Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thrifty Tuesday { vintage sewing machine}

My favorite past time, even before sewing, is thrifting.  Before Ebay or Craigslist was even a twinkle in the eye of the not yet discovered internet, I could be found with two young boys in the local Goodwill in Sunnyvale, California. There I would find treasures, learn my personal taste and the kids would always find a few fun things too.

It was the way that enabled me to stay at home as a young military family in one of the most expensive places to live.  My love of thrifting went way beyond being frugal, it was a way that I could rescue furniture, vintage clothing and when I discovered SEWING MACHINES at the thrift shops, I was absolutely giddy!




Vintage all metal machines are amazing!  They are well made, can sew through anything from silk to concrete( not really but pretty close) and with a little love and care, they will last a lifetime.  That is how they were built.  You can find vintage machines inexpensively compared to many new machines.  They could need some work to get them going.  An investment in a vintage machine ( pre 1980) for minor repairs is well worth it!

Even though I was NOT looking ( I SWEAR on the Singer Sewing Manual), I walked in to a Goodwill and there, at the front door, was a sewing machine cabinet.  It was meticulous.  A  sewing cabinet that is in perfect condition is very rare! It was unlike any I have seen previously, so it really intrigued me.

I was pretty certain I would find a lovely old Kenmore or maybe a White but what I found instead was a Singer 403. Let me repeat that... A SINGER 403 Slant-O-Matic!

When I opened the top and realized what I had found, my heart started to race a little.  The price on the machine was $39.99.  It was out of my range of what I would normally pay for a vintage machine.  The machine had a manual, all of the cams and the lid for where the cams are inserted was still intact.





By this time, an older gentleman came up in interest and started a conversation about the machine.  He was just as interested as I was ( which made the machine even MORE interesting to me...lol) in what it was and the condition.

He was telling me that he had a collection of sewing machines at home but he does not even sew!  He is not the first man to tell me this in a thrift shop!  It is interesting to me how many men collect sewing machines for their beauty and interesting mechanics.

After we chatted for a bit, I put the sewing machine back into the cabinet, thanked him for the lively conversation ( he was so funny and kind) and decided that the machine was really not for me.

Or was it...

Two days later, I was in the same area and just had to stop back in to see if the machine was still there. When I walked through the door, it was gone!

Then out of the corner of my eye...I spotted it!  Someone had moved it to check it out.  I walked up, opened the case and then tried to turn it on.  DRATS!  No power.  The machine was plugged in properly.  I checked all of the wires and there were no splits or severed bits.

I was sure it was something else.  I picked up the extension cord and followed it to a plug in the wall...it was unplugged!

I plugged it in and OMG!!!!  It WORKED!!!!  Not only did it work, it was strong and not sticking at all! and there was another surprise!  I hidden compartment with attachments!  That was IT!  This machine was meant for me!



I picked it up and carried it to the checkout.  There, in front of me, was a lady with loads of plates and bowls.  She was admiring the cabinet.  She also had tales of vintage sewing machines.  She was also someone that did not really sew ( like the gentleman two days before) but had a collection of vintage machines given to her from family members.

We chatted for a few minutes and she plopped a 20% off coupon on top of my cabinet!  WHAT!?! I said thank you many times over!  So generous of her to help enable me to rescue this lovely machine!

I love everything about her!

The cam case!



I am usually not a drop in bobbin fan but I love this one, especially since I figured out how to adjust it!



The door that opens to reveal part of the magic!


and even the tension discs... YES...I am a freak!


Someone had asked me about threading this machine.  It is very easy!  If you do not have a manual, the door on the side has the thread guide right inside!

I will have more on this machine as soon as my iPhone decides to start cooperating with my computer๐Ÿ˜‰ Silly phone!

Do you have vintage machines?  Which one is your FAVORITE?

For now, I am pretty smitten with this one ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’— Now to find a NAME!








Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Motivation {Mother's Day}

Welcome Back to Monday Motivation! Mother's Day is so very close but there is still time to make something!  If you will be giving your mom a special gift, why not make it a handmade gift?

This collection of free patterns and tutorials has something for everyone!  From sneeze free flowers to a cute zip pouch! You do not have to have a mom that sews to create a lovely handmade gift that your mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, teacher or family friend would not treasure!






These flowers all not wilt! Make these no sew felt flowers with your handy dandy hot glue gun with a free tutorial by Mommy Moment here.



Rachel from Start Stitching has a fast and fun tutorial for a teacup pincushion!  Make this project by visiting here.



Fill this Charmed Gift Bag with fat quarters, charm packs, yarn and some crochet hooks or knitting needles or maybe some coffee beans!  This pattern in from Moda Bake Shop and the pattern can be found here.



Liz from Sew 4 Home has the how to for these fast and easy embellished kitchen towels any mom would love! 




The ultimate zip pouch!  I love this super cool pouch featured on Country Living ( one of my favorite sites for EVERYTHING) with an easy to follow tutorial



Make these lovely crepe paper wildflowers with a tutorial by Oh Everything Handmade



The Homespun Hydrangea has these simple and sweet coasters you can make with your kids for an aunt, grandma or a teacher they love! For this tutorial, please visit here.



This donut pincushion is PERFECTION!  A very fun way to say Happy Mother's Day! Make this sweet treat by visiting Wrapped Up in Rainbows here.



Heather Valentine from The Sewing Loft has this cute tutorial ( video) for how to give adorable vintage hankies new life and purpose for Mother's Day! 



Make Mom her own special pillowcase with fancy french seams... OOOOOoooooh la la!  Get the tutorial by Treasurie here.



My friend, the FABULOUS Pat Sloan has this sweet Bee pouch that could be whipped up in no time!  Find the tutorial by visiting here!



Patty Young from Mod Kid Boutique has a variety of free patterns including this great scarf!  I know I cannot have too many scarves! Find all of her free patterns by visiting here!



The Naughty Secretary Bag was one of the very first bags I ever made!  The pattern is by my lovely friend Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness!  If you are new to bag making this is an incredible starting point!  I have made several more of these and the one I made originally has been pinned more than anything else I have made!  You can find the free tutorial by visiting here.





I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:

















Friday, April 21, 2017

Flower Stem Time for the Dandy Drive Sew Along!

Are you ready for the next step in the Dandy Drive Sew Along!  We are really moving fast with this one!  The Flower Garden is blooming nicely! 

You can find each of the patterns for the blocks by visiting Pat Sloan's website here!






Today is the stem!  With many pieces I did not want to get confused!  I took small pieces of paper and wrote the letters of the coordinating fabric pieces and placed them on top.  A quick pin was then used but not shown.




For faster half square triangles without marking, place a piece of painters tape or wash tape on the 1/4 seam line.


Line up your square along the side of a patchwork foot ( #37 on a Bernina).


and keep the bottom of the square lined up with the edge of the tape.



It is SO EASY and really make half square triangles fuss free!



Here is one of my stems I finished! The fabrics will all be vintage looking in my blocks inspired by blocks I have found at thrift shops!







There are LOADS more FABULOUS DESIGNERS that are participating in this fun sew along so be sure to stop in and see what they are doing too! 

Kim Niedzwiecki ( you are here) Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jane Davidson: Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jacquelynne Steves: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group
Kerry Goulder: Facebook/Instagram/Blog
Heather Valentine: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group


The giveaway this week is a fat quarter bundle from Pat Sloan of her Sunday Drive Batik Fat Quarter Bundle! You can Enter for your chance to win by visiting her here or Buy one now by visiting here


Friday, April 14, 2017

Sew Along Dandy Drive!

It is Friday and time for the next chapter for the Dandy Drive Sew Along hosted by Sarah J. Maxwell and Pat Sloan!  You can get the free pattern for the next step of this block by visiting Pat Sloan here!





This week was interesting for me for these blocks.  I said something I have never said before EVER... " I ran out of fabric!"

If you have ever eyeballed what you have on hand and think you have guessed correctly, you know how I am feeling right now. If you have ever *thought* about doing this...DON'T!

The fabrics I chose are not something you can find at either your local quilt shop or at any bug box shop.  I will be improvising my block and posting the photos later. 

This is NOT usually what happens but I felt it would be good to use myself as an example of why it is a GREAT idea to BUY the extra fabric!  I also wanted to share that these things DO happen to all sewing enthusiasts, even ( and especially ) those that blog or sew for a living.

I have a plan already to go and my blocks will be shared in a couple of hours. 

To get today's FREE pattern for Chapter Two, visit Pate Sloan here!



There is ANOTHER GIVEAWAY this week with Pat too!  Visit her website to enter for your chance to WIN her fat quarter bundle!  For giveaway please visit HERE


There are LOADS more FABULOUS DESIGNERS that are participating in this fun sew along so be sure to stop in and see what they are doing too! 

Kim Niedzwiecki ( you are here) Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jane Davidson: Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jacquelynne Steves: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group
Kerry Goulder: Facebook/Instagram/Blog
Heather Valentine: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group



Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Splendid Sampler Giveaway!

This past year was filled with fun blocks every Sunday and Thursday from The Splendid Sampler! I was super honored to be included in the group of designers and also pieced setting blocks for one of the final quilts in the book ( that was very exciting) last Summer!

Now that the first year is finished and all 100 blocks have been revealed, it is time for the next chapter...

The Splendid Sampler BOOK!  NO WAY! And even better...A GIVEAWAY!

Martingale is hosting a fantastic giveaway including Aurifil, Moda Fabric, Reliable Iron, Schmetz needles and copies of The Splendid Sampler book!



This was the block I designed for the book! And I made the COVER! WOOT WOOT! 





I had so much fun making all of the blocks!  If you missed out on the first go round make sure to buy the book and join in the second!

Jane and Pat already have plans in place!

"Yes! We are super excited—now that the book is out, we already have our amazing Facebook group up, running and vibrant! In a few weeks we’ll start assigning one block a week from the book to sew—sign up for our newsletter to be notified of those details. Now is the perfect time to tell your friends and your local quilt shop that you want to have a sit-and-sew to work on Splendid Sampler blocks. Along with making friends online, many quilters have started groups in-person and enjoy sewing together. We can’t wait to see quilts being made for years to come!"

If you have not seen the blocks from The Splendid Sampler, here are a few that I made last year...

Block 16 by Lindsay Mayland that I included a tutorial on fussy cut templates!



The block by Charise Creates was one of my favorites ( center photo with the orange dress)!  I added an Aurifil spool and Charise created a pattern from my addition so everyone could have an Aurispool too! 




There are blocks with every technique!  The group was a beautiful mix of beginner to expert with a ton of support from each other and the Splendid Designers!  

Many thanks to Pat, Jane and Moda for getting this not only up and running but for giving many a community to be a part of and engaged with every week!  LOVE to you all! 



So GO NOW to enter for your chance to WIN FABULOUS PRIZES HERE




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bountiful Sharon Holland Blog Hop!

Sharon Holland has a fantastic collection of lovely fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics! She was sweet enough to include me in her Blog Hop and I am over the moon because it made it possible for me to get my hands on these fabrics!

The colors are muted bliss!  Soft, summery and light. I knew exactly what I wanted to make when I laid eyes on them!



A simple Summer Quilt top! Hazel and her brothers will need a simple quilt for adventuring in the back garden or picnics in the park.  The cottons are so soft!  Perfect for littles to snuggle up with a great book and just relax! 


It is not a huge quilt, just big enough for three littles to enjoy! This quilt is pieced using Aurifil 50 wt thread.  Next will be quilting and I am leaning towards a simple straight line quilting to keep it soft and lovable! 


I also made a baby bib for Hazel using Sharon's beautiful fabrics! I have the free pattern link and tutorial for this bib in the post here.




You will not want to miss all of the other designers that are participating in this fun event! So many incredible projects are being made with these fabrics! 





Baby Bibs {free bib pattern link}

Baby sewing is possible the most fun of all!  It has been so many years since I have made bibs, I had completely forgotten that my newest grandchild just might need some. Two weeks ago, my daughter in law sent me a photo of Hazel having her first pizza bone ( that is what we have always called the crust of the pizza) and she was wearing a bib that was her oldest brother's who is now 8...YIKES! 


That is both great and not so great.  Great because the bib she was wearing is STILL being used after it made it through TWO older brothers ( yay great bibs) and not so great because little Miss needs her own bibs! 

I went way back into the archives and found my free bib pattern!  You can find it here.  

The first bib is made with Sharon Holland's Bountiful fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics. This one is backed in minky and has beed quilted using Aurifil 50wt.






Anna Maria Horner Butterflies are a must for my little one! Her amazing parents are great naturalists and all of the kids are outside with creatures all the time!



Windham Fabrics Gardening is so much fun!  I found these fabrics at Pineapple Fabrics! The minky back is water resistant so no spills will get through!



Munki Munki Ice Cream Trucks!  I have always loved this fun print!

Another Windham Gardening bib!  This one has batting in the middle and chickens on the back.  This one is a reversible bib!  Variety is the spice of life!



I did make a few more bibs and will probably be making even more after Spring Break.  Oh my goodness, I hope I will be able to get sewing done!




I construct all of my bibs using Aurifil 40wt.  The 40wt is a bit thicker and a good all purpose thread or high use item thread.  The 40wt is the green spool.  Bibs are HIGH use and this thread has been perfect without breaking with many washings! It also has the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. 

"The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels, as well as accessory materials used."

It is another way that Aurifil is dedicated to the quality of the process and the products presented to the consumer.

I hope you will give this pattern a try!  These bibs are really the best and what could be better than a free pattern and the BEST for the babies in your life๐Ÿ’–

If you make these bibs, I would LOVE to see them!  Please tag me on InstagramFacebookTwitter or Pinterest


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