE it! More Adventures with Leader's and Enders. 

One of the other books I have is by Joan Ford! Cut the Scraps. I have been cutting my scraps to her method, but am now intending on cutting scraps to both Bonnie's and Joan's recommendations. Each of them have their own system and I can see the need for both. Until I find what works for me, I'll be cutting to each project on my bucket list.

Bonnie has a great idea where instead of using your little scrap to start off your sewing, without getting a rats nest on the bottom -- use two "scraps" to start off and also to end. Thus leaders and enders came about! I used to have so much thread littering my sewing room, my clothes and around my work area, it was nuts! Check out Bonnie's blog!

Joan Ford has not been around as long as Bonnie Hunter, but I love her book as well. Her blog isn't as "newsy" as Bonnie's, but well worth a look!. Check out Joan's blog!

I am working on simple half-square triangles, using 5" charms. Before my hand issues, I was using a HERA marker.  Now these markers are great! The harder you press, the easier it is to see your line -- but you don't have to worry about getting the line out by washing, or erasing. It is just a simple crease line. They don't bleed or leave marks you don't want. It simply leaves a crease that you can follow. With arthritis, it is difficult to hold and press firm enough to mark your fabric. Maybe I will be able to use it again down the line, but right now my hand a bit too inflamed.

FRIXON pens. For me, right now, for the purpose of marking a simple half-square triangle - it works perfect. Even if it doesn't come out, I am not worried. However I have used it to mark a quilt top and it came out with a simple press of the iron. Check out the blog post from Lee on Freshly Pieced.  I bought mine at the local quilt store, but I know you can buy them at your local stationery shop. Just make sure you check out the one you want but doing some research first. I just recently bought two  Frixon Color erasable markers --  in lime green and a bright yellow, for those darker fabrics. I am not sure about them yet, but if it's a bad review, I'll be sure to let you know!

You'll notice the dual chalk marking pencil. Tried it, didn't like it. It was hard to mark on the fabric. Maybe I was pressing on it too hard? I found that the fabric was bunching under it and there wasn't a nice crisp line. It also took quite a bit of brushing to get it off.

RULERS: all around me. You will notice all the different rulers I have. I know that people suggest that you should stay with the same brand -- but an inch is an inch and you can't change that! What I do recommend is that you check the accuracy of your rules. The more you use one, the faster the edges will wear out - thus changing the size of your piece. So if you are wondering about whether the piece you just cut is "right" -- try measuring it in the middle of your rule, instead of from the edge. You will be able to check pretty quick whether you need to replace your ruler. I have all brands of rulers and not one is "better" than the other in my books. The more you pay for a ruler does not mean that it's any better than another one. You'll find the ruler that works for you. Don't be intimidated by others with their huge batch of rulers -- you can do just as well with what you have!

You will note I have papers littering my table as well! Take photo's of what inspires you! If you have a quilt that you would love to make, get the pattern! Pay homage to the artist and buy their book. Trust me, time passes by and you can try and find the pattern or the book again and it will never be found again! I borrow books from the library on methods that I would like to "try" and I buy books that I know will be keepers that will keep me motivated! Quilt artists and bloggers are very generous as well by offering "free" patterns. Thank them by buying a pattern or a book that you like!

ROTARY CUTTER -- of course is a wonderful tool to have. When I started in quilting, it was making cardboard templates and tracing out the pattern on fabric and cutting them out with scissors. You CAN do that if you wish, but rotary cutters are so much faster ... and dangerous! YE OUCH!  Check how the cutter feels in your hand. I'm using the little one just for quick cuts -- and something that is great for smaller pieces. It's not bulky either, but I am not using it for layers and layers. I want to check out a more ergonomic shaped cutter to see how it is. Would love feedback from anyone out there that has one!

The nice thing to have is a TV to watch your DVD's on, instructables or even just a corny tv show in the background. I love catching up on shows that I've missed an Quilt-Cam with Bonnie Hunter is easy!

The TIMER -- is to remind me that even if I only have 15 minutes to spare - it is still time to be creative!

Last, but  not least... Quilting can provide you with great benefits that you are not even aware of! Check out the eZine article that Nimble Thimbles Quilt Club posted! No wonder I was so happy when I walked out of the studio today! 

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A new quilter in our midst!

My beautiful niece came over to do some sewing. I found a really cute little Minky baby blanket kit that would be an easy starter project for her! You can see she's focused and sewing away! So proud of this new Momma! She's making a baby blanket for her new little one to drag around the house. I am sure the little one will cherish it forever! I, myself have never sewn with Minky. Had I, the choice of a starting project would have been much different. With patience and lots of pins, she did a fantastic job! Taking it slow helped with stabilizing it so it didn't slip around a whole lot!

Lucky us! Chef and I got to watch over the little one! She looks so serious in the below photo with her Momma behind the machine and watching intently as Great-Auntie sets her up for the photo! Her hair is absolutely adorable. We love her to pieces! What a blessing to have them less than 5 minutes away! While I was instructing Momma, the little one was with Great-Uncle and we could hear him singing to her! Now some of "Old MacDonald's" animals were a bit out of this snakes and dinosaurs, but the little one loved every word!

Her newest is sucking in her bottom lip! She's pretty proud of herself being able to sit up by herself! Here she is with her new finished blankie by her Momma!  I am so proud of my niece! She stuck with it and did a great job! It's so nice to be able to do something and go home with a finished project! She was such a great student as well! Our next project may be pillows, or a couple of kerchief bibs for Little Miss!

Funny how these little one's pick things up. Someone has been coughing around her and she's now imitating a little cough. Makes us laugh. She's discovered her voice as well. It's gone from a whisper to a screech! Oh, I so remember those days! Makes me smile!

As for me -- it's Super Bowl day! We are watching the pre-game and within seconds THE game will start!Happy quilting all!