Thursday, 18 September 2014

Putting in the Wild Goose Chase Quilt and using the old Treadle

Here I am piecing the red and white striped quilt back on an antique Singer Treadle model 27 sewing machine. 

This decal pattern is called Persian. The Persian decal design is rather uncommon.. the more common decal is the Egyptian Pheonix, that usually appears just below the spool of thread.

Built before the turn of the 1900's and made to last forever.

When the silver colored plate is slid towards you, it reveals the vibrating shuttle that holds the bobbin. The red felt was missing so I inserted a new one into the little hole provided.. oil is dripped into the felt to keep the shuttle lubricated when it slides back and forth.

 This is the Bobbin winder... it is on a hinge that you position against the cord to get it prepared to use.. and when you are done winding the bobbin you just push it back.

The Singer logo on the side of the cast iron frame ... this machine is very heavy.
 The Treadle.

 They paid attention to detail and beauty when they made machines way back then.. They were proud of what they made and wanted them to last a very long time.

 the back 
and the front, below.
 ... and they cared to make them beautiful.

 All you need to run it is your feet or even just one foot, whichever rhythm and pattern  works best for you. it is flexible.
... but I think that people back then must have been much smaller as my knees kept touching the table of the machine... so I moved around a bit till I found a comfortable position.

 I did a lot of cleaning and polishing and oiling when I first brought it home and now it works amazingly..
 Just look at those stitches!!! I can hardly believe the precision of them.

 I Love it!!!!

 This looks messy but it is just the basting onto the side bars of the quilt frame.  These old quilt frames came from a flea market along with the clamps that hold the boards together.
... and don't mind that ratty green fabric that it's being sewn onto .. I like to think that someone attached many quilts to these old boards.

 The back is sewed in now... upside down of course.

 A roll of polyester fiberfill.

 half spread out... covering the entire quilt back and smoothed out as best as I could.

 then the Wild Goose Chase quilt top is laid on top and pinned in place.
 Here is a link to the making of the Wild Goose Chase Quilt top that I pieced at the start of the year.

 and the extra fiberfill is trimmed away.

 The leftover fiberfill makes good stuffing for toys or pillows or even tea cozy's
 Those little snip scissors are perfect for clipping the quilt thread.

 ...when I began to put the quilt in the frame I had the corners sitting on chairs and couldn't remember where my quilt stands were.. after searching for 1/2 a day!!! I found them....
 John made them for me for the last quilt I tied a few years ago.  We just used some recycled boards and made a couple cut outs so we could make them slide together and stand up.
... didn't cost anything and they do a great job... and they are light and easy to move around ... and they lay flat for storage (that's why I couldn't find them!)

 First row of blocks are all hand-quilted.
The clamps are undone and that row of quilting is rolled onto the frame and reclamped in its new position.
... after a few days another row of blocks were completed.. only 4 rows left to go.

 A close up one of the set of 4, old cast iron C-clamps I found at the flea market.

 A size 9 quilting needle.

 Down to 3 rows of blocks now.
 I was able to replace the long side boards to shorter ones so the frame takes up less space.
 If I really found it in the way, it could easily be lifted up and stood against the wall.

 I am not sure how long it will take to finish the quilting as I just work on it in my spare time in between my jewelry work and slaving away at the old, out of town homestead...  I am enjoying it so much...  it is very meditative and relaxing. Now I remember why I used to do this all the time.

Gwen Buchanan at Desideratum Art Studio, St. Martins,  New Brunswick, Canada

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Globe Thistles at The new Old Homestead Project

Part 4
As I was wandering around the old homestead I came across these wonderful Blueish-Siver Globe Thistles. I had never grown this flower or even seen them before. I had to look them up to identify them.  I do remember seeing the tall thistle stalks earlier in the season and I thought they were Scotch Thistle.  
Oh but the Globe Thistle has far more presence.  They are magical the way they interact with the light.... they are gorgeous really!   4-5 feet tall...  and irresistible not to go to them and cup your hands around them, a visual delight and a touch sensation....  and quite inviting to the insects as well.

But luckily they are Deer resistant.. and I have found that to be true because with as many deer that come on the property every single day ~ they do not touch them. So I am also guessing that most plants that persist here must also be deer resistant. Yes!
Note: in the above picture, John has the steel staging set up...  He has framed up, waterproofed and inserted the new patio door and is putting the front back together of the little old house.

The distinctive slightly hairy, prickly thistle leaves of the Globe Thistle... that the deer don't care for.

 This on the other hand was not quite so gorgeous... the rear cellar access hole that goes under a crawl space...  a mess... no door... just junk and crap and  pure outdoors on the other side.

 John took the same approach that he took when He did the cellar window ... first he had to clear away a fair amount of rubble... then he built it up with bricks, mortar and stones...made a frame from pressure treated wood and added foam and gasket around the edges... He did a really good job.
 It took a few days.
He has the beams repaired in this area now ....  strenuous work, I must say, that took much effort. He is giving strength back to the old house.

 This is the door he made to insert into the opening... the interior is rigid foam insulation, rather the same as a SIP (Structural Insulated Panel).

 These pics are when he was fitting the door... the side is now fitted with foam to close it up.  That ought to keep a few wild animals out.

 Still very much a work in progress.  Many of the new beams can be seen in this pic.

The old Homestead now has its Bathroom sink.  I found this vintage porcelain sink at the Habitat for Humanity "ReStore" in Saint John. 
 I really love the little backsplash, the wide flat sides and clean lines... I'm thinking it's possibly '50's or '60's.
   Not bad for $10. wouldn't you say. It was 1/2 price day.
I am thinking we will make a black steel frame and legs for it.  This little frugal house will only have 1 bathroom.
... that means only 1 bathroom sink, 1 tub and 1 toilet to clean... Thumbs up, sounds good to me.

Back at the Globe Thistles adrift in the hayfield.  They were so beautiful I couldn't stop taking pictures of them. 
What a wonderful surprise they were!   I love them.

*info on Globe Thistles: Here and Here

Gwen Buchanan and John Ackerson at Desideratum and The new Old Homestead Project.