Saturday, February 13, 2016

My New Toy!


This is the new toy that arrived this week - a Singer Featherweight 221-1.  Isn't it cute?  I have to thank my hubby Nolan and brother-in-law Anton for making my dream a reality.  I have been looking for Featherweights on Kijiji and at local auction listings ever since I saw one in person.  I have been 3rd or 4th in line many times.  A couple of weeks ago Nolan spotted the listing for this one in Calgary.  The item had only been posted for 5 minutes, so I knew if I acted quickly I might have a chance.  The machine is not in pristine condition, but there seller was very upfront about the chip in the paint, and was asking a very fair price.  She even posted a video on You Tube of the machine being used, so I was very confident that is was in good working order.  My brother-in-law agreed to be the middle man, and purchased it (got a lesson in the process) and shipped it out to me.

I wanted a Featherweight to take with me to guild sewing days as I was getting tired of lugging my Janome 6600 around.  About 12 lbs as opposed to 30+ lbs is a huge difference! 

The case is in pretty good shape for something that was made in 1952!  My featherweight was born August 11, 1952 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  63 years old. And the original key too.

The only thing that doesn't seem to be here from what would have been originally sold with the machine is the screw driver, which really is the easiest thing to replace.

The original manual is in amazing shape.

These are all the feet that were included.  The first 6 are original items, and the last three are add ons.  I don't expect to use most of these items much, but the engineering that went into them is interesting.

The one thing that I wasn't quite prepared for was the strong old smell that hit me in the face when I opened up the case.  No evidence of mold or mildew, but old oil and dust closed up for an extended period of time was not pleasant.  I did some quick research on line and found that soap and water are bad, but Kerosene and Carnuba wax are exactly what the doctor ordered!

We found some online tutorials with great information, so last night we took everything apart, tossed the old oil soaked drip pad, scrubbed and polished and it is much more pleasant to be around.  Luckily the original tube of motor lubricant was present, as it is still deemed to be usable and recommended.  A vintage machine also has many, many more oiling points that any other machine I have ever owned.

That is some chunky, gunky lubricant in the upper gears.

Today I figured out how to wind some bobbins with some modern thread and decided to try doing some real sewing.  Since I don't yet have a 1/4 foot, I attached the handy seam guide and it worked really well.

I am really impressed with the quality of the stitches, and had no trouble getting the tension adjusted with my thinner So Fine! piecing thread.

When I packed up the machine I included a bar of Irish Spring Soap in the bracket that was originally intended for an oil can. It should help freshen the case and is said to ward off bacteria.  Can't hurt right?

All ready for my next sewing day!

This is what I finished today.  I slightly adapted version of our Highway 10 Designs Detour runner.  I added two more dark chevrons to make it longer, and a small border to increase the width just a little.   Hopefully I can get it quilted soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My John Deere

This fun quilt was made by Dorothy.  A panel in the center, with some creative piecing to make a fun quilt for a lucky little guy.

Dorothy chose the yo-yo panto.  I was a little tricky to decide on a thread to compliment the quilt.  I usually try to select a thread that shows up evenly on the majority of the fabrics in the quilt.  Everything was looking a little sad and murky, so I went for a bold John Deere Green instead.  It stands out quite a lot in the sky and on the solid yellow fabric, but I like the overall look.  

Dorthy used a variety of the left over fabrics from the front to piece this cheerful quilt back.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Vanda made this quilt as a wedding gift for a special couple.  The pattern is BQ2 by Maple Island Quilts. The focus fabric is called Indigo Nature by Wilmington Prints, and she purchased it through Sew Sisters a great Canadian Online store.

Vanda did not want to make the quilt more feminine so we chose the Mimosa panto and a light mossy green thread and my navy Stonehenge backing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


This quilt was made by Connie.  The pattern is BQ3 by Maple Island Quilts.  I loved the focus fabric she used.  The poppies are absolutely beautiful.  I haven't made one of the BQ patterns myself, but they seem like one of the best patterns to highlight a favorite focus fabric.

Connie selected the Gothic Vine panto and dark grey Mangnifico thread.  The black fabric has a bit of  metallic in the print, so the shine of the thread looked great with that, and the grey didn't take away from the poppy print.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Emily's Wedding Quilt

Connie brought me this wonderful scrappy quilt.  The pattern is Emily's Wedding Quilt by Fons and Porter.  Essentially it is made up of two traditional blocks  - Shoo Fly and 54-40  or Fight.

I love how curves appear out of all straight seams.  Connie left the quilting design up to me.  I debated about trying to come up with a custom quilting design that would enhance the circles or use a panto.  When considering the size of the quilt (100 x 100), the borderless design, its intended use and my online searches of how other similar quilts were treated, I decided that a panto was the best fit for this situation.

A white So Fine! thread disappeared into the 30s reproduction fabrics and white background.  The panto is called Lithe.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Charm Squares Quilt & A Wallet for me!

This sweet baby quilt was made by Cheri.  The pattern is Charm (and 10!) Squares by Elizabeth Hartman and it is a freebie.

Cheri provided a cuddle backing, so we used Quilter's Dream Puff batting and the Dainty panto.  We used a lovely soft variegated thread that looked lovely with all the fabrics.  Is is Fantastico #5024 - Opalescence.

I received this little pack of remnants of Moda "Wishes" fabric at a retreat last fall.  I finally found the perfect project for them.  I decided to make something just for me this wallet.

I found this great tutorial from the Confessions of a Fabriholic blog.  I followed the tutorial pretty closely with two minor changes.  I added a button instead of a snap for the closure on the tab, and instead of vinyl for the outer fabric, I decided to use a quilted layer.

I might seem a little crazy to quilt such a small piece on a big longarm, but why not?  It was momentarily empty and ready to go.  I didn't use a backing fabric I loaded the batting on the leaders and used a layer of cotton top.

  The tutorial was great.  I love the card slots, slip pockets and zippered pocket.  It was very difficult to get the corners turned out nicely, but eventually I got the job done.   It was a quick project and fun to do a little something just for me.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pretty in Pink

This quilt was made by Sherri and it has a story as sweet as its color palette.  Sherri made this quilt for her grandmother for Christmas.  Her grandmother always made quilts for members of the family, but no one had every made her a quilt until now.  She was very excited to be receiving this special gift.

Sherri selected the Wildflower panto and I think it was the perfect choice.

I used a pretty pink  So Fine Thread to stay with the theme.

Beautiful job Sherri, I'm sure your grandmother will treasure it.