counting sheep

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old is old again...

I love prim and grungy stuff. I don't like it when it gets too cutsie though. But I do enjoy the old stuff that really is made to look old.  I have had an old sawdust pincushion for a while that really looked kinda gross but I knew it just needed a new cover. And since they don't make the sawdust pincushions anymore I knew it was an item to be preserved.  So I used the embroidery machine we got in recently (was wanting to play with the machine anyway) and I made a new prim cover for the pincushion and stuck it full of black straight pins, which is one of my favorite things. Here it is and it smells like vanilla coffee which is a plus!

You can see how gross it looked before it got its new cover, in the picture on the left it looks at first to be made of straw but that's just the shavings they wrapped around the actual sawdust.  They were going green even back then, well probably they were way more greener than us!

And here is this finished product, ya can't have something really cool that you made unless a cat can get on it, am I right quilters?.....

Got FK Jadeite?.....

Way before Martha made Jadeite famous I was doing my part... I can remember buying dinner plates for a dollar a piece at a junk shop in Grabill Indiana.  I ate off of and drank out of Jadeite my whole life. I remember my Mother getting pieces of it in with her detergent. They called them Depression dishes, not like Depression glass but dishes that were readily available and cheap during the Depression years. Everybody had a piece or two of Fire King of some  kind during the 50's and ate their cereal out of the caveman decorated bowls of the 1960's.  About the only thing I don't have is the ball tilt pitcher, well actually I have a reproduction and I am sure it looks the same but I would have really liked to have had the real deal... but it is probably the most expensive piece out there....

My Jadeite collection is the only thing our Son has every said that he would like to have when I finally buy the farm... if you know what I mean ;-/ and I think that ya do.... lol  Anyway I asked him why the Jadeite? He said that he grew up eating on it and it made him feel good... So I guess..sniff sniff.. he gets the Jadeite.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Things to do with stray VINTAGE QUILT BLOCKS..

We will be heading to PA soon and I hope to find more vintage quilt blocks... I have stacks of them and have just now started to do a few things with them. If I find enough I can work into a quilt I stick those back but the stray 2 or 3 or single ones I keep to make things out of. I love primitive handmade's but don't find a whole lot of time to make them but I do when I can.

Recently I made some old blocks into a few zippered pouches. My grand kids scarf them up as fast as I can make them to use as pencil and makeup bags.  I just wanted to show you all a couple. I quilted them first before sewing the bags together. These two were made to hold gift cards/scrip that I buy constantly from school.

These were made from old bow tie quilt blocks I found in Markle Indiana antique mall. 

I have a few on my design wall down in the basement sewing room as well, they are supposed to inspire me but so far I have not made one quilt from standing there looking at them... and I do stand there looking at them... lol
Sometimes at an auction or garage sale you run across old picture frames... well I have been using mine to frame quilt blocks, I think that is almost my favorite thing to do with the old blocks, maybe because its the easiest?

I would love to hear from you all about what you do with old stray quilt blocks, I need more ideas! really! let me know! :-}

The OTHER Vintage Sewing Machine...WHITE...

I could say I am just a "Singer Gal" but that would not be true. Before Singer there was White sewing machines in my life.  I found them a bit harder to thread (except for the clone 15) but they sewed pretty darn good and still do.

First I fell in love with a retro blue White that is sort of a clone 15 (tension is in the front but it threads like the 15), it still is sewing mighty fine and has been gifted to my third grand baby by osmosis... Elizabeth.  Its a real beauty.... and so is Elizabeth.

Then there was this pretty little embossed number, rotary White that came from a lady who thought she had just too many machines (I have never reached that level yet I guess).  Elizabeth is the one that figured out how to get the bobbin case out of this one! At first I had it set up in its original cabinet but longing for the simplicity of my Singer machines this White became a display piece. I just love the texture of this machine!

It sewed very nicely and made a beautiful stitch but the threading was just too tedious for me... I guess I am a lazy threader.... so up on top of the cabinet it went....

Then at an auction I spied a beautiful White treadle with a coffin or bonnet top (depending on which state you are from) and I brought it home for 40 dollars... It threads about the same as the other and after my hubby gave it a new belt and I got an instruction book for it and began to treadle a few quilt blocks. Fun to treadle on the porch in the summer but sometimes it draws too many curious eyeballs and I start to become a little overwhelmed, they might think I am showing off so I give up and return to the inside with my treadle machine.

It sits in the living room now, hardly ever used because I have another who has taken its place, yep... a red headed Singer.... that threads like a dream with a drop in bobbin and side attaching presser bar.... But I just can't seem to give up this White treadle. I keep telling myself what if.... as most treadler's probably do.... what if America runs out of electricity... I guess I will sit and treadle and watch the looting and rioting from my window or maybe even the porch... lol

Then there was this other White machine, very similar and probably the same model as the embossed only this one has decals, I knew from the beginning it would just be displayed.... but its pretty! You should have seen the flame that shot out of the motor! It was so exciting!

To this day (even though I don't buy White anymore) I still find it hard to walk by a White without at least patting it on its harp and turning its wheel a little.... then my hubby gives me that "LUUUUUUCY".... and I say alright Ricky!....  so I just keep walking but I sure do think they are something to see!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time for buttons....

I was the first in our family to collect old buttons and I sold a ton of them on eBay but some how along the way my hubby became hooked on buttons as well... now he won't let me sell them anymore so we have buttons coming out of the wazoolio and I mean that...  Anyway I found this cute old jar with a clock face on it and filled it with juicy red buttons and wanted to share a picture or two of buttons with you today.

And here is a few of hubby's!

I kinda like the smell of sewing machine oil...

I have worked on so many sewing machines that the smell of oil has gotten less and less offensive to me. I always give the body of the old machine and oil bath overnight before I start cleaning her up. Its sort of like a spa for sewing machines. Speaking of which I am just starting to collect some of the old cans. My favorite so far is the quart sized Singer oil can, thought I would share a picture of  a few of them...

There's a bird on my Singer 31-15....

Hello again everybody... I have a bird on my Singer 31-15.... I have lusted after one of those antique bird pincushion that bolt down to the machine top but my budget won't let me be crazy so.... I was at a quilt show and one of the vendor's there had a basket of these wrought iron thingies for making your own pincushion for so I bought one and just happened to have this cute prim pincushion I picked up and I glued her down... Now I  too have a fancy bird on my machine table... at least I think so! lol

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sharing Some Of My Sewing Treasures...

I love the world of vintage Singer. I have not been collecting that long but wanted to show you a few of the items I have nabbed. Just click on any of the pictures for a closer look...
We found this beautiful stained glass Singer sign in an antique store in Markle Indiana, I think we payed 23 dollars for it... what a deal! It now hangs in my south facing dining room window and I love it!

When I first started collecting sewing machines I won a Singer Red Eye treadle that was in Angola Indiana for 60 dollars and all four drawers of the cabinet were stuffed full! This Swiss Singer zigzagger was only one of the great items. I tried it out and it works great! I love the pretty red Singer button... Below are the cams that fit into the attachment giving you different zz stitches, there is a little clear plastic case that slides over them and it all fits into its very cool show case.

Here is the attachment itself, its a delicate little thing!

Now comes MY HEMSTITCH FOOT! awesome!

I am thrilled to have this scarce foot, I have read that it is both scarce in Great Britain as well as here in America. This was also in the treadle drawers. I have not tried it yet but I did find the instruction book online.  This foot is not to be confused with the imitation hemstitch foot although they do look very similar.



I am proud to have my Canadian Singer box, I recently won it on eBay. It came full of attachments and has a purple velvet interior. The box was reasonably clean inside but had chalking appearance on the outside. I cleaned and waxed it with car polish... it came out pretty good. I am still busy polishing the attachments and need to pick up a can of air to spray the velvet with, it works wonders on the inside of a case like this.


Through the gifting and buying of old machines you wind up with a ton of old attachments... at least I seem too. Looking through all of them I did find some keepers.  This set of hemmers in multiple sizes are really going to be a blessing when I get to making new curtains. This set has one attachment foot and all the others fit on that foot which is kinda cool because you don't have to keep unscrewing the foot when you want to change to a different implementation.  Along with the hemmers (which is the feet in the back row) are an edgesticher which is great for applying rickrack, a binder for binding retro aprons (much easier than doing them manually with your hand) and a shirring foot which I have yet to use but will soon.

Finally I learned to use the tucker thanks to April of April 1930's Sewing. She is just this precious person who wants you to learn how to use the attachments and offers many free instructions on her website. Thanks April!

The bottom of my Singer tucker and its number, it works great on my 15-91 but it can be used on other old Singers too.

Well these are but a few of my Singer sewing treasures, maybe I will do this again and let you see some more if you are interested!  HAPPY SEWING!

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to use a vintage binder attachment. EASY

When I first starting collecting (and I say that lightly) vintage sewing machines most would come with a box of attachments. One of the attachments I mastered first was the binder. Now the binder is a really cool attachment if you love retro sewing. Think of all the aprons you have seen with binding... bind hot pads, neck lines, sleeves and a ton of other stuff... yep.... you will use your binder so here we go... CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO GET A LARGER IMAGE if you have trouble reading the instructions.

NOTE: You may have a multi slotted binder and the slots vary in size, match it to your binding, I usually use the top one for apron binding.
NOTE: When you insert your binding if there is a folded side that is longer than the other fold place it on the bottom so it sews to the backside of your fabric.
NOTE: I have found in a lot of the old attachment boxes this wonderful tool called a stilleto (not sure if I spelled it right) but it is something you want to keep if you find one. It is especially nice for using with your binder to work the binding down in the darn thing!  Most of the ones I have found have a bakelite handle, so hang on to them!

NOTE: Always check after sewing for awhile and make sure your sewing foot is still screwed on tight, the old machine's have a habbit of vibrating loose sometimes and if it gets to loose you might break your needle if it misses the hole!
 Step 8.. (lost my picture)  Just slide your fabric down in the slot and up under your needle where you want to start sewing, make sure its laying straight all all the way against the back wall of the slot and you are ready to go!
Disclaimer... ya know there is always someone who can do it better than you but keep in mind I am just sharing how I learned to do it. If there is a better way I don't know it. I didn't learn sewing sitting at Mother's side, I learned on my own and from reading and watching and giving it a shot. If it helps you... cool... if it don't sorry...:-/ I tired! lol

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do you wanna see some old buttons?

Please check out the eye candy to the right. Just click on the pan of buttons, it will take you to a slideshow of just some of the buttons we sold on ebay. There are some really cool ones in this slideshow.  I will be adding to them. It;s a real process to get all these photos uploaded... :-]