Colorado get-together?

Old 01-05-2022, 08:09 AM
  #301  
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Default January 2022 Colorado Get Together - Part 4

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With a short break in sending pictures, Leon continued:

New Home came in a mostly complete bentwood case and some goodies in the accessory bin.

I have been working on snow removal but just about there. I hope none of you good people are overly troubled by the fires your way.


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As a followup, Leon sent the note:

whooops Necchi forum say the Necchi is a fake. Oh well, I am disappointed but not crushed. I will still play with it.


In Closing

Feeling a little more appreciative of what we have and taking care of it, we close with our very best wishes to our fellow Coloradans who have lost everything. Hopefully by the next post, many of them will have started plans to rebuild their futures. We are thinking of them.

We will post again next month. Thank you for reading and please send some extra good thoughts Colorado's way this month.

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Old 01-09-2022, 03:12 PM
  #302  
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Default January 2022 Colorado Get-together Addendum

Courtney sent some further information regarding treadling a Featherweight.

Courtney
While at the local hardware store I found a 3 1/2-inch pulley with a 1/2 inch bore which I thought would be a way for people to try a Featherweight treadle without having to do any wood working. I also purchased a 1/2-inch, fine thread (20 tpi) bolt, 1 1/2 inch long and a 1/2-inch lock washer. The lock washer was just a temporary measure until I can drill a small hole for a pin for the stop motion washer as described above. Since the bottom of the pulley is a bit wider than my treadle belt, I put a wide rubber band around the pulley to give it a bit more traction. Things seem to be working well. Just remember to only tighten the bolt finger tight and not crank it down with a wrench.

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As it turns out, Janey was able to find a 3 1/2-inch pulley with a 1/2 inch bore that has a narrower bottom that will probably work better. She hasn't gotten them to Courtney, yet.

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Old 02-02-2022, 07:33 AM
  #303  
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Default February 2022 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 1

With the holidays behind us, we are still getting Christmas things all put away. I guess just hesitant to see the season come to an end.

February is expected to bring us colder weather. But spring is just around the corner!

We have submissions from our members, some about quilting, some about accessories and of course some about sewing machines. So let's get started with Cheryl and Chris.


Cheryl & Chris

We visited Cheryl and Chris's sewing machine shop last weekend. It is very nicely set up with more sewing machines and accessories than could easily be counted. Cheryl sends the following notes about their recent activities:

This month Chris made some boxes for Janey and started on the restoration of the Singer 24 cabinet.

The first part to get worked on was the little bonnet top. Whoever tried to fix it before just used nails. Lots and lots of nails. Sometimes 11 nails in 2 inches. No glue. A piece of pine molding was used to replace a missing piece of trim - not a good match in shape nor color. The top needs new veneer. The bonnet pretty much fell apart once the nails were removed. The trickiest part will be reproducing the missing trim. Chris has already put in an order for router bits totaling more than the 24 cost me. We also purchased some garnet shellac flakes and a magnetic stirrer help dissolve them in alcohol. At the moment, Chris has stripped off the old damaged shellac and has worked up how he is going to reproduce the missing trim piece.


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... to be continued
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Old 02-02-2022, 07:52 AM
  #304  
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Default February 2022 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 2

Courtney

Courtney shares discussion about Willcox & Gibbs machines, which he knows a lot about, as well as showing a picture of himself beside the quilt he has at a quilting exhibition:

I recently saw on YouTube that Bernadette Banner had gotten a new sewing machine. It is a very early (1876) Willcox and Gibbs automatic with an English hand crank. Ms Banner is an expert in costuming and Victorian dress and manners. She has two other machines, a Singer hand crank and a Singer treadle, both from about 1890.

Her newest acquisition got me thinking about my Willcox and Gibbs machines. Without a doubt they are my favorite machines and I have collected several over the years. My oldest W&G machine (SN 24013) was manufactured very early in the late 1850's or early 1860's. The serial numbers from Grace Rogers Cooper's book, The Sewing Machine from The Smithsonian Press, imply that it was made about 1859 but some new information from ISMACS imply it was manufactured about 1862. Either way it is old and Civil War vintage. It is a glass tension model and I have adjusted it well enough so that it sews reasonably well. It does have some mechanical problems in that a couple of parts are very well worn and a bit loose and sloppy. I have another very old machine that I have considered using as a parts machine and restoring the old machine, but I have been hesitant on whether I should leave it original or make it mechanically sound by exchanging the necessary parts. The very old machines did not have medallions. Perhaps they started putting medallions on the base with the introduction of the automatic model.

My newest W&G machine is from the 1950's (SN 735306). It is a bit different than other W&G machines. First off it is gray not black and second the finish is the "Godzilla" type. The machine has not been repainted! Finally, the medallion on the base of the machine is not gold but black and silver. I read somewhere that these last few machines were not made by Brown and Sharpe. However, I do not see any mechanical differences. I put it on a small board with a motor in the rear since this is close to the way they came. Since the motor was from a newer machine it ran backwards for the W&G so I had to do a bit of rewiring. Being nearly 90 years younger than the first W&G machines, it sews very well and has no loose parts.

Courtney Willis

PS The quilt top in the background of the picture was just finished Saturday and was pieced with a W&G machine. I have also enclosed a picture of me in front of my quilt at the RMQM Men's show.


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Dianne

Dianne sent pictures of a quilt, one of many she has crafted for our recent fire victims, along with some interesting thread counting accessories:

My report for the month doesn't include any sewing machines. Most time was spent creating quilts for Firehouse Quilts to donate to victims of the Marshall Fire in Boulder County. I turned in 13, including four similar to the one posted. The pattern is called Minnesota Hotdish, from a book with the same title. My sewing lately has been primarily on the Singer 15-91 (1952) a great workhorse, and some piecing done on the Bernina 532-2 acquired a couple months ago. It is a fine little machine, but turns more stiffly than any other of my machines, even after being "curated" by an experienced OMG. Has anyone else found this to be the case with early Berninas? The shop it was taken to said this is normal for the machine.

Acquired in the last month or so are three different styles of thread counters, also known as linen testers. None of them have a maker's name, but they are in nice condition - not cleaned up yet, because of all the sewing. The smallest one is less than an inch in any dimension, and certainly could have been used for looking at coins or stamps. It has an adjustable lens. The other in that same photo has a unique system of turning the lens to look through openings of different sizes on its base. You don't need to count a whole inch of fabric, which is quite stressful. The fancier style has two pointers that runs along inch or mm scales, one scale on each side of the device as the knurled knob on the left is turned. These are quite fun, and most optical instrument makers made them at one time. Dating is difficult, as they were manufactured for a long time, and usually not given a serial number.

The Famous Buttonholer came complete with box, instructions and feed dog cover. I have others, but the condition of this one is very good, and someday I will actually give it a try!

Dianne


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... to be continued
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:03 AM
  #305  
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Default February 2022 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 3

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Dorothy

Dorothy, who we have mentioned before as bring the only sewing professional in our group, sends us some notes about her last month's happenings:

Hello!
Feb is about to be here.

I leave Jan behind hoping it stays there! My place of work was saved from the fires by the sprinkler system, but did receive smoke damage along with 2 trailers, an overhead dock door and dumpster burning. We scrambled and worked remotely for those who could.

Contemplating how to direct best in the quilting cause and might donate towards someone quilting a donated top.

I have been sewing (Necchi!) Finishing a dress I will make again. It was a quick sew and surprisingly becoming, very comfortable to wear!

The first square of the Yellowstone Murder Mystery quilt is due Wednesday and I finished!!! To those of you natural quilters - Wow! What dedication to beauty! Not my focus of interest, but I like quilts. This square has one Painfully obvious missed points which comes from not paying proper attention while trimming or pressing. One major flip the piece so a cut was wrong requiring a recut and 4 Rip It cause wrong sides sewn together. Not that bad overall.

Have a Great February!

Dorothy


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Janey

Chris, from our group, built three sewing machine bases for Janey. They have the common Singer standard footprint, so they can fit most older Singers, as well as several other manufacturers having the same bed size. She tells us:

It was sure nice to get a few bases for machines that are heads only. I may have to play musical bases so I don't have a mutiny on my hands. I'm not sure how or even if I will finish them. Chris & Cheryl had one painted black, which looked nice. I may just use boiled linseed oil. For now, I will leave them unfinished.

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In Closing

We will post here again next month with details of our various activities. For those of you who follow us, thank you for reading.

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Old 03-02-2022, 06:11 AM
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Default March 2022 Colorado Get Together - Part 1

As with much of the country, February brought Colorado several snows and two blasts of arctic air. In a reprieve, we are experiencing weather in the sixties this week, but next week it's expected to cool again.

Prominent in our news locally are the people who lost homes in the recent area fire, dealing with being under insured and trying to get around new building codes that drive rebuilding costs up even higher. Many people, such as Dianne from our group, have sewn quilts and provided other supportive assistance to the thousands of displaced people we have here.

In our March posting, we feature projects from those who have sent notes and pictures for us to share with you. So let's get started.

Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl may have found a new member to our local group. Chris has made progress on the top that he has been working on. Cheryl sends the following:

We made a new VSM friend a couple of weeks ago when I sold one of my machines. Krystal loves the old machines as much as the rest of us do and has already a collection. She also had a beautiful Singer 27 in a nice cabinet, but the pitman was broken. We managed to convince one of our friends to give up the pitman on the old rusty irons that we had given them. The pitman was dirty, but functional so Chris cleaned it up and installed it on the 27. Krystal also brought over a German made portable Haid and Neu that she has since cleaned up and made very pretty.

Chris made a bit more progress on the Singer 24 top. He's been side tracked by that "day job" thing and making more bee hives for the spring time splits. He copied the spline on the molding on the one end of the top when he replaced the missing molding on the other end. After trying various stains for the new pieces on the top, it turns out the best match was just iron oxide. He's dissolving some garnet shellac in alcohol right now for the finish.

C&C


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...to be continued
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Old 03-02-2022, 06:16 AM
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Default March 2022 Colorado Get Together - Part 2

Courtney

Courtney tells us about a Wheeler and Wilson machine he has been working on and an upcoming quilt project:

This month most of my sewing machine time has been devoted to a Wheeler and Wilson No.9 hand crank. The machine is in pretty nice condition except for the tension mechanism. I have been putting off trying to work on it until I found another W&W head that I purchased about 6 of 7 years ago. Unfortunately, I could not find the old head and so the hand crank has been just sitting. I finally came across the old head so I thought it was time to see what I could do with the hand crank. The tension mechanism on the W&W No.9 is not the two pressure disks pushing on the thread like in Singer machines. Instead, it is a wheel that you adjust the tension by making the wheel turn easier or harder by adjusting the pressure on the wheel by pressing with two felt like pads. As can be seen in the picture, the order from left to right is adjusting nut, pressure spring, bar nut, felt, wheel, felt, body of the machine. All of these fit on a split bolt. The bar washer is kept from spinning by putting the bar into the split in the bolt.

The split bolt on my hand crank. had been pressed (bent) closed so I could not take it apart to see how the tension mechanism worked. When I found my old machine the tension mechanism was still in good shape so it was quite easy to take it apart and see how it was suppose to work. I then went about getting the hand crank working again by gradually opening up the split. I wanted to do it carefully so that I didn't break it. Since the felt pads on both machines are more than a hundred years old I had to come up with something to replace them. I cut small felt circles with a hole in the center. Then put three on each side to give enough thickness. I put it all back together and adjusted the tension so that the machine sews. So far so good. It seems to be sewing with a good stitch. I will be keeping my eyes open however for a better replacement. Now that I have the hand crank sewing I will try and "pretty" it up a bit by cleaning and giving it a good wax. The wooden case needs a bit of touch up too.

At present I am also working on a Sugaridoo QAL named "One, Two, Tree." I have all of the trees completed but I will have to wait about another week to see how she wants us to put the trees together to make the quilt top. After we put the top together, then there will be some instruction on how to free motion and ruler quilt the quilt. I need help with both!

Courtney



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Dorothy

Dorothy has been working on quilting and other pattern projects, which she shares with us:

Hello!

February certainly passed quick!

I continue to sew quilt blocks, one for the Mystery quilt, the other is a quilt along at A Quilters Corner.

I am on a pattern design search for unique waist closures. Finished nothing but actively working on a one side extension which folds over to other side. An interesting feature is a series of buttons to allow adjustable fit.
There was a pattern in the 80s that closed with snap hook in the side pocket. Really looking for that too. Yes. "Could" do it myself, but time remains a constraint.

May the month of March be smooth and trouble free!

Dorothy


In Closing

We appreciate our members sending details of their projects for us to share with all of you. We hope they are enjoyable.

We will post here again next month. Thank you for reading.
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Old 03-30-2022, 08:11 AM
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Default April 2022 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 1

With April close at hand, we're seeing signs of springtime in the Rockies!

We have contributions from several of our members this month, with a variety of pictures and comments that have been offered. We'll begin with Cheryl and Chris.


Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris have an update on a top Chris has been working on, as well as details of other work they've done this past month. Cheryl writes:

Chris repaired a wooden pitman well enough to go onto the old rusty irons that we gave to someone to make a table out of. It's missing the metal bits on one end, but that won't matter since it won't be used, though it actually treadles smoothly.

He put a couple coats of garnet shellac on the bonnet for the 24. It hasn't had the second coat sanded yet so it still looks way too glossy. The garnet is deeper and richer in color than the amber shellac. I like it.
I started sewing the strips for a quilt on my Davis using batiks from my stash.

C & C


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... to be continued
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Old 03-30-2022, 08:18 AM
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Default April 2022 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 2

Dianne

Dianne has been working more on quilting and shares the following with us:

No new machines or attachments this past month, but for whatever reason kaleidoscope quilts have my attention. First, a rather large one, in the very standard pattern from probably the 1930s.
Then a very scrappy one, smaller blocks, just to see if the pattern still shows up. It does. No photo yet. At that point, another version called "Grandma's Surprise" looked interesting. Sort of a double kaleidoscope, with the eight, 45 degree triangles each replaced by four triangles. Although much more complex looking, it is not difficult if one cuts and sews accurately. This design is in Maggie Malone's book, 5,500 Quilt Block Designs. This is also said to be a very old pattern. In the book's small drawing of the block, (p.326), the triangles are apparently not equal, possibly about 35 and 55 degrees. This reduces the size of the corners, which to my eye are rather large in the symmetrical modern version. Internet searches will find this quilt, as shown below (blocks not joined) and also a version someone developed with changes to the outside blocks to make a different looking design. One with the dimensions of the one in Malone's book was not found. It might need to be paper pieced. Directions for the version below on the right can be found in Then and Now Quilts by Joyce Dean Gieszler. The process works fine, but beware of the trimming protocol.

One problem with kaleidoscope quilts is they must be viewed from a good distance to see the design, and best if the quilt is hanging rather than lying flat. These were pieced on the 1952 Singer 15-91 which is a real trooper. Also used this month were a Featherweight and the 1960 Bernina 532-2 for other projects. Several handcrank machines have been whining for attention... must get to them again soon.

Spring! Woohoo!



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Leon

Leon is one of our more distant members, being from Kansas. Their weather may be a little slower to warm than ours in Colorado. He sends the following notes:

Still dodging snow storms and a few other challenges. Doing well. There is a new sewing museum that has opened up in Wichita. We have not made it there yet, but their grand opening was last Saturday.

I have been playing with a Kenmore 117.552 and a White 77. The Kenmore has the faceplate that wraps around the head. It also has a connecting rod that falls off and is hard to line up when one it trying to put it back together. I was quite pleased when the White had a more conventional one and no pieces fell off. Kenmore stitches and I think the White will also. I am sitting on a surprise to share with you all next month. We also acquired a gig to share our machines in Abilene Kansas in June.

Hi to all.



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... to be continued
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Old 03-30-2022, 08:30 AM
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Default April 2022 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 3

Courtney

Courtney, from northern Colorado, sends us a report on his most recent activities:

Things have been pretty hectic around here lately. We are getting ready for a fast trip to Portales, NM in a couple of weeks (end of April). We will only be gone 4 days and my wife's secretary will be taking care of things. Forty years ago she was a high school student of mine and I always threaten her I will go back and flunk her if she doesn't look after us now. My sewing machine time has been spent playing around with a more modern machine. It is a Baby Lock Protege serger. I really don't need a serger for quilting but I thought $20 would be a cheap tuition payment and perhaps be fun. Since I really like Willcox and Gibbs machines and they made some of the first commercial sergers (overlock) machines, I don't feel I am entirely getting away from my antique machines. A year or two ago I got another serger up and running but this one has differential feed. Who knows, I make eventually make it into the 21st century!

Courtney


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James

James is back to collecting, after a brief slow-down. He has acquisitions from thrift stores as well as a couple of additional machines for his collection. He writes:

I am back collecting stuff after having to clean out my Dad's house. I keep getting out bid on some interesting sewing machines but was able to pick some things via thrift stores and two machines offered for free locally although did pay them since one is worth a fair bit after I get it up and running.
As of this writing they have not shipped some interesting sewing related Items I won online.

First things I collected were various quilting books picked up at the thrift store. They should be useful for quilting methods and pattern designs. One interesting and simple enough design I may do is the checker and rails pattern from 1870.

Later in the month I picked up what I believe is a Queen Anne sewing bench by Singer at the thrift store. It had been recovered with a different fabric and needs touch up on the wooden legs. No markings to prove it was made by Singer though.

At a thrift store I also found a How to Make Aprons Singer Learning Library booklet with copyright 1962. I will be giving that to Janey as we have discussed apron making at our meetings.

One of the two free machines I picked up this month is a nice Pfaff 130 sewing machine. There is some crackle on the paint surface but otherwise looks great. I have already ordered the service manual as the needle needs timing. The motor will need to be replaced as too many parts are missing from it. The lamp needs a new cord. The thing weighs a ton!

James



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... to be continued
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