Monday, September 30, 2013

Meet AnnaMarie

I have developed a new obsession...vintage Singer Sewing Machines!  It started innocently enough.  A few years ago I thought owning a Featherweight dated 1954 (the year I was born) would be really cool.  So I scoured Ebay until I found one that looked decent, and won the bidding!  You can see the past blog post here.
So earlier this month I started checking out our local Craigslist for Featherweights.  Haven't found any yet.  Found out that my Schwann's salesman (Schwann's is a door to door frozen food) and his wife are pickers.  Which means they prowl estate sales and auctions for unique items that they sell on Ebay.  I have Ed on the lookout for Featherweights and other vintage Singers.  In return, I will advise him on quilts that he picks up.
The above machine, a 1925 Model 99, I purchased at a local consignment store.  I was made aware of her through Facebook when two different individuals posted this picture on my page:
Yes, she looks kinda rough in this photo.  The bentwood case actually looks better than the photo.  I am totally in love with these cases!  They are just works of art!  Like most of them, the case is missing its key.  So far I have not found a supplier for this part in the USA.
So far, I haven't seen this foot control before.  It actually looks pretty cool.
What didn't look cool was this splice job into the motor to supply power to the light.  It is a Singer light, and I can't find that this is a typical way to get power to the light.  Although hubby and I took down the splices, resoldered and taped, I am still a bit leary about using this.
Solution, an aftermarket handcrank!  Would love to find a vintage handcrank, but will keep an eye on the market.  Anyway, I cleaned her up, oiled her up.  I used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on the bright pieces, and Blue Magic TR3 on the paint, and she is looking mighty fine.  I threaded her up this evening, adjusted the upper tension, and cranked out a beautiful stitch!
And I am calling her AnnaMarie.  My paternal grandmother's name was Anna.  I have always felt a strong bond with her, despite the fact that she died 10 years before I was born.  Her youngest daughter's name (my aunt) was AnnaMarie.  I always liked that name.   

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Grand Rapids-Part 2

One of the best things about going to quilt shows are the classes!  I really am a quilt class junkie.  I love learning new techniques, meeting the teachers and the authors.  Getting to pick their brains on how to better my own quilting!  I love it!
My first class was with Katie Pasquini Masopust.  This was on color theory.  Our pre class requirement was to cut two 2 1/2 inch squares of fabrics from our stash.  Minimum of 100 was requested.  We had one energetic soul who cut over 400!  At the start of the class, we dumped all our precious squares in the middle of the table, and stirred!  Then the fun and the magic began!

By searching through squares, we each built a color wheel.  We talked about values at the same time.  What was so great was learning about color by using real fabrics that we have access to.
We then built samplers based on color patterns, such as using complementary, analgous, triads, etc!  What fun and laughter we had that day!
My next class was with Linda Hahn.  Another fun class!  Linda and I have been friends on Facebook, and it was great to get to meet her in person!  Her paper piecing technique for New York Beauties is awesome!  I learned loads of new information, and met new friends in class!
And YEA!  I didn't end up with a class UFO!  My class project is completed and ready to be quilted!  Hubby loves it, so it will get a high ranking on the to be quilted pile!
Sorry, but no pictures with my third class, and the real reason I went to Grand Rapids.  I attended David Taylor's Photoshop for Quilters lecture.  I have been wanting to learn more about Photoshop, and David's lecture helped.  He recommends Visual QuickStart Guide as the best guide to help you with Photoshop.  You can get a guide specific for the specific Photoshop program that you have (I have Photoshop Elements 8).  David is a great teacher, and totally approachable!  A great class.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Grand Rapids....part 1

I totally intended to blog about my trip to AQS QuiltWeek at Grand Rapids much closer to when I had been to Grand Rapids!  My bad!  To quote my friend Stephanie, once you get out of the habit of blogging, it is hard to get back on track.
We stayed at the Amway Grand which was just down the street from the DeVos center where QuiltWeek was.  What a beautiful, glorious old hotel!  It is as much of a showcase today as I am sure it was when it was first erected!  Beautiful wood work, chandeliers.  And the staff was just as amazing as the building itself.  Everyone was friendly, and so very helpful!  The only complaint was that the ice machine for our floor, which was conveniently located just a few doors from our room, was out of order!  Oh well, the exercise down the steps and back to the floor below was good for me!
Traveling with hubby who needs a handicap accessible bathroom is always an iffy proposition.  And I was a bit concerned with staying at a older hotel that was build before the American with Disabilities Act was enacted.  Not to worry!  The handicapped rooms were originally set up with 36" doorways to facilitate the movement of furniture for displays for a local furniture store.  The room door had an electric door opener activated by a switch from the inside which would open the door and keep it open for 30 seconds!  No more holding the  door open and trying to stay out of the way.
The bathroom was the best!  Double French style doors opened up to a beautiful modern bath, with a spacious roll-in shower.
Plenty of light, and great towels!
The refrigerator was hidden inside a cupboard.  And coffee in room!  A must!  Only real complaint was that there could have been more electrical outlets.  But we always travel with a power strip because of Wayne's CPAP machine, so we were set!
Downtown Grand Rapids is a beautiful city!  There are lots of restaurants and attractions, which makes it a wonderful walkable place!
This is a building reflected by another building.  The early evening light was great!
Grand Rapids was home to Gerald R. Ford, and his Presidential Museum is located across the river from our hotel.  This is a piece of the Berlin Wall located in the front lobby.  Going through the museum and reading the events the preceded his nomination to Vice President and subsequent succession to the presidency was very interesting.  To the younger crowd, this is history.  To me, this was the evening news!
This was a very important part of Ford's thought process.  It was quoted many times with in the museum.  This plaque was at the Fords' grave site.
This cute, giganto button was in a green space near the museum.  We happened upon as we walked to evening mass.
We attended two masses while in Grand Rapids.  Fortunately, St. Mary's was 0.7 miles from the hotel. The first was a vigil mass for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.  The vigil mass was a Spanish mass, but we could follow along.  The priest talked with us afterwards.  He had been ordained only 2 months earlier.  It was so great to see the future face of the church.  The next mass was on Saturday evening, and we got there early.  This old church was built by the German community early in the 20th century.  The stained glass depicted many different Biblical scenes.  One of the parishioners gave us a brochure they have to explain the windows and the altars and their histories!  How friendly!
Of course, we had to eat!  This is Wayne studying the menu at Cinco de Mayo.  I love the siesta-ing guys on the back of his booth!
And what's a vacation without a little nightcap at the end of a hard day!  Nazdrowie!
And the best part of going to the quilt shows is meeting up with friends!  I am so blessed to have so many friends around the country!  Stephanie and her family live in Kalamazoo.  We drove down and ate supper with them at their favorite restaurant Bold.  A wonderful evening of great food and even greater conversation!
Now that I have broken the ice with this blog, surely I can finish up the series with my classes and the show itself!  Stay tuned!