Monday, July 11, 2016

You're in Good Hands

There is great satisfaction in putting a good sewing machine into someones hands and that's today's story. One of my neighbors has a friend who sews and they dropped in at my sewing machine garage sale last September. They couldn't stop to shop long enough but promised to be back. LeaRae came back! It was ten months later but now she was ready to buy. As with so many who sew, LeaRae already had another machine but it was in Texas and she wanted one for when she was up north during our beautiful summer months. She had a list of wants and a price limit so we set up a time and I got four machines all ready for her inspection. There was a Signature, Kenmore 385-18836, Elnita 220, and another Kenmore model 158-1430. Each machine had its plus and minus points but it finally came down to plastic parts. We opened up all but the Kenmore 385-18836 (I knew it was the most modern and did have plastic parts) and found they all had plastic gears except for the Kenmore 158-1430. It was nearly sold until I asked where it was going to be stored when she was back in Texas and we were in a deep freeze up here. Yup, it was going to stay up here so for sure the Kenmore would have the best chance of a freeze and thaw cycle but it's not good for any sewing machine. LeaRae stopped to consider that and is hoping she can leave it with a friend or neighbor who lives year round in the coldest north region so would be able to keep it at a steadier temperature.
Kenmore 158-1430
About ten days later I get an email from LeaRae with photos of her quilt tops:
Simple piecing but effective!

More advanced piecing
She points out these are only beginner types of quilts but I think she did great in such a short time. She loves her new machine and the only problem is the bobbin winder doesn't work quite right. She's coming back into the Twin Cities at the end of the month so we will connect again so I can look at the bobbin winder and get it working. By that time she should have the borders done on the quilts and have them ready to be quilted. I hope she is planning on quilting them herself with a stitch-in-the-ditch method since that would work well with her simple block pattern but we shall see.

A buttonhole attachment was included with her Kenmore and was a wonder for LeaRae so I hope she gets a chance to use it if she decides to make a few items of clothing. Or maybe she could make a towel holder for a kitchen cabinet or stove handle. I've been making up batches with a seasonal theme and have been given advice by a friend to make the folded handle part convertible for hanging on a door handle or on a knob of a cabinet. This means each towel get two buttonholes:
Handtowel hanging on a knob

Knob is hiding inside through the buttonhole

Inside with one long buttonhole for knob
I think this looks a bit confusing but I hope I can explain it: a typical handtowel would only have a buttonhole on the top layer that flips over the stove or door handle and then buttons with the button sewn on the inside flap. If you only have knobs instead of door handles, you can place the knob through the long buttonhole (see photo 2) and then flip the top layer down and button it on a shorter buttonhole on the top layer using the button that is on the bottom layer. Trust me, it works but it does mean I need to make 2 buttonholes for every towel. Here's a photo of some of the towels spread out with my collection of buttons to see what would match and what I still needed to buy. I hope to make up sets of four seasons of towels and a few sets with six towels to include Christmas and one other holiday.
Towels and their buttons!
As always, I find the creative part more fun so matching up buttons with fabric and towels took way too long but was so much fun. If LeaRae decides to make a towel holder she might even get to use that handy dandy buttonhole attachment without having to make a blouse!

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