Scavenger Hunt

Friday 20 September 2019

Our Little Balcony

Hello Folks!

Our third floor apartment has a small balcony which is only 8 foot by 5 foot.  I spend lots of time sitting out, knitting, reading and sewing so we thought it could do with brightening up.  We did a bit of a makeover last summer when I was here, however, when I came back to the UK last winter's polar vortex unsurprisingly, had a devastating effect on the plants.

I've already mentioned the rag rugs we bought from Walmart to stop me showering sewing things on the apartment below, they also mean that I can't see down which is a Good Thing.  I am not very good with looking through piers or boardwalks and seeing water/things underneath.  The rugs give me peace of mind.  We have added some solar fairy lights across the railings too.

We bought two large pots and planted them with ~ as it turns out ~ the same variety of pennisetum that we bought last year.

Last year's pot ~ as well as the pennisetum we also had a hibiscus and a thyme.

We saved some seed pods from the hibiscus, planted them and two plants grew which are covered in (15 and counting) fat flower pods.  I'm hoping they will come out before the weather gets too cold; I will be taking it indoors if necessary. 

Mr Clicky spotted some cacti whilst we were in Walmart the other day so I planted them ~ carefully ~ in a wooden box.
We still need to find some gravel to topdress it.

We've had visitors to our little bit of outside space as well.  A pair of swallows nested on our sprinkler nozzle (don't tell the leasing company) back in April.

Three chicks fledged and although they were adult sized regularly came back to the nest and the ledge next to us.  It was a real treat watching their aerial display so close up.  We've not seen them for a couple of weeks now, so I think they have gone on their way.

 My little bee embroidery continues on.  It really is little, only 5 inches across.
The flowers took quite a long time and I got a bit Meh! about it but I am so enjoying it again.  My bee's wings are getting an outline now and then it will be filling in the body and wings.

Well that's me for now, despite me thinking pool days were over, I've got some in this week and today is looking nice too so I'm off.

Have a good weekend.............Clicky Needles.

Monday 9 September 2019

A Few Finished Things

Hello there!

It seems to be a while since I posted finished projects, but I am pleased to report that I actually have some, so here goes.

This is Climb Every Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier.  Made in Drops Delight ~ blue stripes and Drops Alpaca ~ grey.  Light, but cosy warm. 
It's a baggy, poncho-y, pop over the top sort of thing.  

It is a top down pattern, the shaping given by yarn over increases, and increases at the sides.  After the splitting for the sleeves, the sides are decreased giving the curved shape.  The pattern finishes off with an i-cord bind off, which I did, but as it was rolling an awful lot and I didn't think blocking was going to sort it, I took it off and knit a 1x1 rib instead.

I can see this having lots of wear.

I crocheted a bathroom basket out of twine, to stop all those toiletries being scattered every time you try a pick something up.  Not particularly exciting but useful all the same.

Mr Clicky and me popped into our local Joanns and I bought four fat quarters so I could have a play with my new machine.  I have learnt so much from this project, how to properly press seams ~ which I haven't on this piece, strip piecing 

and maybe most importantly, how to get the corners square, something I am rubbish at.  Turns out the answer (for me) is to use pins.  Who knew?  No more random hoping they'll line up.

I'm not sure what to do with this piece, it is about cot sized but Baby Needles has two quilts already.  She is growing so much; three months now and we have regular WhatsApp video calls and get her smiling at us through the ether.

My Craftpod embroidery is coming along too.  I do it first thing in the morning with a cup of tea before I have put my contact lenses in.  I was a bit meh about it, but now I'm on the greenery it seems to be moving on.  It'll never make The Royal College of Needlework standard but I'm happy enough.
That's me for now.  Mr Clicky has gone back to the UK for a week on business, so I am having a 'quilting retreat' in our apartment. 

 My itinerary is as follows; embroidery, breakfast, if the weather is good - pool time, if the weather is bad - sewing time.  Watch Pinterest for tips, hints and inspiration.  Evening meal, box set binge with crochet in hand.  By the end of the week you will have produced a quilt to take home with you.

I have a Hobby Lobby within 5 minutes walking distance so if I run out of fabric........I hope to show the fruits of my labours soon.

Have fun, see you soon............Clicky Needles

Wednesday 4 September 2019

So What Did I Do?

Hello folks!

So, did I go for new or vintage sewing machine to use whilst I am in Chicagoland?  Vintage, of course!  Actually I got 2.  They were both on Facebook Marketplace, there is a good selection in this area it seems.  I saw one, sent a message and while I was waiting for a reply another one in really good condition came up and I messaged about that too. Hehe.

The one in good condition was about an hour and quarter north of here, just into Wisconsin.  The lady I picked her up from sews quilts for her church; but she decided that as she wasn't using three of her vintage machines they should go.   

Well here she is.  I have named her Bertie and she is a 1927  Singer 99 a 3/4 version of a Singer 66.  She runs by that new fangled electricity stuff and comes with a knee lever instead of a foot pedal.  She is lovely and shiny and of course, sews beautifully.  

The knee lever sticks out of the front of the case.  I have never come across this before.

When it's not in use it fits neatly into the bentwood case.

Incidentally you'll notice rag rugs on our balcony, they are there so I don't shower the apartments below with pins, knitting needles and what I was most concerned about, my phone.

She came with an assortment of feet which I'm trying soon, happily they'll fit both machines.

The second machine was only 40 minutes west of us.  I was lucky to get this one as she had been in a garage sale the week before but no-one had taken her.  She is a Singer 66, the full size version of Bertie, made in 1915 she would have been a treadle when she started off in life.  At some point she was put into a different cabinet and a motor and a knee lever was added.  The motor was made between 1913 and 1929 by the Electric Motor Corporation in Wisconsin, so I guess it was added around those dates.   

She has Red Eye Decals and I have named her Rosie.  She needs quite a lot of work to get her going again.  Although the seller plugged her in to show me she was working, it didn't take a genius to know that it was dangerous.  As Mr Clicky is an electrical engineer we're doing the re-wire ourselves.

We've rewired the knee lever and at the moment are trying to sort the wires going to the motor.  The screws into it are at a funny angle and won't move.  It might be a new motor.

I have cleaned her with sewing machine oil and removed 104 years of accumulated dirt, lint and oil. 

It was particularly nasty around the bobbin case and I found some rusty pins behind the face plate.

I have shined up the faceplate with some chrome cleaner.  It was really nice that neither of the machines had any rust unlike my hand cranks.

Here she is after I cleaned her up minus the motor on the back.
Rosie is definitely a project but I can't wait to use her, not least because she is a 66 just like my Mum's treadle below, the machine I learnt to sew on.  Mum is still using her now, it was her Mum's before her, and I think I am right in saying my Mum has never used an electric machine.   This one dates to 1930 when my grandmother, Joyce bought it new, with a payment plan.  Mum can remember seeing the payment book but that has long gone now.  I used to love sitting, treadling away in my teens.
I've had Bertie set up on our balcony and I've been playing with a 2 1/2" jelly roll.  I am not used to working in inches but centimetre cutting mats and quilting rulers are rarer than hen's teeth this side of the pond so I am embracing the inches.

I've decided to go for 6 1/2" 3 x3 blocks.  Mistake #1, I cut the strips to 7 1/2" thinking I would need seam allowances along the length.   You live and learn.  Anyhoo, I laid the blocks along the kitchen bar to check I didn't repeat any patterns.

And had a very pleasant afternoon sewing them up on the balcony.  How lovely also to be able to sew with a Singer seam guide, those magnetic ones don't work that well for me.

Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post, with them we discovered that both Teresa and Gracie have Singer Featherweights, you lucky girls,  Meredith has her mother's toy machine in the back of a cupboard somewhere although I'm sure she's more concerned about Dorian right now, stay safe Meredith, Christine is 'thinking' that she might like a vintage machine, or might even nab her Mum's 1960s Jones machine, don't think Christine, do! Jo has a treadle which I am sure, is crying out for some love but she's lacking in time, VeggieMummy's machine is called Genevieve and Gill is a little concerned on how I am getting these machines home.   The answer to that is Mr Clicky's company will ship anything we want to bring back to the UK so that's ok.

I think I have waffled on enough for now, but if you do have a vintage sewing machine lurking at the back of a cupboard somewhere, get it out, oil it up, use it and show me!

Bye for now................Clicky Needles.