Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Crafting--How I Would Have Done it Differently

Knitting--(large) stash of yarn, patterns, and supplies--Check
Crocheting--(large) stash of yarn, patterns, and supplies--Check
Cross Stitching--(large) stash of yarn, fabrics, patterns and supplies --Check
Sewing--stash of fabrics, patterns, notions and supplies--Check
Misc. crafting--stash of supplies--Check

Since I've been purging the above in the past year, I've asked myself why I have so much of everything.  How did it happen and why?

Some of the reasons are
--get excited about the craft, find all kinds of projects I want to make, so buy the supplies
--find supplies on sale or have coupons for a large percentage off so must purchase while on sale.
--much like the person who has "eyes bigger than their stomachs" I have plans greater than that for which my energy or time allows.
--realize what's missing from my supplies and buy to fill in the gaps
--cannot resist when people give me large bundles of items for free--free is good.

Probably the #1 reason:
--have learned over the decades that if I don't buy when I see it, it won't be available when I want it.

This is most true of fabric.  So many times I went specifically for fabric for pants or for a blouse.  Being successful less than half the time I made it a point to buy the fabric  I liked when I saw it.

OK, this explains the fabric --and I have a fraction of what some do, but this is what started the entire stash of everything.  What's the excuse for floss or knitting patterns or embroidery thread or sewing patterns?

Probably none or at least not a good one; just that I liked it, was excited at that time about the craft, and might even have had a coupon.  Never having a lot of spare money, "on sale" was quite tempting.

The good part is the items purchased years ago were less money than that of today, saving me money.  Did it?  As I'm now donating some items, my "wisdom" didn't wind up saving me money.

The smart thing would be--and I would strive for today--to do things differently and purchase supplies as I needed them, not for the future, at least not quite so much for the future.

Or would I?  One thing I know about myself is that I like choices.  Sometimes on the spur of the moment I decide on a project.  Since it's generally late at night and knowing that locating something is not all that satisfactory at the store, it's good to have "my little store" to go to.

Why so much embroidery thread?  I was very excited when I got my embroidery machine and just kept buying thread (from several different companies) so I would have almost every shade with all the various types of thread:  metallic, silky, polyester and blends, cotton, for various projects.  My purchases added to whatever threads I already had for doing the "fancy" stitches on the sewing machine.

This would explain all the embroidery floss also.  To add to this collection, my mother-in-law would buy for me tons of it in those neat special boxes for floss.  How could I say to take it back; that I had enough already?

People have also given me bags of yarn, knitting and crocheting patterns, sewing patterns, notions and fabric.  You wouldn't catch me saying, "No, don't give me free stuff; I'd rather pay full price at the store."

Can't forget the fabric, supplies, yarn, and patterns, (sewing and knitting and crocheting) for The Doll.  You know which one:  the one who is named Barbie.  Besides what I had purchased, a friend from out of state sent four large boxes, mostly fabric, to me.  It was her fabric scraps.  Ha--my scraps are always small pieces; hers could be up to two yards.

Now, I have so much to go through and purge, but what, which?  There are some difficult decisions to be made!

I'm certain that I'm not the only one.  Anyone else have any stories that they would like to share--or laugh along with me, or shake their head along with me?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ukrainian Easter Eggs (Pysanky)

Traditionally Ukrainian Easter is celebrated a week later than that of other Christians, so this year it is April 12.

My mother decorated eggs. Most of hers are now gone.  They would be several decades old.

The ones in the center are larger and are of wood.  I believe that they are painted, which was done in only the last few decades.  Well, they don't break!  Click on the pic for a larger view.

The ones from the past are done by the wax method and take hours and hours for just one egg.  The one example of my work when I was 4 years old is long gone.  It was a masterpiece.  

By the way the tradition began pre-Christianity.

You can do a search for more info and how the eggs were made.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sewing Machines From the Mid-Fifties

In an old McCall's magazine, Fall-Winter '55-'56 was an article about the latest features on machines.

The newest innovation was the automatic zigzag, which could do all that straight-stitch and manual zigzag machines could, plus do embroidery pattern stitches automatically.

They had discs or cams to be inserted or some were built into the machine.

Above are the machines they highlighted.  Unfortunately they don't mention the model # and that is not always visible on the machine.

If you have an older machine but don't know when it came out, perhaps it is shown here.  These machines would be from 1955 or possibly 1954.    The year could certainly be a place to start to find out more about your machine.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pfaff 1475--some hints

Over the years I've come across those who were not aware of some of these functions of the Pfaff 1475.  They may be available on other models, but the 1475 is the one with which I am acquainted.  There are still a lot of this model in use.

When using the single needle foot and/or plate, there is a chance that the operator will forget and tap in a stitch which has width.  This is not good for the machine and could cause the timing to be off.  There is also the possibility that the needle could break and hit the operator in the eye.  Ouch.

There is a security measure:  touch the twin-needle button, (#29) which is lit showing it has been engaged.  It will prevent any stitch from sewing which is not a straight stitch.

The presser bar lifter has several positions: up (foot lifted), down (foot engaged) and darning.  In the photos, shown are up and darning.

When darning position comes in handy is when threading and using the threader.  It doesn't always catch the thread the first time and the thread keeps pulling off the spool.

Putting the presser foot in the darning (part-way) position tightens the tension disks so the thread won't unwind.  Be certain to do this only after the upper threading and lift it to the upper position for pulling up the bobbin thread.

To put it in this position it needs to be pushed toward the back.  If you're having a problem finding the position, check it from the back of the machine.

Then there is one more position for the presser bar lifter, which is temporary and must be held up.

When having a problem getting a hoop under the bar, lift this lever just a bit higher than the up position and the hoop should fit.  

This extra lift can also be used for extra thick materials and for darning.

When I first obtained this machine 23 years ago I spent a lot of time playing with it and learning what it could do.  After many weeks of this, my hubby asked me if I was ever going to sew anything.  Good question.