Saturday, 24 June 2017

Silver Presentation Box Refurbishment


I had this boxed set of Silver Plated napkin rings made by Walker and Hall of Sheffield, I expect they are somewhere around 1910ish but that is a complete guess, they may be older. They are a family piece.  I use them at Christmas. The box was looking a bit tatty and as I had just refurbished a couple of Singer Featherweight Sewing machine boxes, had the idea of tidying this box up as well.

Here is the before

Used the same technique using a Sharpie black pen to colour in all the dings and scratches.  Looking better already.

Then two coats of black shoe polish being careful not to get it on the gold lines.  Drying and polishing each layer.

All done.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Singer 221 Service and Case Refurbishment


The lovely Sarah from Drawn Threads (DrawnThreads) was given a Singer 221k by a relative. She was so thrilled.  She brought it to her Needles and Pins Group on Tuesday so I offered to tidy the case up for her as I had just done mine.  So home it came with me.

The outside had the inevitable dings and scrapes of 60 years of use.

The inside was even worse.

Gave the outside a clean with a damp cloth making sure that I didn't get it too wet.  Ideally, I wanted to do the same with the inside but didn't want to introduce any moisture  inside the box as they tend to get mildew and this was already showing signs of having had it.  Stuck down a few bits of peeling edges using UHO glue.

After cleaning the outside and letting it bake dry in the conservatory, the sharpie black pen was used to colour in the scratches and marks.  Then two coats of black shoe polish gave its final finish.  I left each coat to dry before buffing.  The locks were cleaned with a wet cotton bud and Bar Keepers Friend.

The inside was hoovered out and then wiped with a clean dry cloth.  Then used one coat of shoe polish to tidy it up, again making sure it was fully dry before buffing.  Not perfect but loads better than it was.

I then turned my attention to the machine, giving it a service, clean and polish. The lower tension wasn't quite right so I reset that.  It needed a new belt which Sarah has ordered along with 4 new rubber feet.  Added a new spool pin felt.

As a surprise, I made a handy draw string bag to keep the dangling wire and plug in so the paintwork doesn't get scratched.

The flip up bed was catching on the foot screw so I used a little clear bumper stop stuck on the screw so it wouldn't chip the paintwork.

 Its hardly visible.

The machine came up quite well.

All tucked up safely.

Sarah had an original key so added a pretty fob for it.

She has been through the mill recently and works so hard with her business, she deserves a treat


Monday, 5 June 2017

Rusty Singer 221 & 201 Bobbins - How to prevent & Fix them


Its raining, a legitimate day off work (no gardening in the rain).

So, sorting out a few rusty Singer bobbins off my 221K and 201K

Why do they go rusty?

If cotton is left on them, it attracts moisture which then rusts the bobbin.  I used to be a lace maker, lacemaking uses 100% cotton fine threads.  They dry out on the pillow which causes them to snap (especially when you leave them on the back parcel shelf of your mini when taking your lace on holiday with you, doh), the cure was to leave a damp cloth over  the pillow and threads to put moisture back into the thread to prevent snapping.

So the dilemma  is to remove all the thread when you finish your project or leave it on the bobbin?  Its not going to rust that quickly so no real need to remove the thread (I hate wasting thread) BUT if you buy/have old bobbins that haven't been used for donkey's years with thread on, remove it.  Its surprising just how many different threads can be on one bobbin.  On the really old ones, the thread is sometime rusted in, you can use a blade to cut the thread but mind your fingers.

This is what you might find.

Easy fix, I used a small file that I found in an old attachment box, its ideal to file away the rust.

 The point is good for pushing a bit of wire wool to get into the fiddly bits.

Wind the wire wool around the bobbin then twist the ends tight.  Twizzle the wool around the bobbin for a final polish.  Then give it a good clean with a cloth, I used a bit of off-cut of wadding.

It doesn't take long to get rid of the rust, it will stay away as long as you don't leave thread on for too long.  My instinct is to put a bit of oil on it like you do where you have removed rust from any other part of the machine but this will mark the thread so best not to do it.

All clean and tidy, tucked up in a modern box.

Tootle pip

Monday, 22 May 2017

Vintage Case Makeover & Garden Tour


Buzz and I had an outing to the Ripley Castle Decorative Home and Reclamation Show the other weekend.  The weather stayed fine and as usual completely forgot to take my camera so here is link  Ripley Castle.  They hold it every year in May.

Of course, I had to buy something.  It would have been rude not to.  Found this interesting vintage leather case with drawers inside.  Couldn't resist.

It was a bit tatty, locks wouldn't work properly.  Inside the lining was pulling away causing the drawers to stick.

Easy fix with book binding glue, brush and wallpaper roller.

Gave everything a really good clean, oiled the locks with Singer sewing machine oil to get them working.  Cleaned the leather case with saddle soap, it was filthy, then polished with black shoe polish.

  Filled with all my favourite things, Singer feet and attachments in the small drawer.

The bottom drawer is perfect for my rotary cutters and blades.

Decided that the inside colour was a bit naff, so got out some pretty papers.

The garden is looking pretty at this time of the year despite 2 bunnies moving in!

Buzz checking up on what I am up to.  The forget-me-nots have seeded themselves all over, they smell wonderful on mass.

The conifer is ready for a hair cut.  Love the purple alliums, if you leave the seed heads on they seed around the garden quite well.  I fill my borders to bursting to save on weeding gardening for a living means the last thing you want to do on a weekend is garden again!

I put this broken pot on top of the cover of the bbq as the wind in the winter was doing its best to blow it away.  A pair of robins have made a nest and are busy feeding their chicks but they are far too wary to pose for a photo so you will have to take my word.

This years tally of wild life in my garden is:  Wrens nests x 2, wood pigeons nests in both the front and rear garden hedges, another 2 robins nests in the front garden (one was made in an old watering can), blackbirds nests, loads of hedge and house sparrows.  The uninvited creatures are the bunnies and I think, rats under the shed!  Unfortunately, the thrush hasn't made its home in my garden so my hostas are getting nibbled by snails.

PS forgot Hegarty the Hedgehog visits the garden, Buzz keeps finding him and won't come in the house.

2nd June - update  One of the fledgling Robins decided that the inside of my house was a good place to visit!  Found it sitting on my curtain pole.  It promptly flew (very badly) across to the other side of the room, then flopped down into a trophy cup on the table (that my partner won) which made it an easy catch.  It objected and pecked my finger, it was soo cute.  Took it back out into the garden to it's very worried parent.


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Dog tired


Just a quickie, took Buzz to the vet today for a health check as he didn't want to go for his usual walk this morning.  Heart and lungs ok but some age related nerve damage in his hips causing a bit of weakness in his back legs but the vet assures me this isn't painful, just causes weakness.   She said that he still needs his walks, he has to keep going otherwise he will go off his legs.  So rest for a couple of days and then see how he goes.

When we got home, he had his tea and promptly fell asleep whilst holding his chew!  It is a chew and not a fag, honest.

He does look cute.
Sharon x

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Vintage Sewing Spot & a few new projects


I sew in the conservatory, the light is good, its usually warm and I can look out onto the garden.

First a nice old table just the right height for little old me along with an old Lloyd Loom style chair to sit in. The more I sewed in there, the more stuff started to creep in. The other problem is that any fabrics or thread left on the table will fade.  I had bought different boxes and baskets but it was all getting a bit messy.

So I took out the linen basket replacing it with this little cupboard from the summerhouse, all the boxes fit inside.

It's ideal, will double as a cutting surface instead of the dining room table.  The iron and ironing pad on it now making more room on the table, the added bonus is that its at better height when I am stand to iron seams.

When I looked at the photo, realised that nearly everything is vintage and/or secondhand so a thrifty space.

Buzz's old leather collar finally gave up the ghost and I was going to chuck it out. Then I had a thought, I would make him a new one with pretty fabric using the buckle and metal loop.  Did try to get him to model it but he is a bit camera shy and sulked.  His coat is so thick it doesn't show up too well anyway.  He is getting an old chap now.

Made a couple of mini quilts.

I have started to use a magnetic pin dish to keep my machine feet in one place, if I just leave them on the table I always have to play "hunt the foot" on the floor.  Its really useful if you are doing something that involves more than one foot change.

Tootle pip


Monday, 24 April 2017

Quilt Exhibition


Had a quilty day out with my big sister Sandi on Friday to celebrate our birthdays instead of buying each other pressies.  We went to Tennants of Leyburn Auction House as they were hosting a Quilt Display supplied by the Quilters Guild formally the Quilt Museum at York.  There were some lovely ladies demonstrating hand quilting as well.

The old quilts were glorious, the middle one was my favourite it was made from left over parasol fabric, just love the way it was put together with the crushed velvet border. Totally impractical as a quilt, obviously never been used otherwise the silk parasol fabric would have faded and perished.

This is the description of a lovely hand sewn quilt.  Think the description is a bit unkind, I know the lady who made this is long gone but it seemed unfair to criticize the workmanship and even the fabric quality.  I would pay a fortune for old fabric like this.  In my opinion, it's lovely and if I had made it, I would be proud.

Another beautiful quilt.


Here is an inspirational hexie quilt (you know how much I love hexies).  Alas, not made into a quilt so a very old UFO.

We then went into Leyburn for a nice lunch, a browse around the outdoor market.  A trip to Richmond completed a very happy day.  Thank you Sandi for your company.