Sunday, March 31, 2013

Button hole success

I tried out my buttonholer tonight on my Singer 115.  It took a while to get it all set up since it was the first time, but then I cranked out a button hole super-easy.

I snipped out the center of the hole, and...success!

I'm no seamstress, but now I'm tempted to make something with button holes, just to use it again.  It's such a clever little device.  I'm going to study the manual to make my button holes prettier...they were a little ragged looking, but I could tell they were still of higher quality than the button holes on my cheaply made shirt. 

Love it. 


Today we got together with my parents for Easter, and my mom had more things from my grandparents' estate.  Mostly she just picked out stuff that was nice for me, my brother, and my sister to divide up.  But this was especially for me.

My grandma's Singer buttonholer.

The machine she was using most recently was a Kenmore, but the machine before that was a Singer.  Apparently this was the buttonholer for that machine.  I found a video on YouTube that featured, I think, this buttonholer hooked up to a Singer 27, but I can't find it now.  I'm sure the good people on the Treadle On mailing list will be able to help me figure out how to use it. 

I'm pretty excited.  After the kids go to bed I'll try to figure it out. 

Next weekend my grandparents' house will be opened up one last time to let their kids and grandkids take what's left.  I'm going to go and take any of Grandma's sewing stuff that's still there.  I'm sad to do it, but I'd rather go and have it end up with me instead of just ending up on the curb.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Planning - not my forte

I'm usually a great planner, but pregnancy has made me absent-minded.  That's not the best thing when picking up a long-abandoned quilting project.

Since it's almost April I got the urge to finish the quilt top for my mom's Carpenter's Wheel quilt with the idea that I could give her the top for Mother's Day. I had shelved the project when I ran out of gray fabric.  The fabric store didn't have it in stock again, and then we found another gift for my mom for Christmas (this was originally going to be her Christmas gift), and I was feeling worse and worse with morning sickness, and just ground to a halt.

Today I went to the fabric store and noticed the gray fabric was back!  Huzzah!  I bought two yards and brought it home to chop up.

But when I got my pieces out, I noticed that I had an awful lot of uncut gray fabric in my pile of Carpenter's Wheel fabrics.  Maybe enough to finish the project...

...and then I realized I hadn't run out of gray.  I'd run out of blue.  And then I clearly remembered that it wasn't the gray fabric they'd been out of...I had cleaned them out of really saturated, monochromatic, forget-me-not blue fat quarters and yardage.  That's what I needed.  More blue.

I'm going to finish my half-square triangles, including trimming and squaring up, to make absolutely sure of what I need before I go back to the fabric store. 

And I labeled all of my materials to keep everything straight.  No more screw ups. 

Although it's not bad.  I can still use the gray on my husband's hexagon quilt. But frustrating.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Estate sale

I mentioned once before that my grandparents both passed away in 2012.  Today was their estate sale.  I went - I don't know why.  My mom called me later after the sale was over and asked if I wanted anything, so I totally could have saved myself an hour of driving and six dollars.  But I'm happy with what I got.

This was a little tin filled with random sewing stuff.  My mom kept her sewing stuff in a cookie tin, so it made me smile to think it might be hereditary. 

Inside was mostly bobbins and random stuff.  A lot of tape measures and screwdrivers.  There were also some seam rippers, which is good, because I can always use those!

A thimble.  Do I even have that on the right finger?

I also found a bunch of teeny-tiny crochet hooks.  My mom told me they were used for tatting, which is neat because I was thinking I wanted to learn tatting.

She had a lot of them.  She sewed a lot of clothes for her kids (they had eight, so you had to do something to save money!) so maybe she made lace for the girls' dresses.

Honestly Grandma, you could have popped for a new pencil.  You deserved it.

I liked this.  It's a little tape measure.  It says Standard Die Press on it.  My grandpa was a tool and dye maker, and I imagine he got this from a business associate or something, and it wound up in Grandma's sewing supplies.

My parents are also bringing me Grandma's Singer button-holer.  I had originally driven down there to consider buying Grandma's sewing machine.  It's a cool old Kenmore, but I didn't buy it because I wanted it to go intact to somebody who would use it a lot.  I'd use it, but really not that much.  However, I told my mom that if nobody takes it, I would, because I'd rather it stay with me than end up on the curb.  So she said that after everyone in the family went through one more time, if it was still left she'd get it for me.  That sounds like a good deal to me.  I just want it to go somewhere where it'll be used.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Monthly block

I had to make a wonky house block for the Newbee Quilters bee.  This is the result of my efforts.

It wasn't super wonky, but it's more crooked than most other things I make.  So I guess that's progress? 

I wasted a lot of fabric in making this...I suppose I should have followed a tutorial or something, which would have been a more efficient way of doing things.  But at least it's done!  I wonder what April's block will be.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I missed my local modern quilt guild's sew day because both of my kids were sick.  The poor kids had fevers that bounced between 101 and 103 degrees, so there was a lot of passing out Tylenol, thinking of quiet activities to keep little hands busy, cuddling, and watching kids' TV.  I hope we're almost at the end of this.

I did get downstairs for a little while to do some sewing.  I bought a pattern for baby booties from the Make It & Love It shop.  When I bought it both my sister and I knew we were pregnant, but neither one of us knew what we were having.  So, I decided to buy the Bradley Booties pattern.  Even though it's the "boy" pattern I figured I could girly it up with cute fabrics if one of us had a girl.

Well, she's having a boy and I'm having a girl, so yesterday I decided to sew up some booties.  I love quilting, but I rarely sew anything three-dimensional, like clothes.  I was kind of apprehensive, but the instructions included 28 pages of text and photos to show you how it's done.  In the end it really wasn't that bad!

This is my test pair.  There isn't supposed to be an exposed seam on the back inside of the shoe - I messed that part up.  But I think I understand what I did and will do better on the next pair.

I think they look sufficiently girly. 

I've been tossing around ideas of what to sew with leather, and I think I'm going to try to make the biggest size of booties with them.  The pattern includes four sizes to get you through the first year of the baby's life, but the kid won't be walking around in her shoes until around 12 months, so those are really the only ones that need to be a little durable. 

I think I'm going to sew up four pairs for my daughter, four pairs for my nephew, and maybe a pair for my cousin to put on top of her baby shower present.  How cute would that be - a wrapped present topped with a pair of tiny booties?  They're surprisingly fun to sew up.  I can't wait to make another pair!