Saturday, May 23, 2015

Singer Restoration Sunday - Bentwood Case

I have been working on restoring the bentwood case for "Dollie", my great-grandmother's Singer Model 99K.  Now I am applying a satin polyurethane clearcoat to protect the stain applied earlier.

Bentwood Case - Top and Bottom
The clearcoat went on nice and shiny, then the gloss 
relaxed into a nice satin finish.

In about an hour, I can gently sand it smooth and apply another coat.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Just one of those days

Sometimes, it's just one of those days...

Bad Feather Day

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tatting Tuesday - Furnace Replacement

Doesn't look much like tatting, does it?

New Furnace
I scheduled our furnace replacement starting yesterday, for some crazy reason. With all the disruption that caused, I didn't get any tatting done :( . And the installation will continue today, so I probably won't get any done today, either.

Also, my lovely wife has decided that I started learning to crochet with too hard a pattern.  Apparently I don't even know what I don't know.  So I am switching to a beginner granny square pattern, and getting personal instruction on how to do it right.  First lesson: don't try to make it so tight!  Hopefully, I will soon be able to crank out a granny square quickly, and can think about what to make with them (an afghan, or maybe a scarf).


Monday, May 18, 2015

Grandma likes her new Chair

We visited Grandma in Shreveport again this weekend so I did not get too much done on Harlequin-Johnny.  When we peeked into her room, we found Grandma snoozing (very soundly) in her new chair.  Do not let the sleeping frowny face fool you, she actually likes her new chair just fine.

They replaced Grandma's bed with a hospital bed a while ago and put her bed in storage.  Recently they told us we had to get it out of there, so we rented a Home Depot truck and moved it to the old house right before the rains started.  Perfect timing. 

Grandma said she wanted her old chair removed too, but we convinced her that she needs to keep it around to have a spare lift chair available in case one breaks again.  I promised her I would work my redecorating magic to make the chair fit in her bedroom after it is repaired.  What she does not know, is I am planning to have all her dolls sit on it.  She loves her dolls, and they are currently all on a corner table; this will be much better.  All in all, it will be the perfect end to chair-pocalypse.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Six on Sunday - Week 2

We are still harvesting stuff from our master closets.  I was surprised that my clothes weighed more than Larry's "stuff".  I read an article on the Japanese method of closet cleaning.  You are supposed to look at everything in your home and ask yourself if it "sparks joy" in you, if not, thank it, and let it go.  I think I will try that method after all the obvious clutter has been removed.

Lunch bag, Sweater, Tote Bag, Backpack, Flashlight, Aqua-Shoes - 4.75 pounds
I really should thank those shorts.  They were my favorite shorts; sparking joy for years, finally giving up the good fight with the material splitting down the front of one leg. Thank you, favorite shorts! Bye bye.

Shorts and 5 tops/sweaters - 6 pounds

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Singer Restoration Saturday - Bentwood Case Progress

Continuing to restore the bentwood case for "Dollie", the 1992 Model 99K that belonged to my great-grandmother.

Front of case top
The first coat of stain went on rather unevenly, and it seemed to raise the grain on the top.  Not too surprising, since it had seen some damage over the years.  

Before restoration
I sanded gently to even out the darker areas, and then very gently overall to smooth out the raised grain. The second coat went on much better, although I can still feel the grain raised again here and there.

Front of case bottom
The big scratch on the end, as expected, remains an issue.  I doubt it will improve much.  I'll have to see what can be done to camouflage it. 

Big Scratch - Before

Big Scratch - Current
The wood filler I've used to fill a couple of gouges is not taking the stain as much as the wood of the case.  I will have to touch it up, or even try a darker flavor of wood filler to get a better match.

More later,


Friday, May 15, 2015

Harlequin Block Complete

The test harlequin block came together nicely, which is good because I would be lying if I said I was completely unintimidated by inset seams.  These insets were easier than expected.  A large block with a big, soft center like this creases very easily to allow the inset seam to be sewn.  I barely had to pin, except at the harlequin points.  None of the inset corners had that nasty "pull" that happens when you oversew the inset seam, for which this novice is deeply thankful.

Counting the four corners on the completed block, I have fifty-one corners completed, and nine already pinned.  The pinning is still the most time-consuming part, but I think my harlequin points would be all over the place without it.  Instead, I am getting a nice square block, which I will have to trim down the full quarter inch I allowed for "shrinkage".

Thursday, May 14, 2015

More Harlequin Progress

I am almost half done with the "ears" for Harlequin-Johnny.  I have fifteen more sewn, which, when added to the 28 previously sewn, makes 43 corner ears complete.  I also have six more pinned.  I need to do a Big Bang marathon and get them all done.

I have come to the conclusion that I really enjoy cyclical stitching, though I would prefer to have some shorter term projects in the mix.  I am still cycling though Dear Jane, Grand Illusion, and Harlequin-Johnny, with the half square triangle quilt as my leader and ender project.  When I finally have a finish, I am going to add Pierre Lapin into the cycle; it has been languishing for a long time.

If I keep plugging away, I think Grand Illusion will be the first flimsy completed, then Harlequin-Johnny.  I only have 40 Dear Jane blocks completed, so as you can see, that one is a long way from completion. 

I think I have 700+ HSTs completed in my leader and ender project, but it takes over a 1000, so that completion is also in the distant future.  I really need to do some quilting too, since I do not want to just accumulate flimsies.  I have been lusting after a long arm for a long time, but that is on the back burner for now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Harlequin Progress and a Funny Video

I am making slow, but steady, progress on the 100 Harlequin corner "ears".  I sewed twenty-four together, for a total of twenty-eight corners completed.

I pinned another nine corners together while watching Flip or Flop on TV.  I love that show!  Even when they have disasters, they make remodeling look SO easy.  Christine on the show makes design choices seem so simple.  Whenever I go shopping for tile or flooring, I am always completely overwhelmed by the choices. 

You always hear me talking about my family in Green Bay, right?  My sister, Cindi, called me last night.  Her grand-niece was the little girl who wrote into Jimmy Fallon this week from Green Bay.   This video of Jimmy reading Phoebe's letter is hilarious!   (She was right about her baby brother too.  lol)