Colorado get-together?

Old 04-28-2021, 04:56 AM
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Default May 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 2


Courtney, who lives in northern Colorado, sends us details of some quilting projects and other things he has been working on:

It's Spring time so it's baby time! Much of my time this last month was involved trying to finish two baby quilts. One is for an astronomer and his wife and the second is for the daughter of some old friends. Out of history, I generally make rag quilts for babies. I usually make the baby quilts with only a top and bottom layer and no batting as shown in the rainbow quilt. This makes a nice lightweight quilt that is especially suitable for summer. I try and make the quilts so there is no fraying along the edge so the baby can be wrapped in the back and not be bothered with the fraying. The astronomy quilt I felt needed a bit more color so I used a batting of orange flannel which I think really sets things off but unfortunately it does make the quilt 50% heavier. I hope it is not too heavy for summertime.

Most of my sewing machine time was spent of working with Willcox and Gibbs machines. Shortly after our last meeting, Janey dropped me an email about someone having some problems with a W&G machine on Quilting Board. To me it looked like someone had lost the needle bar nut that holds the needle in place. I wrote my observations and said that I would see what I could find to replace the original nut. The W&G Automatic needle bar nuts are hard to replace because they have tapered threads to fit the tapered needle bar. They are very rare and often demand a rather high price if they can be found. As luck would have it, a couple of days later, someone was offering needle bar nuts on the ubiquitous auction site for a commercial Pegasus machine which was also made by W&G. They did not look identical to the nuts on W&G Automatic machines, but the cost was $9 for a pair, so I took a chance. I got out my cheap calipers and below I compare the two nuts: The first column are measurements from the original nut on a W&G machine from the early 1880's while the second column is the Pegasus nuts.

W 7.1mm 7.0mm
H 6.1mm 4.6mm
D1 3.4mm 3.8mm
D2 4.3mm 4.3mm

The width of the nuts is the same; they both take a 9/32 inch wrench. The biggest difference is the original nut is taller. The lower diameter is smaller on the original nut but the upper diameter is the same (which shows the nuts are tapered.) The Pegasus nuts do seem to hold a needle on a W&G Automatic. I did do some internet searching and found the Pegasus nuts are available from some of the commercial sewing machine sites but who knows for how long.

You can see the comparison between the two nuts it the photos. Pic 1 shows the tapered threads on a W&G Automatic. Pic 2 Shows the original nut on the needlebar. Pic 3 shows a Pegasus nut on a W&G Automatic and the taller original nut next to a Pegasus nut. Finally, PIC 4 shows an Automatic needle bar wrench fitting on a Pegasus nut.







... to be continued

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Old 04-28-2021, 05:03 AM
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Default May 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 3





Dianne acquired an interesting attachment that she tells us about:

I have been busy finishing up quilts over the last month, but did acquire one vintage Singer attachment. The Circular Stitcher was created for Touch and Sew machines, of which I have exactly none, but it didn't appear to need the special attachment spots that many such stitchers need for newer machines - just the usual spot on the bed used to screw down other attachments. The only machine I've tried yet is a 15-91, on which the attachment would initially not anchor down firmly. A simple rubber washer will not do the trick. One needs a piece of rubber stuff - this one being 1/16 thick from a hardware store years ago, cut so that it covers the square plate. I don't know what this rubber stuff is called, but in the photo it is turned a bit so it is visible. Punch a hole for the screw. With this, the stitcher fastens down nicely. Using a piece of quilt "sandwich" used for practicing free motion designs, the attachment sewed very nice circles of any size, up to 10 inches in diameter. The quilt sandwich proved acceptably firm to use without any further stiffening.

My thought was this would be fun for quilting small projects with circles - placemats, small wallhangings, or blocks if one is doing quilt-as-you-go. Concentric circles, overlapping circles, fancy stitch circles, etc. The fabric moves around the pin, and getting anything very large to move smoothly would be difficult and slow, and one would be better off to mark the fabric and freehand the job.

The concept is very simple, and one YouTube video shows a woman creating beautiful round objects with decorative stitches using a homemade version with phone books in which to stick a poster pin to hold the fabric.

Courtney, this is a challenge for you!



Dorothy, our sewing professional, sends the following about her month passed:

Wow! Time passes quick!

I have done little sewing, Mostly adjustments to trial garments finding the Very Lack of information on fabric content is proving to be detrimental. I made some under garments from a knit with spandex which turns out has No Recovery. Ugh. I wish the bolt labeling had more USEFUL information.

I have been doing lots of planning. I hope to use my design programs more, but find I may need to start sketching what the final intent is. Thinking a design is, apparently, a roving target which I can not hit. Start out with one thought and Bam something totally different crops up. Seems the very nice thing about patterns is the line drawing.

I have an avid interest in Hemp fabric and was delighted to find Hemp Traders is starting to manufacture Jersey knit in the US. They are still buying fiber off shore, but hope to bring that online also! I did purchase a Jersey knit blend (55% hemp) and look forward to making, then dying the garment!

I look forward to May Day!


... to be continued
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:12 AM
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Default May 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 4


James tells us about a recent machine that he acquired and his findings about it:

I just picked up another sewing machine a day ago. This one is a Domestic B type hand crank. The best guess seems to be around 1908 to 1909 based on the serial number. It is a 3/4 size machine. The details are in really great shape with the only real wear being the white petals on the flowers seen on the arm. For now I just wiped the machine down with sewing machine oil. I will need to oil up the machine as the hand crank is a bit stiff.

I did get shipping damage on the back of the case but I believe with steam and a new coat of shellac on the back it should repair fairly well. The display front of the case looks good so Howard Restor A Finish should clean it up nicely. The base is in fairly good shape with two missing case hold points on the right matching those on the left. The lock key is missing but a screwdriver should work since I see a square hole on the inside.

As you can see the machine case is dual purpose allowing both treadle use and hand crank use. Of interest is the geared bobbin winder that connects to the gears of the hand wheel when a spool needs to be wound via the hand crank. To the left is a pulley allowing use of a treadle belt to wind the spool when in treadle mode.






... to be continued
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:18 AM
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Default May 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 5




In Closing

Just for sentimental reasons, here is an aerial view of the Perkins where we used to meet in Denver. It has re-opened, but hasn't had the volume of business it used to have. Some of us may be able to locate our old favorite parking places in the picture.


As we continue to look forward to being able to meet in person soon, we will post here again next month.

Thank you for reading.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:31 AM
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I am fascinated by the drive gear on that Domestic. Love it. thanks for sharing.
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