Monthly Archives: September 2011

Bread that will eat you!

If you are not careful. These are from the Mexican Bakery near where my husband works. Aren’t they cool? It makes me want to make some, because they are not really inexpensive, and we ate them right up. Like mos Mexican sweets, they are not very sweet. Just lightly sweet.

I’ve been quilting on the new White Rotary machine. It is a stiff learning curve. I am having that humbling feeling of being a beginner- AGAIN. I am doing pretty well on free motion quilting on the electric machines. Not great or show worthy. but very respectable and getting better all the time. On the treadle, it is a whole different rythym. Definetly slower, but I think that if I want to do really nice quilting this is going to be the way I do it. It sews at the same speed I think- where as the electric sews much faster!

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White Rotary

This is a really lovely machine.  It is almost noiseless. I bought it from the grandson of the original owner. My husband was lovely about it, too.  We had to drive quite a ways, and he was very placido about the whole thing.  I did get rid of two cabinets, and now I need to off load three other machines to keep all my promises to him about the collection size. 

It had spent time- maybe forty years- in a dry but hot garage.  I played it safe and cleaned only with sewing machine oil.  This is before cleaning.  As you can see from the first picture, it cleaned up fairly well.

Here is the mission oak cabinet with the machine up.  The bottom of the legs open.  The fronts are doors.  Each drawer and door has it’s own little lock.  I will be looking for a key!

Here it is, closed.  I wire brushed the treadle, but haven’t done anything else to it.  hidden from view at the bottom of the legs are little recesses castors. The only damage is that one drawer.

Here’s the name on the front- all still there!  So lucky!  The next picture shows the machine, looking down on it as I am lowering it into the cabinet.  Singer machines lower from the hinges on the back side, away from the operator.  This one lowers from the front side.  Although, there are still hinges in the back, to tilt the machine up and oil underneath and clear thread snarls at the bobbin. See the inlaid ruler, on the front?


I have put a treadle belt on it, and it runs really smooth and quiet.  It took a few (hundred) tries to get the treadle belt on.  First I made a mistake punching the hole- it went off center and tore the edge of the leather belt.  Then, I unwittingly (witlessly) threaded the belt in the incorrect path, so it looked as though it were many inches too short.  i was puzzled by this, because I measured against the old, broken belt, but I thought maybe a piece was missing.  I dorked around for a while, trying to figure out how I was going to lengthen the belt I had already cut.  I settled for using silk thread to sew the cut belt back together.  Silk has a pretty high tensile strength, so I hoped it would last until i could order a new belt and have it arrive.After putting the staple in, again, to connect the ends of the belt, i found that the belt was getting caught in the flywheel.  I lay on the floor, turning the flywheel by hand, until I realized that the belt was going through the wrong path. I threaded it correctly and discovered…that the belt had been cut to the right length, and so I needed to cut off my silk thread repair.  Then it worked just fine.  At the length I had originally cut it, a full hour before.I’ll try sewing on it tomorrow.  Tonight, it might make my head explode.

Hey, Sailor!

Here’s a little cutie I got on ebay.

His uniform is perfect- right down to insignia.  Lost his hat, but I suppose that can happen in 60 years of seafaring.

I thought at first he was a folk art piece.  But, after undressing him, I thought that he had to have been made by someone who was accustomed to making dolls. The body and face, for example have a lot of shaping that is not intuitive. The workmanship is excellent- fine stitches, no visible knots, divided floss.

See the waist shaping?  The green lines?  It was a printed or transfer pattern.  So, home made but designed by a professional. That means there are more of them!  Anyone seen them?  Anyone know anything?  He is only my second male doll, but he seems perfectly happy sitting in with the ladies.

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Meet Winnie

Despite my high hopes, it looked like our relationship was doomed from the start.  Thankfully, only the box was damaged.

Written on the inside was a clue to her past.  Despite searching, though, I haven’t found out anything other than what is written here.  I do know she came from Maine, but I don’t know if the real Winnie is from there.

Doll bodies always look preposterous.  Something about the little detached bodies and arms makes me both giggle and cringe.  But, all dolls go through this stage.

I would never be able to find or afford the right hands and feet, so I painted them.  Wouldn’t you want a pair of these red boots?  I would!

Little hands, in a spoon shape, also painted.

Forgot to show you the painted garters, also copied from feet of the period.

And, here she is.  Meet Winnie.  The clothes are more practice garments than anything else.  I am awaiting some books to make the next clothes, and the underwear.  But I hate the site of a naked doll.  They look forgotten.  Gingham is nice for practice garments, because the checks serve as a built in measuring tape.

I think she looks pleased with her latest person.
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second painted doll

Here is my second attempt at an inspired by antique dolls painted doll. I put a bead between the stuffing of her head and the fabric of her head, in nose position, to give a tiny little shape to the nose area.

The apron is a part of a thrifted pillow case with really nice cross stitch.  I made the apron with a lining of the same fabric, so that I didn’t have to hem all those curves.  Just put the right sides together, sewed around, turned, and then top stitched closed.

Here she is with doll the first.  I like doll the second better- she has a sweet face

And here’s a little sailor guy that blew in from ebay.  More about him, later

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blue strings

Here’s the string top I’ve been working on lately.  I used paper towels as a foundation, so I will have to wash it before I give it away, to make sure it doesn’t lumpify.

Here’s Foxie, in black and white to see the contrast of the different strings.  I’m trying to look at quilts in both color and black and white, to get a better handle on contrast.

I was planning to give this quilt to my teenage nephew, who wants a quilt.  But, this block had my teen son a little worried- see Peter Rabbit in the lower left block?  My thought is that it does not matter, but I thought I’d ask the blogosphere what it thinks? I have time to consider, while I quilt it.

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