Showing posts with label Singer 201K. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singer 201K. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt III

I have been chain piecing the 48 squares into pairs and pressing them.  I had experimented with chain piecing when constructing the piano key border for the log-cabin quilt and I think it is the best thing since the invention of the lock-stitch machine!  It's hard to believe how much such a simple technique speeds up the piecing process.  I use a dry iron to set the seams and then I snip the units apart before "pressing to the dark side"

The 48 squares make 24 pairs which, in their turn, will be sewn together creating 12 four patch squares.

Here I have managed to sew together 12 of the pairs to produce six squares.  I stopped here because the light was starting to fail (to be fair it hardly got light today) and I wanted to get some pictures taken.  I used a couple or three pins to make sure that the seams all stayed matched at the centre of the blocks.  They've come out well so far and the 201K has behaved faultlessly.  The hinged presser foot has managed to glide over the pressed seams and pins beautifully.

I may carry on and sew the remaining pairs into squares this evening but I will need to spend some time reading up on "blocking".  The larger squares should measure approximately 12 and a half inches and finish at 12.  The ones I have completed aren't far out but I really want to be as accurate as possible.  From what I can tell blocking will help me establish the 'true' sewing line for when I piece the units together in rows.  One method advocates using a square ruler and a pencil to establish this line the other a rotary cutter to trim blocks down to size.  I think am leaning toward the drawing rather than the cutting method.  Less scope for disaster at this stage perhaps? 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Baby Fence Rail - Pt I

Last night I pre-washed the fabric I bought for this project back in March.  It was all dry by the time I got home this evening and ready to be ironed.

With the fabric ironed I got to work with the rotary cutter.  I didn't set out to do all my cutting in one go but I had no idea how quickly this would go when working with new yardage and a new cutting disc.  To date my patch work has all been put together from repurposed garments or left overs from other projects.  This has meant dealing with irregular shapes and a certain amount of patch by patch cutting.  New fabric is regular in shape, easy to fold and it took no time to cut eight, two and a half inch, cross-width strips from each fabric.  I then cut a further six wider strips from two of the fabrics.  These will form narrow and wider borders.  The binding will be made of the third (yellow) fabric.

Don't the cut fabrics look satisfying all laid out and ready to go?

The brand new spool of natural coloured Gutermann's sew all was too much for me to resist so I got to work filling a bobbin.  I have decided, as this project begins with sewing strip sets, to use the 201k to piece this project.  The large level working space provided by the cabinet will be useful.

Filling bobbins is a task I always enjoy and never more so than on my 201k.  The rubber tyre is nearly new so the winder fills bobbins a treat!  This is where I intended to stop for the evening but all that lovely cut fabric was just too tempting.

So here it is - the first strip set I have sewn and pressed.  The ironing board cover is new.  I bought it off the peg but had to do major surgery yesterday afternoon to make it fit my tiny ironing board.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Log Cabin Quilt: Pieced and pressed

It feels like it has been a long time coming and I know that I still have a way to go.  Nevertheless I cannot help feeling that I have crossed a personal rubicon this evening.  I have finished piecing the log cabin quilt top.

The top is now 42 inches wide and 56 inches long.  I think this will be a decent size for a cot plus a little bit of growing space.

I finished the borders on the Singer 201K.  I am still quite new to the treadle but I managed the long seams reasonably well.  The large level workspace is a bonus.  I only had one sticky moment when I upset the apple cart by letting the machine run backwards.  Result?  - Great wads of top thread knotting up on the underside of the work - this is to be avoided.  I had to stop, cut the work from machine and unpick the mess before I could continue.

So now it is time to think about putting the 201K to bed for a little while and introduce the Singer 401G.  That's the machine I am going to use to straight-line quilt this project.  But for now I think I've earned a beer.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Log Cabin Quilt: Sashing and Border update

Here are the log cabin blocks pieced together in the sunshine and shadow setting. All the paper foundation has been removed [with the help of TMB - thanks!] and the narrow red sashed border added.  I think I like it... 

Spot the toe of my carpet slippers! 

Production has switched to the 201K.  The 28K's bobbin ran out on Saturday afternoon and I already had a class 66 bobbin wound with white thread.  The large level work space of the 201K's cabinet made the long seams more manageable. Does anyone else ever switch machines part way through a project?

Here is the quilt top a few minutes later with the first long side of piano keys added.  The border has been pressed and the quilt is making me smile.

Next job is to make another long piano key border for the other side but I may get distracted working out how I am going to handle the corner blocks.  I'm not sure I have the strength for mitred piano keys.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Meet the Singer 201K

Singer closed cabinet 51

"This cabinet is beautifully finished and, when closed, presents no suggestion of a sewing machine."

So said Singer when they were still trying to sell them.  It is actually quite a good design and, although mine isn't in as new condition, it is well put together and the quality of the quarter cut veneer is as good as any mid 20th century factory made furniture I've seen.  This one had been standing in a puddle in an out building when I collected it.  It was cold and damp and had started to go mouldy and although the polish has flaked in places the carcass and veneer are basically sound.  I let the cabinet gently dry out in an unheated room over the first few days of ownership.  I haven't tried to wax it  because I haven't decided whether I am going to strip and refinish part or all of the outside yet.

Singer 51 cabinet open

Here is the cabinet with both doors open revealing the treadle and flywheel.  The polish on the inside is still sound and I wouldn't dream of messing with it.  The box mounted on the inside of the left door is great.  It's amazing how many attachments, bobbins, scissors, seam rippers and so on one can cram in there.  The brown paint on the treadle irons is near perfect as is the rubber mat.

Nestling tantalisingly in the cabinet is the 201K.  The top of the cabinet folds out to form a work surface which rests on the left hand cabinet door.  This picture shows some of the battle scars the the cabinet has collected over the years very well.

There is  strong-looking coil spring in the back of the cabinet which helps to counterbalance the weight of the machine when lifting it into the operating position.  Venus  approves of the large level working space to the left of the needle.

This 201K has the Plain-Jane "paper clip" decals and Johnny-Come-Lately striped face plate.  It's all restrained elegance from post-war Kilbowie and I love it!

The serial number on this machine is from a batch allocated in 1950.  Funny to think my 28K was already 50 years old when this 201K was brand spanking.  I must admit that I do like the way the chrome really sparkles on this one.  Amazingly it's none the worse for having been stored in a leaky shed.  

I include this picture of the machine lying in the well of the cabinet to show the striped access plate which matches the face plate and the round bracket fixed behind it.  This must have been where the Singerlight attached to the machine.  How handy would one of those be now?

All I've really done here since getting the machine is clean, oil, recalibrate the tension indicator plate and fit a new bobbin tire.  Rolls Royce sewing for less than the price of a yard of Liberty lawn tell that to a Viking Rep!  Having been used to the 28K the 201K is a revelation.  It really has to be heard to be believed.  Sew quiet!  The belt has started to slip a tiny bit since the machine became acclimatised to the sitting room but I've yet to pluck up the courage to shorten it.  I am paranoid about making it too short and straining the bearings.

So far I've sewed a hobo bag for my mate Steph on the 201K and a patchwork cushion cover for T-M-B but I am looking forward to doing lots more with it.  I really want to try and make a shirt for myself one day soon.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Crazy Patchwork Cushion

Crazy Patchwork Cushion cover on chair

Crazy Patchwork Cushion

This cushion case is made of scraps of shirts left over from my first quilting project and various other bits and bobs including a nice hunk of "ready for action" fabric by Alexander Henry.  Some of the first stitches I made with my Singer 201K treadle hold it together.  I was inspired to make it after reading "The Quilter's Bible" by Linda Clements.

I used a variation on Stitch and Flip but unlike the log-cabin blocks I didn't use a paper foundation for this crazy patchwork.  I pieced scraps and strips, stitching and flipping, until I had rough, out-sized, blocks.  I then used a six and a half inch square ruler and rotary cutter to 'square' the blocks.  When I had made nine of these I sewed them into what is essentially a large nine-patch unit.  I think it was best that I waited until I had all nine patches ready before sewing them together.  This gave me the chance to 'set' the blocks to my satisfaction.  I am happy that I managed to get a fairly even spread of colours here.

I sandwiched my block with poly batting left over from that same first quilt and white poly cotton I had left over from lining an apron I made for my sister.  I quilted the sandwich on my Singer 401G Slant-O-Matic simply because it came with a walking foot.  I choose a very boring regular grid pattern and variegated blue and white thread for the quilting.  I liked the way this contrasted with the 'scrappiness' of the quilt but somehow it didn't feel enough for me so I shadowed the grid with another line of stitching using the edge of the walking foot as a guide.

I completed the cushion cover on the Singer 201K.  I went for an envelope closure because that is the only type of cushion cover I have experience of and I was anxious to get the thing finished as a Valentine's day gift for The-Much-Beloved.  I used an adjustable hemmer and my trusty seam guide to help me get the job done as accurately and speedily as possible.

The cover finished at an approximate 17 inch square so an 18 inch duck down cushion form makes it pleasingly plump.