Thursday, September 1, 2016

Still stiching and now Vintage Machines!

I can't believe it has been more than 4 years since I have added an entry to this blog!  I'm still stitching and have added the restoration of vintage sewing machines to my list of "fun things to do" I think that Facebook has taken over as my platform for sharing my projects but there is just so much DRAMA!  And adding in the political garbage just sucks the happy right out of me.  So, let's see if I can make the move back to my blog. My days back in Michigan before we head back South for the Winter seem to be running short.  September 1st.  The grandkids are already back in school!  Where did the summer go?  I had such big plans for finishing up some quilt UFOs and of course have even purchased a new kit.  Why do I do that when I already have such a healthy stash?  One of these days I am going to do a real inventory.  I'm actually afraid of what I might find tucked away in my sewing area! My summer has been spent doing: That dreaded Yard Sale thing.  What a LOT of time and energy that takes.  I think from here on out I will maintain a bin specifically for donation items and when that bin is full,  off it goes!

Bionic Gear Bags - another project that takes a bit of time.  I love making them and I really love having one at each of my sewing machines.  I have several ordered by Florida friends and it looks as though I better get on it! These bags were originally designed for quilters to take to their sewing events.  Putting all of your "gear" in one bag made things so much easier!  Soon, people started seeing these bags and decided they would be excellent make-up bags, jewelry bags for travel, mobile office supplies, gun and photography tools, etc.  The list goes on and on!  I do have several for sale in my Etsy store (if you are interested)

Necessary Clutch Wallets - I LOVE, love, love these wallets.  They take a bit of time, but each and every one of them gets a little easier.

Lullaby Babies - another fun project that starts out on my embroidery machine and finishes on my sewing machine.  And, I just happen to have a few nieces having babies this year so perfect gifts!

 In addition, I finally mastered putting that prepackaged satin binding on the edge of the fleece blanket part of the Lullaby Baby.  Babies love the way that satin feels and while I'm not a big fan of that stuff for regular quilt binding, I'll use it for the babies.

 The Ionia County Fair also played it's normal part in my summer.  While the fair is so broke that First Place ribbons only pay out $1, it's become a bit of a competition between me and some of my quilting and sewing friends.  This year was an awesome year for me!  Lots of blue ribbons, a few best in class and one silly quilt that took such a nice ribbon that I won free VIP parking for all days in next year's fair!

 American Girl doll clothes,  Not as difficult as Barbie Clothes but hold a certain amount of frustration.  ha ha ha!

Having my HQ16 serviced was a big thing off my "to do" list!  I wasn't feeling to excited about tearing that big thing down and getting it in the truck to take it for a much needed cleaning and service.  When I called for the appointment, I was told that they would be happy to come and get the machine head, service it and return it when it was done for an additional $26 fee.  Money well spent!  Several days before it was time for the service man to get here, he called me and asked if he could do the service here?  Same price, all he needed was a table to work on.  You Betcha!  So, he came.  He serviced AND he cleaned and tuned up the carriage

 Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines! Let me explain.... I did not set out to try to restore an old machine or two.  I did set out to find a vintage machine that would sew through some of the tough seams in both the Bionic Gear Bags and the Necessary Clutch Wallets.  I was told that the Singer 201-2, made in the late 1930's would be perfect.  It was known as "The Rolls Royce of Sewing Machines".  Finding one wasn't that hard, in fact I found two.  But, they needed work.  Any machine that sits in an attic or a basement or heaven forbid, a barn in Michigan for 60-70 years is going to have wiring ripe for starting a fine!  In addition, no one works on these things!  Sewing machine repair technicians will most likely tell you to buy a new machine - one costing $10,000-$15,000!  I have a few of those.  They won't do the job!  So, you learn to fix them yourself.

I acquired the necessary tools and I learned to take apart and put back together one of these old mechanical machines.  Then I learned to braid electrical wire.  I learned to solder and I learned how to put rebuild a motor and put new electrical leads in place.  Then I learned to put these newly rebuilt motors back in place.

Look at this melted wiring under the receptacle where you plug it in!

This foot pedal has crispy wiring too!
uck! 70 years of old grease and lint.

                                              Pretty as a picture and running like a top!

In addition to refurbishing two Singer 201's for myself and one for a friend, I also did a National Rotary machine from the 1920's.  My sister-in-law found it at a yard sale in a cabinet for $7
She's all redone and so pretty!

  Do you see any quilting here?  Me neither.  But, I still have some time before I pack to head South for the Wnter.

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