Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Parlor Cabinet Meets Rachel, Modifying my Evening Work

My evenings tend to be dedicated to hand work. That is going to change a little. My dear Sweet Lucy, the almost 16 year old Black Lab who is my constant (and I mean constant) companion, has much difficulty with steps these days. While her medications do greatly improve her mobility, steps remain a struggle. My studio is downstairs and she insists on being with me. So, I compromised with a small sewing set up in the family room so that I can continue my stitching while cooking and after dinner.

I needed a piece of furniture that I can close and hide the clutter of sewing. I dressed the top up a bit with a little mini-quilt, an antique-reproduction dough bowl filled with dried pip berries, a candle tray and potpourri. A disguise of sorts but it is a sewing cabinet for sure. My term is Parlor Cabinet!

Meet the Parlor Cabinet. I saw this designation of Parlor Cabinet on an antiques web site that I felt was perfect. My Fraternal Grandmother was a professional seamstress and her dining room was her workroom. I never remember it being used for dining. There was a large standing wardrobe where she kept clients garments and her reliable Singer 99 in a studio cabinet. The table was almost against the wall and used for cutting, lay outs etc.
pretty basic in design, it is a cube.

This one is efficient and fairly small and fits well in a designated corner of my room. The name of the cabinet is "The Compact." It comes mostly assembled, it has an air lift adjustable insert for dropping the machine into the cabinet for closure. It positions for Free-Arm use, Flat Bed use and storage. The manufacturer is Tailormade, by Tailormade Limited. I bought mine through my Baby Lock dealer.
Inside the front door. approximate measurement when open 47 inches by 17 1/2 inches.

The inside front door is outfitted with little shelves and compartment to store bobbins, thread, miscellany. I can perch my workbooks on the bottom lip and it has wheels! I have chosen the "Teak" color to better blend with my other furniture and woodwork in that room.  
machine in storage position

While I am not keen on clutter up here, I will do my best to contain a single project in a large basket. (she said with grand optimism)
the air lift feature for the machine has two stops, one for flat bed sewing and one for free arm use.

I plan to use Rachel in this cabinet and the insert to convert to flatbed is still in production. We will see. I feel sort of sorry for the vintage Singer Rockateer hanging out in a trolley in the studio. She may be the substitute.
this is the flat bed position and there is a custom insert in production to convert the flat space
the whole caboddle has wheels and it is very easy to move on hard wood floors and suspect decently easy to move on carpet if that is your situation. Important feature on the door, please note that it has a full length piano hinge for stability and strength. Many cabinets like this have two simple swing hinges. This feature totally upgrades the product, IMO>
there is a little lip shelf on the base that I suspect is there for structural value but I am using it to store a small rotating cutting mat and my work book

in storage position

  • Compromise is the name of the game these days.  I need to be able to change things up a bit it I want to finish anything :)
  • This cabinet is well made, sturdy and nicely finished. Well worth the investment.
  • I Love Lucy, that is what is most important and she goes where I go so there you have it.
  • This manufacturer provides a Limited Warranty. 
  • My Baby Lock Dealer is Gloria Horn Sewing Studio of Mt. Lebanon, Pa.   here, she is an exclusive Baby Lock Dealer. * no compensation received or implied by the way.

My review on Baby Lock Rachel.

Do you know Nicci Brazzell? An amazing woman with unbelievable energy! She is a Baby Lock Destiny teacher and now has started an amazing, I mean amazing collage project. You might want to check this out on one great way to deal with all those florals in your stash!!! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

So She Walks in With This Quilt in a Bag...............................

It has been a few weeks since I was able to attend a Ladies of the Cloth gathering and I was pleasantly surprised when Linda walked in and shared this stunning quilt! My word, have you ever seen so many geese following each other around the blocks? An expert quilter, Linda has been working on this one a while, actually, it started as a totally different quilt as a block of the month project. Not too shabby, right?
 Beautifully articulated, each block stands on its own and yet the cohesive elements of the geese around each block ties it all together seamlessly. This is the mark and talent of an expert quilter. She is hand quilting this beauty, wow.
 There is more to share.... Terri, our expert knitter has been working on this lacy, lighter-than-air shawl for almost a year she says. You know how it is, a little bit here, a little bit there and viola' she finishes it....the last our presence!
The Last Stitch :)

Worked on size 10 1/2 needles, this lacy pattern is like air.
Here it is folded back on itself, there is some finishing to do and I hope to show you how sweet it is when finished.

I had some photo's of the label etc. but we just had a huge power surge and I lost them in the transfer. This is a silky yarn. I will try to get the rest of the information to share next week. 

Okey, dokey, this quick little post ended up being much longer than I anticipated due to the power surge. Lost my power, my internet, jumbled up the computer and photo's but I was able to recover most of it. Good grief, modern technology. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A This and That Post

I saw this photo from the Hubble Telescope a while ago and saved it because it is so unusual. Named Heavens Gate, timely I think with Passover and Easter upon us. 
Dear friends and readers, I must apologize for being absent for so long, life gets in the way for all of us and for bloggers in general it makes that time we need to write and research very difficult to come by. I have 100 ideas started, none finished! 

I have finally (well mostly) finished cleaning up the studio wiring debacle. My Son will flip out when he sees it and demand to re-do the whole thing. I will decline for now.  I just need to get back to work, know what I mean? I also have a new set up in my family room. I will explain soon. Hopefully, I will be able to make good use of this.

The in-the-hoop embroideries are all done, just need to be trimmed and put together.
Have you ever watched the Bonnie Hunter, of Quiltville fame, during one of her Quilt Cam's? She has them now and then, when she is not traveling and I find it great fun to watch now and then just for inspiration. What an energetic woman. The video's are archived on You Tube if you are interested.
  • I may be the only woman I have seen in the last two weeks who does not have a tatoo.
  • In a moment of weakness I broke down and purchased, that means I spent money, on store bought night wear. I feel like I have cheated on my serger. Sorry. 
  • I can't find my camera.
  • I managed to get everyone's Easter pierogi made except my own. Yeesh!
  • I used to have 20 + people for Easter dinner, this year there will be 5. Just 5.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Image may contain: textHello, Hello! I saw this little ditty on Facebook and thought I would share, I think it might be true. I have been doing a dreaded deep-clean in the studio. During the re-wiring fiasco the twit with the drill made a mess that even I cannot believe. Fortunately, I had all the machines covered except the back of the long arm and the thread on the spool there. In the carts where I store the cutting dies for the Go Cutter, the sawdust seeped all over and down through. Same with the stacks of embroidery discs. My magnetic pincushions  (that I keep at every work area) are peppered with sawdust and plaster dust. I could go on and on but I will stop. Oh, and the quilt on the design wall was also dusted. OK, enough of that.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

No Sew For Days

Spring Cleaning here. That means a re-do of the big mantel and a re-arrange of the pottery collection to make room for the bunnies. These are my high-shoulder jugs. My favorite style. I search them out in present day potteries, antique stores and flea markets. If you know pottery you will also know just how valuable the antique ones really are. I have passed on two in the last year that were the price of a new car so you know what I mean. The front two in this photo are from a Pennsylvania pottery Eldreth . The large one in back is from a Pittsburgh potter.
Aren't they sweet. Discussing this style with  a dealer recently reminded me that this style was a utilitarian piece in history. Few survived daily use and that is the reason why those that have survived are so pricey.

So here is the part where I complain, feel free to exit if you aren't in the mood for negative!
  •  I started working on the Paris panel wall hanging the other day. Then a crew of work men invaded to do some wiring and I was unceremoniously removed. I am still stewing. One in particular was very careless, knocked bins of pre-cut blocks on to the floor, walked all over them. Books off shelves, old wires hanging from the ceiling, dust and dirt everywhere and here is the kicker......he ran the wires on the front of the walls, did not pull them through the already there conduits! I have big black cable wires up and down the walls. Husband told him that was OK. Husband is in a world of........trouble!
  • Ask me if I want to deal with that this week!
  • The neighbors house burnt down on Sunday, one of the most sad sights I have ever seen. His father built that house, piece by piece, in his spare time.
  •  The new wiring did NOT fix the problem. They are coming back, this will be the fourth time. Hold me down.
  • I have to pick up and sweep up all sorts of debris from the fire that drifted over here in the wind. So sad.
  • What's up with all the dust this year? I think that since we had little precipitation during Winter there is more dust. Is that possible? I clean and the next day, I can't tell. On dark furniture it looks like snow! 
  • My MIL complains that our dog, who has been gone for more than two years, is the one making the coffee spill messes all over her house.
  • Attempted break in at her house a couple nights ago, at 12:36 am. No evidence of tampering. The alarm people are on their way now, seems we may need to do some re-wiring over there. 
  • See what I mean? 
  • Now I hear some entity grinding up things near my driveway, listen to me, they better have a permit or heads are going to Roll!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ode to Diane

Her favorite color.

Some days, the best you can do is to simply hold yourself together. And that's enough.

I saw this quote on Bonnie Hunter's blog the other day, it's timing was perfect. I had just spent the morning at church breading 400 lbs of fish for the St. Michael's fish fry that afternoon. This is our major fund raiser for the year and we do well in a community that has many fish fries during lent. Interestingly, our normally ebullient group was more quiet, we were all tired and quite frankly glad that only one more week would we have to continue the process. We have had the same group of people working the kitchen for several years and we are all friends. 

Life had taken a sad turn in Sewtopia and the comfort of regular routines and the company of friends helped to insulate me from reality. And there lies the connection to Bonnie's quote. Isn't it interesting how these things happen, is it coincidence or connection? I have no idea. 

My Dear Friend had one wish at the end, to go home, and home she was.  
Take Me Home-John Denver