Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hand Crank Sewing Machine -- A Gift To Me, From Me!

I got myself a Christmas gift -- this vintage sewing machine that was manufactured in Great Britain.

It apparently was once a treadle but was converted into a hand crank.  There is a cover for it but with the crank attached it doesn't fit over the machine.  That's ok with me since I plan to leave it setting out 24/7.  I haven't sewed on one of these before and I imagine it will be a bit tricky to sew using one hand to steady the fabric while the other is turning the crank but I'm as excited as a school girl in spite of that.

Now that I have a treadle and this one, my next plan is to trade someone that I know one of my older machines for one of his.  We've already made the agreement; just need to swap machines.  If only I had a larger space for everything.  I'm squeezing things in wherever I am able!

Hope your Christmas was full of joy.  Our family had some sickness going around but we all managed to celebrate anyway with some changes of plans.  Where there's a will, there's a way.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas

The past week has quickly passed with busy-ness.
Now that Christmas Eve is here and tomorrow the very special day of the year, I pause to wish you, my Friends and Readers,
a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Treadle Time

My son came over today to install a new belt on the treadle so, guess what?
With help from some YouTube videos I was able to thread the bobbin and take my first stitches.
New belt & bobbin winder tire

 I was surprised that the stitches were so even and the tension so good.
I guess I expected it to need adjustments.
I did discover rather quickly that I can't treadle in the task chair that I use for my electric machine.
I roll backwards as I treadle.
Changing to a dining room chair made all the difference.
This is going to take some practice before it comes naturally.  Sometimes I forget to keep treadling!
Next, I guess, I'll try some quilt piecing with it.
Silly me, I'm really excited!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Old Friend Is Back

Sorry I don't have any photos to show but we were able to get peeks out the window into the back yard of six visiting deer just minutes ago.  We know to be cautious to avoid being seen but they are so keen that they sensed or saw us as we peeked.  John says they'll be back later.  He just loves it when they pay us a visit.  I think it's pretty special too.

I've been diligently doing hand sewing on the old project UFO or WIP, whichever one it is, the Grandmother Flower Garden that I began so long ago that I've forgotten exactly when.  Sometimes I knit during our evening TV watching but I'm trying to knit at other times so I can concentrate on hand sewing.  Maybe someday during my lifetime I'll possibly see a finished GFG and look back and grin instead of sighing.  Maybe.  Just maybe.

This is a poor photo but it was a quick snap with my phone.  Last night I got eleven red hexies attached to the outer edge of the flower block.  I'm on block 15 out of 60+ blocks.  Arrgh

I've considered attempting to sew by machine but I'm not convinced that would be much of an improvement.  Any advice out there?

TTFN, good night and be well.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trudy the Treadle

Well, Peeps, gotta' say that it's a bit nippy in the 'hood this evening.
 With that wind chill, it's feeling like winter, finally.
No snow, so far, but I'm confident it's going to happen one of these days.
This morning I had planned to do a few errands but I never got out of the house.
My desire to run around turned into a desire to stay indoors.
And here I remain this evening.
Probably going to be a knit and TV night.
So, for a little show & tell, here's Trudy, my Singer treadle machine.
Trudy was built in 1939 in Elizabeth, NJ, USA.
She's a Model 127 which has the long bobbins and vibrating shuttle.
She has the sphinx decals and they are very good condition.

I just love her!

I've had her for a number of years but she hasn't been used since I've owned her.  I've decided it's time to get her running again.  I've started cleaning her up and she's looking pretty nice, I think, but I need to do some more cleaning on the base and cabinet.  She is going to get a new belt and bobbin winder tire soon and a new needle.  I can't wait to hear her purr!  I moved her to my living room which is where I am currently set up for sewing on my Viking machine.  The light and space are better there than in our tiny craft / office space.

Since I've been doing some YouTube research on treadles I've discovered that it's possible to do free-motion quilting on the treadle.  Well, that's news to me, and I'm going to see if I can manage that.  First I'll have to find a darning foot for Trudy.  I have some vintage Singer attachments but will have to pull them out to see what's in the boxes.

John has been sick all week.  The NP he saw said he has a sinus infection including both ears and also infection in his lungs, but she said it's not pneumonia.  He had some plans to go visit his daughter who is very ill but had to postpone that until he's well.  We are going to begin binge watching Downton Abbey tonight.  That's the kind of TV watching we usually do, a TV series that I have on DVDs.  In baseball season we watch the Cardinals faithfully but after the season ends, we switch over to some of our collection.  We just binge watched Hell on Wheels.  I also feel a little sad when we complete a series, it's hard to come to the end.  But we will re-watch one day.  We have several series that we love.

Well, the time has come to say good night.
See you soon!
xo xo xo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Knitting Meet-Up

Hello there, Peeps.
Hope your Wednesday is going great.
I met up with two knitty friends this morning at the coffee shop.
Jonnie and Pam
Me and Pam
(my Transitions lenses turned dark as my chair faced the window)
I love getting together with friends for coffee and chat and keeping our hands busy with needlework of any type is fun too.  After our visiting ended, I made a stop at the Dollar Tree to get a few things.  Now that I'm back home I'm being a bit of a slug.  I do have some things on my git-er-dun list but I've found that my comfy chair is a bit too comfy.  I seem to be stuck.

Last evening I moved my treadle sewing machine so I will have enough space to open the lid and use it.  Learn how to use it, I mean.  I've never treadled before but I plan to very soon.  I cleaned it some but didn't get that finished.  There's a new belt to be installed and I'm going to get help with that.  Then I plan to oil it well, change the needle, and start treadling.  I remember watching my mom sew on her treadle when I was a young girl.  I can't hardly wait to do it!

Will be back soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

On The Needles

Last night I started this scarf.
I like the texture of this yarn and knitting with it.
It's another rainy morning here.
I have no plans for going out today.  Will either knit or continue quilting the siggy blocks.  But first, coffee.
Have a wonderful day!
xo xo xo

Sunday, December 4, 2016

O Christmas Tree

The ornaments are on the tree now.  If I can find the other tree skirt I'll be changing it.  Probably I'll put a crèche beneath the tree in front too.
For a tree topper I used a plush Santa hat.

My granddaughter Lily gave me this ornament last year.
She was very young in the photo.

Gotta' have some quilt ornaments, of course.

I crocheted the snowflake many years ago.

My Little Women ornament collection from my sister.
We are having a chilly rain today.
With the gray skies, we have the tree lights on already.
Three weeks from today is Christmas.
When I was just a girl, I thought Christmas would N.E.V.E.R. come.
Now, it seems to come before I'm ready.
It's everything, I guess.
John is going to watch a ballgame on TV.
I think I'll do some reading or more sewing.
It's a toss-up at this point.
xo xo xo

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Happy Birthday ............... To Me

It's my birthday.
Yep, I'm older than dirt!
Ha Ha
At least it feels like it.
 Just thought I'd throw myself a blog birthday party for my
blog friends.
Thanks for visiting.

Siggy Block Quilting Continues

Happy Saturday, wherever you are.
I hope your day is a great one.
I have more siggy blocks ready to be quilted.
I have four shades of green backing fabric and thread.
Two of them are ready.
I took a break from the spray basting.

I tried something new today.
I placed the pieces (one at a time only) in a paper bag
when I spray.
It worked out very well.
I usually try to use it outdoors if possible though.
Right now I'm having some coffee and listening to Christmas music as I write.
John went outside to blow and mulch leaves with the mower.
Enjoy your weekend!
xo xo xo

Friday, December 2, 2016

What I've Been Up To

Hello, December!
November was so q.u.i.c.k.!
Show & Tell Time
 Here's the first of the siggy blocks after I've quilted them.
I plan to do some stitching on the white sections once I finish all the blocks but I don't want to detract from the signatures, etc.  I'm not sure what I'll be doing yet.

I'm cutting the batting a bit larger than the backing fabric and the block and using basting spray.  The backing fabrics are chosen to coordinate with the color theme in the blocks and I'm trying to match my threads to the backing.  I'm using the same thread in the bottom as on the top.
I just now got these pink and peach color blocks prepared and I'll be quilting them soon.
 While John watched a college basketball game on TV a few nights ago I got the tree up in the living room.  What a struggle.  First, I had the incorrect tree stand.  Don't ask.  After I figured that out and the three sections of the tree and lights connected, I saw that some of the lights refused to burn.  I did try changing some fuses but that didn't fix it, so I added a few strings of lights in the dark areas.  It looks ok, but it's just not fair -- I paid a nice price for a pre-lit tree!  When this tree gets retired, I'm buying a plain tree since they don't work for more than a couple of years and then have trouble.  Maybe if I had patience (which I don't) and tried (which I don't plan to), I could find a bad bulb or whatever the problem is.  Not happening though. 
My grandchildren want to come over to help decorate and that's fine, but they will have to wait a few days as I woke up this morning with a hoarse voice and some drainage.  Don't know if it's allergy or a bug so will wait until I know for sure.  I also woke up with a headache that was not just a mild one that goes away with coffee.
I'm having a fun time with quilting the blocks and also with getting comfortable with the Viking machine.  It has some very nice features that my Bernina doesn't and it makes sewing these blocks a little easier.
Well, Peeps, I'm going to get back to my sewing machine and sew along to my Christmas music on my iPod.  And probably have some coffee too.  I'm thinking I will make some Caramel Drizzle coffee in my Keurig.  Sounds good, doesn't it.
Have a great weekend.
I'll probably be back again soon.
xo xo xo

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Claiming My Blog for Bloglovin

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New Yarn!

It's afternoon coffee time and a good time to post.  This morning one of my friends picked me up and we plus another friend made a yarn shop visit.  I have a store credit there and used some of it to get this beautiful red yarn.
It's going to be a scarf and I will begin the knitting very soon.  The yarn is slightly two-toned but I'm not seeing the variation of color in the photo.  I think it will be beautiful with both my black and my camel wool winter coats.  I haven't chosen a pattern yet as I want to browse through my books and patterns.

After the yarn shop we paid a visit to Hobby Lobby (one of my favorite places to shop) and I used my 40% coupon on a light with attached magnifier.  I also got a few sewing needles, both for machine and hand sewing.  I've been doing hand-piecing at night and it's nearly impossible to see the needle eye to thread it so I got some I hope will work better.  We three were in agreement that cheeseburgers would be a good lunch choice so we went to Steak and Shake.  Our choice did not disappoint.

Now I'm back home, feet up on the ottoman, coffee in hand, and just about ready to do some machine quilting on my siggie blocks.  I've pondered on what to use for backing and what color of threads to use, and I've decided that since the blocks are of a variety of colors, I'm going to use a variety of fabrics on the backs of the blocks and use threads that match up well with the fabrics.  The back will be scrappy and that's just fine!

While I was out having fun with my friends, John stayed home and did some yard maintenance.  He's working very hard around here to keep the leaves under control and doing a great job of it.

Thanks for your visit.  See you next time right here at Happiness Is.  xo xo xo

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Finished A Little Quilt

I managed to machine quilt this small quilt today on my home machine.
The quilt is square but the pic distorts it a bit into looking like it's not quite square.

I should have found a better place to put it to snap the pics front & back.  I hurried and put it on my sewing task chair.  I used the new walking foot on the Viking machine.  I am really liking this machine and I prefer its walking foot to the Bernina one that I also have.  NOT that I'm not still loving my Bernina.  I do.  And my older mechanical Pfaff that I bought in the early nineties.  I don't want to part with any of them.

Now that I've practiced on this little project, I'm ready to try some QAYG quilt blocks.  I can't wait to see how I do.  I still need more practice on the free-motion quilting but the straight stitching with the walking foot seems like it's going ok.  I'm going to do some quilting on the siggie blocks shown in a previous post as well as begin some larger blocks of homespun for the king size bed quilt that I want to make.  If these go ok, I'll post some pics. 

Thanks for your visit.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Reader's Wrap Completed ~ Now For The Next Project

Good morning, Peeps.  Did you survive Thanksgiving and Black Friday?  I'm not a shopper on Black Friday anymore, although many year ago I did participate.  When it became the zoo that it currently is I stopped going out on BF.  I saw a couple of news reports of violence over parking spaces and a TV.  It's crazy out there and I prefer to remain at home and do my shopping at other times or online.  I have very little shopping to get done so I'm thinking it will be fine.
Last month a friend and I went to the yarn shop and I bought enough for about four projects.  The first one was this blue Reader's Wrap.  I knitted one several years ago just like it in an orange tweed to wear during autumn.  I like wearing wraps and shawls for layering so I made another one.  I finished the knitting last night but I have a few yarn tales to hide and then it needs blocked.
The chair in this pic ^^^ is a new find.  A friend listed it on the local online yard sale site and I snagged it.  Later I'll add a better photo.

The measurements in the pattern are 24" x 60".
My wrap is approximately that.
This is from Pinterest.
Love it.
Yesterday I wrangled the new walking foot I ordered for the Viking machine for QAYG.  Because I put it on the machine incorrectly, I kept getting a message on the screen that there was a problem.  After I watched a YouTube video the problem was solved and now it is just fine.  It works great.  I'm wanting to hurry up and get started.  Patience is NOT my best virtue, not by any stretch.  Honestly.
Christmas decorations are going up all over town.  I haven't even gone to the attic to retrieve mine.  I'm not a Debbie Downer but I just don't do much holiday decorating anymore.  I even dread putting up the tree.  I enjoy it once it's decorated, but it's no longer a fun thing to do like it was when I was young.  I probably will get around to doing it this week or next weekend.  Don't misunderstand, I love and enjoy Christmas and all the decorations and stuff, it's just that it's not as easy as it once was.  You know, with all the bending over, reaching, etc.  I'm getting old, Folks!  Ha Ha  :)
Wishing you a safe and happy weekend.  'Till next time, TTFN.
xo xo xo

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pinterest Shares

This has been such a good Thanksgiving Day.  I hope yours has been also.  Now I'm back home and have my feet up and enjoying the comfort of my big easy chair.  One of my sons and his wife invited us to have dinner with them.  Later in the day I visited my sister's family at her house.  I saw some tired faces there on the mommies and their young kiddos.  They all were gathering their belongings and heading to their homes.  I stayed only a short time to have a glass of iced tea with my sister and her hubby.
I'm a Pinterest junkie and I wanted to share a few things I've seen on there that I think are so cute and neat.  Whether or not I get any of my own made remains to be seen.  Perhaps you will want to also.
Knitting stitch markers
Wouldn't these be a great gift for a knitter?

Isn't this snowman ornament just cute as can be!

I just love this cute little chenille snowman too.
I get in the mood to craft when I see pics like these.  Pinterest has so many terrific ideas.  My problem is that I have too many interests and likes that I want to do way more than I will ever have time for.
I now am going to do some blog visiting & reading and then see what comes after that.  Have a good
night.  xo xo xo

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Stuff I Needed For Machine Quilting

Happy Wednesday.  We are having some rain this morning.  Our little recently transplanted pine tree will benefit from the rain.  Last minute shoppers will find it a bit of an inconvenience, however.
I've been checking into lots of sources in my quest to learn how to quilt on my sewing machine.  Just about all, perhaps even all, of the videos I have watched have these things in common:
use machine quilting gloves, use a walking foot for non-free motion stitching, and use a Supreme Slider pad on the machine.  All three products were available from  I really am pleased with these gloves.  They fit either hand and are thin and lightweight.  The fingertip grips are great.  The small size fits me nicely and I can truly can an improvement in moving the fabric under the needle when I wear them.

This is the Supreme Slider and the small hole is to be positioned beneath the needle where it can go up and down through it.  The pad is to aid the fabric to move more easily during the stitching.  Before seeing the videos, I had no idea such a product existed.  The Supreme Slider arrived yesterday afternoon and I was busy so I haven't tried it out yet.


All the siggie blocks are picked free of loose seam threads now.  I was spending time with my grandchildren yesterday and they were curious when they saw me picking threads.  We were watching Finding Dory so most of the time they were focused on the screen.
When I make the cranberry salad later I may post the recipe and a few photos in case anyone would like to see it.  Of all the cranberry salad I've had over the years, this is my favorite recipe.  My mother obtained it years ago from a lady in her home economics club.  I was just a girl then and I wouldn't try it.  Silly me.  The same with the dressing.  I refused to try it because it had celery and onions in it.  I'm still a picky eater but, thank goodness, I've grown up a little bit since then.  Nowadays the dressing at Thanksgiving is one of my favorite parts.  And pumpkin pie.  And egg noodles.  And so on and so on.  Yum Yum.   I'm looking forward to tomorrow's dinner, can you tell?
Well, Friends, I hope you have a safe Thanksgiving holiday, including today and the weekend, especially if you're traveling.  Be careful, be safe, and keep a watchful eye out.  Just in case.

I appreciate your visits.  'Till next time,
xo xo xo

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The First Quilting Class I Took

Good Tuesday morning to you from Indiana.
This morning during my coffee time I've been tweaking my blog, so you probably note the changes and additions.  Get used to it:  I am a blog tweaker.  For now, I have it to my liking, but surely changes will happen again in the future.  I know me.
So, here we are a few days away from Thanksgiving.  Food shopping and preparations, right?  I have everything I need except for fresh cranberries, so I'll pick some up when I go out later.  In my family, the tradition is that I am to supply cranberry salad at our holiday dinners.  No exception this year.  I'm not looking forward to visiting the grocery stores today, though.  Undoubtedly, it will be a busy place.
Last night I was able to finish ripping apart all the blocks from the quilt top (see previous post).  Then I began to pick out the loose threads on the sewing lines.  Arghh.  My fingertips were beginning to feel sore so I quit.  The short stack in the lower part of the pic still needs picked. 
Sorry for the low light in the photo.  I'm using my iPhone for photos because my laptop doesn't receive the card adapter that I have to use to upload photos from my regular camera SD card.  I can't figure that out either.  My old laptop would, but I no longer have it.  John's desktop will do it but I never use his computer.  Guess I may have to if I want to use my point & shoot again for blog pics.  Or, I might update my camera to a different model.  The one I have is fairly old.
In the photo below is the first quilt I pieced and quilted.
In either 1999 or 2000, I can't remember, I took a class for beginners at my local quilt shop.  My now dear friend Pam (I met her when I took the class) was the teacher.  She taught the class how to cut pieces with a rotary cutter, how to machine piece, how to assemble the quilt, and how to get started with the quilting.  I chose to hand quilt this one.  My quilting was so-so and it took me f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  But I got-er-dun.  I think the pattern name for this quilt is Birds and Blooms.  I re-made the quilt blocks because the first blocks were wonky.  I didn't like them and so I started over.  I added the other pieces with hand applique which I do enjoy even though that also goes slowly.  I hung this small quilt on the wall in the guest room recently.  It looks nice contrasted with the light paint color on the wall.
I didn't get any machine quilting practice in yesterday and not sure if I will have time today either  since I have other things that I need to do.  Maybe this evening I'll squeeze it in.  I needed a walking foot for the machine I'm going to be using, so I ordered one and it arrived yesterday.  I need to try it out and make sure it works properly.  It wasn't a cheap little item so I want to be satisfied with it.
John was excited to tell me this morning that he woke up during the night and got up to peek out the window at the corn feeder he recently made for the wildlife that visits us out here.  Standing there was a large buck.  John loves wildlife, and the outdoors, so he was very pleased.  Earlier though, before bedtime, he saw a raccoon inside the feeder happily bingeing away on the corn.  This venture might get expensive!
I'm so glad to be blogging again.  I started my very first blog in January 1997, and since then I've started over a few times.  One of my blogs got hacked and I had to abandon it.  More recently, I lost my muse, or whatever one says, and in frustration I chose to quit.  I truly did not plan to ever blog again.  Yet, here I am.  I'm a female.  I can change my mind, right?
Also, being almost seventy, ( G.A.S.P! ) it's been many, many years since my last English grammar class.  So, please be nice and overlook my little punctuation errors, etc.  I could look things up, I suppose, but, I don't want to.  Call me lazy.
Well, I need to be getting busy otherwise so I will close this post.  I'll be adding more links on my sidebar later when I have time.
So, 'till we meet here again, have a lovely day, or night, wherever you may be.
xo xo xo

Monday, November 21, 2016

Setting Up A Corner For Sewing

Me again.
Yep.  Already.
I have a headache and don't feel like working so I'm back
with another post.
On Saturday John helped me set up this table in the living room
as a temporary (or not) sewing corner.
I dislike sitting on this type of chair when I sew so may need to
bring my task chair in here.
The pics above and below give a better look at the portable table pushed up to the machine.
It actually is made to fit a Singer Featherweight but I'm making it work for my purposes.

I asked John to grind off the corner of the table (where it's diagonal in the pic)
so it would fit snugly with the machine.
I no longer sew with a Featherweight so might as well put it to use here.

When we moved here in February we knew there wasn't a room to dedicate as a sewing room so we share the 3rd bedroom for my sewing & crafting and for his office space.  It has worked well but for a while I want to have this additional space.  We don't need a formal living room so it's no problem.

Besides learning to QAYG (see previous post) I want to make a quilt for our king size bed.  I'll need this larger space for sure.  The light is better in the living room which is a definite plus.

It's time to run down to check the mailbox so
I'll say TTFN.
xo xo xo

Learning How To Machine Quilt

Well, just when you thought I'd given up entirely with blogging, I'm back. 
I know.  I know.
You're probably doing an eye roll or shaking your head.
Or both.
If you've been a reader of my previous blog(s), you know that I had another one recently but it didn't last long.  For the past few years I had pretty much lost interest in my various crafts and blogging.  For no known reason, my interest in both has sparked and I'm back and ready to get busy.
Last night I was watching a YouTube quilting video and a thought hit me out of the blue.  Immediately, I went to the closet to get this quilt top and began ripping out the seams that join the blocks together.

This is a quilt top that I made from the blocks of my
International Siggie Block Swap
that I hosted on a blog back in 2009.
I ripped these blocks apart last night.

This one is an oops.
I accidentally ripped part of the block's seams.
Never mind, I'll fix it.

For a few days I've been trying to learn how to quilt on my domestic sewing machine.  Oh my goodness, do I have the utmost respect for quilters who use a domestic machine.  Compared to quilting on a longarm, I think it is more difficult.  The first day I thought I would never be able to learn how but every day I get a bit more comfortable with it.  I have a long way to go but I am not giving up.  Determination!  Yes, ma'am!  Since I no longer have a longarm, and I can't hand quilt anymore due to arthritis, this is my plan for completing my quilts.
Once I feel ready, I'm going to finish each block with the Quilt As You Go (or QAYG) method.  I'll machine quilt each block separately, joining the top, batting, and backing with my quilting stitches, then when all blocks are completed, I will join blocks into rows, and rows into a quilt top.  There are many videos that teach how this is done.  I can't hardly wait to begin!
Changing the subject, can you believe that Thanksgiving is this week?  It seems like this fall has slipped by in warp speed.  Mercy sakes!
I'll be back soon with more posts.  I have so much in my head to write and share here.  I hope you'll stick around!  'Till next time, have a great day!  xo xo xo