Monday, August 29, 2016

garden pests

Last week hubby came in from the garden all upset.   Something had eaten the tops off the tomatoe plants!  

The garden has done poorly this year and we have barely harvested enough beans or zuchinnie to eat.  Now some critter was destroying the tomatoe plants.

Today we discovered the culprit!  I've never seen anything like it.  Just last night the tomatoe plants in my garden were perfect.  This morning, the leaves and tops on 2/3rds of the plants were eaten away leaving just bare stem stalks!  Many of the green tomatoes had big holes in them.

We looked carefully and discovered 6 of these guys!

These worms had to be at least 2inches long!   GROSS!!!

Hubby grabbed them off with a plyers and squished them.   Don't know where they came from and sure hope we never see them again!  Hopefully the remaining tomatoes will survive and ripen!

Friday, August 26, 2016

treadle woes, and a fix!

I have been happily sewing away on my treadle since returning from the TOGA last month.

 I finished piecing my strawberry coins quilt and then loaded it onto my quilter. After finishing the quilting I was ready to sew on the binding... but my treadle had other ideas   :(

For some reason the thread was not being picked up to form a proper stitch and I kept getting "birdnests" on the back of my quilt.

The thread on the right is the first loop that is supposed to pull up to form a stitch.  The middle thread is the bobbin thread.  The thread on the right is the next loop coming to form the next stitch.

I did some investigating and found that periodically a loop would not be picked up to form a stitch... then the second loop would come by and grab that loop, form a stitch and form the "birdsnest" with the first loop.  I figured out what was wrong, but had no idea why it was happening.

I logged onto the internet and the facebook  TreadleQuilters group and posted about my problem asking for help.   I had many suggestions.... 

Rethread the machine properly... I unthreaded and rethreaded being extra careful to make sure I didn't miss a step

Change the needle.... I first had to search and find all the different needles I had in stock and then needed a lesson on needle types and sizes before finding the correct one.

Clean the tension disks...I folded and ran a dollar bill between the disks to clear out any potential lint or stray threads.

Adjust the tension...  I turned the knob left, I turned the knob right... but nothing worked.  The stitches would not form propperly!

I was getting totally frustrated!   

Then the group moderator logged on and suggested that I clean the feed-dog area.

So I took off the needle plate, brushed out the little bit of lint that was in there.  And for good measure I loosened the belt, tipped the head back and brushed out a few specs of lint from the the underside also.  And while I was there, I oiled all the moving parts too!  I put everything back together and...

HALLELUJIA!  she was sewing properly again!  It is amazing that a little speck of lint... no bigger than a pin head, could cause so much trouble!

So now my binding is sewed on and I will finish the handstitching on it while watching tv this weekend.

Thank goodness for the internet!  I don't know how we survived without it!

Sunday, August 14, 2016


When we were vacationing in KY, in the rain, I decided to take the kids to town for a change of scenery (inside the cabin).  There were several antique stores and we had fun browsing through them.  One had a table of puzzles and a game of checkers set up so we killed time and played some games. (I didn't think to take pictures)

In the last shop, I spied this sitting in the corner....


I opened up the top and... ooh la la!  An 1870s Singer Model 12.   It needed a good cleaning and a belt.  I turned the wheel and everything appeared to work. Unfortunately the shuttle and bobbin were missing and the sales lady had no clue.  I thought it a bit pricey, and I had no idea how difficult it would be to  find parts.  So I went back to the cabin and posted on the treadle quilters facebook page.  I connected with Diane who had a friend selling a similar machine, in better shape, and for less!  A few emails back and forth and I'd committed to a new acquisition!

There was a TOGA (TreadleOnGAthering scheduled a few weeks later in Winchester TN.... about 2hr drive from home, so I made plans to attend and pick up my new beauty.  


And a beauty she is... An 1869 Singer Model 12... with some beautiful mother-of-pearl inlay.  She hadn't been used in a while and needed a dose of tri-flow to loosen up and get stitching.   I will have to play with the tension to get a decent stitch out of her, but she works!

I brought along my 1921 Singer Model 66 Red Eye to sew on and for some help.
I have been enjoying sewing on her for a few years now.  But lately I have been having trouble with the tension.  It kept bird-nesting a bit on the back.  I've made several adjustments to correct it, but no luck.

The biggest problem was that the belt had stretched over the last couple years and was slipping, thus the birdnests!  Diane easily snipped a half inch off the leather belt and tightened it up.

Skip looked at my bobbins.  I have several original bobbins and several newly made bobbins.  The new ones were made imperfectly and have a little lip on the inside that interferes with the path of the thread.  Once I switched to using only original bobbins, problem solved.

Thanks to Diane and Skip she is now stitching perfectly!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016-07 Roof Woes

The work on the crumbling chimney revealed another problem... of course!  Raymond said it was soft and bouncy up there indicating that water had gotten under the shingles to the plywood and the plywood was wet and rotten.  He recommended a buddy in construction, saying he did very good work.  Since Raymond had done such a good job for us I called his buddy and got an estimate.


I gave the roofer a deposit  (june 22).... big mistake! .... and he promised to be back Monday morning to get the job done.   Well, it has been a  month+ of phone texts saying he was coming, then failing to appear with no explanation. Followed by another text with some excuse or other and a promise to come, and again failing to appear.

I was ready to kick him to the curb and demand my money back when he texted again that he was coming first thing in the morning to do the work (july 22)... hubby said give him another chance.

He arrived finally late afternoon (july 29) to work.  He borrowed our ladder (because he didn't want to lug his around ??)  and climbed up to grab a sample of shingle. He then went to Lowes to buy supplies.  He returned an hour later pulled up a section of the shingles and plywood. The plywood was rotten and crumbling apart. By then hubby arrived home and climbed up to discuss the situation. The job was going to be bigger than the roofer originally thought, so he did just this one small section before it got dark and started raining!....  and promised to be back the next day.

Well, again, another no-show and no phone call.  He texts me at 5am (Aug 3) to tell me he is coming to finish the roof today.  He did show up this time.  I didn't change my plans/errands for the day and left him to work.  I got home around 2 and he was still pounding away up there.  I was busy putting groceries away and noticed it was suddenly quiet.  I looked out to see him pull away in his truck.  He left some stuff behind so I could only assume the job wasn't done yet... he never said a word.

I got a phone call 8pm (Aug4) just after dark.  He said he had fallen and hurt his ankle and was in a boot and hurting bad.  It was pouring rain at his location 30mi away and he wanted to know if we were ok.. was it raining here?  He was worried that the rain would come down near the chimney and get in the house. It was going to be a day or two before he could get the metal bent and installed (the flashing?). He could try to call his worker and send him over to do something if I needed him... or if it starts raining any time in the night I could call and he'd be over..... Yeah right!  One of his excuses for lack of response is poor phone connection.  I'm sure his phone would suddenly work if I called him at midnight!   I told him it wasn't raining here yet... and then we got disconnected!   sigh.    

I told hubby the situation and with a huge sigh he climbed up on the roof... in the dark... and by now a light drizzle starting... He covered the chimney and roof area with a large tarp that we bought.  He secured it with bungie cords around the chimney and I handed up some bricks to lay on top of the tarp to hopefully hold it in place if there were any winds.

We were lucky... we have had no heavy rains or winds the last few days.
He showed up today (Aug 9), unannounced, and completed the work.

About 2pm he knocks on the door and says the job is done and wants to get paid.  I said hubby wanted to inspect it first.  Since I can't climb up to look, if he gave me an address I'd put a check in the mail in the morning, assuming hubby's approval.   Well, he needed the money today because he was behind in child support payments that had to be made by close of business today... and could I make it cash.  

I agreed to run to town and get cash, but hubby wouldn't be home until 6, after work.  He reluctantly said ok, and I  said I would call when hubby got home.

Hubby got home and went up to look. One small problem with a shingle kind of sticking up there. Roofer said there was a chunk of masonry under it and he just couldn't bust it to flatten it level with the others.... but there shouldn't be any problem with it.

He offered a 5 year guarantee of no leaks... and free repair if it does.  He aplogized for all the trouble.  He ended up having his daughter more often this summer than is usual and had to spend the time with her while he can.  I understand that... but i told him he should just explain the situation to the next customer and delay starting until his personal schedule is better situated.

The roof is now finally done and hopefully there will be no more headaches!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Putnam County Fair Cultural Arts

It's fair time again and I have entered five quilts this year

Last year, at an estate sale,  I picked up several containers of miscellaneous quilt parts... leftover parts from pieced quilts.  I played with the pieces for quite some time before coming up with this design

This yellow and gray Turning Twenty Again top was made last month while vacationing in Canada.  My husband and kids fished and I drove to Ottowa to meet an online quilting buddy and spent two days sewing in air-conditioned bliss with her :)  I'll have to get a full picture of it when I get it back.  Although it is complete as is, I am considering adding a border to finish it and make it a king size quilt.

I went to the Quilt Show in Paducha back in April and bought this one pound package of end-cut scrap strips at Hancocks.  I trimmed the strips to 2.5in and then made a jellyroll quilt.  I forget how many strips there were, but it was such an odd size I didn't know what to do.  After much pondering and calculating I decided to cut the top into strips and alternated it with coordinating fabric.  I found a teal minky to match for the backing.   I just love the results!

This was another estate sale find.  A box of various parts.  I call this one Serenity for its peaceful calm feel.  I love the "flower" quilting I did on it... I was thinking it looked like lilly pads.

This Easter wall hanging is a printed panel that I quilted with an all-over loopy design.

This last one is Globetrotting.. a BOM design by Pat Sloan.  I didn't get a reward for this one... I mistakenly entered it into the wall hanging category... for Christmas!   Yikes!! There was no category for non-holiday wall hangings.   I put in a request for a new category for next year.