Gretchen the Singer

This weekend was a 3 day mighty cleaning adventure.

27 top singer clean

I got non pumice Goop waterless hand cleaner on a whim…and it worked!  Used up almost an entire box of Q-tips but after some time I clean what I thought was a mostly black machine only to discover she is covered with beautiful enamel.

27 back left clean27 back pillar clean

A wee snake lives on the back of the pillar with many flower and plants.

27 top pillar dirty27 top pillar clean27 fendor clean

The fender (at least what I am calling a fender) has a lovely vine of flowers.

27 pillar front dirty27 pillar sphynx dirty27 pillar front clean

The front of the pillar cleaned up lovely as did the Sphinx.

27 base totally silver27 back base

Sadly the base was quite silver before I even started.

27 mega dirty

Once I got her exterior tidied up and shining I delved into her inner workings… About a well fed mousie’s worth of dust and dirt were living in there.

27 serial number27 patents

Serial number and the patents…

27 shuttle with spool27 shuttle

The shuttle complete with thread so old it actually shattered when I was removing it from the spool.

accessory kit 1accessory kit 2

The accessory kit isn’t complete but it is still quite fabulous in its special box.  Even have the manual for the kit and a box of quite old thread. Something to be said of the good old days…they made everything so lovely, the script, art work, wee details you just don’t see any more!

27 Gretchen Ragna

Clean up and gorgeous, oiled to perfection, Jim installed the belt… wow! Quite the work out to get the speed going just right.  May need to install a Schnauzer guard however as Shamus feels he needs to catch and stop the wheel by the treadle…with his face…

27 Singer Gretchen Ragna

Now to figure out how to wind the thread onto the shuttle, adjust tensions, thread her and start practicing!


new old machine

Now 40 years after learning to sew on a machine I am the proud owner of a Singer treadle machine.


The new machine is lovely and in dire need of some loving attention.  We have belts on order as hers was in pieces.  The owner’s manual as well as the manual for the attachments was in one of the many over flowing drawers. I have them flattening under some heavy books at the moment so I can scan them in to our computer so I can read them without damaging them further.  I think everything I need to get her functional is there but I really have no idea.

1898 singer 1 10-26-14

I watched this treadle for more than a year, living on the porch of a local antique shop.  I would lift the lid and look at the machine, but again I had no idea what I should be looking for.  Finally my wedding anniversary was coming up and my husband start browsing craigslist in our area for a treadle for me.  He found one that had everything included and was functional but when he finally got ahold of the lady she decided she didn’t want to part with it after all… totally understandable!  I browsed a bit at the ads and had a good giggle at a guy selling one for $45… ‘looks like it should work but needs an electrical cord’ it was an unaltered treadle… but it would have been quite a trip to get that one.  I brought my husband and the grandkids since they were along to the antique shop, under the guise of grocery shopping and thankfully the treadle was still there.  He bought it on the spot.  PERFECT anniversary gift!

1898 singer 2 10-26-14

My grandson (9) is fascinated with all the exposed workings.  I will really enjoy teaching him to sew on it once it’s ready to go.  I have a few electric sewing machines as well as a Serger, but as I found out there is no speed control, for some reason he feels he needs to floor the pedal… a bit terrifying. Working the machine with his own power will be a kinder gentler way of learning to sew and become a self-sufficient young man.

1898 singer 10-26-14

hoping to scan the manuals soon and put them here as well for anyone needing or wanting to browse a really old sewing machine manual.  There are is a pile of really old goodies in the drawers as well I will be documenting!

blocks for the Peeps quilt and a few lovies

Peep Block Shamus 8-30-14

Finished the Shamus block using grey button Zombie fabric I got in a set of fat quarters a while back. His little jacket is from another fat quarter set Beatles Yellow Submarine. Fairy frost for his ‘sky’ and neato green from a fabric swap last year. Threw on some buttons and a yellow doily sun. I think he turned out pretty cute. His block is 8X10 inches. Completed August 30th 2014 His pattern was free at:

Peep Block Jeep 8-31-14

The heap of Jeep signature block… I guess it’s a 2 door… oh well! Doily wheels…I’m considering them white walls, as I didn’t have any black ones. You’ll note no rust or bumper stickers… I figure when I quilt it eventually I’ll quilt little rectangles all over it. Block is 8X10, finished it August 31st 2014 this block pattern is part of a kit that’s free:

Peep Block Keek 9-1-14

Keek (Upstairs kitty) block took a while, and I did do her back at the wrong angle… guess she’s arching her back up… She’s made of corduroy (which is wicked fun to hand stitch) assorted cottons with a 3-D tail… I layered the buttons for her eyes because her eyes are both yellow and green… tiny crocheted lady bug for all the bugs the stalks around the house. Now that I’m getting a few blocks on the design wall I am realizing just how difficult it will be to quilt this! Her block is 8X10 and completed on September 1st 2014 the cat block was free at:

Pony blankets 9-1-14

While cleaning was being done I managed to hide in my sewing room and finished Olivia’s birthday big girl fleece Pretty Pony blanket. Out of the left-overs from that blanket I made 2 newborn sized fleece blankets edged with rainbow satin. Last time I was at Walmart I found a remnant of pre-quilted jungle fabric so I made 2 preemie bassinet sized boy blankets with satin edging. September 1st 2014

still sewing

Baby C bonnet 8-2-14

Baby C handkerchief bonnet (boy) lovely and ready to include in the gift. This was one of the handkerchiefs I found at the antique store that was a bit discolored and Restore powder brought back to being useable! August 2nd 2014

Baby N bonnet 8-2-14

Baby N hankie bonnet (girl) really like this one, too totally feminine and girlie. Already packed away for her January birth. August 2nd 2014

Baby S bonnet 8-2-14

Baby S handkerchief bonnet (boy). Really like the intricate embroidery on this one. Placed with the rest of the gift patiently awaiting the shower! August 2nd 2014

bonnet butterfly newborn 8-2-14

Gorgeous hand crocheted on linen newborn girlie hankie bonnet. Going to hold onto this one, perhaps hear of a wee little girl being born so I can send it out. Added satin ties and tiny yellow satin roses because it just wasn’t cute enough already! August 2nd 2014

puzzle patchwork day 1 8-3-14

In the beginning there was a stack of 24 fat quarters, 12 green 12 pink… it sat there looking sad and forlorn for 8 long months until one day I happened upon a site that had a quilt that I thought I could actually accomplish! Using wonder under and a satin stitch on the machine I hope to make a fabulous puzzle quilt. Hope…to. This will become a lovely feminine Autism awareness quilt for all the little girls out there that are missed or under diagnosed. This is the beginning, placement on the design wall, cut out the bumps and hope to get those ironed on tonight! I am hoping this all works as I have a Koi quilt my mom wants… machine applique… this puzzle quilt is my practice for that…crossed fingers I can make this work! August 3rd 2014

a bit of baby sewing

Completed a few baby gifts that will be going out eventually…

baby boy C 7-19-14

Baby Boy C is due in November… I will be adding a handkerchief bonnet then calling this one done! The quilt is flannel and Minky backed with cute forest creature flannel and machine quilted… flannel bib, burp and receiving blanket set…yes it doesn’t match (sigh), wee caps and a set of washcloths. July 19th 2014

baby boy S 7-19-14

Baby Boy S is also due this November… I will be adding a handkerchief bonnet then calling this one done too. The quilt is flannel and Minky with a chocolate flannel backing, machine quilted. Flannel bib, burp and receiving blanket in blue and white… wee caps and a set of wash cloths. July 19th 2014

baby girl N 7-20-14

Baby Girl N due in January… hey call me proactive! This one will be getting an adorable pink and white antique hanky bonnet (CUTENESS). Quilt is flannel, Minky and satin… a tactile smorgasbord, backed with flannel and machine quilted. Finally get to give the pink elephant bib, burp and receiving blanket set! Will probably be adding a couple more girlie things before shipping it out. July 20th 2014

Liv Swim 1 7-18-14

Olivia going for a swim at friend Kris’ pool… the photo is a bit fuzzy as my camera was in 2 baggies to keep it safe in the water. July 18th 2014

Rather productive long weekend!

house quilt detail house quilt

Of course forgot to take a good picture of the quilt I finished on Friday… here’s a craptacular one via phone camera. Dare say it is indeed nice to sleep under a nice new quilt, although weird as it seems Shamus doesn’t seem to like it. He will only sleep on the old ones. It’s about twin sized, just right for one. Houses were hand paper pieced… rainbow happiness backed with peace symbols on white.

500 Magic Mushrooms ZIA

Onto the drawing front, I finished Magic Mushrooms on a Walk About, not totally ZIA but with a dash. This will be a birthday present for Jazmin once I get it framed. Created on 11X14 Paris paper using Faber Castell Pitt & Pigma Micron pens followed by Sakura Moonlight gel, Atyou Spica glitter and Staedtler Triplus for the chaotic color. There are moments of gel pens, glitter pens and assorted other gooey deals that pooped in such a way that some designs changed dramatically after adding color… but I think the point get across quite nicely. Finished June 21st 2014

500 Page 1

Now when not making a massive some thing or other I’m working on filling a Pentalic Illustrators Sketchbook, 8X5…192 pages…my goal is to draw on every page… have an entire book filled as I have never really used up an entire tablet of anything. Page one… Zia of no name other than page one using Faber Castell Pitt & Pigma Micron pens followed by Sakura Moonlight gel. Still don’t fully trust the paper so I draw with a baggie or other paper between pages. Completed June 17th 2014

500 Find Perfection ZIA

Page 2 better known as Find Perfection I messed about with the Spiral maker Jim got for me on a whim. One turned out perfect… 2 more not so much before I gave up and tangled all over it in hopes of making it adequate enough to leave in the book. Completed June 21st 2014

500 Urban Sprawl ZIA

Page 3 a.k.a. Urban Sprawl… made during yet another rainy day and television viewing sucked so I used mostly .005 Pigma Micron pens for the itty bitty detail and Atyou Spica Glitter pens for the color. June 22nd 2014

500 Page 4 Bithas tired eye

Page 4 otherwise known as Bitha’s Tired Eye ZIA. I love drawing eyes, just one at a time not actually attached to a recognizable face. This is one Tab’s green eyed moments, I will make a hazel Tab/Oliver version eventually. I also have on the list a Jazmin Blue/grey eye, a Jim see through scary icy blue eye, a Nat/Olivia Brown eye. Perhaps one day a lovely Liz Taylor Lavender eye just because I can. This eye was mostly .005 pens for that itty bitty detail and Staedtler Triplus for the shades of eye…look away from the same shade of green oops…OY… Completed June 22nd 2014

Tangling during the constant rain

Rosalita J Stonefish ZIA…

Rockfish ZIA 6-15-14

J for Juniper…her parents were hippies and had already used Clouds, Happiness and Rainbow for their other spawn… I am so in love with this one… I thinks it’s her colors and skinny liver lips. She was created on 11X14 Paris paper using Faber Castell Pitt & Pigma Micron pens followed by Sakura Moonlight gel, Atyou Spica glitter and Staedtler Triplus for the chaotic color. There are moments of gel pens, glitter pens and assorted other gooey deals that pooped in such a way that some designs changed dramatically after adding color… but her unblinking eye and sharp teeth still get the point across. Started her a few days back and finished her June 15th 2014

Plastic giggleetude 6-15-14

My shelf of eccentric plastic doogies and assorted other old stuff none of which actually goes together but is wicked fabulous none the less. June 15th 2014

Trailer poppy 6-15-14

The trailer poppy…only poppy plant that survived the move from Watertown… Massively Orange! June 15th 2014

Silently Smiling Sunshine complete 5-12-14

Silently Smiling Sunshine completed… Glibby Glop Gloopy Nibby Nobby Nooby La La La Lo Lo. He was created on 11X14 Paris Paper using Faber Castell Pitt & Pigma Micron pens. He will remain black and white…if I ever get a whim for color I will more than likely be doing that with Gimp 2 so the original will remain fabulously black and white…moving onto the sun’s close personal friend the moon! May 12th 2014

parking garage stairs 5-11-14

stairway in the parking garage of the Walker Art Center…unfortunately on of the very things I found interesting here…Went to the Walker Art center with Tabbi Cat. Interesting ride via St. Paul, no one injured…but I think I’m just not hip enough for modern art…perhaps if I could look past the what was used and quit trying to figure out the why I would see the grand adventure of the creativity…2 words…broken glass…LOTS of it…still rather confused although the wall of assorted scarves and the multitude of artificial flowers torn apart and sewn together still makes me think maybe I’m trying too hard…since when is Escher and Dhali too old to be modern?


WoooooOOOOOooooo new markers & a WTF eraser…Thanks Tab! Time to make something almost recognizable…totally not museum worthy..


WoooOOOooo found a photo box just right for all my pens & markers…weeeee almost as fun as back to school shopping hold the bullies and algebra…

lets just say I am easily entertained…

4 pair of warm tootsies

I splurged and purchased a new pinking shears, JoAnn Fabrics/Friskers…OK really didn’t splurge too much, I had a 40% off one item coupon…well, then there was the 10 yards of flannel, the ½ yard of super cute (I won’t mention the price, ouch) ready to sew pretty pony sundress fabric, (just needs one seam and Olivia will look fabulous) the nice snap sets for bibs…hmmm…yep that was it for my insane fabric addition moment.

500 machined booties 3-23-14

With the fabulous pinking shears I cut out an even dozen pair of flannel booties without even getting a blister! Sunday after finishing a special order (D I’ll send it UPS next Wednesday, its lovely!) I threw 4 pair of booties on the machine and WOO HOO they came out perfect! I should get the rest done without a problem (D I’ll send the booties along with the special order well and a few other sweet baby things!)

Here is the link to the site where I found the bootie pattern…you’ll note I did not follow the instructions, that’s how I roll!

March 23rd 2014

Flannel, Shamus, sun pups

Found a couple of printed panels at JoAnn Fabrics when I ran there for ribbon…and yes the fabric isn’t really stored by the ribbon…Jaz located them for me…nonetheless…each panel has 2 bibs and 2 burp cloths on them so I bought a boy (monkey) and a girl (paisley Elephants) version…total cuteness! These I think I’ll put away for the next baby born but I also took a few measurements and out of a yard of flannel I can get a newborn receiving blanket and a matching bib and burp cloth to make cute little sets to donate… in this pile there are the bib and burp cloths as well as the next batch of large buntings…just need ironing and top stitching! January 27th 2014

Shamus being rudely awakened during his post bath nap…he is so soft after his bath I could help but pet him! January 26th 2014

Sun dogs book ending the sunset.  You can’t really tell but there’s a 50 mile per hour wind rushing across the field…not pictured the waist high drifts I walked through to get this lovely unobstructed view.  Looked much rainbowier in real life… Delano MN January 26th 2014