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  1. #11
    Join Date
    7th February 08
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    Tobus:
    Just curious if you worked-up the courage to try the old electric Singer yet?
    waulk softly and carry a big schtick

  2. #12
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    27th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhockin View Post
    Tobus:
    Just curious if you worked-up the courage to try the old electric Singer yet?
    Not yet, but one of these days perhaps. For the moment, I'm going to put my labour into the treadle machine. I'm pretty sure it (the treadle Singer) just needs a good cleaning, oiling, and some minor adjustments once I get the new belt on. The electric Singer, on the other hand, is going to need wiring work - some of it is covered with black electrical tape - and some rubber parts replaced. Apparently replacement parts are fairly easily found, and even the motor can be completely rebuilt if needed. But that's more of a project than I want to get into right now, if I can make-do with the treadle machine.

    I did a crude mock-up of how this blanket should look with my intended layout. This is using photos of the actual tartans I'll be using, although I may play around with their arrangement/layout a bit. Despite the mock-up visual, my tartan scraps won't all display the same portions of the sett. Each piece will be unique and likely not centred in the tartan pattern to minimize waste. Also, of the various pieces that I have, many of them are different size setts which will make it more visually interesting. I'm tempted to put some of them on the bias (diagonal), but I'm not sure I want to stray too far into artsy territory. I'm a professional engineer; I like squares and straight lines.

    The tartan patches are:
    Black Watch (modern)
    Black Watch (ancient)
    Black Watch (Wilson's colours)
    MacKenzie/Seaforth
    Gordon
    Sutherland
    USMC


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  4. #13
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    Melbourne Australia
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    That looks fantastic!
    As for bias.... mmm.... try a pillow top first?
    Bias is a whole other ball game!

  5. #14
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    I'm so glad you're putting all those tartan scraps to good use!!

    Barb
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

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  7. #15
    Join Date
    16th March 20
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    Owego, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Grey View Post
    ?
    Bias is a whole other ball game!
    Can confirm. My wife has been an active quilter for many years. She doesn't like bias because the fabric stretches, which can make it very, very difficult to accurately meet up with the pieces cut on the square.

  8. #16
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    I don't have anything to add, only that talk of quilts and Singers brings back fond memories.

    West Virginia and quiltmaking are inseparable! They almost put a quilt on the State Quarter.

    When my grandmother moved in with us she brought her quilting horses and she would sew all day. I grew up with a needle and thread in my hands, knowing a Wedding Ring from a Cathedral Window.

    And her old Singer! It looked like it had started life as a treadle machine, with an aftermarket motor bolted on. Maybe it had been made that way, it looked homemade to me.

    And my dad drove a Singer for a time! There were cars.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  9. #17
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    I'm so glad you're putting all those tartan scraps to good use!!

    Barb
    Thank you again for making them available! This patchwork blanket is my attempt to get my proverbial feet wet with machine sewing (I really haven't done it since I took Home Ec, circa 1986). If I'm successful and don't feel like throwing the whole thing in the river when I'm done, then I might plan to do a more complex project after that, using the smaller scraps that you sent me. Mainly the pleat cut-outs. That would be a lot of smaller work and more complex patterns, but I have some ideas for some really neat patterns to make the best use of them.

    Anyway, I got my treadle Singer all cleaned up, oiled, and seemingly functional yesterday. There were plenty of spider webs, dirt dobber nests, lint, and caked up goo in there. But after cleaning it out and liberally applying penetrant oil, all the parts move smoothly. The presser foot was frozen in place, but after some soaking and gentle nudging with a hammer, it's good too. When I spin up the treadle wheel with the foot pedal, it runs by itself for a good 60 seconds before rocking to a stop. I love seeing old machinery come back to life! And as an engineer, I love seeing the design of the internal works. Such simplicity of design, and such thought put into making everything robust and serviceable.

    Alas, I can't try sewing anything yet because I still don't have the new treadle belt or any bobbins. When those come in, I'll string it up and see how she does.


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  11. #18
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    And her old Singer! It looked like it had started life as a treadle machine, with an aftermarket motor bolted on. Maybe it had been made that way, it looked homemade to me.
    Richard, a lot of old treadle machines were retrofitted with electric motors. Singer made a big push to sell their new electric machines, but offered the retrofit kit for those who couldn't spring for the whole new package. Their catch phrase was, "It's sew easy with electricity!" I can just imagine how exciting it must have been in the early days of electricity as households started to switch over from manual methods of doing daily tasks to electric.

    Oddly enough, I'm in the camp that prefers manual. Especially after the storms we went through a week ago where we lost power for 26 hours. I know that's not very long compared to real emergencies like hurricanes, but it had been a while since I had to go without power (except when camping). Even in usual times, I prefer to saw wood by hand instead of with power tools. I wash dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher. That kind of thing. So a treadle machine is right up my alley, and if we lose power again, so much the better! I'll sew by the light of a kerosene lamp.

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  13. #19
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Eeeeeeeek!!! That looks just like my treadle Singer!!! Right down to the drawer pulls!

    And I have to say that there is a lot of satisfaction in running the treadle - it has a wonderful rhythmic mechanical noise rather than electrical motor noise. Never had a lick of trouble with it, which is more than I can say for the most recent, and most expensive, of the machines that I've owned since, which I would happily toss into the ditch..... It's making me want to get mine out of storage - it's been, oh......, yikes......more than 45 years since I used my treadle Singer as my only sewing machine. That was back in my hippie days in graduate school out in Colorado......Man, am I getting OLD....!
    Last edited by Barb T; 7th June 20 at 04:53 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

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  15. #20
    Join Date
    28th May 13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCampbell16B View Post
    Can confirm. My wife has been an active quilter for many years. She doesn't like bias because the fabric stretches, which can make it very, very difficult to accurately meet up with the pieces cut on the square.
    Looking at your project, I agree that the advice of an experienced quilter(s) might be beneficial.
    Great project!
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
    well, that comes from poor judgement."
    A. A. Milne

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