Monday, July 28, 2014

Grandmother's Vintage Sewing Machine

Years ago, my parents gave me a box that contained my Grandmother's sewing machine.  All I knew was that it was an Elna and needed repair.  I never opened it and packers put it into a collection of boxes over the years as it moved from place to place with us.  This year I finally opened the 4 layers of packing materials and this is what I found.
An Elna Lotus SP, designed by Raymond Loewy.  
I learned from the International Sewing Machine Collector's Society that it was made between 1969 and 1977. The Museum of Modern Art in New York selected this compact machine, with its clean lines, for their 'Design Collection.'
 Like a lotus, its petals open up to reveal a compact, but utilitarian machine, with a variety of stitches and functions. The top of the machine has its own built-in tool caddy, but a few of the tools are missing.
Raymond Loewy also designed the Avanti.
I had a friend in college who drove one. I thought the car was so James Bondish and he was just the coolest for driving it! Unfortunately, I never succeeded in getting more than a spin around the block (in the car, that is.)

How does it sew??  It has a beautiful stitch, but is probably better suited for garment sewing.  I have a very hard time getting it to stitch over bulky seams and I have to give it a little manual help every once in awhile to get it to start a seam. Each time I use it, I learn a little more on how to make it function the way I need it to.

Why am I sewing with it???  We moved up to Colorado in mid-July and I brought both my daughter's Bernina (lighter than mine) and the Lotus.  The Bernina will not turn on, so the Lotus is all I have to sew with.  I have restricted myself to sewing things I can over-size and custom cut to help deal with the lack of precision.  I sure miss Bernie and now have more empathy for students with older machines!

And besides, I have not done all that much sewing. Here is what I have accomplished:
From Kim Diehl's book, Simple Appeal.  The name of the quilt escapes me. 
I love the graphic nature of the quilt, but had a hard time picking the border.   
My progress on 'Sunflower Gatherings' by Lisa Bongean.  The wool applique extends into the pieced setting blocks, so each block is only partially done.  Wow, each block is so detailed with lots of embroidery...not my favorite thing to do!  Like my Pennies from Heaven quilt, I think this will also be a scaled down version of the original.   

And finally, 
'Mini Around the Pumpkin Patch'
Red Button Quilt Co.
16"x 19"

I did not lug my Sashiko machine up here, so this one will have to wait to be finished until I return home in mid-August.  

Now back to gardening, hiking or anything else we can think of to do in the glorious out of doors!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Laundry Day and a Winner!

My 'Laundry Day' flimsy is done!
I love the aqua and violets that Kim has in this line, and that limey green is fun too.
This quilt makes me smile.
It is rather small measuring about 20" square.

And Linda has won the market day bag.  Thank you to everyone who commented.  I wish I could send one to all of you. BTW, Linda, I have contacted you by email.  You have until Wed. evening to respond before I select another name.

Today I am working on a fall mini from the Red Button Quilt Co.
Those 9-patch blocks finish at 1 1/2".
I love mini quilts!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.
We are just trying to stay cool here in AZ.
Lots of indoor quilting time!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Another AMB giveaway!

In an effort to promote the Farm-to-Fabric Challenge, the folks of AMB would like to run another giveaway.

Stop on over at their site and read all about it. Leave me a comment with a fact from the info provided and I will draw one winner of this adorable market bag. Drawing will be on Monday evening, July 14th. Make sure I have an email address to contact you with and you must have a US mailing address.

Now what have I been doing...
riding my bike all over Normandy and Brittany!

Visiting Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery was very moving!
I was thrilled to see American flags next to the French flag in all the villages we rode through.  The Norman school children adopt a fallen soldier and honor them with flowers on their graves. They truly remember and are thankful for the sacrifice Americans made for their freedom.


But now, I am off to the quilt shoppe to pick up my kit for Laundry Day, the first quilt we will be making in the Kim Diehl Simple Whatnot's Club being offered at TOWQS starting in October.  If we get participants that do not live in the area, I will run tutorials on the shoppe's website for making each of the quilts.
If you want to learn more, go here.
Golly, I love being home in my sewing room!