Friday, August 31, 2012

Mom & Me

There is an event called Mom&Me Spa Night that is a fundraiser for the local children's museum.  They rent vendor tables for a donation to the museum and I thought  mom and I could enjoy a fun evening together.  I spent several days making mini-cellphone purses (44 of them!) in a variety of fabrics that I thought kids would enjoy, grabbed Mom and set up a table to sell and watch the show.

We saw little ones dressed ready for a Toddlers&Tiara competition or Sunday services or a romp on the playground at the local park. Mom's were similarly dressed. Girls from 4-14 wandered from table to table with Mom in tow.... the local high school vocational class students did hair braiding, nail painting, face-painting or full make-up, painted strands of hair or tied strips of glitter/ribbon to sections of hair.  Girls could decorate a small container and fill it with sugar scrub to wash with at home or make a friendship bracelet with beads and floss or make a hair bow using decorator duct tape!   They could have a memory picture taken after being "dolled" up. A kareoke machine was set up on stage for those who wanted to show off their talents and a local dance studio teacher and students did a demonstration and taugh a group of about 20 interested girls a short dance routine.  There were vendors selling jewelry, bags, pampered chef and more.  There was even an area set up with bean bags where the girls donned a terry robe and laid down with cucumbers on their eyes to de-stress!

It was an interesting evening and a fun distraction.... and all for a good cause!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


We took another one of our mini-vacation trips for the summer this past week to see the Aquarium.  It was scheduled so that both my daughters were off work and my grandson could come too.  But, as luck would have it, schedules changed and the youngest had to work that night.... so the girls followed along behind us in her car so that she could leave early and get to work and we could stay and explore Chattanooga and have a nice dinner before heading home.

So much for plans.....

Half-way there her tire picked up a screw in the road and we found ourselves pulled over and changing to the spare.  It is good to know that she is self-sufficient enough to be able to change a tire herself.... although Dad did help loosen the nuts.  Unfortunately, as often happens... her spare was low on air too!  

Note to all reading this..... 
      be sure to check that your spare tire is fully inflated so that it is ready when needed!

Luckily I remembered I had a can of Fix-a-Flat in my trunk!  It was enough to fill the tire and head on our way.  When I get home I'll have to remember to buy another can.... and I think I'll get a can for each of the girl's trunks too!

We reached our destination and had an enjoyable afternoon trying to keep up with our grandson.  He was quite excited.  After some initial hesitation he enjoyed "petting" the stingray and a river sturgeon.  He loved watching the penguins dive in, swim across the tank and jump up on the rocks, then walk back across to dive in once again.   

He thought the sharks and turtles were scary!

He enjoyed crawling into and standing in the "bubble" so that he was surrounded by the tank of swimming fish

The  Aquarium is separated into three buildings.... Ocean Journey, River Journey and an Imax theatre with an area of water fountains and steps to cool off on hot days.  After the movie we walked down to the river and found a playground with swings and slides and monkey bars to wear him down.
On the walk back to the car we found an ice cream shop for a cool snack before driving home.

Friday, August 24, 2012

String Quilt

While browsing the local flea market I spied this string quilt hidden in a pile of other quilted items.

I opened it up to discover that it was pieced, by hand,  using a Sears & Roebuck catalog

The booth owner told me her grandmother made it and she died 60 years ago so it has to be at least 100 years old because she was sick in bed for a long time.  Looking at the fabrics, that time frame didn't sound quite right to me so after a lot of investigation I found a catalog page selling spark plugs for cars in the years up to 1950.  She thought about it and remembered that she had sewn some with her grandmother when she was about 8... so that fit the timeline better.  She remembered some of the fabrics from dresses she wore.

I would have loved to take it home with me, but she priced it way too high....not really wanting to sell it... she just wanted to show it off.  She was happy that I had helped her date it and I was glad to have spied it hiding under other items.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

antique attachments

I recently obtained an assortment of antique sewing machine attachments that were supposed to work with the machines I bought.   They don't.   The box that some came in had a patent date of 1930 and the sewing machines I bought were made in the 1950's.

But my trusty Singer man, Ted, had some knowledge and ideas about what the parts were used for:

This box has a patent date stamp of February 13, 1930

We determined that this "rack" in the box was actually a bobbin holder

These are various sized rolled hem attachments

This is a ruffler
These appear to be an assortment of guides

We laughed looking at the top item... thinking it looked a lot like a golfing divot remover, but decided that it might be a feed dog cover.  The bottom is a faceplate cover.

rolled hem foot
This unknown gadget was patented Aug 7 1883

This unknown gadget was patented Aug 20 1881, Jan 17, 1882 and Jan 17 1882   It is also stamped with the words Davis  Advance to the right of those two holes

This is an assortment of miscellaneous unidentified parts and pieces

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Meet Alena... my newest acquisition:

She is an Alden's Model 139 made in Tokyo Japan 1949-1953
She is a DeLuxe model with a knee pedal.
She is in good working condition... except for that belt that was  cracked and broke in transit.

 Ted ... my repairman... came by today and took a look at Alena.  I thought it was just a slow running machine... turns out there was the equivalent of a spool of thread wrapped around the shaft and bobbin shaft too!  Once that thread was removed he showed me how to oil her and she purrs like a kitten.  She has a very nice zig zag stitch too!  She is a High Left Shank machine (the needle is way left) so getting a quarter inch seam for quilting may be difficult.  Ted is going to try and locate a guide attachment that will screw into one of those holes on the base. 

I am very happy with my purchase!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

On The Way Home Part 3...sewing machines

There were a variety of sewing machines available in the antique malls I browsed through.

 These hand crank toy sewing machines were made for the little girl who wanted to sew along with Mom.

 This was labeled as a hand crank toy sewing  machine also,  with a made by singer label, but I couldn't find any kind of model number on it.

This Junior Miss came complete with box and instruction book!

This is an old Edison Super De-Luxe Precision made in Japan. I love the label.. guaranteed by The Manufacturer and Authorized Dealers!  It had missing parts and frayed wiring and was covered in dust and cobwebs....EEEWWWW

I love the carved woodwork on this Singer table and the beautiful gold stenciling on the sewing machine.  At first look, I thought it was a treadle, but it came complete with a Radiante motor. It was probably worth every penny they were asking for, but I had to think real hard before walking away without this one. 

Here is another singer in much simpler table.

 These next items came home with me because I felt they were unique and interesting.

 I found this simple wooden box on a shelf and opened it up to find an assortment of attachments.  I have to take it to my Singer man and see if he can identify what any of it was used for.  Maybe I can use them with my treadle.  There is a carved stamp in the middle of the box top that reads "Patented February 13 1930"  I'm not positive about the year though. 


Here is a Free-Westinghouse .  This is definitely not the featherweight I was looking is very heavy! The current owner was there filling her booth with additional items and offered me a deep discount to take it off her hands. She plugged it in and showed me that it runs; the light has it's own separate plug.  It came with a box full of attachments that the owner had no idea what they were used for.  This machine is unique to me too because it has a Bullet Bobbin (see it on the lower left hand side of the box).  I've heard mention of one before... now I know what it looks like and this too must be taken to my Singer man to have him teach me how to use it!  I think that's a bobbin winder on the front right of the machine. I believe I need to add a belt from the big wheel on the right to a smaller one on the front to make it run.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quilt Storage

I'm just sharing this link... how to fold and store quilts
Now I'm off to fold and store mine!

On The Way Home... Part 2....Oddities

I stopped at a pair of side-by-side antique malls on my way from Williamsburg when I needed a break from driving in the pouring rain.  I wandered through hundreds of booths... hoping to find a featherweight.  None were available, but I did spy some interesting items.  A peek into the past and how things were done.

There was an entire booth dedicated to thread... some cones of thread .... spindles that used to hold thread!

But look at the variety of spindles that thread had come wrapped on!  There were hundreds of them.  Short with flat ends that I've seen painted and decorated to be used as candle stands. 

 Short and squat.... what's with the variety of paint drippings?  Long and thin with just a small base to stand on.  I wonder what the color coding on the ends meant?

 These shelves held spindles that were a combination of wood with metal threads on them; And a bucket full of orange pointed spindles stood nearby.

I wonder what all these different types were used for?  How many quilts or garments were sewn with the threads they contained?

 There was a booth dedicated to nothing but bottles... coke bottles, beer bottles, liquor bottles.  You name it, it was probably here.  Another booth was dedicated to tin lunchboxes (some plastic too).  How many of us carried our lunches to school in one of these?  I had one just like that school bus!

I remember being excited when I got my first portable turntable and playing records on it. They were 45s... small and yellow.   Or jumping for hours on end on a pogo stick in the driveway.   These days, that folding scooter would have a motor on it.  It's no wonder we are overweight... this country needs more pogo sticks!

I learned to type on a similar typewriter.  If you typed too unevenly or quickly the keys would get all jammed up and you would have to untangle them.  We graduated to the electric typewriters my senior year and it was an adjustment to just press a return button to get to the next line. 

There was a variety of irons too.  These may have been some of the first electric ones... the brand name was Universal... just flat and hot... no steam.... and they were heavy too... nothing like what we have today. The ladies really had to work to press out those wrinkles.

 This one is called the Enterprise! LOL!  It's a flat iron.. an almost solid chunk of heavy metal.  I'm guessing that you would heat it up on the top of your stove then attach some kind of handle where that tag string is, lift and press.   I didn't get a clear picture but there were other solid cast iron ones with the handles all molded in one piece.

 How about this one... a charcoal iron!  Open it up, but in your hot coals in and press!

This is a gas iron!  I guess you would attach a hose from some gas source (a propane tank?) to that connector on the right and press those wrinkles away!

There are days when I would like to step back to simpler times, but I sure do enjoy my modern conveniences!

Come back this weekend for my next post on the variety of sewing machines I found... and see what I brought home!