Thursday, July 16, 2020

July Happenings and Singer 201-2

In my search to occupy my many at home hours during this endless year, I decided to do some rearranging in my studio.  In one corner I had a vintage sewing machine in a cabinet that I was using as a table.  The grandchildren have had so much fun sewing on the vintage machines lately so I decided to move it out to an area where it will see more use. This was a machine that was from my husband's family home in Stillwater, Minnesota.

I had used it in the past, but it had been a number of years.  I read the manual, cleaned, lubricated and oiled it completely before running it.  What a great machine it is!  It's a Singer 201-2 which is called the Rolls Royce of sewing machines and thought by many to be the best vintage sewing machine ever.   It is said that it was used by Rolls Royce to sew the leather seats in their cars.  In researching it, I discovered it has a "potted" motor and Singer was so proud of its machine that it was gifted to Queen Elizabeth.  It's a heavy, solid machine, but a real beauty.  Just look at that detailed cover plate.

 The machine runs beautifully and is known for how quietly it runs.  There is even a way to drop the feed dogs by a simple adjustment underneath the bed of the machine - quite a novel idea for back then.  It also has a drop in bobbin rather than a side loaded one.  I like the drop in bobbins much better.  The stitching is perfection, small and large, top and bobbin, through single or multiple layers.

A locking stitch length plate.

It sits in an art deco style cabinet with a stool that has storage space under the leather seat.  Inside the drawers are many different feet and attachments as well as lots of bobbins, threads, thimbles and other sewing notions.  I especially loved this package of white "best quality" thread.  Four spools for 88 cents vs. the full price of 25 cents each.  If only........

An adjustable buttonhole maker.

According to the serial number, this old boy will be 79 years old on July 23rd.  I've named him Sven to reflect my husband's Swedish roots and I'm sure he would have many stories to tell if he could talk.   He is a keeper and I hope we enjoy many more happy sewing years.

So what was Sven's task this week????  More masks, of course.  It looks like they will be with us for quite some time.  They might as well be stylish.

We were able to attend the First Communion of one of the grandchildren this week, followed by a nice picnic in the wine country.  There was a field of marigolds that we passed on the way that made a perfect setting for a photo.

Another bit of sewing was a tooth fairy pillow for a special five year old who just lost her first tooth.

Babs was having a fabric giveaway recently and I was chosen as the winner.  Look at these pretty fabrics.  Included was a cute panel for a little stuffed Christmas angel doll that I will have to get sewn for one of the granddaughters.  Thanks, Babs.

In closing, I'll leave you a photo of an orchid that just bloomed.  The colors are so pretty and I love the dark pink on the tips.  There are three blossoms on this plant.

With the new Blogger I was getting some pretty disgusting comments left.  I have reverted back to old Blogger, but I have also applied comment moderation so you will not need to be offended by such comments.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June Gloom

This is the time of year that our area is deep into our June Gloom - overcast, cool and foggy mornings that linger into mid afternoon.  By the time the gloom disappears and the sun is shining, it is time for the fog to settle back in for the evening.  It is not my favorite time of the year!  I'd gladly take the summer heat, but it is what it is!

I have managed to catch up on a few projects in this down time that I keep putting off until "tomorrow."  Tomorrow seems to have arrived.  I have done so many Quilts of Valor to donate and always had the intention of doing one for my husband who served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot during the Vietnam War.  One quilt that I always liked and have done before is a QOV designed by Diane Tomlinson.  I'm sure it is still online for free somewhere.

This has been my month of being queen bee in our Gridster Bee.  I chose the Moda Village block for my beemates to make for me and I love the little houses that I have received from them throughout the month.  I will be sad when the month is over, but we get to make flag blocks for our queen next month.  These are some of the blocks that I have received this month.

 Several of the younger grandchildren have been learning to sew this summer.  It's a great thrill for me to be able to teach them and I believe they also enjoy the time we have spent together.  I always start them off on my vintage machines as it seems a bit easier for them to learn with simple straight line stitching, easy reverse levers and pedals that can also be accessed with a knee lever for those who cannot reach to the floor yet.  It also gets the machines used more often.  The boys are as eager to learn as the girls.

One of our granddaughters had a birthday yesterday.  She LOVES sunflowers and she is a master baker so I had to add this happy apron to her gift.

With the extended use of masks, the sewing of them has not ceased.  I have been making more and more for family and friends.  They are really an enjoyable and quick project.  Unfortunately, masks have become such a polarizing subject.  I regret seeing so much judgement over the issue.  I, for one, have a tracheal stricture which makes breathing everyday without a mask more difficult.  With one, my airflow is even more restrictive.  I do have a medical dispensation from wearing one, but do I?  No,  I still wear my mask when out on short trips for the simple reason of "offending" others.  I can't wear a sign around my neck that asks that you do not condemn me for not wearing one.  So.....before we criticize, consider that those people may, in fact, have a legitimate excuse.  We all need to be more compassionate and tolerant in these difficult days. Okay....I'll jump off of my pedestal now.  My current "mask du jour" is a combination of different masks.  It gives good coverage, is comfortable, has a nose wire and a curvature for those of us who wear glasses and is not so restrictive as far as breathing. They also work up quickly.  I don't know about you, but I love checking out the different masks when I am out and about. 

And just for kicks..........

Trust me, you will never see a nose exposed without remembering this cartoon!!!

The fragrant plumerias  have started blooming in the yard.  They make the months of looking at leafless sticks worth every moment.  Floating a few in a small bowl can fill the house with a scent of the islands and dreams of traveling again.

I wish everyone a safe and happy birthday of our nation this week.

Monday, June 15, 2020


I'm a little late to the party, but Ida  has once again been the generous host of the PPPP (Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade).  I have posted my pincushions in past parades, but my patriotic batch has been completed since then.  

I have a clothesline basket that sits on the coffee table and I change out my pincushions for the different seasons.  The grandchildren prefer to use them as beanbags so they do get a lot of use here.  Since we have passed through Memorial Day and Flag Day already, the red, white and blue will remain through the July 4th holiday.  

One new one was added especially for the parade.  It is a Pinwheel pincushion from the FQS and the tutorial can be found on You Tube.

These are my patriotic pincushions.

Pincushions are such fun and quick little things to make.  Be sure to pop over to Ida's blog and see all of the really gorgeous ones that have been shown this week.  

Friday, May 15, 2020

Happy May

Well....I had planned a social media break for Lent and then Covid arrived and everything seemed to go crazy.  Life was so normal when I wrote my last post.  

Like everyone else, I have been sewing masks one after another.  Two of our sons own restaurants and needed masks for all of their employees.  Between those and masks for family and friends, hundreds of masks have been made - different styles and different fabrics.  When elastic was unavailable, I used T-shirt yarn for the ties.  

I was looking forward to some other sewing once the masks were finished.  The grandsons had a remodel of their room to a baseball theme so it was the perfect excuse to use some of my baseball print fabrics that I had been stashing for awhile.

In the garden, the amaryllis finally bloomed.                                                                               

Blocks were made for our Gridster Bee.

And potholders were made for our Potholder Swap.

We've taken drives out to see the spring wildflowers.

We've taken walks on the beach and worn the dogs out.

.....and in all that time, Blogger has changed again.  I am finding myself unable to leave comments on some of my favorite blogs and I have no idea how to enlarge my photos.  I can always count on Blogger to change things up.