30 January 2020

Do one a day

I have been trying (and succeeding) in doing "something" creative every day. Here are some of the things I have done:

27 January 2020

An online sketchbook class

I was sending out energy to help me get unstuck and jumpstart my creative juices. I saw a note I wrote on a post-it about a woman I wanted to look up on YouTube. Her name is Karen Stamper and I think she lives in North Yorkshire, UK. It was very expensive ($100.) and I completed all 6 lessons in about an hour but it did the job getting me going.

While awaiting the arraival of supplies like the actual sketchbook, I rigged up two sheets of paper and folded the accordion style and started to work. Here is the first attempt.

23 January 2020

Something for my sister

I painted this small wooden box with the drunkards path, my favorite block. Inside I put two pieces of my hand dyed fabric which I of course forgot to photograph.

20 January 2020

Working on my mark making

I am having so much fun making a stash of marker papers.

16 January 2020

Speaking of prezzies

I "met" Louise Watson on Instagram and we have developed an "online" friendship. She illustrated a book of recipes as a fund raiser for a community center in her small town in the Cotswold.

The illustrations are both sketches and photos of her wonderfully embroidered baked goods. You can see them on her website. You should check it out. At any rate, I traded her one of my sketchbooks for her "Little Book of Baking" and when her recipe book arrived, it was accompanied by the most wonderfully embroidered rook which she had made. What a lovely surprise this was.

When I first framed it I used a mat but that really took away from the torn edges of the piece.

This is now hanging right in my little office area where I can see it every day.

13 January 2020

Improvisational Quilt

I was itching to make something on the Nora. After the replacement belt came and I experienced how silky the Nora stitched, it has been a struggle to keep my hands off. The belt is a bit too tight for my liking and I think I mentioned I bought a neoprene belt which will arrive tomorrow with the foot pedal/rheostat for the Mira. Two prezzies in one day. Meanwhile I have been sneaking over and doing a few improvisational blocks of the Nora

I have also been listening to a 20 hour long recorded book so I seem to just keep on going. I say Improv but there is actually a lot of planning, ripping and redoing that goes on. I did get the main body finished.

Then I had to add a "border"of sorts to wrap around the backing so I can frame it.


I now start on the machine quilting, then move on to the hand stitching and a very small amount of beading. So this isn't over til it's framed and on my wall.

Finished piece in February.

09 January 2020

The Necchi Saga

I started this journey with the testing of my sister's Necchi. I found the Mira and later the Julia. The Julia (Supernova- the most sought after machine) turned out to be such a massive disappointment. The man I bought it from didn't accept returns so I messaged him, just to give him a heads up, that I would be selling it on Ebay so he wouldn't be shocked when he saw the listing. He was mortified that the machine was not working out for me and bought it back. That was a relief. I'll tell you, it is rare to find such a principled seller on Ebay. He is truly a peach.

The pins for Mira did not fit in the dado slots of the blond sewing machine table. I had a friend who is a woodwork come over and we managed (HE managed) to get the hinges in. We started to set the machine on the pins only to find the pins didn't line up. The original pair was offset and the Mira pair was straight. Now I had to actually hire him to cut new dados and long story short got the Mira hinges in the blonde cabinet.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, I had seen this beautiful sewing machine cabinet for sale about 30 minutes away. The sticking point is she wanted $200. for the cabinet which had a Necchi Nora set in it but the machine didn't work. It was my birthday and as a treat to myself I offered her $150. which she accepted and I bought that beautiful sewing machine cabinet. That's when I discovered the Nora that came in that gorgeous cabinet had a decomposing motor belt on it. After removing the belt and cleaning and oiling, it stitched by turning the flywheel SILENTLY. YES, like silk. OMG, this sewed just like the machine my sister had. When the new belt arrived in the mail it was instant love. I put it back in the cabinet and used it all day. You'll see the Improv piece I have been working on soon.

The next thing I discovered was my disappointment with the first two machine was probably caused by the foot pedal.

It is a button. It is on or off. There was no variable speeds. The Nora in the gorgeous cabinet had a knee rheostat like a modern machine and would start off and stay slow for sewing the oddly shaped improv pieces. I think it was THAT that was such a disappointment on the Mira. On Ebay I found a foot pedal with the appropriate Bakelite plug to fit the Mir and I bought it. I think this may be the key.

I'll report on the rheostat when it arrives and that will probably be the end of this saga. As a side note, I found a Vintage Necchi Facebook group which I joined as well as a Vintage Necchi "Market" group which I joined. I will see after the rheostat comes whether I will keep the Mira but so far I am inclined to. These are wonderful machines and way ahead of the times when they were built.

06 January 2020

Table legs repaired

 The new cabinet had the two left legs bent to the left (see below) as if someone had leaned or fallen against it. One leg was original and the other a mismatched replacement. With some creative hammering and glue for the replacement leg whose screw shaft was stripped, the cabinet is now nice and straight.

Bent above and straight below

Good deal for a $20. cabinet

02 January 2020

(Embarrassingly) another new/old machine

This was the actual machine I wanted and don't you know a few days after buying the BU Mira, this went up for sale from the same man. The pins which were too fat for the Mira fit the julia perfectly so Julia was the first in a table. I am getting another sewing table tomorrow for the Mira. The sewing table comes with a broken Necchi Nora which looks like it was just purchased in the 50's. I hope to figure out what is wrong with it and I will then sell the loser. So far I am shockingly disappointed in the Julia.

I very quickly sold the Riccar that came in this blond cabinet for $50 to a young woman in the next town. A good deal for both of us.
And yet there is more...........