Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Nine Patch Quilt Finished!

I picked up the quilt from my long arm quilter, Lori, and it looks great! I chose a slightly variegated cream/ivory thread so it would show up. It's different, but I like the texture and definition it gives.

Picking the binding was a little tough...went through all my "scraps" big enough to give me the straight of grain 2.5" strips that I needed from the fabrics I used in the quilt. I chose a little floral...it's kind of "pinky/purple". To be honest. it was a tough decision to make colorwise. But I can think of worse things to decide on!

Of course, Eva had to come out and play for this. The whole quilt top was sewn with her so it's fitting she come out and sew the binding together and on the quilt. Love working on her with the Sewing Machine Mat and the cute Dresden Plate Spool Pin Doily


Sewing the binding was easy: 2.5" on grain strips folded in half and pressed. Seam width is 3/8", sewn right side to right side with raw edges even. I set up the machine with the Seam Cloth Guide set at 3/8".
Each side is sewn up to the next corner, stopping 3/8" from the end and backstitched. Then the binding is folded back at a 45 degree angle....
Then fold the binding down over that 45 degree angle so that the fold is aligned with the quilt edge....
Pin that fold 3/8" down from the quilt edge (and fold) and begin stitching again at that pin, again backstitching. It's so easy to do!  Then comes the hard part of folding the binding over to the back of the quilt and hand stitching it down.

I slugged through hand stitching the binding onto the back of the quilt after machine stitching it to the front. I usually work one side a day. I pretty much finished it in the four days allotted. Yeah!!

Here it is folded up on the table after completing it.

Here's the finished quilt on the old bed. It adds some needed color to this attic room. 

While working on this Nine Patch Quilt I was able to design, sew and write the instructions for another Classic Sewing Magazine article for the Fall 2022 issue. It's safely turned in to them, so now it's time to choose another project. Hmmmmm.....have to go through the UFO box again!

Happy Stitching and Sewing to you!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

2022 Sewing & Stitching so far....

 It's now March 2022 and haven't written anything here on the blog....but I HAVE been sewing, stitching, and, designing another quilt. Seems like I get into a mood to make a quilt in January. So here's a run down of the projects I've completed (or almost completed) since the beginning of the year.

"Le Jardin" needle book, a kit and class I took from Wendy Schoen, in 2005. It features goldwork and fine embroidery on silk. It's lovely and another Unfinished Object out of the box!!

A large crochet edge baby blanket made from cute pastel dotted flannel, prepared by machine first with a hemstitch, then crocheted in a shell stitch, was another completed project.

I fell for some flannel at a Joann's for Wee Care preemie blankets, then some Aunt Lydia's #10 yellow cotton crochet from Michael's. One and an eighth yard gave me four squares, prepared again by machine hemstitch for crochet. I'm doing the shell stitch on them....really the only crochet edging I can do. But who cares? It makes a nice edging and a pretty little blanket. Love that I can pick it up and stitch on it anywhere, anytime.

Next up, two Angel Wing Wee Care gowns made from leftover fabric from a long finished UFO... now ready for smocking with some of my Valdani variegated #12 pearl cotton, along with a finished Grady style one.. I like to stitch up the whole gown, with lace trim and pleat it so only the smocking is left to do.

Another project from my Royal School of Needlework classes a few years ago in Williamsburg, VA, taught by the renowned Jenny Adin-Christie, is a heart sachet. I've been very slowly working on it (as you can see in the photo below). It's very involved and tedious with eyelets, needlelace, entredeux, satin stitches, etc., but I do enjoy whitework!

Eva, my 1947 Featherweight, needed a quilted carrying tote to protect her hard case. I had everything in my stash, except for the straps. I stitched the tote case (and machine quilted it), a sleeve for the folding bed (protects the bed from the screw on the machine face), a velcro cord wrap from scraps and the sewing machine mat from my pattern but with square corners. Whew!! I love the coordinating fabric from Joann's printed with fashionable ladies of the era (about Eva's timeframe). All I left to make is a matching spool pin cover....yeah, I know, it's overkill.


Now the quilt. I have a book, purchased from a thrift store, that is all about scrap quilts ("Quilting with Bits and Pieces". I chose a nine-patch one and cut out a bunch of 2.5" squares, a few each day, from my stash. I changed the design to have a pieced border from all the colors. Each nine-patch block is a different fabric from the stash, as you can see with it hanging over the hand rail. 

The entire quilt top was stitched on Eva: I love it!!  The quilt  is now out for long arm quilting. I can't wait to see it when it's completed and bound. So that's it for now....a little stitching or sewing everyday (even as little as 20 minutes) can accomplish a lot of completed fun projects!

P.S.: I couldn't resist making the spool pin doily. It's another pattern from the Featherweight Shop: so cute!




Friday, December 10, 2021

Singer Folding Table: Finished!

It was easy to put the table back together. I only had to watch out for the left and right brackets that hold the machine in place. They are ever-so-slightly different. Luckily I had taken photos of it all prior to taking the table apart

Painting the legs was interesting. I used a box and wooden dowels to hang the legs on to make it easy to paint.

I did have to stabilize the dowels with painter's tape so they wouldn't tip. I roughed up the paint with steel wool and sanding paper. Then had to wait to let the wind die down so I could spray paint outside using a Rustoleum Black Gloss spray paint with several quick, light coats, then let dry overnight. Then I repeated the procedure. It wasn't the best of jobs, but the legs look good.

After drying for at least a day I reinserted the legs into the hinges. The hinge pins, cleaned and ready to  go along with the painted washers, are long and require two steps to get them back into the hinge.

First tapping the hinge pin with a hammier.....

Then screwing it the rest of the way with a short screwdriver. 

Next on the list of restoration was waxing the legs to give them an extra layer of protection. I used the wax I had from The Featherweight Shop for my 1935 Featherweight. They have a new type for sale now. 
 Look at how beautiful the underside of the table looks!

 But after all of this work I ended up with a problem: one leg flops when supposedly closed.....it looks exactly the same as the others that stay closed when the table is folded up.
Hmmmmm........  I screwed the hinge pin in, no luck. 
I removed the pin and put it back in again. 
I checked the curved washer to make sure it was facing the right way: check. 
But the darned leg still flopped. 
There is a spring on the hinge....The Featherweight Shop suggested the problem might be the spring.
So I compared working springs with the floppy one: no luck so far but I ordered four new springs along with some vintage machine feet the machine did not have. 

I love The Featherweight Shop! Their products are great, they respond to email questions quickly, they're a wealth of knowledge easily tapped - free of course - and they ship quickly. Putting the new spring in was a little difficult because the curled end has to fit under a very tight screw in the hinge. But I was keeping my fingers crossed that this would solve the floppy problem. Soaking the screw with 3-in-1 oil and WD-40 overnight losened it enough to take the screw out, then insert the new spring.


After I installed the hinge pin and put it back together.....the leg still flopped. Darn!

Okay, so I re-examined the 'good' legs, and they did not wiggle back and forth when folded down. The floppy leg did, so that was the problem! Too much room between the leg and the hinge frame. Off to the hardware store to buy some washers same size as the original one (the washer laying on the table bottom below). I inserted the new washer between the leg and the frame closest to the hinge pin top (where the red arrow is pointing)

and YEAH! it worked!!!!


The table is finished...thank goodness!! Here's a photo of it all set up with the 221 Featherweight "Eva" and the feet, some old Singer grease (came with the machine...only for show, not to use), her case and the instructions that came with the machine. She's beautiful!

Incidentally, the instructions that came with her are for a tan Featherweight....wonder what the owner did with the original instructions that came with the machine??
It doesn't really matter to me. The machine sews beautifully, purrs like a kitten, so I'm very happy with both the machine and table. Now on to other projects after finishing the Singer Featherweight Folding Table. Happy stitching to everyone!