Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is this the beginning of a collection?

I have never really had any desire to own any vintage machines although I do confess that I do think feather weights are cute and could be useful machines to own, due to their size and capabilities and have at certain times thought that owning one could be neat. I do like treadles and I did for a time look after my aunties one while she was living in another city. I do have a treadle base that I want to put a top on and use as a table and that is sitting in the shed waiting for its turn for attention.

Often when I am sewing or ironing I listen/watch Bonnie Hunter and her quiltcam and Bonnie just loves the older machines and clearly her attitudes are rubbing off. One day at work I was bored in my break and decided to check out trade me and just have a look to see what was available, particularly in our area. I was surprised to find a Singer crankhandle machine not far from us. I put it on my watch list and thought nothing more about it. Following the auction I got a fixed price offer which I found myself accepting. So I am the very proud owner of 1922 Singer crank handle which I have called Cranky. She sews like a dream. We collected her on the Friday night and over that weekend I put together a quick quilt top using bonus squares from a previous quilt. I thought it would be a good project to check Cranky out, plus use up some scraps. When we collected the machine they told us that they were selling the machine for his mother who purchased it second hand and the machine came out to New Zealand in 1965 with the family.

I was so impressed with the experience with Cranky that I thought I would check out what else was available and being sold. I was quite surprised with the amount of machines that were available and the condition that some if them were in. I put several on my watch list and got notifications when the auctions were due to close, as you do. For one particular machine the bidding was very low and the auction was due to close in the next 30 minutes - so I put a bid on and expected to get out bided. I waited and waited and the auction closed and I had purchased another machine. There wasn't a lot of information on the auction about this machine and only two photos but the machine did look to be in reasonable condition. Because I didn't think I would buy the machine I hadn't asked any questions clarifying the condition and parts etc, so I purchased this machine blind so to speak, with the attitude that the purchase price was good  and I could absorb any costs getting this girl up and running.

According to the serial number she was made in 1950 but the badge on the front says 1851 - 1951. She does have a motor (no belt at this stage) she has a light, her cord is a little frayed and needing some rewiring and she has a knee control. She has some attachments but has quite a few missing, no manual and is missing the model number badge on the front (I am assuming she had one) and no key for the case. At this stage I am not totally sure what her model number is. She was very stiff but I have oiled her and she has freed up a lot. Until I know her model number I can't ascertain what she should or shouldn't have and what she needs. At this stage I have not plugged her in and tested the motor. We collected her from Havelock North in the Hawkes Bay and the previous owner is relocating to Christchurch and I only had one day available to collect her. Not a lot of information was given when we picked her up so I know nothing of her history.

She is currently unnamed and is still sitting on the end of the dining table waiting for me to have more time to sort things for her. To be honest one of the reasons is that she is so heavy and I am not sure where to put her where I can still fiddle with her, so until then on the dining table she stays.

Now what can I name her ....

I will ponder on that - until next time happy stitching everyone.


Friday, April 04, 2014

Orphan blocks progress ...

Hi everyone

I thought that I would let you know how I got on sorting the orphan blocks. Well here is the progress to date.

I had a look in my scrap 2" strip drawer and found snap lock bags full of goodies, things that I had forgotten about. Then I saw some bonus blocks left over from another project that I had trimmed (before realising it was going to take forever to trim them all and stopped) and thanks to the Bonnie Hunter way of thinking - I decided to use what I have and that if my star block was going to be different from the rest, that it will be quite different at least when you look up close. 

On closer inspection there is a bag there with 300 x 4 patches - labelled and ready to go - clearly they are for a project, but I have no recollection which one. Will have to give it some thought.

I will put these aside until I can remember what they are destined for. But it is a reminder for me to label things with more details.

So here is a collection of block parts that I have chosen to use to create the block bearing in mind the colours and contrast that has been used in the original blocks. I think it is going to look okay. 

I love this tray and use it to lay out block pieces - it was going to the secondhand shop when my mother in law was moving recently - I immediately saw its potential.

I used Bonnie Hunters webbing method of joining the block. It has taken a bit of effort to break my original habit of joining blocks but it has been worth the effort - Bonnie's way does definitely makes it easier and more streamlined and a bonus is that the block pieces are always in the right place reducing the need for frogging or reverse sewing.

Here it is all sewn together - when sewing blocks together like this I don't press until the block is put together, as then I can work out which way I am going to press the seams after I have sewn everything together. This is dependent on which way the seams are going and that decision I make as I am sewing.

Here it is amongst the others - can you spot it? Bottom third from the left.

I am trying to sort out what size to make the tramming and the four patches and am leaning towards 2" strips. This is the smallest that I have pre cut stored ready to go, so would prefer to use these.

Right then I need to go and make some decisions - see you soon.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Orphan blocks getting sorted...

I do not know where I got these orphan blocks but when I was tidying up the other day I found them and instantly knew what I wanted to do with them. Five of them were joined together with the background blocks that you can see on the left hand side. I unpicked these last night watching tv and I didn't think of taking a photo to show you a before shot. 

However for some reason I thought that there were ten blocks so you can imagine my surprise this morning when I counted them out and there were only nine.

This is how I am wanting to set them with tramming and four patches in between - this is destined to be a central table runner for the dining table. They need the tramming as they are not all created equal and some fudging will be needing to happen. So I guess another square needs to be created - even though the fabrics will be totally different to the other blocks I think they will be okay and I will put the block in the middle so it doesn't stand out too much. Thank goodness for Bonnie Hunter and her sensible attitude about scraps that rubs off on many of us.

Come back soon to see how this project has got on...

Happy stitching everyone and please leave a comment if you have time.


Tripping Around ...

I took this picture of one of the many mosaics in the footpath yesterday when in Cambridge, they are pretty cool. Here is what it says on the Cambridge website regarding these mosaics.  Check it out for yourself HERE.

Walks of fame

If you fancy a gentle stroll, check out Cambridge's tribute to our equine and sporting heroes. Wander along Duke St to find 25 plaques honouring the achievements of local stars in the town's Sporting Walk of Fame, and as you turn into Victoria Street, look for 18 mosaics set into the footpath of prominent local horses. On the wall beside the ANZ in Victoria St, you'll find a special collection of plaques honouring our 13 (and counting) Melbourne Cup winners.

It isn't often that I get the opportunity to have a day out when hubby is on the road, but I grab them when I can. I was disappointed to find the quilt shop I was planning to visit in Cambridge had closed down at Christmas. Having planned on visiting the shop I had some time to spare once I had done enough window shopping, so I sat on a benchseat under a tree on the main road and did some stitching. The cafe across the road had an entertainer playing outside their premise and the ambience was just fantastic. The thing that always surprises me when I am stitching somewhere is the amount of people who stop to look and chat - it is definitely an ice breaker.

While window shopping I was really impressed with this little shop - MYstyleNZ check out their website HERE. They are in the process of redoing their website so make sure to check back soon. They have some seriously gorgeous fabrics, bags, all sorts of things - it definitely put a smile on my face. They will send anything out to you. The thing that really impressed me was their friendliness and positive welcoming attitude. It might be a little shop but it is a treasure trove. The other thing that I noticed in Cambridge is that a lot of the window fronts are looking very royal - I wonder why ... Some special visitors maybe?

After spending the morning in Cambridge we went on to Hamilton. I have lived in Hamilton a lot through my life, on and off and I am always keen to have a look around and check out what has changed since the last time.

Here is the Hamilton Lake or Lake Rotoroa - in all the years that I have lived in Hamilton I have never seen the lake water level so low. In fact I couldn't believe just how dry the Waikato is and how brown the grass is.

This photo is looking up to the cafe at the lake which has been there forever although it is definitely looking different since the last time I was here.

I called into The Base Shopping Centre - I had never been before although I did see them start to build it. This was a little freaky for me as our family lived there at one stage when it was an RNZAF Base. The school got relocated and all the buildings gone - all the memories of those times got challenged yesterday sitting in the mall, knowing that everything had gone and this replaced it. It somehow feels like those times never existed at all apart from in my mind.

Check back soon to see what I am up to next and please leave a comment - I enjoy reading them. Until next time...

Happy stitching everyone.