Monday, April 11, 2011

King Tut and Geek Quilting

Saturday morning was gray and gloomy but the BF and I slipped away to my new favorite thrift shop, which seems to be the motherlode for all things sewing.  It is, in fact, so good that for once I am unwilling to share the information!  Regular readers of this blog will know that I almost always provide links to any place that I shop.  This one I am hoarding all to myself--and the thousands of other people I see in there.  If you live in the NC Triangle region and really, really want to know, email me and I will probably come across with the info.  I will accept bribes, such as the names of YOUR favorite local thrift shops.

I came home with even MORE fabric, despite having recently taken the pledge to stop buying fabric "unless it really rings my chimes".  As a pledge that has proved to be pretty worthless because there are lots of fabrics that ring my chimes.  This week it included fabric with people playing beach volleyball.  How could I possibly leave that behind?

And then there were the giant blue polka dots.  I can never resist polka dots of any size.

Finally, the piece de resistance:  A lovely white damask fabric from Dakar, Senegal, printed with purple stripes of King Tut. 

Purple!  Stripes!  King Tut!  From Senegal! 

Any quilt I make with King Tut should be pieced on The Sphinx, I think.

I should mention that thrift shop prices for cotton yardage are in the 50 cents to 1 dollar per yard range around here.

A bag of vintage presser feet caught my attention, as well as another box of Greist attachments (I already have a couple).  The Greist box included a tucker, which had previously eluded me.  And the bag had vintage left and right zipper feet (and an extra right foot as well).  It was the zipper feet that pushed me over the edge to spend the $2 on the bag.  Not because I want to use them (I prefer the infinitely adjustable cheapo generic one) but because they are just adorable.

The threatening skies turned to rain, so I spent much of the rest of Saturday updating my studio spreadsheet.  You all keep records of every foot and attachment you own in a spreadsheet, don't you?   This is one of the reasons why one of the DDs calls what I do "geek quilting".

When the vintage sewing machine bug bit me I needed a way to keep track of the sewing attachments and accessories, hence the spreadsheet.  I had it more or less organized and could sort by manufacturer, name of attachment, shank size, etc. but it had too much stuff on one page.  So I created a new page each just for cams, machines, and buttonholers and the like, leaving the presser feet and other accessories on the original page.

I used to be a management analyst for the Defense Department, and although that job only lasted two years (me and the Army were NOT a good fit) in many way the job was a perfect one for me.  I just LOVE to organize things.  Give me a closet to clean out and I am happy as a clam.

downstairs parts cabinet

So I started thinking about how to store the feet and attachments that I want to use in "Studio North" aka the living room.  The main studio is the former downstairs family room.  Downstairs I have a parts cabinet with one type of foot per little drawer.  Anything that lives upstairs has to look like it belongs in a living room.   Plastic parts cabinets do not qualify.

I pulled a small side table with three little drawers from another room and into it went the parts box for the Singer 306 and its bobbin box, and ditto for the 15-91.  I weeded everything out of the recently acquired Greist box except for the parts that fit on the attachment post (the hemmers, edge stitcher and binder).

The problem with keeping all these parts in their original boxes is that they are jumbled up in there and hard to see.  So because I already had everything listed in the spreadsheet, I was able to make sliding paper covers for the boxes with the contents itemized.  Geek quilting at its finest.

The Singer boxes are pretty fragile.  I doubt if Singer gave much thought to making cardboard boxes that would last 70 to 100 years!  I opened them, slid the top under the bottom and then slid the paper cover over all.  This minimizes the wear and tear on the fragile boxes.

99% of the sewing I do in Studio North is just straight piecing on the Singer 15-91, and I use the gauge foot for small pieces or the walking foot for long seams.  But during the next power failure it is nice to know that I can pop the Singer 306 into the treadle and sew any darn thing I want with any fancy presser foot.  I won't, but I sure do like knowing that I could!


  1. Boy do I need you to come visit my basement quilting area! I could really use your organization skills down there!

  2. @Cheryl from Cheryl ;)
    I hear that a lot from my friends!
    just finished a year-long stash reorganization project and will probably blog about it later.

  3. I love your solution to storing your feet. I have way too many machines and feet, yet can never find the one I'm looking for. I can't wait to do this for my feet.


Say hello or leave a comment here. I would love to hear from you! If your own settings are set to receive a comment back, I will write to you. If you don't hear back from me, you will know that your own settings are set to "no reply".

I have to block anonymous posts to prevent spam. I am really sorry if this excludes you.