Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Update - Poor, Poor Gracie

Of course, as is usually the case,
almost immediately after posting the last post,
Gracie started acting up with me.
She usually has a jubilant enthusiasm for the project
and pep in her needle.
Several of you commented on her,
so am sharing.
(Poor, poor Gracie)
She had been feeling a little punky for a while.
I did try to nurse her, but I'm not a real nurse.
You see at 102 years old, 
one is apt to feel the years at times.
She will be going to the doctor soon.
There is only one doctor in the area
that is qualified to treat geriatric machines like her.
I expect she will be healed completely 
and ready to stitch for another 102 years
by the time she returns home.
*I'll say this quietly as I wouldn't want to upset her.*
She has all her original wiring!
It's a connection issue she's having.
She won't go then rev and stitch 100 mph!
Makes it difficult to stitch an accurate seam.
(Mrs. Kirksey)
But never fear. . . 
those other machines I mentioned in the last post~
Well, Mrs. Kirksey volunteered to help out while Gracie is unwell.
(Yep, all my machines have names.)

Mrs. Kirksey is a 1922 portable Singer.
She is a smaller model and runs like a dream.
She's 4 years younger than Gracie,
but has more miles.
I purchased her from the "real" Mrs. Kirksey's daughter
when she was cleaning out her mom's things.
I thought it only suiting that she be named after
the woman who put so many miles on her
and spent so much time in her company.
(Bad pix, bit I've left the price sticker on her.)
Her decals are well worn,
but she still has such a beautiful face.
I have every faith in her ability to do the job,
and I will enjoy our time together.
She's a tough ol' gal with a certain charm about her.
She's like the great-aunt you can talk to, because
she's always at ease.
She can listen and still continue working
never missing a stitch.
(Love the scrolled face-plate)
I thought you might be interested
in the sewing room happenings :-)

Editing post to add~
If you have an old Singer sewing machine and would like
to know what year it was made,
here is a link where you can look it up by serial number.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Off & Running

In my last post,
I mentioned that one of my goals is to use my fabric stash.

Now, what I'm about to show you 
might not be for the weak of heart.
I'm actually showing you 
my stash.

Gasp! Cough! Choke!
Yes, I know.
And this is after 3 full car-loads of donations.
You see,
using the vast majority of my stash is only a "small" part of the "big" goal.
It's okay, I'll wait here and give you time
to pick yourself up off the floor after falling over with laughter.
They say laughter is good for the soul.
 I'm just helpin' ya out. :-)
(Flannel backed cozy throw.)
The real goal is to down-size even more.
I mentioned when we moved here that we down-sized by almost 40%.
I had lived up the mountain for 18 years.
My kids were 3 and 1 when we moved there.
There was a lot of "stuff" that's been sorted and relocated.
And as I mentioned in the last post,
that transition, though difficult at times, has been a very good one.
We have absolutely no desire to become minimalist~
just to make that clear.
I see extreme minimalism as reliant and unprepared
which is not something I aim to be.

Backed with
chamois flannel
for extra

But. . . 
Enoughism, I do aim for.
The computer is telling me that's not a word.
Well, it's a word in my book.
We want to keep a good supply of useful items
and things that would be useful in an emergency situation,
but the fabric stash is more than enough.
I don't want to have none,
but I have a small book shelf that 
I'm hoping will eventually house all my fabric.
That's a pretty lofty goal, 
especially considering I don't care for "quick and easy."
I like items that are made well
which often means the old fashioned way - the slower way.
There were actually a couple more totes,
but I've made a little progress already.
I started with some of the simpler and bulkier projects.
That helped to get me started.
Now I'm trying to use up fabrics that 
I don't have an emotional attachment to.
If you need to roll around on the floor in laughter again
after that statement, 
I get it. :-)

(Cowboy quilt, original design, hand quilted, pieced back.)
There are fabrics that are so beautiful in my eyes
that I want the perfect project for them and don't want to just chop 
them up for any ol' quilt pattern.
So, I'm starting with the fabrics that are easier to part with.
I have a feeling it will be a bit like decluttering.
At first just part with the stuff that doesn't matter,
then it's okay to part with the things that we don't use,
then choose favorites among the duplicates, and so on.

A little about how I typically roll with my quilting.
Though I occasionally hand piece,
I usually machine piece the quilts on my 
1918 Singer I call Gracie.
I had over a dozen sewing machines at one time.
I've decluttered and down-sized that collection as well.
I'm down to half-dozen.
That might still sound like overkill to some folks,
but they are each different and they each get used.
Once the top is pieced, I layer it and put it in the hoop
or on the frame depending upon the size.
I prefer hand-quilted quilts to machine quilted.
Machines essentially knot each stitch, and
hand-quilting is a running stitch that from the side
would look like a wave going up and down through the layers.
This allows the materials some "slack."
It's why machine quilted quilts are stiffer and
hand-quilted quilts drape around you - give you a hug.
So, I try to hand-quilt my quilts.
I'm not a professional hand-quilter,
but each one I do gets a smidgeon better.
(Note - there is some beautiful machine-quilting out there.)
 (In real life, the greens really do match.)
 (Current project being pieced: Rob Peter to Pay Paul.  An old pattern that requires scissors to cut out as opposed to a rotary cutter - slower.)
I will need to keep at it and get a lot done 
if I am to attend a bazaar or two next fall.
I also hope to get some smaller quilted items done
so that there will be a variety.
The perk of all this will be as these totes empty,
I won't be refilling them.
They will leave and we will have that much more room.
It sure won't happen over night, but
I'm looking forward to that.
(Next on the frame.)
For now, I'll just keep stitching ~
Weeeell, we'll see what happens come canning season.
Hopefully, I can at least make a good dent in it.