Did she call me a bag lady?

For years I’ve told people not to trust the handles, joints or latches on vintage sewing machine cases.  The glue is old and brittle.  The nails and fasteners may be weak or loose.  Often the case has been compromised by moisture.  The damage to person and property can be significant.  A case and machine landing on the floor or table WILL do damage.  A case and machine landing on YOU is likely to result in an emergency room visit and possibly a plaster accessory for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

This holds true of a featherweight as well.  It’s easy to think “eh, it’s 11lbs.”  True, the machine is 11lbs – plus the weight of the accessories, the pedal and the case.  Typically, this tops 20lbs.  Continue reading Did she call me a bag lady?

Sand slipping through my hands – A 5 month update

I just realized it’s been nearly 6 months since I updated the blog.
I apologize for that everyone!  It’s  been a really up and down several months.   I thought I’d update you on some of the larger points. Continue reading Sand slipping through my hands – A 5 month update

A new pattern for a new year!

Happy New Year everyone!

If anyone had told me a few years ago that I’d be teaching people to maintain their vintage machines, I’d have probably thought they were crazy.   We’re planning more workshops for 2016 though!

For that matter, if they’d told me that I’d be quilting on a massive quilting frame and have a long arm as my most consistent dance partner and half my basement dedicated to sewing machines and quilting, I’d have shook my head and thought they really didn’t know me.

Similarly, it never occurred to me that I’d become a published pattern designer.  As of today, this too though has come to pass.  Today, my very first pattern has been uploaded to Craftsy and is available for sale and proceeds from this pattern will support the upkeep of ArchaicArcane.com and facilitate the upgrade of certain video making equipment. Continue reading A new pattern for a new year!

Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio

Note:  I talk mainly about long arm quilting in this post and how humidity affects it because it’s so much more quickly noticed with the speed of the machines but this post is relevant to anyone with a crafting space that uses thread and other fibers that can change for the worse with humidity changes.

Living on the prairies in Central Alberta, we seem to get a lot of weather extremes.  Normally, this doesn’t affect the inside of the house or my studio much – thankfully now that the roof thing has been taken care of! – but there’s one particular situation that I do have to manage – humidity.  With plummeting temperatures and the liberal use of a forced air furnace, the air becomes extremely dry down here.   I ignored it for the first winter that I had Lucey – not really recognizing it as a problem.

Last year – around this time – I started having major problems with thread breakage on Lucey.  No amount of pleading or bargaining or whining helped.  Continue reading Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio

A (new) piece of my heart – I’m really piecing!

One of the reasons that I tell people that I “don’t piece” is because I just find that I can’t seem to get the accuracy that I want.  Yes, I know that it takes practice and patience,  “nothing comes overnight”, and all that.  Sometimes though, it would be nice if my own tops weren’t the most character building tops I ever quilt. Parachutes are just not my favorite shape of top to quilt! I do however like to quilt, so sometimes I have to piece – especially if I want to keep what I’ve quilted.  😉

Two nights a week several weeks of the year, I have a girls’ night out.  Two separate groups of us get together and sew.  Since Lucey’s not especially portable – and Ryan says getting out of the house and spending time with friends is good for me – I grab a sewing machine (usually a featherweight) and do a little sewing with the girls.

Enter Judy Niemeyer’s paper piecing patterns.

After all, why start with something easy when you can out and out challenge the heck out of yourself, right?  Continue reading A (new) piece of my heart – I’m really piecing!

Cuts like a knife – Scissor care from a sharpening professional

Some of you might have seen me post on Facebook about my outing on Monday.  I finally took my favorite but very abused Gingher scissors in for repair and sharpening.   I’m a little embarrassed to say that in the few years I’ve had them, they’ve had a very hard life.

They’ve been dropped on their points, bent and even done a little bungee jumping.

GingherG7z2

These were my first “good” scissors and none of the abuse was ever intended – it just happened.   Somehow, I have a knack for storing scissors on the ground, usually from sewing table height.  I don’t think I ever did that when all I had were my craptastic scissors.   Figures, right?  Of course, at least 2 times they hit the floor they landed points down. Continue reading Cuts like a knife – Scissor care from a sharpening professional

PSA: Sometimes it’s not what it seems with your seams

So today I sat down at my industrial to sew a couple of hems.  Yes, overkill but I like to exercise my machines a little sometimes. 😉  Immediately after sitting down, I noticed tension and stitch length problems.

Strangely, this photo doesn’t really show that there are 2 hems here.   Stitch lines 2 and 4 are the problem hems.  The bottom one is the most obvious, you can see loops and the stitch length kept changing. Continue reading PSA: Sometimes it’s not what it seems with your seams

Learning how to fly with a broken wing – Taking care of myself after the damage is done

A personal diary/ accountability type of post today folks.

Please note: there are a lot of links in this post but none are affiliate links.  They are all informational and to support what I’m saying in the post

For years, I’ve dealt with food allergies and gaining or having difficulty losing weight.  It never got out of hand but I could feel how the extra weight made sports harder and I was a lot more tired than I should be after relatively little exercise.  And getting the energy up TO exercise? Yeah, that becomes a vicious circle.  Add to this a couple of compressed disks in my back and it’s a recipe for a sedentary lifestyle.

Lately even lifting a vintage sewing machine has become cumbersome. Continue reading Learning how to fly with a broken wing – Taking care of myself after the damage is done

The show must go on! Videos for you while I’m writing posts.

A short note tonight everyone!  About a month ago, I posted some new videos to YouTube and forgot to tell you all! 🙂

These three videos are on the slant machines but the bobbin maintenance one is applicable for pretty much any of the horizontal bobbin machines.  Heck, I’ve used the process on my embroidery machine. 😉

First:  I’ve had a few people say that the Slant upper tensioner is a little different to rebuild than the black machines.  Continue reading The show must go on! Videos for you while I’m writing posts.

A little wizardry – overdue maintenance on Archaic Arcane

Last week, support for the operating system on the computer that brings you ArchaicArcane.com was discontinued.  This is not unlike when Microsoft said no more XP.

What this means for AA is that I need to do some behind the curtain maintenance before I can do the on-stage updates.  I’m working on many things at once and you’ll start to see some posts hopefully this month.

The server and a quilt I was working on last month were the top priorities keeping me away from the site.  Now though, I have lots to say, I just need to take care of the server first so you can read about it when I tell it! 🙂 Continue reading A little wizardry – overdue maintenance on Archaic Arcane

My thoughts and revelations on the vintage arts and skills of yester-year.

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