Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Doll quilt...made from tee shirt scraps.


I learned a few things yesterday, while making this little project.  

1. The sewing machine very handily deals with pretty much any fabric I want to use--it's only picky about thread.  That little red and blue quilt is made from scraps cut from worn-out tee-shirt sleeves, with a back cut from a worn out undershirt.

2. What it doesn't like is feeding multiple layers of sorta stretchy fabric through.  It'll deal with two, or even three...but not four or more.  So, this little project, instead of being quilted, will have to be hand-tied.  Unless and until I get a walking foot, any stretchy fabric I turn into a quilt will be.  I have yet to see how denim does when quilted.  

3. I still need more practice, but I'm getting better at sewing straight lines, turning the project, and going back over them.  I suppose the next project will get me back in shape for that.  

4.  I need a better method for applying oil where it needs to go.  The syringes I was recommended to use are...messy, imprecise, and a pain in the ass.  

5.  I still can't cut straight lines worth a damn.  

6. When oiling the machine, I forgot to oil the treadle and pulley wheel underneath.  It decided to start squeaking yesterday.  

7.  A very vital bit of the treadle mechanism (the pitman rod that goes from the back of the treadle to the crank on the pulley wheel) is made not from cast iron like the rest of the treadle, but dark varnished wood.  Which I learned when I crawled underneath the machine with a light to oil the moving bits a little.  

8. I put the little trash can on the wrong side of the sewing machine.  I need to dig it out of kid crap and move it around to the other side.  

Last, but not least...I learned that I don't suck at this.  I just have a lot still to learn. 


  1. I got a late 1880s White Sewing Machine Company vibrating shuttle machine a few months ago and it's back in working order.

    I agree with your statement that I don't suck at this.
    I looked at the manual online for your Singer machine, and your machine might have an adjustment for stitch length.
    The manual for a Singer 27 opened to page 12.
    The link to the manual.
    Although made by two different companies, the method of thread the shuttle and the way you operate the machine are very similar.

    I freed up my machine with Kroil.
    I choose a modern synthetic oil with a long applicator tube.
    And for the gears I picked this grease.

    There is a tin box with accessory feet that I am going to figure out eventually.

    It's been interesting and fun.

    1. I *finally* got the stitch length knob moving again--it was frozen solid and took a few days of soaking to get it to turn. I'm learning to use this at the same time I'm re-learning how to sew in the first place. It's really not helpful to have nothing marked on either the stitch length knob or the tension knob...but I'm learning. And I've found that it works to quiet down the inside of my head when I'm stressed.

    2. There is something relaxing about the rhythm of the clickety clack.

      The White Company machine has a badly worn leather or rubber bumper that somehow works in conjunction with the stitch length adjustment arm.
      Figuring out a replacement is somewhere down the road.

  2. ...the Singer 27 has a knob. Not an arm. An arm might be easier to figure out.

    1. The White vibrating shuttle has a knurled and numbered wheel that sticks up through the base, and the shaft the wheel wheel is attached to goes beneath the machine to the arm that controls the amount of movement the dogs make for each cycle.
      Beyond that I'm still puzzling it out.

    2. No numbers on the Singer. Not on the stitch length knob, nor on the tension knob.

  3. Replies
    1. And now I have the Flash Gordon them from Queen stuck in my head. :)


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