Update: The queen’s on the mend

I know that I mentioned in a previous post that I was planning some time to post, but life got in the way.  Last weekend, we were watching a movie on the couch, when I noticed one of our kitties squatting in the corner.  Uh oh.  I picked her up and dropped her into her litter box, but she came out and squatted again.

mmmmm, Greenies!!

Continue reading Update: The queen’s on the mend

Project Rewind: back to the 60s – Reuse your wooden spools

NOTE 2014-03-03:  This post left for posterity, but it’s superceded (functionality wise) by this post.

In the early 1970s, thread manufacturers stopped using the wooden spools for their thread.  This was strictly due to cost.  A wood spool cost them between 2.5 and 4.5 cents per, where as a plastic spool cost half that.

Financially, it made sense.  Unfortunately, the sewing experience doesn’t seem to be the same.  Plastic spools hop all over the place, they’re loud, and let’s face it, they’re ugly too.  I really think the older machines like the wood spools better too.  They’re heavier and harder to “spin around” and mess with the tension.

I have my grandma’s old sewing basket, it has a bunch of wood spools in it.  Some full, some empty, or close to it.  She used to keep them to wind the thread ends onto.

On the Quilting Board, we were discussing why you couldn’t rewind some of these old spools.  The easy answer is “there’s no product on the market that will do it”.

Today, I came across a photo of a Two Spools machine that was winding a wooden spool, and I decided it had to be possible for “the rest of us”, and if it was, I’d try to come up with a way to do it.

Note: This process will work better with a top mounted bobbin winder.  It may work with a side mounted winder, but it may limit the size of the spool you can use.  I can’t see a way it would work with a Self-winding bobbin.  It should work with a Side Winder too.  Also, for pretty obvious reasons, it won’t work with the long bobbins.  😉

Continue reading Project Rewind: back to the 60s – Reuse your wooden spools

Reader Mail: October 30, 2012 edition

Welcome to Reader Mail, the October 30th Edition.


I received an email from someone inquiring about a machine I had advertised on the local buy and sell.   She wrote:

I am an absolute beginner, what would you recommend for a first machine?

I don’t require any fancy stitches, but what about the 4 step buttonholers or a built-in button hole function?

Continue reading Reader Mail: October 30, 2012 edition

Reader Mail: October 21, 2012 Edition

So, I thought I’d start a feature here on AA where I answer questions submitted by you, the Readers.

I get some questions via email that you would normally never see, but the same questions seem to come up time and time again. In the hopes of addressing some of them in “public”, I present to you:

Reader Mail.

Matt wrote me about his model 127, with a replacement shuttle:

… the stitches don’t always stay tight and straight as I think it should. Maybe it’s the needle size and tension isn’t adjusted right?

How can I properly adjust the tension and what needle size does it need?

Continue reading Reader Mail: October 21, 2012 Edition

Introductions to our sewing machine family, Part 3

Wow,.. a third part?

A lot of things have changed since the last post.

In the beginning of August, the 290C was relocated to somewhere it will get used.

In October, the Kenmore found a home where it’s going to teach a little girl to sew.

The same weekend in October, Archie went to a nice lady who tends to throw herself into the things she tries out… sound familiar?  I know.  That’s why it seemed a good match.

And earlier this week, Midge went to a good home.  A quilting home.  She was by far the hardest to part with.  I don’t know what it is about a featherweight, but you seem to bond with them immediately and permanently.

Continue reading Introductions to our sewing machine family, Part 3