Thursday, January 22, 2015

Domestic Treadle

     Shortly before Christmas, I heard from a friend who was closing her antique and collectible shop.  She had an old treadle machine she had been using for display.  She said she wanted to give it to me, as she knew that I liked vintage machines and would try to get it going again.  I really had to talk myself into it, because of the space issue.  Treadles take quite a bit of room and I have one working treadle.  How many does a person need?  But here's some pictures, you'll see why I caved and brought it home.

The last patent date is 1876.  It is a "Domestic", which was absorbed into the White Sewing Machine Company in the early 1900's.  The following pictures are of things discovered inside.  It was a treasure trove.
This was in the drawer.  It is a card called a spool zoo.  You could cut out the hippo and glue to each end of a wooden spool to make a toy hippo.  The copyright date is 1931.  Apparently, you could collect several different animals.  
     Here is a picture of other things in the drawers, they were stuffed.
Here's the pretty treadle irons
The top has "Domestic" stenciled on the front.
I ordered a belt for it, but haven't put it on yet, but it's been oiled well and is moving freely.  Adjusting that leaf tension will probably be a challenge.  I need to do a little research on it.  Anyone out there with some experience with them is welcome to advise me.

     I've been obsessed with finishing the Grand Illusion mystery quilt.  I finally finished all 25 blocks today, so can start putting it together.  25 blocks doesn't sound like so many until you realize that each block contains 52 pieces. 
 I still have sashing, cornerstones, a solid border and a pieced border to do before it is done, but can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  The good news is that I was making units for the Split Nine Patch as leaders and enders while sewing GI blocks.  Eventually I'll get back to that.  
I just need to 
Keep on Stichin'

Monday, January 5, 2015

Part 6, Grand Illusion

     I have had four blocks on my design wall all week, trying to decide how to put this quilt together.  My pieced green sashing is not doing it for me.  Not enough contrast, I think.

     The green just seems to make the other colors muddy.  Here is what I am thinking. Using a black and white sashing between the blocks.  What do you think?
Wide sashing?  Cheddar cornerstone?
Narrow sashing?  Teal cornerstone?
It doesn't have as much motion, but I think I can live with it better. 
       In my indecisive lethargy, I pulled out an old Project in a Grocery Sack, found a simple pattern, and approached it with a "git her done"
This is some fabric I bought on a Minnesota vacation several years ago.  It is a Holly Taylor collection done for the Minnesota shop hop that year.  Of course, I didn't have enough of the purchased fabric for the pattern I chose, but "the stash" came to the rescue and all 30 blocks are done.  My cutting table is now clean again, all the scraps cut into usable sizes, and I'm ready to face the GI again.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Part 5, Grand Illusion Mystery

 This easy step was finished by last Saturday afternoon, but my life became very complicated on Sunday, so I am just now getting my link-up done.  Our family Christmas was delayed until Sunday, the 28th, while we waited for our grandson, in the US Navy, to start his leave.  We celebrated Sunday and Monday, then a granddaughter stayed with us for a few days.  I finally got back to my sewing room today and am trying to tie up some loose ends before Part 6 is revealed.  I am hoping we start putting some things together, aren't you?
To see everyone else's versions, take a look at Bonnie's site.

PS….the machine in the picture is a Singer 128, crinkle finish, Centennial.  I have added a hand crank, for the kids to use.  Its a sweetie!
Let's keep on stitchin'

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keeping Christmas

    Here is my link-up for Grand Illusion Mystery, part 4.

Drop by Bonnie's blog and see all of the different color combinations people have chosen. This has been a lot of fun and I am really loving my little blocks.  This is a little "out of the box" for me as far as a color combination, but maybe I'm expanding my horizons.

You will notice that I have the two piles of
 blocks with stickers on them to keep them separate.  I also am keeping them pinned together.  Since I am only doing one-fourth of the quilt at this time, but cutting enough for the full size version, I am trying to prevent any problems when I pull it back out again.  I can see myself looking at all those units and becoming totally confused.  Therefore, they are all in baggies with (I hope) clear instructions.  We'll see how it goes. 

We saw a local stage production of A Christmas Carol this past week and I was struck by the phrase "keeping Christmas" as expressed by Bob Cratchett after being ridiculed by Ebenezer Scrooge for such sentimentality.  I like that phrase and intend to add it to my vocabulary.  What are the ways that we "keep Christmas"?  We cook, shop, entertain, decorate, and then many of us have to make some gifts for it to feel like the season.  I really had no plans to make any gifts beause of the Grand Illusion Mystery.  This is the first time for me to participate and I felt that was all I could handle with the cooking, shopping, entertaining and decorating.  But, as the holiday got closer and closer, I began to feel that itch to make some gifts.  Here's what I've been sewing;

Pillows for the granddaughter's new room decor'.
Some zipper bags for some neighbor children.
A needle case for a young quilter friend.

    My daughter had tea towels on her Christmas list, so I still plan to do those.  Our family won't celebrate until the weekend, so I still have some time.  
     So, here is what I think.  To a quilter, "keeping Christmas" has to involve some stitching, preferably for those we love.  I guess we'll just 
keep on stitchin'.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Moving on, step 3

     This step has involved a lot of speed sewing.  I cut my strips down to half WOF, to avoid that curvy migration long strips seem to take on.  They came out to the correct measurement on the first try, so that helped.  I have 40 two by four blocks completed with enough strips sewn and sliced to make 30 more.  I guess that I need to sew 12-16 more strips if my calculations are correct.  Here is a selection of the finished ones:
 I had to turn the overhead lights completely off to get the green to come out in true colors.

I'm really liking how these colors are going together.  They aren't Bonnie's colors, but they are using a lot of stash and I like it so far.
     Yesterday, while cutting green strips, I decided I didn't have enough variety.  I went back to my green bin, but had pulled everything I felt was right.  The 2 inch strip drawer was raided early.  So I'm thinking…"I'm 50 miles from a quilt shop, where else would I have some green?"  There was the Christmas fabric bin…nothing there, all the wrong greens.  How about the Autumn bin? Bingo!  Several perfect green scraps.  On to the Civil War bin…they used green in the 1800's, right?  Woo Hoo!  Two more greens to add to the mix.  I am running short on backgrounds.  When do you ever have enough?
    I will attempt to post this as a link to Bonnie's blog, wish me luck.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Days of Mystery

     Due to the influence of some of my quilting friends, I decided to take on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt this year.  I had never been tempted before because they consist of thousands of pieces, but I started the Split Nine Patch from her web site's free pattern list earlier this year and really enjoyed it.  BTW, it is not finished yet, but well past half done.  Bonnie will visit our guild next September, so I thought it appropriate to try it this year.  I got a late start due to some travel over Thanksgiving, but am finally catching up.  I decided I couldn't keep up if I did all of the cutting and sewing with each clue, but am trying to do all of the cutting and one-fourth of the sewing.  I think that will work pretty well.  Here is my progress so far.
Clue One:

     I have chosen slightly different colors than Bonnie gave for the mystery, titled Grand Illusion.  Her colors were chosen from the colors of the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.  Mine are a more subdued version because that is what I use and was in my stash.  I am very proud, it all came from the stash except for the cheddar.  
Clue Two:
     These will be sewn in pairs to complete this step.  I had a large mishap doing this step, which resulted in this;
100 diamonds cut with the wrong angles.  I had my template taped to the wrong side of the ruler and was using it upside-down.  I could have cried,…..almost did, but instead, fixed the template and started over.  I now have enough cut to make 1/4 of the units, and have the rest of the week to sew.  I'm hoping a future clue will allow me to put these pieces to use in some way.
    On another note, I received my hand crank from Cindy Peters and have one of the 128's sewing away.  It is the favorite machine of one of the kids I am teaching to quilt.

     I am going to attempt to link this post to the Bonnie Hunter blog;  This will be a learning experience for me, so cross your fingers and 
Keep on stitchin'

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

       Thanksgiving Eve, not a creature is stirring, not even the cat.  It is a cold windy night in Missouri and the only sound is the wind whistling around the corners of the house.  We had our family dinner here on Sunday, so that part is done.  My daughter and I fly to the East Coast early tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with our Sailor, (her son and my grandson).  He has leave over Christmas, so we are taking Thanksgiving to him.  This is the first of the grands to leave the nest, so it is hard not having them here on those family occasions.  FaceTime is a great invention. At least, we can see his smiling face.  We crowd in front of the ipad and all talk at once.  
     Since I had some free time this week, I was able to finish a quilt top which has been waiting for quilting since July.  I attended a Saturday sew in at Sew Sweet Quilt Shop in Brunswick and did the piecing there.  
This was a pattern I picked up at Little Quilts in Atlanta in February.  I also bought the bunting fabric for the top there.  The stars are pieced from my scraps.  Someone said it would make a great QOV, but I think I want to keep it.  Call me selfish.
     I know I usually blog about quilting and antiques, but anyone who loves creating in one medium usually eventually explores others.  I have tried most of them; knitting, embroidery, crocheting, needlepoint, cross stitch.  I had always admired hooked rugs, so two years ago took hooking lessons.  I learned on some small projects and last year decided to tackle that first rug.  Here it is:
It is a Judy Cripps design, (  I attended a hook in where she was a vendor and she helped me select the wool.  I love those sheep.
    That's all for now.  Be thankful!