August 25, 2013

Evolution of the Sewing Room

I've been seeing lots of interesting blog posts and Pinterest pins lately about where you do your sewing and so I am adding another one to the mix.  My space has been evolving ever since moving into this house almost 12 years ago. This room would have been a dining room but I never intended it to be one. Notice the chair rail the builder put in by mistake. I didn't ask for it.

NOTE: I did not put the casters on either of these pieces as I am barely five foot tall and they added two unwanted inches. Perhaps I should add the casters to ME!
For the first years it was known as the computer room because when I was working as a school librarian I needed it for lesson planning and research and communication. But NOW it has almost been completely transformed into a sewing room.                                                                                                                                                                                            :

When I recently acquired my new sewing machine I got the new table (see here ) . Immediately after getting this all set up, Joann Fabrics offered this "ironing center" at a great price. I love that it has storage.

The large surface serves as my cutting board when I place my large mat on top and I can move around three sides of it making it easier.
If you sew apparel this large rectangle with no pointed end probably won't work for you. I have to get out the old ironing board to do my clothes.
Another  down side was the ridiculously inadequate ironing cover. It came with a thin piece of that shiny silver stuff with a pad of foam about 1/8 inch thick. I was sure it would melt! Since the surface is solid without holes as are most conventional boards, a better padded and heat reflecting/surface was necessary. First a thin cotton batting then a quilted heat reflecting layer. The next is the thin wimpy cover with a nice cord and toggle for tightening and finally the aqua and white polka-dot to dress it up.


styrofoam packing from the box the sewing table came in. It's so light I can hang it with just a ribbon.

 Now, I really got on a roll...literally with this ribbon organizer. It was on sale for 1/2 off. Problem is I still have all of this:
 And then there is THIS!
As I said, it is an evolution.
Next weeks blog post will be late. I am doing an artsy/craftsy show. If you live in northern Ohio check it out.
It is being held at a winery so I am madly producing wine related items.

August 18, 2013

A Day on the Street

Yesterday was a sunny day that you could sing about.
This summer has had some pretty bad weekends and a lot of rain overall, but I got lucky and The Seville Art Walk was on this day.  This is a small town three miles from me that is becoming a great little hub of antiques and cool little shops.  Last year was the first for the event and it fell on the ONLY day it rained all summer. It was so awful I didn't even mention it on my then new blog. 
I stepped it up this year to a canopy and a fun pennant banner for a sign.
 Here is the setting up. The banner letters are courtesy of THE GRAPHICS FAIRY. The ladder goes from being a set up helper to a display piece later.

I was permitted to span the sidewalk and everyone had to pass through. It made all the men duck a little though!


The ladder as display. I splatter painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and call it my Monet ladder.

  1. The vendor next to me displayed her glass flower garden ornaments in the flowery patch we both enjoyed. These are so cool and they have "stems" that allow you to turn the glass horizontally to make a bird bath.

Around the corner and all over the main intersection were other cool vendors and shops who I had little opportunity to visit. Too bad, but over all I did pretty well for such a small event which may grow each year.  Visit Seville HERE. And  thanks to Michelle at Funky Junk Boutique on Facebook or HERE
Challenge: How many Graphics Fairy images can you find in these photos?

August 11, 2013

Out with the Old, In with the New

Okay, if you have followed my recent posts you know that I have been adopting and caring for elderly sewing machines.
This week is a complete turn around. Elna went in to the sewing machine hospital and I have pretty much had her "put down". After spending time on my daughter's newer Baby Lock and enjoying all the spiffy features, I could not see myself paying for a repair on old Elna. 

 After much contemplation and research ,but mostly due to a fabulous unexpected windfall that is more than the cost of a new Janome, I went back and retrieved Elna and bought a Janome 4120 QDC!  I tried it out on all kinds of fabrics that I took in with me.  Jim  "Doc" Watson the owner/repairman at Doc's Comstock Sewing and Vacuum in Medina, Ohio was so great. He knows his stuff and he is super nice and not high-pressure.  It was a pleasure to give him my money!
Now I have this great machine but no great place to put it. This is Elna's table.

The picture was snagged from Etsy where one just like mine was sold. No idea of the price. It is made so that no other machine will fit into its cut-out fold back top. I tried to remove the top folding panel but it is attached with screws requiring a non-existent tool. So what to do? Go shopping online where you can find tables from $99 to $9,000 (slight exageration ). The only thing they have in common is that they all must be assembled by ME!
Fate stepped in again this morning with an email from Joann Fabrics announcing  that all sewing/craft tables are on sale for 40% off. So I came home with this a box full of this stuff:
Which turned into
And then hubby stepped into to tighten up the screws that my weak grip couldn't handle. I however have better knees (note pillow under his).
However, three hours into this I had to take a break and went for a swim and sun break. My back was aching. I finished up after another hour and a half of aching wrists and this is now what my sewing corner looks like.
I vow that I will be extremely neat since I have four more drawers to fill.
I know that I will have less thread mess with this new machine because my favorite feature, so far is the automatic thread cutter which means I don't have all those tails of thread to trim off and end up on the floor and into my vacuum cleaner.
By the way, on another visit to Doc I told him I might need a new vacuum cleaner as it didn't collect anything in the bag. He told me to check the hose for a blockage. It had a huge blob of pins, thread, fuzz and tiny fabric scraps stopping it up.
Now I need to sit down and sew as I have another stab at a craft fair next Saturday. If you are any where near Seville, Ohio between 9 and 4 come to the Seville Art Walk.
I just realized that I began this blog last August and it has now reached its first birthday. I guess a new sewing machine and table is a blog birthday present to me. I hope I can keep posting once a week because I need the discipline. I did get it done today if only a bit tardy.

August 4, 2013

Garage Sale Finds or Assisted Living for Old Machines

My husband can't seem to ignore a garage sale if it is the vicinity which is why he ventured off Thursday morning to see what great treasures might be had.   He used to try flea marketing the stuff, but both  his back and tolerance for the buyers at such events gave out. Now its a good excuse for an old retired guy to get out of the house for awhile.
The Thursday sale ad mentioned "sewing stuff" so I told him to look at it for me. and call me if I might want it. When he arrived they said an early bird had taken it all. But they still had a sewing machine!  The price was right at $5 (he is cheap) so he lugged it home without consulting me.
It was in a filthy, musty smelling plastic carrying  case which I immediately ditched. But the machine inside was quite clean and smell-free.  Hubby said "They said it runs." Sure, they always say that about anything, but it was only $5. Of course, no manual AND the whole bobbin mechanism was outside the machine in 3 pieces.
I have no experience with this type of bobbin and was fumbling around with the pieces when the repairman, rather REPAIRMEN arrived to fix my clothes dryer. One of the guys has visited all of my kitchen appliances at least once, but never been to the laundry room. He was training the new guy in the company procedures but the trainee was already knowledgeable about the actual repair and Shawn (our regular guy) noticed my fiddling with the jumble of metal and said he had no expertise in sewing machines, but in a minute he had all the pieces assembled correctly. When I told him he didn't have to do this he explained how bored he has been just tagging along all week and was grateful for the diversion.
When he turned from the foyer where the machine is sitting on the old Singer, also recently acquired, and saw all the other machines among the flotsam, jetsom, and other machines he quiped, "It looks like a sweat shop in here."  
 At first reveal I thought it was a PIN Catcher! But it is a White 445. Do any of you readers have one? It is largely metal and the yellow or yellowed parts are plastic. If you look at picture 1 you can see that the yellowing is spotty  like something covered parts up for a very long time.
Here is what I like about this machine. It opens without taking out screws from the side.
What I don't like about this machine.
You have to unscrew the needle plate to get it off AND the screws are under the machine making it even more difficult. The Elna plate just snaps off.
Well, with a bit of oil, it is running just fine so this week I will take Elna in and see if repairs to get her zig-zagging again are worth it or if she will be "put to rest."

Oh, but more garage sale finds. On Saturday we found another nearby sale ad that told of fabric! I thought all would be gone but, not so. Lots of charm packs, jelly rolls, bags of quilt patterns and fabrics, but I went for the loose fat quarters as I like to do my own combinations. I gathered up a bunch and made a deal for $20. After chatting with the quilter/seller, she offered me another handful to go!

And here is something I would make again using small pieces of cast off fabrics with a cast off machine.
Side 1

Side 2
If this doesn't sell at an upcoming craft show, it will appear in my Etsy shop.  Images are courtesy of the wonderous GRAPHICS FAIRY.