Saturday, October 23, 2010

Playing with machines

Originally uploaded by lalheg
I was inspired by fellow ravellers and their penguin friends this week.

I tried to use my lovely Singer, but she was having none of it, so over to my trusty Viking and I was soon happily looking at these two little penguin pals who are about 2 - 2.5" high

I used reverse applique and free machine embroidery and loved their quirky characters

Then I was asked to make another tiny one so used applique techniques as I thought that there would not be room for the reverse applique to work

I am really pleased at how these have come out and my mind is buzzing with ideas for more creatures and pictures that I could make

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A new love

I've been gently chided by a kind friend that I've been neglecting my blogs.  I have, there's no point denying it.  I'm in a bit of a funk - maddened and despaired by my current job situation - so I've not been posting.

However, there are so many things to be grateful for in my life.  One of these is a new love.  It's OK, my lovely hubby has not been deposed.  I am talking about yet another vintage sewing machine.  As some know,  DD has a hand crank.  A few weeks ago I found a sewing table for it and it's lovely.  I was therefore ecstatic when someone advertised on freegle that they wanted to pass on another machine in its own table.  I was lucky enough to have it gifted to me:

So I am now the proud owner of a mucky, chipped and well used Singer 319k with all of its attachments, cams, plates and a couple of spare bobbins.

I was a bit scared of all of its jiggery pokery - so much to fiddle with.  I can't get the stop on the stitch length regulator to budge yet, but I'll work on that.

Poking around on the Internet, I was a bit dismayed to find out that these machines work on a different needle system.  I was therefore horrified when I broke the needle when testing it.  Friends on Ravelry found me UK and USA stockists.  I was perturbed when the UK stockist told me to buy as many needles as I could if I ordered from him as they weren't made any more.  I spent the afternoon sulking and wondering if I should just pass the machine on and save myself future heartache.  Finally, at about 5pm I had a brainwave.

Tentatively I fitted in a normal needle - a Klassik sharp that had come in the biscuit tin of attachments.  I gently turned the wheel by hand to see what happened.  By rights this should have been a disaster as there's a length difference with the needles and so the timing of all the gubbins inside the machine should be wrong. It seemed OK, so I tried a test sew - bang - needle broken.  I took a deep breath and tried a different brand of needle.   It worked going forwards, but not backwards - that broke the needle.  I fitted a third and resolved to just sew forwards.  Lovely, lovely, lovely.  Then, in a fit of not quite knowing my controls yet and thinking I'd adjusted the stitch length to zero, I accidentally sewed backwards with great success.  So, I now just need to stock up on Pony needles or experiment again with other brands.

I don't know why these needles worked - they shouldn't have done.  I looked at the bobbin case and it's not had the cutaway mod.  Maybe the previous owner had got the timing adjusted?  It was definitely a 206x13 needle in there originally as it had the groove down the centre.  Whatever, I am just so excited to have this machine to play with

Now to think what I want to sew on it!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Promises, promises

070806-01Image by reb via FlickrI am here, I will blog, but first I really have to go and get my run done.  Yep, you read that correctly - I have started running!  Inspired by various friends, I have been following the Couch to 5k programme for the past 6 weeks.  Today is the start of week 7 - from here onwards there are no intervals of walking, just straight runs.  This week it's 25 mins at a time - shocking to me that I can do that as 7 weeks ago I found it hard to run for a minute at a time.
I won't babble on about it too much here - I've been blogging away about it on but have been quiet about it until I felt confident enough in what I'm doing

More on lots of things including another giveaway win when I get back.............