Tuesday Tip – MacGyver to the Rescue

Do you remember the 1980’s TV show MacGyver? Richard Dean Anderson played the title character, a resourceful secret agent who could get out of any sticky or dangerous situation with little more than a Swiss Army knife and a roll of duct tape.

I attend a quilting retreat twice a year. While the 16 or so participants generally bring almost everything in their sewing rooms, occasionally someone will forget one or two little items. Usually you can borrow that item from someone else, but once in a while it requires a bit of ‘MacGyvering’ to accomplish a task.

I took these photos at last October’s retreat. I don’t quite remember who came up with this idea, but I think it was Melissa. She had some thread on large cones that she wanted to sew with, but had forgotten her cone thread holder. No Swiss Army knife was involved here, but it DID require duct tape, a drinking glass and a safety pin:

Duct tape the safety pin to the handle of your sewing machine. Set the cone of thread in a drinking glass, feed it through the small circular end of the safety pin before following your normal thread path, and you’re ready to sew!

The duct tape also comes in handy for taping power cords down to the floor so you don’t trip over them. So every well stocked sewing kit should now include duct tape. Hmmm, they make it in lots of different colors now, including clear, tie dye, zebra and camouflage – do you think we could convince them to team up with Moda or Timeless Treasures to print it in the latest fabric designs???? I know I would buy more duct tape if they did!!


Tuesday Tip – “Out Damn’d Spot, Out, I Say!”

Have you ever oiled your sewing machine,  then started sewing on your project again, only to realize that some of the oil has now transferred to your project?? Or had your longarm machine drip some oil where you didn’t want it?? Today’s tip is how to remove sewing machine oil from your quilt. Cover the oil with cornstarch, rub it in gently, and let sit for an hour or two. Vacuum or brush off the cornstarch, and the oil should be mostly gone! Repeat if necessary.

Speaking of sewing machines, look what followed me home last week:

I stopped at an auction on the way home one night, and practically stole this machine! I had always wanted a treadle to add to my collection. It’s not in bad shape, considering it was ‘born’ in 1913. (I hope I look as good when I’m 97 years old – assuming I make it to 97, of course!)

So how do I know what year it’s from? Did you know if you have the serial number of an older Singer machine, you can find out when and where it was made? More information can be found on their webpage, or call them at 1-800-4-SINGER.

Besides my ‘new’ treadle, I have a 1955 Featherweight, three older portables (two have those curved wooden covers), a 1958 Singer 201 in a walnut cabinet (I even have the original bill of sale for this one!), my late 80s/early 90s J.C. Penney’s model which was the first machine I ever bought, and my 1995-ish Bernina that is my main machine. Then of course there are the two longarms. And maybe eight or so older toy machines.

So how many sewing machines do you have?????

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