Saturday, May 2, 2015

Singer Restoration Saturday - Bentwood Case Refinishing

The Model 99K that belonged to my great-grandmother included a bentwood case. The case was generally in good shape, but had collected a lot of nicks and scratches over the years.

Bentwood Case Base
Bentwood Case Top
To begin the process of refinishing it, first I removed all the hardware.

Front of base
End of base
Top and inside of base
Bottom of base
Scratch on one end of top
Then, I began to gently sand off the old varnish, and sand out the nicks and dings.

Front of base - Sanded

End of base - Sanded
End of top - Sanded

I can already see that I will have to be careful with some of the deeper scratches (like on the end of the top) --  I don't want to sand through the veneer and have to replace it all!  Once I get it all cleaned up, I will sand it again with a finer grit, then re-stain it and spray on a tough overcoat.  

More to come.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Shopping through Scottsdale

We shop hopped all over the greater Phoenix area while we were on vacation in Scottsdale last week.  It was fun to return to several shops we were familiar with, and to discover a few new gems as well.

I scored two gorgeous Christmas panels for $2 at a quilt show held in the Gilbert Historical Museum.  The show was only OK, but the museum was really interesting.  Women gather weekly to hand-quilt on vintage frames.  Their work was awesome.  There was also lots of military memorabilia and historical re-creations of home-life of early Gilbert; plus, the whole downstairs of the museum is devoted to model trains!

Santa Panel
I was totally unable to resist this gorgeous Christmas panel, despite having about five other Christmas panels already, and never having done anything with a single one.  Someday I will; you'll see. lol

Christmas Door Panel
I am also a complete sucker for quilty novelty fabric.  The tote bags I have designed in my head!  Who can resist "Lake Applique" and "Spool Pond"?

Quilt Country Print
A half yard of "Quilt Girl" fabric needed to make Texas its new home too, as well as this cool vintage sewing machine fabric.  I should make something for my Singer-restoring sweetie-pie out of that.
Fabrics my husband made me get
We went back to the Olde World Quilt Shoppe, which is well known for its selection of wools and wool patterns.  I bought enough white (and it is not at all yellow) to make the snowmen in this pattern, as well as in the pattern I bought there last year.

Cool wool and pattern
I fell in love with this pale powder blue silk dupioni at the Bernina Connection.  It will make the most gorgeous needle case holder.  Now I just need to design one and make it.  I have a large collection of wonderful Bohin needles that need a beautiful home.

Pale blue changeable silk
The Bernina Connection also has a terrific selection of batiks.  You know me and batiks.  Despite having a collection sufficient for the creation of several complete Dear Janes, quarter yard cuts of these seven lovelies beckoned me to buy them and bring them home.  So I did.
Batiks and thread
The bottom two batiks come from 3 Dudes Quilt Shop in Phoenix.  I just love the green with the blue streaks - yummy.  I bought the white Isacord at the Bernina Connection.  I have heard what wonderful thread it is, and I have decided to give it a try.  

Apparently I have been living in a hole because I did not know that YLI still sold some of their thread on wooden spools - yes the yellow thread is on an actual wooden spool.  How cool is that?  Quiltz, which we have visited several times, had an excellent selection of YLI thread, each color lovelier than the one before.  It was a hard choice, but I settled on this rich yellow.

My husband was a terrific sport, as usual, and I bought lots of pretty things for not too much money.  All in all it was another fabulous trip to Scottsdale.  (And by the way, Fountain Hills really needs a brick and mortar fabric store.)  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Siggy from Denise Huber of Mondercange, Luxembourg

This lovely siggy arrived from Denise Huber of Mondercange, Luxembourg while we were on vacation.  I love the design and the retro-modern circle fabric.

I need to get a return siggy in the mail to Denise right away; fortunately, I have a few already made up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tatting Tuesday (on Wednesday)

Going on vacation can certainly throw off your routine! So this week Tatting Tuesday will take place Wednesday.

Heart Bookmark

Previously, I had posted about a bookmark project where I needed to correct mistakes. First I needed to correct a missed ring on the third heart.  Then I needed to make more hearts to complete the bookmark.

The Parts of the Solution

Finally, I needed to work in the ends of the separate pieces, and trim off the excess. 

Now I need to work arcs over the tops of each heart, and this bookmark will be finished.

More soon,


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dear Jane E-2, Merry May Complete

Merry May is the last of the vacation applique blocks, though I actually finished it at home last night while catching up on Game of Thrones.  I like the simplicity of this block, plus it is an excellent showcase for an interesting batik.  I only wanted touches of the dark tones to show to add interest to the block.  There is actually a large blob of dark red hidden below the upper melon; you can see it barely peeking out on one side.

I have made this block before.  I am not sure what I was thinking in 2008 with my wild and crazy color choices.  I think using the white muslin against the batiks is a much more livable solution.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dear Jane C-2, Streak of Lightning Completed

I think this might be my favorite block; it was certainly fun to work on.  I did have to alternate applique thread colors, but it was very easy to fill in the white spaces after all the purple was done.

We got back to Texas to a night of stormy weather, especially to the south of us here in Fort Worth.  Vacation in Scottsdale was awesome - lots of quilt stores and hiking and perfect weather.  I will have some pictures later this week.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Hobby for Larry - Crochet!

When I started tatting as a hobby, Susan told me I could do many of the same things with crochet, and that crochet would be easier and lots more forgiving than tatting.  So, with that in mind, I have decided to give crochet a try and see how I like it.  

To start with, I needed some tools and materials...

Crochet tools and materials

Some crochet hooks of my very own (I am sure this will help keep Susan's hooks from going missing). Some lovely fibers to work with (I am not sure I am worthy of them yet - that blue stuff is silk!) And a booklet on beginning crochet techniques and patterns.  

You can see, in the middle of the picture, I have managed to do a short section of chain stitch.  I will be posting my triumphs and tragedies in this new arena as they occur, perhaps on a new day of the week.  I am not giving up tatting at all; I just want to try something where mistakes are easier to correct for a change.  

More to come!


Friday, April 24, 2015

FriXion Erasable Gel Pen Freezer Test

FriXion erasable gel pens are designed to completely erase with the heat of ironing, never to reappear; however, internet rumors abound that the ink reappears if the fabric gets cold enough.  After receiving a set of these pens at the last Christmas bee, I promised my fellow quilters that I would put them to the test.

I wrote the name of each color:  black, purple, pink, orange, brown, blue, and red upon a piece of plain white muslin.  No problems there, the pens were terrific at marking.  

I immediately ironed the muslin and all the marks (and I mean everything) completely disappeared as advertised.  Now I just had a scrap of white muslin, identical to every other scrap of white muslin in my sewing room, so I thought I had better mark it or it would end up in my Dear Jane by accident.  I wrote "test piece" on it with a Pigma Pen, because marks from those pens are forever.

The scrap of muslin then got washed in the washing machine with warm water, then put in the freezer for a few weeks.  Here is the result:

This is a fairly accurate picture.  All the colors came back at about 5-20% of their original intensity.  Pink did the best, you can barely make out the 'K' in "PINK" above "ORANGE".  

Now, most people would say, "Well, I am never going to put my quilts in the freezer!" and they are right, of course.  But my family, like thousands of others up in Wisconsin, have a cottage on a lake out in the middle of the north woods.  A cottage which remains unheated for most of the winter, a very cold cottage! Christmas presents kept in car trunks in Green Bay can get bitterly cold too. (No one runs out of freezer space over the holidays when you can say things like "Get the ham out of the Buick.")

I like FriXion pens; in fact, I like them a lot, but I would not use them on the top of my Dear Jane, or on any quilt I ever plan to send to the great white north.  Something to consider.

Happy quilting,
Susan in Texas

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dear Jane B-12 Starflower Complete

This one will not win any prizes for perfect placement, but I think it turned out very pretty and will make a very happy splash on my Dear Jane.  In any event, I am glad to have it finally done.  It reminds me of the sewing labels my sister bought me for Christmas which say "This took forever!"

B-12 Starflower
I believe this completes the last little remaining bit of Row B.  I believe I am closing in on 40 completed blocks; that is almost a quarter of the blocks completed.  Wow!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Not Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Dear Jane B-12 Starflower Progress

One melon down, three to go.  That center "square" really gave me problems; the wonky corner has already been redone once.  For some reason, I was careful with the direction of the overflowing fabric for the melons, but not with the center; it really makes a difference.  Another lesson learned:  All excess fabric must flow to the left.

B-12 Starflower
Still loving this batik though; it was a treat to work on it again

Happy quilting!