Once in a while, I do clean

Granted, it wasn't really by choice.  Last week was crazy.  One of the states I handle for my employer is Louisiana and, what with last week's record flooding, insurance companies are very busy. 

So, when my weekend started, I wanted to cram in as many personal accomplishments as possible.  But, like so many ambitious plans, that needed a good clean to start it off.  I cleaned up my repair area in the garage.  That really needed help.  And, I got a different machine up on the repair table, which was timely since the black featherweight had received it's annual clean and oil so long ago that it was almost time to do it again.

Rob and I did something we almost never do.  On Friday night, instead of spending time together, we spent time on our individual projects.  That meant, I was disassembling a machine and he was getting ready to swap out TV's, and it was nice for a once and a while thing, but honestly, I prefer spending evenings as quiet family time. 

I finished Rob's shirt. 

That is a perfect fit!  He wants an extra half inch in the shoulders.  I can manage that.  He and his work group do Hawaiian shirt Fridays, and this will be a nice addition to his mix of shirts.  And, he and I now have our own perfect fitting camp shirt patterns.  I can use those to rework other shirt patterns for us.  But, honestly, camp shirts are what I'm most likely to make in future.  A lot of accomplishment, without all that fiddly work.

This is the machine I rewired.  Before I started, it was very loud.  VERY! LOUD!!  It growled and shook and rumbled and clicked and there was a very rusty hinge sound in the pedal. 

I replaced the plug in the back of the machine.  It's a three prong plug and the old one was worn out and kept falling off.  I had to use a rubber band to keep it plugged in and that just didn't seem right...electricity is dangerous.  So, it needed a new one.  And, while I was at it, I rewired the light fixture, which was very loose and flickered.  And, I slowly worked my way through the sounds, starting in the feed dog area and working my way backward.  I replaced that creaky knee pedal with a nice newer foot pedal and now, it's runs like a dream.  Rob came in the other day when I was testing and couldn't believe how much quieter it was. 

One of the things I replaced was this friction pulley that connects the motor to the handwheel. 

This is one of the easiest repairs ever and can make a huge difference in the sound the machine makes.  I had replaced the wiring and the pulley when I first bought the machine, but I wasn't very experienced at wiring and really didn't do that good of a job and the pulley, well, not sure where I went wrong on that.  The old one seemed like it was still working fine, but the new one is quieter. 

And, I needed to pick my next project.  Not a Linus quilt or a giveaway, but a me project.  I picked some applique. 

A very pastel Dresden plate.  I received these as a UFO from a friend of a friend.  And, I knew that one day, I'd finish the last block and make a beautiful quilt.  Notice that all the fabrics are the same print, but in different colors. 

There were 12 finished blocks and one block that needed a single fan and the center attached.  As I worked on that block, trying to fit in the last pieces, I realized that these blocks needed some construction assistance.  That's often the case with UFO's...mine included.  Probably why things become UFO's in the first place.

You may not be able to see much difference, but the one on the left was disassembled and put back together.  Notice that there's more curve to the ends of the fans in that one and the center is more circular.

This is a pre-cut kit.  The design is printed on the background fabric and all the pieces came precut to the same size.  I wish a knew the time period.  The printed fabrics could be reproductions, but the background fabric is very heavy muslin, like the kind it's hard to get anymore.  So, I'm thinking this might be an original, from maybe the 50's?  Or the 70's, during the revitalization of quilting. 

I'm doing a combination of hand and machine applique.  I'll do a post on this one at soon because I was able to remake a block yesterday in just a few hours, where it would have taken me days to have done it all by hand. 

Everybody have a great Monday!  It's the start to a new week.  Hopefully, a little less exciting week than last week. 



lw said...

That flood was huge, I'll bet your work load is going to be pretty overwhelming for a while. But think of the good it does, displaced families will be able to start over.

Rob's shirt fits really well, and the color looks good on him.

We've been so busy that we have evenings where we're both working on separate things, too. Like you, I can only let my sewing spaces get so messy before I can't work in them. I've been trying to finish up a lot of UFOs, so I've got about six things going at once, and I have to keep things straight so I can more things forward.

I can see the improved symmetry in the Dresden plate blocks. Because of the same pattern and very pale look, this one's going to need something-- layout, quilting, added color? to come to life. I can't wait to see how you bring it together.

Hope your work load is better this week.

Linda Smith said...

Oh yes, the new plate looks much more defined. Great improvement. I agree about the quilt needing some punch. How about a cheddar print for sashing? Or lime?

Great work on the machine. It's like a little mystery to solve, isn't it?

Keep it up.

The Joyful Quilter said...

What a wonderful addition to Rob's tropical shirt collection!!