Saturday, March 15, 2014

Momma said

there'd be days like this, the song says.  And it's been one of those days!  I jumped back on the Singer 128 and fiddled and fiddled and fiddled with that tension but just couldn't get it right.  I saw on someone's tutorial that the spring should be sticking out at about 930 position, but mine just would not bounce or spring that low, it wants to be at midnight.  It will not put correct tension on the top thread at midnight though.  Back at 930, and it lays like a dead fish, also not providing the correct tension.  I could see such promise of wonderful stitches from the backside of the fabric.  I kept running samples while adjusting the dial hopefully until I noticed sparking and smoking from the motor.  I put her Godzilla butt away for the evening, and turned to the quilt block I am working on.

Sometimes I dream that I did things I did not, but I'm pretty sure I blogged about these magic flying geese last night.  How I didn't really catch on how to square them up right until after messing up set one and maybe some of set two.  Putting one of set one and one of set two together was going to be a little tricky as you can see from the photo above.  I have been puzzling in my head how best to get these conflicting sized units to come together.  AHA!

Freezer paper templates, cut to the size of the finished unit!  I figured this way I wouldn't be guessing when to add or take away from the quarter inch allowance.

Then, inspired by SharonSchamber excellence and techniques, I pinned so that the two pieces met at the corners of the templates and used school glue to baste in place before stitching.

A teensy thin line of glue is recommended, and heat set it with an iron please.  Should I apologize for the blurry photo here?  Or the chipped polish on just the thumbnail?  I don't think so.  Plenty of blurry and chipped going on in my life- if it's not in yours feel free to feel smug here.  I don't mind, really!

I carefully stitch just outside the template, except that bulky point makes me swerve a little.  S'OK.

TA DA!  Open and pressed out and oh, my goodness.  The darn bases.  Will have the points cut off as soon as I attach them to anything. Also, the side unit is not the same size as the flying geese unit.  The whole funky thing is going in the shoe box of bastard quilt units, to be used as whatever until one day maybe I'll make some piece-y animal softies or something out of them.  Momma also used to say, try again.  This magic method is getting one more shot, just because I'm mad at it for wasting so much time and fabric already.  Next time I'm using pretty fabric too, Nyah!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Creatively chugging

along..... Let's see.  I've made two pair of kid pants without a pattern.  It looks so easy, heck it kind of is easy, but I still managed to majorly screw up.  I don't know how I got the but/belly area so much smaller than needed, but I did.  Having made Rae's big butt baby pants in the past, I figured out a gusset for both the front and the back and saved the britches.  This would only work for a toddler who can't complain about the obvious weirdness, but who else would wear tinkerbell fabric in the daytime.  OK, probably there are grownups that would, probably not with the gusset.  Both cousins got a pair, one without the gusset after I paid more attention making the second pair.  Lined, trimmed in rick rack, and made on the 201 with the zigzag attachment to finish seams.

I also made a pair of chef pants for my adult son, and I whipped up two carry on bags for me and my friend. I learned fairly last minute that the airline had specifications for carry on that would cost me quite a bit to take the little wheeled case I already had.  So the day of departure I made two bags to exact specs they posted.  I don't have a picture of them, they aren't the prettiest, best made bags ever, but they did the job.  It whet my taste for bag making, and I've been musing about bags for some time now.  I'll have to try again soon.
The sewing that has been consistently engaging me is the sampler quilt I've been working on for maybe 3 months now.  It was a sew along a couple of years ago, I've been sewing it alone.  I'm surprised at how long its been taking me and that I've stuck with it.  I've only got 6 blocks done, if  you count the rejects I've done 9.  One was rejected because of obvious polyester that snuck in while the rest of the quilt is cotton.  One had funky points that will be square edged if it's ever sewed to anything else. I think the third came up just too small.  The rejects are in the top row.

The current block I'm working on is "Flying Geese, magic method".  I was kind of peeved with the magic method, which caused all my geese units to be a little bent or bowed.
It took me a couple units to figure out how to trim them correctly, so I don't know if this block will make the grade either.
Those diagonal markings are your friend.  I was trying to line up with the straight lines of length or width and that wasn't working.  The 45 degree angle made it right.
I found another vintage machine to work on.  This was in a local antique/pawn shop marked $50. and purchased for $20, with a box of attachments (alas for a slant needle, which this is not) thrown in.
Straight from the store it only hummed a little when plugged in, but the hand wheel turned freely and the needle went up and down.  Above it has had a minor cleaning and oiling and now runs pretty nicely.  I needed to screw the ancient light bulb back in and it's fine.  The bobbin is one of those freaky vibrating ones, looks like a screw and then gets dropped into a bullet looking thing.  My bullet thing is too rusty to try out yet and is sitting in a dish of PB Blast now.  Maybe I'll do a whole post on this machine later, maybe not.  Truth, I was thinking it might be a featherweight and I was getting a wonderful deal.  I don't know my vintage singers that well yet. This is a 3/4 size machine, but a whole different species of Singer.  I'm thinking puritans sewed with this moma.  This was manufactured in 1951 without a normal looking bobbin!!!!  There is no backstitch.  It clatters compared to my quiet 201.  I need to reserve final judgments until I see some stitches. 

Like the fish fabric in the background?  From the antique store a couple feet away.  I think my Momma had a church dress made out of this fabric in 1969.  Or maybe it was my dress.