Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Children Sewing

My quilt guild celebrated National Quilting Day back in March by giving demonstrations at a local mall.  I took Shield Maiden and worked on a Disappearing 9-patch destined to be a charity quilt for the UNC Children's Cancer Hospital.

Shield Maiden's conversion from a grimy worn out mess into her present glorious state of extreme beauty has been extensively documented here in the past--just scroll down through the posts if you are interested.  However I never got back to you to tell you the outcome!  Surprise, surprise, she sews beautifully.

I like taking treadles to events because it gives members of the public a chance to tell me all about their grandma's machine.  I always tell them that if they still have it, it can be made to sew again quite easily and will be a better machine than anything they can buy today.  I get the sense that no one believes this, however.

And shout-outs to Myra, who met me at the mall and dragged Shield Maiden in, and Janet who dragged it back out again.  Thanks, y'all, especially for enduing the extreme screechiness of moving those cast iron wheels across the tiled mall floor.  The echoes are probably still echoing in that mall.

I also took a Singer 185 adapted as a hand crank machine, and we encouraged any children who stopped by to try it out.  They got to choose 5" squares from a basket full of squares with pictures of things on them for an I-spy quilt, also for the children's cancer center quilts.  but I only told them they were for sick children who had to go to the hospital.

Lots of children stopped and sewed.  This child was a relative of a guild member, and I did get verbal permission from his dad to show this picture.  Even with that permission, I decided on a photo that does not show the boy's face however.  Can't be too careful with photos of other people's kids.

ALL of the kids who tried this, LOVED it.  Boys and girls both.

This next kid is one of my own family.  She is my late husband's step-cousin's granddaughter.  I just love modern families.  Really. With all the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, you pretty much get to choose the best ones and stay related to them.  Case in point:  I am still delighted to call my ex-husband's sister and all of her offspring "family".  This confuses people who know either one of our families.  WHOSE sister is that?  We explain, then laugh like hyenas.

In this case a divorce and remarriage, many decades ago, brought in the branch of the family that created this little girl.  Lucky me.

She also pieced some I-spy blocks, but here you only see the alternating plain blocks on the top.  This was her first sewing machine experience and she loved it.

BTW, in the upper right of the photo you can see my new mid-arm.  If I ever get around to actually using it, you will be the second to know.  Jo and Janet will be the first, and I expect them to show up at my door the next morning to try it out!  They have been waiting for a couple of months now.  I think they assume I was lying about getting it.  Here's the proof that it is really here.

My young cousin also wanted to try treadling, and her legs were long enough to do it.  Here she is with my Davis New Vertical Feed, working on a wool strip quilt.  I started this project on Shield Maiden but after two slightly puckered seams realized that I needed to go with the vertical feed.  Awesome machines, kind of like a built in walking foot.  But way better.  She really liked doing this also.

We finished off our day together with a glitter project.  I have a bunch of globes sitting around waiting for another project, so we took the most beat up one and glittered it up.  Gotta love glitter.  I gave her free reign over the glitter selection and it was interesting to see the different varieties in action.  I've got some Martha Stewart glitter and it was super-fine and awesome.  All of my glitter comes from the thrift store so we could be extravagant with it.  And we were.

On the way back to her house we made up stories about what the different colors of glitter mean.  Red is global warming, btw.


  1. I would love to go out in public and sew. I do have a Spartan handcrank. I don't think I could haul my treadle, but it would be great. I don't know how to find someplace I could do it. I tried a local museum, but the quilt guild that meets there did not want this. I still want to sew out there to show people what can be done! Good for you!

  2. I LOVE it. And get your Mid Arm going. You will enjoy that too.

  3. How fun, I have never seen a machine with the shape of the Shield Maiden.

    1. Shield Maiden is a re-painted and re-decalled Domestic High Arm Fiddlebase.

  4. How lucky for you.
    Fun learning experience for the kids too.
    I've been reading your blog for awhile and truly enjoy seeing the old machines.

  5. I love to demo my vintage machines. I love chatting with the people and hearing their stories of family members who used one. What fun you had with your relative. Stitching and gluing. Can't beat glitter.


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