A Churn Dash Topper Finish!

Hi Everyone!

The top is finished!  I came home this evening and blazed through the third border.  I didn’t stop until it was complete and I could get a picture of it.


Not even stopping to press.  Just zip zip zip sewing and whisked off into the dimming twilight for a full study photo!


I love it!  This was such a fun top to put together, now I need to discuss how this one will be quilted.  My gut is telling me to do an all over pattern because it is a ‘busy’ quilt.  Do any of you have thoughts about the quilting?

I do plan on quilting it, free motion, on one of my machines, most likely the Bernina.  This will be my 5th quilt to be free motioned so I’m open to any ideas you all might have.

Stay tuned!  Happy Quilting!


Borders Almost Finished!


I finished up the 4 patch border (2nd border) of the Churn Dash Quilt this morning…


I want to thank Ginia of Early Morning Quilter for sharing her truly awesome technique for ripping out seams with me!  Thanks Ginia, this saved me on another smaller section of the quilt this morning! (I digress).  Click on over to her blog and see the tutorial here!

Now for the last border on this quilt!  Here I’m sampling my chosen fabric…


It is very close to the original plan…holy cow…it is going to be big (94″ x 104″), but that is what it needs to be in order to fit a queen size bed!


I had some leftover 4 patches.  I used Ginia’s technique to take out some of the 4 patches in the quilt and replace them in order to turn these corners without the same fabrics together.


When I started this quilt I decided to use the Leader/Ender technique so fondly promoted by Bonnie Hunter.  However, instead of just having any old pieces to run through the machine I came up with a plan to make 16 patches…


25 patches were constructed…all just on their own!  I’m now a believer in this technique.  I still have approx. 10 more 16 patches cut and in various stages, 2 patches, 4 patches etc.  Now I’ll need to come up with a design to put them in!

So fun.  What a morning!

The sun is shining!  Spring is here!  Look!


Those hyacinths poked their noses up and bloomed!  So happy!

Happy Quilting, Happy Sewing!


A Project Just Isn’t A Project Without A Mistake

Isn’t that the truth?

First of all Happy Easter to all.  Today is Good Friday, we have the day off work.  It is a day of fasting, services and reflection but this morning I had some time to sit with my current quilt project, the Churn Dash quilt, and work on the borders.

DSCF8303I was doing great adding the borders when I look over and realized I left the 4th side of the inner black border off!…DSCF8302

Do you ever look at something and just don’t realize you are making a mistake and just keep sewing?  Maybe I was just tired.  It didn’t hit me until I was working my way around the quilt, tugging the dog off…DSCF8296

…and so forth before I realized I completely forgot one side!!! Uggh!DSCF8305

So I had to rip out a whole side of the 4 patch border.DSCF8298


I love my Bernina 170 but sometimes the stitching is so nice it is hard to remove.  It took me a good half hour to pick all those stitches out.

I’m exhausted.

~I hope your Easter is a special one.


More Ebay Fun

Ebay is hit or miss, I think you all know.  It really is a big garage sale but it is great if you are searching for parts for old sewing machines, like I am at the moment.

A package came today bearing more missing pieces, the puzzle is almost complete.


Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans!!! HA!

That label was making me crave those but instead it was a clever little way to package up this bobbin case a few bobbins…DSCF8279

Yay!  I have a bobbin case now.  I saw this and was intrigued about this etching…DSCF8281

It is an anchor.  There are no other markings on the bobbin case and it is pretty shiny so my guess is this was a replacement part made sometime in the last 20-30 years…okay, just guessing.  It might even be a replacement for the Singer 301 machine too.

I thought about that anchor, why is there an etched anchor on this?  Then I remembered reading a snippet on a guild’s web page about a story of bobbin cases being stolen during a retreat/class (I try and devour just about all I can find in my research).  How sad.  So do you suppose someone etched this anchor into their bobbin as a way of ‘marking’ it?

Oh my goodness…do you think I’ve just received a ‘hot’ bobbin?  Flashes of the movie The Red Violin are coming to mind…oh not so much, but just slightly.  The real question here is…does it work in my machine?

It does.  It could be a better fit but it does work.

The project continues!

~Happy Sewing!


Motor Test, Again

After I put the motor back on the machine I let it run a bit.  Smoke emanated from the motor and the sound was not promising.  At All.

I found a lot of information generically about motors on-line and what I’ve concluded from my research is an educated guess that oil or grease have permeated this motor.  Even though I surfaced cleaned the inside there’s still a fair amount of it in there.

Last night I thought about those carbon brushes and the brush tubes.DSCF8264

Do you think somewhere along this machines’ life the brush tube was used as the lubricating point?  I wonder.  Those screws were broken so something must have gone on there and those brushes were slick and shiny…hmmm.DSCF8257

I removed the brushes and rubbed them down.  Reminded me of art class and charcoal drawing.  I unscrewed those caps and took cotton swabs and started cleaning…on both ends…

DSCF8250 DSCF8253Black.  Black. Black.

Finally a swab that is clean(er).

DSCF8255Back go the brushes…DSCF8258

…and back go the screws.  I just finger tighten these screws.  You can see how chipped these are…DSCF8261

I gathered my 2 machines and started up the motors…and took some video…

The restoration continues!!!

~Happy Sewing!



Score at the Library!

Hey All!

Who has time to read, right?  I can get through a book every now and then.  Lately I’ve been collecting books by authors I know I’ll read eventually, especially  Dean Koontz and Vince Flynn.

I stopped off at the Library to return a couple of movies and on a whim I walked down the hallway to see what the clearance items held… Score!

…adding to the Vince Flynn collection (I’m determined to read his books in series)…The Third Option.

…adding to my Dean Koontz collection (I’ll have to read these ‘Odd’ books in series, this is the latest so it will be awhile)…Deeply Odd and another one called Dragon Tears.

…and two more, Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed and Dan Brown’s Inferno!

Not bad for $5.00!!!  Whoot!


Blood Moon? What Blood Moon, We Have Snow!



Just no words.

It’s 25 degrees and we have snow.


I moved our newly purchased garden plants (what haven’t been planted) into the garage and then covered the pots with heavy plastic.  I hope it is enough.DSCF8249

We’ll have a high of 40 degrees today so hopefully the plants will warm up, or at least not freeze again.

Come on Spring!

~Happy Happy


I’m Diving Into the Motor

Hi Everyone!DSCF8234

My hands are covered in black soot, grease and who knows what.  I spent a few hours last night taking off the motor and opening it up.  Unfortunately my hands were too gross to hold the camera and get some pictures  of the inside of this motor.

It took a little muscle to open this up, it was really black in there too.  After a modest clean up I re-wired it back onto the machine and gave it go.  The motor runs but I can tell it is far from being perfect.

I’m going to keep working on it.  Not sure if a solution exists but I’m still plugging away!

~Happy Sewing!



Friends, Please Don’t Let Your Freinds Sew Sheep

Bah Bah Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?  Or, what in the world were they sewing on this Featherweight?DSCF8214 Yeah, I know.  Totally gross.  Full view, this is even after I cleaned it up a bit.  It was about this point I thought I better get my camera, this is one for the books and you all will be so interested in seeing this…DSCF8213 Like I said in the Title of this post.  Friends, please, please, please don’t let your friends sew sheep.  Seriously. It took me a good 2 hours this morning to pull out this stuff.  It clung to everything and was in every nook and cranny…DSCF8217 I’m not even sure if it IS wool but it sure does look like it, small hairs EVERYWHERE!  Uggh.  After more cleaning I got to the point where I wasn’t afraid to use the air compressor can and blow the remaining stuff out…DSCF8219 Much, much better.  I cleaned up, oiled and lubed the machine in all the appropriate locations and was ready to see if this baby would crank over and start to run.

But I need a power cord first.  I thought about using the cord from the other Featherweight but a little voice kept saying not to screw up the good one so I left it in the box and went to work on the power cord that came with this dud.

Remember this sight from the last post…?DSCF8061

It was a horror show.  I took it all apart and kept thinking someone must have died.  I discovered the terminal pins were wired backwards.  They shouldn’t be poking out like they do in that above picture.  I can understand the reasoning behind it because it kind of looks like that is how it is supposed to go but rest assured it is not.

The wiring diagram confirmed it for me.  See the diagram on the right?  That is the Three Pin Terminal Plug wiring guide and it clearly shows those T looking pins facing INSIDE the terminal, not out, and there is NOTHING poking out!!! Everything is flush…DSCF8222

Now, I added the color to the diagram for my own benefit.  I’m kind of a visual person if you haven’t noticed.  I also did this to figure out which terminal the BLUE wire went to.  In the diagram we see a knot of two wires but you don’t see an arrow saying which one is blue and which one is black up further at the pins.

Since I’m rather impatient to see if this thing will run I headed out to the hardware stores to find some parts.  I bought just some basics, wire, rubber feet, colored tape and a plug.

This a temporary fix until I can order the replacement feet for the foot pedal.  These rubber feet work just fine but I needed something to fill in the gap between the bottom plate and top plate.  I used 5 layers of electrical tape…it works but as soon as I get me the replacements I’ll change it out.


I also want to find some kind of rubber protector for the cord as it comes out of the controller…DSCF8225

…so I’ll keep looking.  The plug, well I’ve used what I could find at the hardware store.  It is a basic two prong plug.  I like the nice big head (easy to pull out of the socket)…DSCF8227

The wiring of the foot controller and the outlet were easy by comparison to the 3 Pin Terminal Plug.  For the life of me I could not figure out how the wires got all scrunched in there and lay flat.

I took me 2 and a half hours, 4 tries but at 10:30pm last night I finally mastered it!

DSCF8223Mastered might be too big of a word but seriously, I did it.    I was doing a happy dance last night like nobody’s business.  Jim was actually sleeping in the chair and he woke up to my excitement.

“Did you get it?” he asked…

I was ready to plug everything in and see if this machine works!

“Did you wire it correctly?”

Yes, I damn near made my fingers bloody.

“Okay, do you have a way to shut the power off quickly in case there’s a spark?”

Umm, yeah…I’ll use the surge protector.

I unplugged everything on the protector, especially the computer.  Ready?

The moment of truth.



Now for the next step with this learner 221, the motor.  This morning over breakfast Jim gave me a one on one explanation of how a motor works.

I’m on to the motor friends!

~Happy Sewing!


A Tale of Two Feathers

Hi Friends!

Oh, it’s been such a long time since I’ve purchased a sewing machine, ANY sewing machine!

I’ll back up here a sec and explain why I’ve got this purchase on the mind.  You see, I’ve been thinking a lot about our trailer this past winter, thinking about where we are going and what kind of adventures we are going to have.  One thing I wanted to find was a small sewing machine that will fit inside the trailer, one that can be stowed nicely in a void space under the dinette.

I really like the idea of having a machine handy, to work on some piecing or sew a little project on the road.

I looked at the sewing and quilt expos and I’ve looked at many of the machines in the quilt shops but I keep coming back to the idea that maybe it’s time I tried my luck at purchasing one of those super cute Singer  Featherweight!


As you can imagine, my excitement was on overdrive when I woke up one morning last week to find I had WON an auction on Ebay!

Oh how thrilled I was.

Then the package arrived and reality of what I had done set in…DSCF8061

Okay.  In all fairness, the auction did have a picture of this power cord but I wasn’t prepared for the machine to be in such a state.


I turned the machine over and took off the drip pan.  Old fossilized rubber dust came out by the cup load.  Uggh.  Sigh…


The extra parts were strewn about the case, no extra packing and no bobbin case.

The motor wasn’t even attached, the belt was disintegrating.


The good news?  The actual housing looked in respectable shape.  I figured I could buy some new parts and I’d be in business…


Then just when I was working on about my 10th hour of study for replacement parts on the internet I got another email from Ebay!

Oh no!  I’d forgotten I had a bid on another machine.  The auction had a long time period and I’d put in one of those maximum bids.

I totally forgot about it…until that email reminded me!  Drats!!

Oh no!  I won!!!  After the first machine I am thinking I’ve really done it this time.

Then a note come through from the seller telling me he’d have it all packaged up and on it’s way tout suite…

It’s here!!!


Oh no!  Was it going to be another disappointment?


Well, at least there’s packing material.  That’s a good sign…


…and the case looks in decent shape…


…oh look!  There’s more bubble wrap!  Awesome!  This machine has really been packaged up nicely.  Someone really took time to make sure it would make the trip.  I’m starting to get excited now.


Awe!!  Look!  Even more bubble wrap.  Sniffle…


There’s even an extra light bulb, all tucked in…sniff…


I give her a good oil and lube job…I am so excited….and turn her on!


Oh my gosh!!! She Sews!!!!!


I didn’t leave her plugged in too long.  I want to get a new foot pedal and have her wiring updated and some new rubber feet and a new belt.

I’m going to go cry now.  She’s perfect!

Oh…and what to do with the other one?  I have no idea.

Do any of you out there have ideas what I should do with my first purchase?  The one that needs an overhaul?

Some possible options:
1.  Should I sell it back on Ebay?
2. Have it stripped and re-painted in an awesome new color?

Let me know your thoughts!