Sunday, April 28, 2013


We removed the offending bits of metal and glued the base of the Bradbury back together.  Now, we wait. 

Once it's all firmly together I can oil it, or maybe take it outside and squirt some lubricant into it.  It turns, but just a little stiffly. 

I can't wait to get this one running.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Two "new" machines

Today I found a nice woman who lives within driving distance of me...and she happened to be selling off seven hand crank sewing machines!  Joy!  I went to look at them today and took home two of them.

I was seriously torn between a few of the end I wound up dithering between an Ideal with beautiful decals and a box full of attachments (I'm a sucker for a rusty box full of a jumble of attachments) and a Bradbury.  I took the Bradbury.  I already have a box of attachments for my Singer 115 and a puzzle box of attachments for my Singer 27, so I figured I have enough gadgets lying around.  Plus, this machine was from England!  All my other machines are American.

Isn't it a beauty?  I love the decals.  The enamel is chipping off in places, but I still really like it.

The base is badly damaged, but after looking at it and emailing some pictures to my dad, I think it's within the realm of repair.  We'll try.
Apparently it cracked while being shipped to this woman's house, and then it appears that an attachment wedged itself into the crack, which means the cracked pieces no longer fit together.  If I can get that piece out I think it'll all come together again.
I don't know who this guy is, but from what I've Googled he's on all the Bradbury machines.  
These decals make my heart swooooooooon.  I did some Googling and I think the design is called Celtic Knot.  This makes up for not owning a Singer with Celtic Knot decals.
The other machine I got is a transverse shuttle machine.  I think this one is pre-1900s.  I'm excited because I've been wanting to own a machine with a manufacture date in the 1800s.  Unfortunately, it's in rough shape. A lot of the enamel is gone, and the decals are just history.  Still, it's interesting.
The seller thought the machine was German, so I did a Google Image search for "antique German sewing machine badge" and matched this one up with the Durkopp Company.  It makes sense because the bottom of the machine is stamped "D & Co."
The same symbol is on the base.
And what a base it is.  So ornate.  I love the female faces on the four corners and the ornate feet.  Who does that anymore? It's also my one and only fiddle base machine.
That hand crank is seriously old school.  See the faint chips of green and orange paint?  I bet this machine had gorgeous paint back in its day.
The stitch length adjuster (I think) and the serial number...just four digits long.  It's 2437.  I'm dying to know how old this is.
Sadly, no shuttle...and I'm sure there's no hope in ever getting one.

I'm very pleased with them.  I'm still researching them - I'm coming up with info for the Bradbury, but the Durkopp is really tough to research.  We'll see what happens.

Friday, April 26, 2013


I haven't been sewing much...lots of stress at work combined with normal pregnancy exhaustion makes it tough to go downstairs to sew.  Not to mention that my sewing space is in the basement, and we've had a ton of rain which has created a small stream through my area...blah!

But tomorrow I'm going to go scope out a potential early Mother's Day gift for myself, and maybe get it!  I'm going to look at some hand crank sewing machines that a local people powered machine enthusiast is selling.  From what I understand none of them are beauties - rusty, chipped enamel, missing decals - but they're interesting to me because they're all English or German.  My collection consists primarily of Singers, with a National and a White thrown in for good measure.  I'm really interested to see some other machines.  And I'm also interested because one of the machines has a transverse shuttle!  I have some vibrating shuttle machines and round bobbin machines but no transverse shuttle ones. 

Ha - so tomorrow I might be geeking out with a new machine or two...and then I'll get right back to sewing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Busy night

Quilting and fiddling with a vintage crazy Monday night.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hello, Kenmore

Today I went to my grandparents' house for the last time to get things left over from the estate sale.  I took a picture she made.  It's all needlepoint.  I chose this one because she stitched her name into it.  It was made two years before I was born.

I also got my grandma's sewing machine - a Kenmore model 1813.  I took it out of its cabinet, and will have to find a new base for it.  I'm still happy to have it, though!

It has some built-in stitches.  But if that wasn't enough, it also came with 30 pattern cams!  Cams make the machine do different fancy stitches.

You just pop it into the top of the machine and start stitching!  How fancy and modern!

I'm still working on making all the cams work...some do, but some are giving me trouble.  I can't wait to play around with it some more.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Coming together

I finished assembling the half-square triangles for my Carpenter's Wheel quilt.  Once I square them up and cut out my blue squares, I can start assembling the quilt top.

This evening I laid some of it out on the floor to see how the prints worked together.  I think it'll be okay.

I kind of wrestle with this because this isn't a quilt for me - it's a quilt for my mom.  If it was mine I'd put some orange or yellow in there to make things pop.  But my mom is a very traditional quilter who likes a more muted palette, and I want to make a quilt that she'll like.  No, scratch that...she likes my quilts.  I want to make her a quilt that she'd be willing to have out in her living room.  It's kind of hard when we have differing tastes.  However, I think this is growing on me.  At least the circle pattern kind of breaks things up. 

I'm planning on giving the quilt top to her for Mother's Day.  I can't wait to see her reaction.  I hope it's good!

Rockin Robin

Yesterday someone posted a link of my Facebook page to a project where someone sewed little stuffed birds to use in a mobile.  You can see the adorableness here.

Too cute, right?  I had to try.  My bird didn't turn out quite as well as theirs, but considering that I don't sew three-dimensional things and don't sew by hand very often, I think it was a good first attempt.

Hello, bluebird!

They offer the PDF pattern for free here if you want to sew up some birds of your own. It was really quick, although I did cheat and use my machine to sew up half of it.  However, I might cut out a bunch of pattern pieces and bring it as a hand sewing project to my quilt guild's next sewing days in the summer.  I love bringing my Singer 66 hand crank to sew on, but I'm almost into my seventh month of pregnancy and that thing is HEAVY.  I can only lug it around for so long.