Fell into Facebook

I haven’t posted in awhile because I joined Facebook. It is a time sucking vortex at first. I had to learn a bunch of stuff – it is much different from blogland, but one’s wall is like a mini-blog. Joining Facebook reconnected me with a bunch of folks, which started a bunch of email conversations, which uses more time, but is so worth doing. But that means I haven’t been crafting and I sure haven’t.

I have, since last posting, helped a friend refurbish a Craigslist find of a sewing machine. I have 2 similar machines and a 3rd for parts. I thought we’d have to swap out the tension mechanism, but when we took hers apart, we found an odd extra bit that was causing the problem. We actually did have to harvest the presser foot pressure thingy for her machine. After that we cleaned and oiled it. It is working beautifully. I am jealous, as her’s is a cam’d machine and can do bunches of stitches. It is a really nice machine and worth more than what she paid.

Four days ago, due I think, to weather, I stopped being able to freely access the internet at home. The last time this happened was a Vista problem; this time suddenly where I was getting 3 bars, I could only sometimes barely get one. My reception of all the networks went down, so I attributed it to weather. Two days into not being able to get my mail had me at the nearest Starbucks, ordering AT&T’s Basic DSL, no contract, $20/month internet service. The $75 modem arrives Monday and hopefully I am geeky enough to install it myself. If not, my computer go to friend will stop by on his way home from work. I think this is the least expensive way to get online. I just hope the connection is as fast or faster than what I am used to using.

I have promised myself that BEFORE I start anything else, I will get that floral waterwheel quilt quilted. You may remember it from months ago – it was the test quilt for thread basting, and I still haven’t quilted it. So that is the next crafty thing. Part of why it has been put off is that I have no idea how I want to quilt it – I think I will just do basic meander to get it done – maybe something different in the borders.

I will post again after I get my home internet access sorted.

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Sewing Machine Acquisition

We went to Fenton, MO today.  There is a feed store where we can get  50 pounds of sunflower seeds for $18.  The birds are happy now.  While there, we stopped in the local thrift store, Value Village.  For $21 I got a 1974 Kenmore 158.14301 sewing machine. It was bone dry. I oiled it up.  BrianSews’ Oil it up! is a good link for oiling vintage machines. kenmore 158.143016
Quilting example 14301 At left is a sample of quilting done on the new machine.  A few tension issues, but overall, good.  This machine is 3 years younger than my other 158.  It is a little different, but a lot is interchangeable.  It came with the table, which is larger than what I had been using. What a lucky find!

Bernina So Far

I have sewn on the Bernina now for about 5 hours and I am very happy with its performance.  Overall, it is better than my Kenmore for piecing.  It stitches more evenly and straighter than the Kenmore.  Once the piece is started under the needle, I barely have to guide it; it seems to just go straight thru – no wobbling, no veering off course. Perfect.

The feed isn’t as smooth as the Kenmore’s.  Fabric sometimes wants to snag up just at the needle.  But, I am learning the machine, so it might be user error.

And there is the foot pedal issue. I can live with it for piecing and regular sewing, but I couldn’t quilt with it. I am happy with the machine as is; I could be happier, but I would need to spend money on it and I want to wait to see its performance over months.  If it is consistently good, I’ll but another foot pedal.

I wish I could quilt with the Bernina, because the stitch itself looks really good.  Someday, I will do a comparison with pictures to show you.

Sewing Machine Home

Well, I have my bernina back from her maintenance check-up.  I am letting it come up to room temperature before I test her out.  I have plenty of stuff to sew.

Sewing Machine Update

Well, my technician called today about my bernina 830 record sewing machine.  There is an issue with the foot pedal – it is sometimes fast and sometimes slow, which I had noticed.  He said there isn’t much danger to the machine should the foot pedal die, because,  to replace the foot control on ebay is anywhere from $65 – $140. So, I’m gonna just sew with it as is and see how that goes.  He also said the feed dogs were not feeding perfectly straight, but it would cost about $90 just to break the machine down to the point where he could see the problem.  His advice, which I am taking, is to sew with it as is and if it gives no problems for the next year, when I take it in next for service, then fix the feed issue.

He seemed really knowledgeable and nice.  And it is only costing me 30 dollars for this maintenance check (they are usually $75).  I’m happy and I can pick up my machine tomorrow.  Yeah!

Daily Needle 12/4/09

On the last Wednesday of the month our local Value Village Thrift Stores have a half off everything sale.  It is usually very crowded at all 4 locations, but luck does happen.  September’s sale gave me the best find – an old Bernina 830 Record sewing machine.  Priced at $8.95, it was a true find, but I got it for $4.50!

When I got home with it, I cleaned and oiled it and could barely wait to see if it works.  YES! The stitches are much prettier than my Kenmore’s.  The belt needs adjustment, so I finally took it to a professional today.  He’s to call tomorrow.  I haven’t used it much, but I have used it and what a nice machine.  Reminds me of a volvo 240. It’s 50 lbs. of portability. Lugging that thing was hard, because a clasp on the carrying case is broken.

The day I got it I checked ebay for accessories, as mine only had one presser foot.  An auction ending the next day for a set of 7 feet in the original bernina accessory box was happening.  Got into a little bidding war, and the stress made me nuts, but i got it for 95 bucks.

So, for a total of about 130 dollars, I have a second machine I can dedicate to piecing and have my Kenmore (i have about 100 dollars invested in the Kenmore as well.) dedicated to free motion quilting.  This took about a year and a half to do.

Eventually, I will have my sewing machine page reflect all the machines I have.  I have a total of 6, 5 of which work.  Some are packed away and the non-working one is in my garage.  I am happy to have a reliable quilting machine and a second machine for piecing.

Sewing Machines

Here are my 2 main sewing machines. I have more, but that will eventually go on my sewing machine page
I learned how to make a table in this and i am learning how to adjust the sizing. It isn’t pagemaker, but it was easier than i thought it would be to create this