Sunday, January 30, 2011

Featherweight treasure

I have owned a Featherweight for two or three years and I have found it to be an awesome machine.  The serial number on my Featherweight indicates it was produced in 1950.  That makes it at least 60 years old and it still works great.  They sure don't make machines like that anymore.  A few of my quilting friends have had their Featherweights much longer, and their raving on its performance inspired me to look for one of my own.  I searched and found a good one on eBay, and since then have bought at least two others for ladies in my quilt group.  I belong to two different quilt groups and if you were to walk in to either of them, you would find numerous Featherweights stitching away.

The machine pictured here is not the Featherweight that I have had for a couple years...  I didn't really need to be looking for anyone, but a couple weeks ago I browsed through the sewing machine listings on eBay, just to see what was out there.  I noticed this one and thought it looked really nice.  I put in a top bid that I thought would have little chance of winning.  Well here it is... I have a second Featherweight that is much older than the one I already had.  This one dates back to 1936, making it 75 years old.  Even though it is older, it is actually in better condition.  This Featherweight not only looks great, it stitches great as well.  I truly found a treasure and I intend to keep this 1936 Featherweight.  I will probably hold onto the other one for a while... until someone decides they need one too.  By the way, I took this outside to take the pictures in the hopes that the daylight would show off its beautiful shine... I think it worked.

I have been busy quilting up a storm... for my friends.  I have not put any more columns together for my Farmers Wife Sampler quilt.  I guess I will have to schedule in time to work on my own quilts.  The one here on the left was a scrappy quilt, and the lady only does a quilt now and then, but it was one of the best ones I have had to work on.  I'm referring to the construction, not the pattern.  She did an awesome job putting this one together.  I tried to do it justice with my quilting.  I think she was quite pleased when she came to pick it up.

There is one more that I finished a few days ago that I didn't get a picture of.  I created a pantograph of an airplane to use for the quilting on this vintage plane quilt.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On a roll

I got my camera out this afternoon to take some pictures of the last quilt that I didn't have totally finished yesterday.  I had the quilting done, but ran out of steam to stand there at my cutting table and trim the edges last night.  The backing on this quilt really showed off the quilting very nicely, but the picture made it look washed out, so I didn't include it.  Inside lighting sometimes does not do justice to colors.  You can actually see the quilting pretty good on the front.

This will be used as a table topper.  I used a few different techniques on this one and I like how it turned out. 

I was reading about sewing rooms and how some people are envious of the space other people have.  Of course that is the ideal situation to be in... to have a sewing room that is so large that you have plenty of room and all the nicest accessories, and some even have a wonderful view.  Well, I have a sewing room that is very small, and I have a quilting room that is probably equally as small, just configured differently.  I utilize the space I have to the best of my ability... and I am happy with what I have.  There is no way to make any more room in my sewing room, and the quilting room works just fine the way it is.  I actually have a storage closet off my quilting room that I use for my stash overflow... it is used for stash that I might not use tomorrow, but I know it is there if I can't find what I'm looking for in the house.

Everything is convenient, I turn around from my cutting table and the ironing board is right there... two steps to the left and I can sit at my F600, or if I'm getting ready to load a quilt onto the leaders to take out to the quilting room to put on the frame... I step just to the left of the F600 and sit down at my TL98 that zooms through the straight stitching at top speed.  If I want to finish off a seam, I move my little accessory box and slide my serger forward.  Now how much better can you get.  Did I mention that I can view the back yard no matter which machine I happen to be working on... so I have a room with a view.

Now turn around at the cutting table and look out into the hall and there is the design wall.  To the left of the door is the metal cabinet that I covered with fabric because it was starting to rust on the outside.  The wire shelves on top allow me to hang my selvedge strips.  The hanging baskets hold my batting scraps.

Now here is where most of my stash resides.  I did not go in and straighten out all the stacks because that would be way too time consuming... besides give it a few days of pulling pieces out and it is right back to looking disorganized again.  I keep the two sets of zipper leaders for my quilts on a hanger that hangs in front of my book shelf.

My ironing board is a real oldie.  It has a lever underneath on the front that pushes wings out to make the front of the board square.  Hard to envision I am sure... but it is a really cool ironing board that you will not find one like it easily... it belonged to my husband's grandmother.  It is in pristine shape for its age.  Oh yes, I changed the chair I use at my F600 because the back of the other one was hitting the ironing board.  This older chair has a lower back that clears the ironing board. All I had to do was recover the seat and it works great.

It is not always totally neat, but most everything has a place and I'm quite comfortable in my little sewing room.  Being content with what you have is a good thing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Three quilts in one week

I have been busy trying to get some of the quilts on my list done.  These are not quilts that I pieced, but I did quilt them.  I only have pictures of two... the third one I just finished this evening and my legs won't hold up to stand so I could trim the edges and take a picture.

I'm going to try to do a photo journal of all the quilts I do this year.  I only quilt for friends, but some of those friends have more than a couple quilts.  I try real hard to remember what I did the last time I did a quilt for them, and sometimes that isn't so easy... memory isn't quite what it used to be you know.

 These two will be treasured quilts for special little girls.

 Hope to keep up my momentum.  When I finish a quilt... even if it wasn't mine... I feel like I really accomplished something.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finished the blocks for my FWS

I have been busy during the last few weeks trying to get my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks done so that I can start putting it together.  First of all I am not finishing all of the 111 blocks from the book... at least not for this quilt.  The layout I am going to use is not the traditional one that the book illustrates.  The blocks are on point, but they are in columns with sashing separating these columns.  There are 9 blocks in a column and there will be 8 columns, which comes out to 72 blocks... I actually completed 77 blocks.

I am going to make a big effort to finish this one in a timely manner, now that I have enough blocks done.  The last 8 that I worked on are below.

My big scare after I finished the first column was that I would not have enough of the red I chose for the trim around the blocks.  It looked like I had alot of the red, but as I was cutting and getting all the sets done, I think I have about 8 of the 6 1/2" strips left.  That was close, but I had not planned on using the red or even trimming around the blocks.  When I auditioned fabric from my stash that I thought I had enough of, the red really looked best from what I had, and I was sure there was more than plenty.  I made it, but it wasn't by much.