Sunday, September 9, 2018

Needles for Vintage Sewing Machines

A friend called me the other day and told me there was a box of old needles at a garage sale in a town nearby.  Off I went.
I should have taken a picture of the mess that box was before I started removing, dusting and attempting to organize it.  But, as usual, I didn't.
Curved needles!  Singer # 29?
Howe Needles.  I don't have any Howe machines.  One package marked
2/110 and one marked 3/110.
Mystery package with no ID, but it has a tiny Allen wrench with it.

Here are all the packages.  Up at the top the boxes marked "Lewis"  are needles that are curved for a "felling" machine.  On the lower left are 3 small packages that I hope I can use.  The furthest left says Singer and then 12.  The one with the thread around it says Wheeler and then there is a piece of tape covering the rest of the box.  :-(  
If anyone can ID some of the needles for me I will be willing to share. You pay the postage and I will mail the needles.

Most of the needles are for industrial machines and I don't have any of those.   I am heading off to the River Rat Toga on Wednesday the 12th so will probably get back to you after that and I can get you better pictures of any you are interested in.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Making a lined zipper bag

Dear Jeni,

I am going to give you a little tutorial on how to make a lined zipper bag.  This is for you and your sewing friends up in Canada.  For this little bag you need an inner (lining) fabric and an outer fabric, a batting and a zipper. I am not giving you sizes.  I am giving you this rule. The zipper has to be longer than the width of the bag.  About 3 inches longer will do.  In this case the purple print is the outside and the white is the inside (lining).  The batting is an iron on fusible but it doesn't have to be fusible.  Any light batting will do.


First cut your fabric, both inner and outer and batting all the same size.  *Making sure your zipper is longer than the bag will be wide.  Your fabric is going to fold up at the bottom and down at the top (to make both the front and the back) so it will be twice as long as the bag ends up.

Above are the outer fabric, the batting and the inner lining to show you all are about the same size.  
This bag started out 11" x 8.5.  
I will be fusing the outer fabric to the batting with an iron. If you don't have fusible you can thread baste all the pieces together with a long basting stitch.

Once the batting is fused or basted to the outer fabric you put the lining next to the outer fabric, right sides together, 

Square off the short edges of all three pieces.

Stitch across both narrow ends, about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam.  

Turn the pieces inside out so the batting is in the middle.  Iron both ends nice and flat. 
You are now ready to sew on the zipper.

This is to remind you that the zipper has to be longer than the bag is wide.  You will notice that both zipper ends are outside the edge of the fabric.  That is correct.

Carefully pin the zipper close to the end of the fabric sandwich making sure you will be able to open and close it without being too close to the fabric.  Using a zipper foot or moving your needle to one side helps when sewing.  I am using a vintage piecing foot with a 1/8" width. 
hint: It is easier to sew with the zipper open.

Sew the other side of the zipper to the other end of the fabric sandwich. Again have the zipper open during the sewing,  It does help to close the zipper when you are pinning it to make sure it is positioned correctly on both sides of the bag, but open it once it is pinned in the correct position.

Check the zipper to make sure it opens and closes correctly.  Note that both ends of the zipper are outside the bag.  (I know I know I am repeating this a lot but you really need to know this.) You are going to be sewing right over the zipper to close the sides of the bag and then you will be cutting off the extra zipper. 

Now is the time to decide how close to the top of the bag you want the zipper to be.  It usually is about 1 - 1.5 inches.  I think that is about 5 centimeters?  

Now is the time to move the zipper tab closure in the center of the bag.  You have to leave enough space for you to get your hand inside the bag once the sides are sewn.

Turn the future bag so the inner lining side is outside.  In this case the purple print goes inside and the white lining is now facing up.  
Also, in other words. RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER!  I have issues with RST so I put it in caps.  You might want to pin the edges to help keep your sewing smooth. Especially about the zipper.  It won't hurt to iron the bottom and top folds so they stay in place while you sew.

You are now ready to sew up the side seams.  Again make them about 1/4" to 1/2".  I like to start below the zipper and go over it to the top of the bag and then back down to the bottom of the bag and then sew back up to the top so I sew over the zipper 3 times.  This has the advantage of having no loose threads at either end.  
After you sew the first side make sure the zipper tab is inside the bag or you won't be able to open the bag when you have both sides sewn.  
Now sew the second side just like the first.

Once you have sewn both seams you can trim the seams and clip the corners to it will turn without making a big lump in the corners.Also now is when you trim off the zipper.  Both sides.  This is when you find out whether or not you left the zipper tab inside the bag. Because if you didn't you are in big trouble cause you just cut it off your zipper.  OH NO!!!

Turn the bag right sides out through your open zipper.  Poke the corners out carefully.

Use your "purple thang" or another "Not Too Sharp" tool to push out the corners.  I like to use the plastic tool shown above. If you want you can add a cute ribbon pull on your zipper tab.  

Now you are finished.  And, Jeni, if you look into the last box I sent you you will find this bag.  I think you will like it.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 at Christy and Neil's house

I didn't take a lot of pictures at Thanksgiving and the one of Grandpa Brian is not mine but these are some of the pictures from our trip on the Amtrak Superliner to Whitefish and then by car (with Mary and Brian) down to Missoula.

Grandpa Brian
Eastern Montana farmland out the train window.
Sunset from the train.
Ruby Jo with one of her three cats. Grandma Jeni in the background.
Grandma Mary on duty.
Rowan James can't believe great Aunt Nancy is making baby noises.
But they sound OK to him.
Mary and Elliot on a walk
Jeni Nancy Mary.
First time together in 1.5 years
The last time we were together.  Thanks Cousin Mike.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Chevron sample quilt

I finally got my chevron quilt top quilted.  I had started quilting it and immediately hated it so it sat for a few months while I brooded.  Then I took Catherine Redford's walking foot quilting class at QuiltED in Grand Forks.  Inspiration!
Here is the quilt, quilted and bound.  I am calling it Thanks Christy.
Chevron Quilt top, unquilted
This is a little quilt, about 21"x 26" total.

Chevron quilting detail with binding still not finished.
Detail of the part of the quilt that is bound.
I will add a picture of the finished quilt when I have it completely bound.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tomato soup with veggies and herbs from my garden!

 Last week I found this recipe online and I had everything I needed for it in my garden so I thought...go for it!
So I cut up my tomatoes, my onions and peeled my garlic (and added my secret ingredient, my carrots) and put them in the oven to roast.  I have never roasted veggies for making soup in the past. They were drizzled with olive oil and salted and peppered.

 After I took the veggies out of the oven I thought " probably they are not caramelized enough" (but I never really liked all that burnt stuff anyway)  and "there are not enough carrots": So I cut up some more carrots. They weren't roasted but I wasn't willing to wait another 30-40 minutes.
I added some non roasted carrots.
Aren't the roasted veggies pretty?
Then, carefully following the recipe (haha) I put all the yummy veggies in a big pot and added the juices from the roasting and some butter and some chicken stock and 2 bay leaves (that didn't come from my garden so don't tell!)
Oh my Dog that looks pretty!
 Then I heated it up to a boil, reduced it to a simmer and let is simmer until it was reduced by one third.  The recipe says 15 to 20 minutes, lol, but this was not my first pot of soup.
Here is is with all the broth added.
 While it was simmering I went out to the garden and picked some basil, parsley and chives.

Basil, Parsley and Chives.
 About an hour or more later it was looking just about right.  You can see how much it was reduced on the sides of the pot.  So I chopped up the herbs and tossed them in.  This is the Basil.
Adding the fresh herbs.
After I added the herbs I stuck in my immersion blender.  I love that thing.  It took about a minute....well or 5.   Some of those carrots needed a bit more work.
Starting to blend it
 And then I was done.  It was the most flavorful tomato soup I have ever made.  Yum Oh.
And pretty too. 
I didn't even have to add the sour cream.  But I did on the second bowl.  Just because.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The garden is coming into bloom

Monarda - just starting to bloom.  Variety Raspberry Wine.
Hi Mary and Jeni,

Since we had a little hail last night and they are threatening us with hail again I thought I would put up some pictures of the flowers in bloom right now. They don't look quite as nice after a good hail storm with high winds...

An Oxalis that I had in the fairy garden last year.  The only plant
that lived over the winter.  Now it is too big for the fairy garden so it has it's own pot.

Hollyhocks from plants from the Clifford Post Office.
They are biennials and they are taking over the garden.
Self seeding morning glories and Rudbeckia Hirta, another self seeder.
This year I am letting them grow wherever they want.  You can see some of  the 
hail holes in the leaves.  It was only peas sized and only for about 10 minutes.
Jackmanii  Clematis.  I actually planted this one.
The tiniest flower in the garden.
One of my favorites.  Johnny Jump-ups.
The same lilies from further back.
Self seeded Morning Glories.  The garden is full of them.  I am pulling
them out like weeds.  A mix of Grandpa Ott's and a red one whose name I forget.
Scarlet something... I looked it up.  Scarlet O'Hara.  How could I forget?
The Mondarda is just starting to bloom. 
This year's fairy garden. The fairy is safe in my quilt room because
those cute little American Red Squirrels take them away.
One of Jim's marigolds with a tiny butterfly..  It is about 1-1/2 inches across.
These Tiger Lillie's are just about to bloom.  I put them in anyway.
Looking out from under the grape arbor.

That is all for now.  Here's hoping for no hail tonight.