Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chicken and Dumplings

Today really felt like Fall and so I chose to make chicken and dumplings for dinner.

I had advance notice that there would be a crowd for dinner and so I broke out the big pot and tripled my recipe. I made a triple batch of biscuits and ended up with right at 160 dumplings. Folks, that's a bunch of dumplings.

During dinner the conversation got around to what we like about chicken and dumplings.

My husband likes them for the soup.
My mom likes them for the soup and dumplings.
Three of my sisters plus myself like them for the dumplings.
Three brothers-in-law like them for the soup.
Four out of seven kids like the dumplings.
Three out of seven kids don't like it at all and requested bologna sandwiches.

So what's your favorite part of chicken and dumplings?

Apron and dishcloths...hand in hand

I finished a funny little apron on Friday. It's made with remnants that cost maybe 50 cents. I had just enough of the brown polka dot fabric to piece a pocket together. Otherwise we'd have no pocket.

Here are a couple of dishcloths I did a few weeks ago. I tend to knit mindless things when I'm stressed since I can put it down and pick it right back up. You can gauge the stress level around here by how many dishcloths show up next to the sink.

I really should see about sewing a holder for all those knitting needles. Nah, I like the canning jar look.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A taste of things to come

I took my mother to Yukon today because she needed one more chair cushion for her dining room and the Wal-Mart here only had 5. Who only has 5 dining chairs? I guess I think they either come in fours or sixes. Anyway.

While in Wal-Mart I had a chance to see what the "new and improved" Sewing and Craft Department looks like.

Let me tell you, it's depressing. No all. I saw one entire isle with sewing notions and yarn. That was it. If you want thread you'd better hope it's black or white because that's all they have.

On the other hand, stores like Hobby Lobby, Joanne's, and Hancock Fabrics might have a fighting chance now that Wal-Mart is getting out of the sewing and craft business.

The sweet lady at Hancock Fabrics told me they'd been covered up since Wal-Mart got rid of their sewing and fabric items. Enough that they've hired three new ladies to work during the week. Personally, I find that encouraging.

While I was there the cutting table had three ladies cutting and customers were four deep. I don't think I've ever seen so many people in the store.

I picked up a few things while I was visiting and now I need to get cracking. I bought a couple of yards of fabric (blue with white skeletons) for my mom an apron. She saw the fabric last week and fell in love with it. I picked up some rick-rack and bias tape in white as well.

I found a new bobbin belt for the Pfaff. The other one split yesterday while I was winding a bobbin.

I also got a magnetic seam guide. For the life of me, I can't seem to sew a straight seam. Let's hope this helps.

Patterns were on sale so naturally I had to have a few more. Now I need to figure out something for pattern storage. It never ends.

I'm nearly done with one of the aprons I'm working on. I'm down to the piddly stuff and it's hard to make myself keep going. Where's that cattle prod when I need it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Clothespin bag

I got up this morning to see all of my clothespins on the ground. The crummy bag from Wal-Mart finally disintegrated and there wasn't much left. I got busy after class and sewed up a new one using heavy canvas cloth and the hanger from the deceased bag, and a couple of grommets. Total time: 10 minutes.

It may not be pretty, but it serves it's purpose.

Rotary attachment find

I just won an ebay auction for these Kenmore-Greist rotary attachments. I really didn't need the attachments since I have most of them already, but I really did need the 36 page instruction book.

Here's what it is.

Vintage Kenmore-Greist Sewing Attachment Feet and Instructions

Lot consists of:
Greist ruffler
Quilting bar
Quilting foot
Combination adjustable zipper attaching and cording foot
Shirring foot
Multi slotted binder
Flange - wide hemmer
Narrow hemmer
Narrow hemmer and lace attachment
Combination edge-stitcher - tucking guide and top braider
Shirring plate
Seam guide
4- #60501 bobbins
One screw driver
Box for attachments in very good condition- Box #60710
36 page instruction booklet

The seller is relatively close and so I should have these pretty quickly. I can't wait to try the ruffler.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pfaff 130 trouble shooting

Okay, now I feel stupid. These are general notes for myself. I'm sure one of these situations will happen again.

  • If the needle bends and it needs to be replaced, be sure to not push the needle all the way up in the needle clamp. You shouldn't be able to see the top of the needle when screwed down.
  • If the thread wraps around the center hook, carefully the hook, unwrap the thread, and replace hook making sure that bobbin case has not turned.
  • If you have the center hook out of the machine and need to lower the machine, keep your hands off the hand wheel. Turning the hand wheel will cause the bobbin hook to turn and it's a real pain to get it realigned.
  • If the bobbin thread isn't being picked up, be sure to check how the needle is set. Sometimes lowering the needle in the needle clamp is all it takes to get things going again. See the first bullet.

Operator error

Phooey! My poor Pfaff 130 probably feels abused.

Last night I was working on a project and doing well until I forgot to think.

I remembered to change to the wide foot for zig-zagging and even remembered to change the dial for the stitch.

I remembered to put the narrow foot back on so I could straight hem, but....I forgot to change the dial back to straight stitch.

Needless to say, I severely bent my needle and now the timing of the hook is off.

Heaven help me. That's twice now in two weeks I've done that. Timing the hook is such a pain to correct with all those tiny screws.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My granny lived in her bonnet during the summer. If it wasn't on her head, it was hanging around her neck, ready to go at a moments notice. Occasionally she would put bonnets on all of us girls and send us out to play. West Texas summers were brutal while I was growing up.

My granny's bonnet. Recently found while unpacking my mom from her move.

A sweat little button bonnet found in an antique mall for $2. I think this must be sized for a child because my fat head certainly doesn't fit and for sure not with my hair in a bun.


I buy fabric when it suits my fancy and then stick it in the sewing room. Lately I've been fantasizing about the wonderful things I can make, but when it comes right down to it, I can't cut the fabric.

I have this irrational fear that I'll ruin the fabric or that my project will look hideous. Like I don't have enough to worry about with two kids.

So, in order to break myself of this habit, I'm going to go lay out my nicest fabric and put the scissors to it. If the worst happens, I'll have a bunch of really pretty potholders.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Apron collection

This is the entire sum of my vintage apron collection. Kind of pathetic isn't it.

I picked up this green and pink one just this weekend. Love it.

This red and white full apron was also found this weekend. I could spend a fortune on aprons. Well, that's if I had a fortune to spend.

Sadly, I have no idea where I got this little apron. I love the embroidery on the skirt and pocket. So dainty!Check out the scalloped edge. It's sized to fit a smaller person than your's truly. Hey, I'm farm-raised.

This blue and white stripe is my favorite. It was well loved and much worn at one time. The entire center is faded. How about those pockets? Look at all that rick-rack. This one cost me a whopping 25 cents at a thrift store.

Quilting books

I recently celebrated my 141st birthday (it's a joke) and my mom gave me these three books.

Tips for Quilters explains mitered corners better than any book I've ever seen. A very handy book that covers everything from selecting fabrics to removing spots. Some of it is just common sense, but some is just down-right funny.

Fat Quarter Small Quilts contains 25 projects. I like small quilts. These are all less than 3 feet x 3 feet.

Quilt Block Leftovers is my favorite. I always have at least one block left over and often find one or two blocks at estate sales or thrift stores. Now I have no excuse for not bringing them home with me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

1934 Singer Treadle

I inherited this machine from my grandmother. It is a Singer model 15. The serial number is AD778627 made in Elizabeth, New Jersey. There were 35,000 of this model made.

This is the machine I learned to sew on when I was a kid. We made quilts during the summer and in the winter she kept her potted geraniums on it. Of course the plants didn't do the finish any good and so the veneer is bad in places.

For as long as I can remember, the scarf shown in this picture has been on this machine. So we're looking at 40+ years. This is what all of the well-dressed Singers are wearing.

Sewing machine attachments

I'm having trouble with my Pfaff 130 not picking up the bobbin thread after changing the needle. I've made sure the needle is in correctly and it is, but it still won't work.

Out of desperation I started digging around in the Singer treadle to see if I could figure out what wasn't working on the Pfaff. General idea concept here.

I'm not any closer to solving my problem, but look what I found in a drawer.

All of the attachments are Greist brand. We have a ruffler, a binder, and four sizes of hemmers. There are some other pieces, but frankly I don't know what they are and will have to research it.

Kids in aprons

I made the kids each an apron out of some fabric that my baby sister used in Home-Ec class back in junior high. She's 22 now so that lets you know how old the fabric is.

Ignore their goofy expressions. I called them in from playing and they're paying me back.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A wall quilt

This is the wall quilt for our bedroom. Finished July 2007.


Welcome to Aunt Jo's corner of the internet. This is where I talk about the crafty things I make, do, and share. I'll be sharing my sewing, knitting, quilting, and hand needlework projects.