Friday, 13 January 2017

Zipped Bags & Broken Walking Foot


A belated Happy New Year.

We were having mild weather in the UK so I have been able to work. Normally at this time of the year snow or wet weather stops my gardening business and I quietly hibernate in the house with my quilting.  Not this winter.

I did make some Xmas presents in December, had a production line going making zipped bags with lovely quality fabric, don't you just love the feel of good fabric?

I have been doing a bit of quilting at the weekends, two more babies due, my niece is due any minute and a friends daughter is having a little girl in March.  So baby quilts just about finished BUT 

Ages ago, I sent to America for a walking foot to fit my Singer 221 Featherweight as Singer didn't do an original walking foot for these machines.  Luckily, it also fit my Singer 201 so have been using it on both machines over the last few years.

It is no where near the quality of my Singer attachments but it does the job and has helped me make a lot of quilts. It started to make a clunking noise when I was using it on the 201, this noise came and went.  Then it did the same when I used it on the 221.  The clunking got really bad but I couldn't work out what was causing it, it was very unhappy, then one on the plastic lugs that grip around machine to hold it on, snapped and flew across the room so it was obviously moving sideways for some reason.  Hmm, it still worked as long as I kept tightening the holding screw so managed to finish the quilt.  For the second quilt, decided to use the 201, at the start it was working fine then the clunking noise started and got worse so decided to take it apart (I am well used to dismantling the sewing machines).  Ooo, errr took the screws out and lifted off the white cover.  Whoops, all the internal bits fell out in a heap!  So I had to work out how everything fit back together, the parts were tiny weeny, covered in mucky black stuff, you needed 3 hands to hold levers while you put the cover back on to hold some of it together which is why dear readers, there are no photos.  Every time I let go with one hand, everything fell to bits again.  I did get it together and is appears to be working without making the clunking sound so have cautiously started to quilt with it again.  So to be on the safe side, have ordered another one from the USA, its on its way.

The vintage Singer machines themselves are easy to dismantle but a modern attachment is a nightmare!  In our throwaway society new stuff just isn't designed to be repaired.  Those Singer designers were clever chaps.

Update - The walking foot was working but it kept loosening the screw and more importantly, it kept putting little black marks on the quilt - grrrh its going in the bin!!! 

So, tried the Walking Foot I bought a couple of years ago of an UK Ebay seller for the Singer 201K which I thought wouldn't work when I got it because it didn't match up with the feed dogs.  I can't have tried it and just put it in the drawer.  Dug it out today in desperation, it works wonderfully!  Doh!  I had read somewhere that that they had to match the feed dogs to draw the fabric through, this is not true.  Why I didn't try it out when I got is a mystery to me, stupidity probably.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Liberty Lawn Scissor Keep


Poor Buzz had to have a tooth out on Monday and while he was knocked out had fatty lump removed from the inside of his back leg which left him with stitches.  So I am at home with him to make sure that he doesn't lick or nibble his stitches out.  I could put one of those big collar's on him but we once tried that, it frightened the life out of him.  He is being a good boy.  When I got him back from the vets after his op, they told me to only feed him light food so made him some scrambled eggs which he woofed down.  Ten mins later he was still starving, Buzz likes his food so had to give him more, this time softened kibble.  Only then would he settle, his mouth isn't bothering him at all, thank goodness.  He has to stay in until his stitches come out so he is following me about while I sew.

I went to the Stitchery Show at Harrogate a couple of weeks ago and bought two of pairs of pretty scissors for Xmas gifts.  So had a go at making a keep for them.

Made a paper pattern, it seemed the right size! BUT when made up! I got it soooo wrong.

Ooops, made a bigger pattern but again, when made up with fabric and wadding, the scissors fit in but a bit tight.

Bingo, my third attempt was the right size.  Changed the fabric to Liberty Lawn and used my Kam popper kit for the fastening.

Now I know what size to do, they take no time to make up.

Off to tidy up, my dining room table AKA "the cutting table" is a complete tip!


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Christmas Table Runner


Had a go at making a Christmas Table Runner using Lori Holts templates.

Turned out OK I think.

Its been a  month of dog sitting.  The lovely Kes the jack russell x corgi cross came for her holiday while her "dad" was away in Spain.  I still look after my nieces terrier Tina twice a week and my friend has had an operation so I am walking her Jack Russell every weekday morning.  So have been terrier refereeing!  The girls had to be watched at first until they made friends!  Back to normal now so a quieter weekend.

On Friday at one of my customers there was an extremely old cat wandering in the road, several people put it on the grass off the road but it kept wandering into the road.  At one point it sat on someones door step so I rang the bell to ask them to get their cat in so it didn't get run over, no not their cat.  I watched it for a while until it went behind a reversing car so had to quickly stop the car so it didn't run it over.  The cat was blind, possibly deaf, extremely thin, a bit moth eaten so I borrowed my customers cat box and caught it.  It was a canny old thing, we gave it a drink and some food, asked around no one knew where it lived so as it was cold and getting dark I took it up to a local vets who admitted it cos it had the runs as well.  I later heard from my customers friend that they had traced the owner who was extremely annoyed that I had taken the cat to the vets as it wasn't lost, yeah right, why was it going in circles!  Perhaps she would have preferred if I had let it be squashed on the road!  If she had had it microchipped the vets could have located her! Why she was letting a blind cat out at all is beyond me.  


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Vintage Suitcase Makeover


We had a lovely weekend at the Pickering War Weekend in the North Yorkshire Moors.  The weather was a bit dodgy but there were some dry spells.

There were lots of interesting vintage stalls, mainly 1940's clothes alongside some vintage treasures.

Couldn't resist this old slightly tatty small suitcase.

At first I thought it was made of fibre board stuff but looking more closely at the scuffs, could be really hard leather.  Cleaned with my saddle soap which got the grime off but it still looked faded and scuffed.  So working on the principle that I couldn't make it any worse, gave it a coat of Danish oil.  I know Danish oil is normally for wood but...

It worked, brought the colour up nicely and gave it a nice sheen. Turns out its a case made for the Post Office, no idea of its age.  I am guessing around 1930/40 but if you know better, please let me know.

Was going to line the inside with Liberty Fabric but decided to leave it well alone.  Filled it with fabric (now there is surprise).

The other suitcase is another find, its in really good condition so apart from a quick wipe over, nothing to do with that one apart from filling it with, yes, fabric!

They look great together.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Victorian Cased Scissors

Good afternoon

Its a lovely sunny afternoon in North Yorkshire, just been out on the horse through a country estate with wonderful views.  Sorry didn't take my camera, Jester can be a bit tricky so need my hands on the reins not holding cameras.

Its a while since I have blogged, naughty girl!  Been changing my work van just before we went on holiday so a bit hectic.

We had a day trip to  Edinburgh where I found a little antique shop just off the Royal Mile.  Couldn't resist this little case.  Think that I paid too much for it but its sooo cute.

What's inside?

Stock scissors and a Sterling Silver thimble which is the right size for me.  Yippee.

The scissors are really sharp but a bit of tight fit in the case, especially the band holding them which got me thinking. Don't think they are original to the case, along with the Thimble which is slightly too small for its holder.  Did a quick check on the makers mark on the thimble, its a H.G & S. which translate to Henry Griffiths & Son.  Its just marked Sterling Silver so unable to date it but its also got the words "The Spa" marked on it.  He moved to Leamington Spa in 1920 he made these thimbles around 1930.  The scissors have a France mark so highly unlikely they started out together.  I am sure that the case will be Victorian.

So had a quick hunt on Ebay to see if I could find some Victorian scissors and found this very distressed case with 2 pairs of scissors

The small ones were just the right fit for my little case, they fit perfectly.

While I was on, glued the double case back together using a scrap of fabric to support the hinge.

Its still a tatty but I like it.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Vintage Button Display


Had a long weekend away in the rain.  Gosh, did it rain!  We were supposed to come home on Monday so that I could ride the horse in the afternoon and go back to work on Tues morning.  We only got 6.5 miles away from Settle, driving through long shallow floods in the road. Then a bloke flagged us down asking for a lift back to his drowned car, so off we went in our motorhome.  He wasn't joking about his car being drowned, the car behind him was being bailed out as well.  He kept saying "you'll be ok in your diesel van"  yeah right!  We are going to take notice of someone who was daft enough to drive through without checking.  So on with my new wellies, I went for a paddle, only got a couple of strides in, it was just about at the top of my wellies about turn pronto.  We (this is the royal "we") had to back the motorhome up the road for a while until he (see I wasn't driving it) could get it turned round, these dales roads are narrow.  Luckily in the village we had just gone through there was a cracking little campsite so we stayed the night as going back to Settle wasn't an option as the shallow floods had turned into very deep floods.  I know that I had wanted rain for the gardens and lawns but not that much!

Luckily took some hand sewing with me, a Red Work pattern by Mandy Shaw I have had this pattern for a while and its dated 2004 so not on her website anymore but if you like it, she might still do the pattern if you ask nicely.

I had a small collection of vintage mother of pearl buttons so put them on it.  They are soo pretty, had to add a couple of modern buttons to make up the numbers.

Made an extra one for the lovely Sarah Oatley from Drawn Threads Drawn Threads  She has just moved into her new studio/shop in Darlington.  Looking forward to sewing circle in new surroundings.  She has been working so hard to get it up to scratch, it looks beautiful now.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Bloom Along Quilt


My sewing has been very neglected recently, my garden takes a lot of looking after in the summer and that's on top of my customers gardens.   But gardening 7 days a week makes Sharon a very unhappy girl!  So took a bit of a break from it this last weekend and did a bit of sewing.

First made a pressy for someone special.  Liked it sew much, made another 2 for good measure.

Heart shaped pin cushions with a handy scissor pocket.

Put some home grown lavender in the filling so they smell nice too.

Then I tackled the Lori Holt Bloom along quilt.  I have had the blocks done for ages but couldn't decide how I would do the borders.  Finally made up my mind after much dithering (which is not like me at all).  Put a border sash around each block so its slightly different to Lori's  (Bloom Along Quilt)

I loved doing the blocks for this quilt.  Its the first time I have really done applique on a grand scale.

Now all I have to do is put the quilt together then dither on how I am going to quilt it!

Feel better now I have some sewing under my belt.  Back to gardening today.  No peace for the wicked.