Yesterday started out very windy and rainy, a continuation of the night before……a perfect day to sit in and sew! Wednesday night had some horrendous storms blow through, starting around 1am and continuing through dawn……and on into Thursday morning --- but even if the power were to go out ((which it didn’t!)) It wasn’t about to stop our agenda for the day!
I spent yesterday getting to know my new hand crank machine! I think the thing that freaked me out the most was worrying that I would forget how to wind the little shuttle bobbins, get them in wrong, etc. I wanted to spend enough time at it that I knew what I was doing when I do it at home!
Sewing on a hand crank is really sweet….GREAT for precision work! I started out on some paper pieced blocks…easier to guide while sewing on a line. Sewing with a hand crank is much like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time with opposite hands. But with a bit of practice, you can feed it straight and keep a good seam allowance….having a piece of tape as a guide helps a lot, and if you fork your middle and index finger of your left hand in front of your work so you have two points of pressure on the fabric, it is much like feeding with both hands…it just takes a bit of practice!
Diane was sewing on this lovely serpentine machine circa 1880 or so!
Isn’t she a beauty?? Look at those lovely decals!
We set up at the dining room table and worked much of the day on our pieces!
The one crazy thing on my end? I kept automatically trying to feel for the foot pedal before I could start sewing. And there IS no foot pedal! You just crank! I finally crossed my ankles under my chair to stop the reflex!
Can you see the blur of my hand?!?!? Around and around and around and around……my machine makes a BEAUTIFUL stitch!
Diane has a great collection of treadle machines, hand cranks, and electric vintage machines. They are just wonderful! I’d love to take my hand crank to retreat at some point and just work on her for the weekend.
A funny discussion soon followed…..”My right arm is going to get really strong!” “What can I do for the left to balance it out?” “I suppose you could sit on the other side of the table and crank backward with your left??” “You could do hand weight exercises in between with your left!” “Hey, what if we sat on those balance balls and worked our core muscles at the same time??”
The thought of having a bulging hand crank bicep is just hilarious!
It does take longer to sew a seam with a hand crank than it does an electric machine. I thought of ladies making clothing circa 1910 when this machine was made…you’d have to crank forever just to get to the end of one skirt seam……but for working on miniatures? And paper piecing? This is really REALLY fun!
I haven’t been so excited about anything since my easy bake oven when I was 10!
We did take a little lunch break when the weather cleared and found ourselves out in the country here:
Grannie’s Sweet Tooth has amazing sandwiches on homemade bread, desserts and cookies to die for, and a wonderful atmosphere! Just a little “mom and pop” kind of place in the middle of rural TN……if I lived close, I’d be visiting often for things like “Home made ice cream sandwich” or the “hot fudge brownie sundae”. It’s just a few miles up the road from Diane’s….
After lunch a nap was most needed, and enjoyed! In the evening, DIane’s friend Jonnie joined us….she is here from out of town for my lecture tonight and workshop tomorrow!
Yes, SUNDAY --- I am headed HOME! It’s been a whirlwind trip through TN and AL and I’ve had a ball, but the call of home is strong…..
As I write this, it’s not quite 6:30 am, but I was awakened by the birds chirping ((Which means it must not be raining)) and I think I’ll throw on my running shoes and head out for a walk before everyone else wakes up and gets going….
Today?? I get lessons on sewing on TREADLES!! WHOoooooo!