Tag Archives: Sewing machine history

Odds and Ends

So many things going on! There are several short blog posts I’d like to write. Instead, here’s a mish-mash of a few.

First, I’m excited to be presenting to the DeKalb County Quilters’ Guild tomorrow (Thursday) evening. I’ll be discussing design basics for medallion quilts and showing a few quilts in my portfolio. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm. The address for the presentation is
St. Mary’s Parish Activity Center (PAC)
322 Waterman Street
Sycamore, IL
Guests are welcome. I’d love to see you there!

Besides that, I’m working on a quilt with my sister Cathie. (Okay, make that two quilts. This weekend we’ll be quilting that hourglass together.) We’ve done “round” robins before, passing a top between us using a medallion format. Today I made some flower block parts for the next border of our current round robin. In fact, I’ll pass the flower parts on to her. Then she’ll get to decide whether to use them or not. Here are four of the blocks (not fully assembled) arrayed on my design wall in a bouquet.

I’m a member of the yahoo group called Stashbusters. Recently we’ve had discussions on chain-piecing with leaders and enders. Here is a post I wrote previously about that.

Another post I wrote before was on paying attention to your machine. I take good care of mine, cleaning out the lint regularly. Recently I had my main machine serviced to take care of the parts I can’t reach. It was a fairly small investment, less than $100. But today it was making noise as I sewed. I tried listening to it to determine what might be wrong. Ultimately I decided a new needle was in order. Listen to your machine. Often you can take care of the small problems yourself. (A related post you might enjoy is A Stitch in Time. It shares a little history and information on how your machine actually makes those stitches.)

Friday is my mom’s birthday. She would have been 83. I keep a picture of her on my wall and am always glad to have her with me.

And to the more trivial, I finally got my hair cut this week (!!!) and my new business cards came today.

I’m keeping busy. My life is full and I am very blessed.


A Stitch in Time

Tradition… We all know that quilts traditionally were made by hand. Hand-piecing and hand-quilting, our great-grandmothers labored over every stitch. Though we enjoy the speed and convenience of our sewing machines, those are luxuries our predecessors could barely imagine.


In truth, quilts have been pieced by machine as long as sewing machines have been available to home sewers. With Isaac Singer’s 1851 patent of a lock-stitch machine with presser foot, horizontal feed, and a treadle, sewing machines became useful at home. They became affordable with innovative purchase options such as payment plans and use of trade-ins.

(Singer is not the only inventor who contributed to early machine development. See the wiki entry on history of machines. If you care at all about quilting history, you’ll find it fascinating.)

Besides piecing, machine-quilting has a long history.

To find out more, including how your machine actually works, click here…