craft business, Quilting, Travel

My Singer Featherweight Must-Haves

In this post, I’m referring to the original vintage 221 Singer Featherweight. 

  •  A name. I’m one of those folks who names my cars, but didn’t really think to  name my sewing machines. When I joined the FW FB group, many posters had given their beloved machines a name.20190101_001219Juliette, my FW, is named for the fiercely independent, diminutive,  80-something years young woman who burst into my life so many years ago.
  • Modern accessories that really make sewing on this vintage machine a pleasure:
    • Scant 1/4″ foot with seam guide
    • Flat mount Thread Cutterz
    • Thread stand (to use with cross-wound spools like Aurifil – makes a difference!)
    • LED light bulb (personal preference is the warm light)
    • Electronic foot control
      Comments:  I always use a scant 1/4″ seam when I piece – regardless of sewing machine used. Some people prefer to use the original Singer presser foot and an acrylic seam guide. I like to use clips/pins to hold my sections together when I sew. The screw down seam guide gets in my way.  The electronic foot control preserves my original Bakelite foot controller, plus I find it WAY more comfortable to use when sewing.
  • Updated Travel Case – Many FW users I know love to take their machines with them whenever possible to sew-ins, classes and quilt retreats. Your options include  replica cases, wheeled bags and/or padded carry totes. If you don’t want to buy a bag, consider making a tote/padded cover for your original case. It will help protect it. I frequently travel with a sewing machine and prefer a padded tote with a shoulder strap. This cute project bag from Blue Fig is a great size for the FW (or any 3/4 size sewing machine) and has a bit of room leftover to hold your project and supplies. I took the bag to a recent sew-in and was able to carry a small folding cutting mat, wool press mat, SteamFast travel iron and my precut project in the same bag as the FW.  The bag will also fit in the overhead bin on an airplane and supposedly fits under most seats.  We shall see!

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of the companies linked in this post. I am merely a satisfied customer sharing which products add value to my vintage FW sewing machine experience. 

craft business, Kid's Sewing, libraries, Quilting, summer camp, Travel

Fun Stitchy Things to Do With Your Kids & Grandkids This Summer

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That’s right!  The Row by Row Junior experience is back for 2018.  If you like to shop hop, be sure to take your mini-me along for the ride!  Your little one(s) will be able to enjoy Row by Row activities geared just for them. Go here for more details.

 

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Designed for kids and adults, this weekly downloadable sew-along-series starts at the very beginning. Week 1 covers sewing machine basics, sewing vocabulary and simple stitches. Week 2 features a really cute popsicle project that can be made in an afternoon. Be sure to visit the Janome summer camp site each Monday for a new activity.

 

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Finally, be sure to check out your local library to see what crafty activities are scheduled as part of the Summer Reading Program.  Maker Space and Crafternoon programs are very hot right now in libraries!  Best of all – most are absolutely FREE!  (Oh, and if your library has one – be sure sign up to read to the READing dog if your ‘lil stitcher is in grades 1-6).

Kid's Sewing, Travel

Finding your inspiration

Finding your inspiration

What inspires you?  For me, it’s definitely being in nature – or in this case on vacation.  This picture is the view of Frenchman’s Bay from my room at the Bluenose Inn in Bar Harbor, Maine. Boy, was my sewing machine calling my name! Oh, how I would love to have a view like this from my studio.  Absolutely breathtaking!

At home, some of my best ideas come from taking the dog for a ride in my SUV.  Don’t laugh.  Our destination is usually one of the nearby parks for a walk, but I run through the myriad of neighborhoods in the area on the way to and from the park just to let my mind wander. For example, this morning I was trying to figure out how to best utilize the remaining wool felt project kits I’d cut for the Mustang Academy “survival sewing” class I’d taught back in May.  When I hit the QT, inspiration struck!   Why not offer this as a one hour class at the local quilt shop?  I’d already worked out the kinks while teaching the boys and the kits are already cut.  The shop owner had contacted me about teaching kid’s sewing classes while I was in Maine, so I now have a class to present when I touch base with her tomorrow.