Monday, March 4, 2013

Daily Life


The homestead continues to be deep in the grips of winter. Late, but never the less, here with a vengeance. Our days of late are spent with trying to keep the animals warm and supplied with warm straw, plenty of hay and feed, and unfrozen water.  


The entire area is covered in about a foot or two of snow with drifts in some places 7 foot deep. This was an extremely wet and heavy snow and O Wise One thinks there might be some damage to one of our house gutters. We are hoping for a bit of a warm up to melt some of this stuff but as of yet that hasn't happened. 


 The gravel and dirt roads are down to one lane because that is all that they can clear because of the dilemma of having no place to push the snow to clear it. If you meet someone on the road someone literally has to back up to a driveway to let the other person pass. At times like this we find that it is just safer to hunker down and venture off the farm very little. There always seems to be things to do around here to keep us busy. With so much food on hand and homeschooling Baby O, our lifestyle makes hunkering down possible. 


Of late I have been making underwear. I simply buy white cotton jersey or knit and I have taken a pair of old underwear that I like the fit of and traced them for a pattern on some brown craft paper. Some elastic bought off Ebay, for $3 I got 10 yards. This is part of my boycotting of underwear manufacturers that have all moved their factories overseas. I will spare you the made in the USA rant. Suffice it to say my position is if a company can't produce it here and support our local work force, and pay our local taxes and be part of our community then that is their choice. Let them sell their drawers to the Mexicans. I'll make my own. Besides they are made better and with a more quality material anyway. Baby O refers to them as my prepper drawers. She says they will be around long after the zombies are gone. Indeed she sure likes those little lace bikini numbers in her underwear drawer that I made : )    


My goal this week is a baby quilt with the above freshly washed material for a friends new grandson. I have a little girl quilt ready to go. Guess I missed that guess.....


I took some time last week and cleaned and oiled my machines. I have been using my 1941 Singer 201-2 lately. This was my mother's dressmaking machine and an absolute workhorse. This thing will sew through both denim and leather easy as a breeze. It is gear driven as opposed to belt driven. I have heard my seamstress mother say many times that this is the best machine Singer ever made. If you ladies ever come across one and are looking for a good machine for your homestead these things are unbeatable. They made thousands so the parts are relatively easy to find and it even has a reverse stitch. You can even find the attachments from time to time such as the button hole attachment and even a zigzag attachment. You can to this day buy medal bobbins and light bulbs for this machine from Singer. You can even download the owners manual off the Singer site. It was quite the innovation for it's day!  I see them on Craigs List and Ebay all the time. 

I do have a treadle machine and if you want a workout try to sew heavy denim on a treadle machine. Your legs will feel like you have run a marathon. 


I have plants that I need to pot up in bigger pots this week. They are not far from making the trip to the cold frame as soon as the weather improves a little. 


And on the quilting front I am about 1/3 of the way through my log cabin quilt and continue to hand quilt a block a day. I am going to take a break from it this week and make this baby quilt though.


On a personal note today is Fred's birthday. Her life is such a busy one these days with a 2 1/2 year old just potty training and her second child due the first of April. She continues to go to college and work on her education and she and her husband are opening their own business this spring. I have no idea where the time went. It seems as if just yesterday she was toddling in behind me.  

Hope everyone has a safe week.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

16 comments:

  1. Your snow looks beautiful. We are just getting past our snow, cross your fingers. It snowed so much in January here that the city had to haul it away because they had no place to put it. I'm hoping by wednesday it will all be melted off of my front lawn and I can inspect my tulip crowns.

    Your plants look wonderful, I'm going to start a tray or two this weekend. I have about 10 more weeks until our last frost date.

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  2. Good info on the sewing machine and HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRED!!

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  3. Happy Birthday Fred ! Winter used to be like that here oh about 10 years ago but the climate has warmed up through out the years and we have had less snow and warmer temps in winter now . Nice photos . Spring will arrive and we will all be busy in the gardens and happy with all the sunshine ! Have a good day !

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  4. Making my own underwear is something I've been thinking about especially after having bought new ones only for the elastic to come apart from the material within a few days and/or weeks time. Cheaply made junk is mainly the only thing in the stores anymore. You just gave me an idea how to make my pattern too.

    Love that Singer!! Then again I'm rather fond of those old machines.


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  5. "Suffice it to say my position is if a company can't produce it here and support our local work force, and pay our local taxes and be part of our community then that is their choice. Let them sell their drawers to the Mexicans. I'll make my own."

    You're my hero, CQ.

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    1. My gracious I am a cranky and opinionated old broad aren't I !! : )

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  6. Someone else ranted about foreign undies (that sounds sooo bad), maybe Granny Miller. I have all the fixins here to make them, just haven't done it. Stretchy fabric is at the outer bounds of my abilities. :) I also found a pattern for the "upper parts", that looks like a chore.

    What do you use to lubricate your Singer. My newer machine is a Janome 4800, but let's face it --- they don't sew certain things. I picked up a Singer 401a last year and actually got it going to do the dish towels. Ha! It hesitated a couple of times, but on investigation someone had greased the gears ... really . . . well. And it had turned dark and gunky, looks like car grease to me. I cleaned it up with some Break Free, an oil, cleaner lubricant and regreased the gears with Rig grease. (Both of those i use on my shotguns, honest its all I had!). I did get a hold of some Singer oil and did up those areas requiring a light oil. Any favorites?

    I also have the mother-in-laws Singer 66-16. It appears to work and I found new bands to put on it. Sigh, then I was at Goodwill and found an older New Home it a cute greenish color for $3.99. Of course, I had to buy it. I need to clean and give that one a try out as well, if nothing else to donate to someone who might need a machine.

    These older machines are kind of fun. I haven't actually sewed on a mechanical machine since junior high (cough 35 years).

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    1. Singer still sells their sewing machine oil on their website and I swear by it. To clean your gunked machine parts try a little kerosene just be careful because that stuff is FLAMMABLE!! Granny Miller has a great post one her site on how to clean and soak a machine. I also own a beautiful old new home treadle that belonged to my grandmother. It sews beautifully.

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  7. I enjoyed this blog and especially about the Singer 201-2. I would like to add that the Singer 201-1 is the Treadle version, the 201-2 is the Direct Drive version, the 201-3 is the Belt Drive version and the 201-4 is the Hand Crank. Your mother was completely correct with the fact that the Singer 201 is the best Singer sewing machine ever! I own the 201-2 and the 201K which is a all-in-one combination of the Hank Crank, Treadle and Belt Drive. Happy sewing!

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    1. My mother worked in a small garment factory in the deep south when my father went away to war. The factory was then converted to making parachutes for the war effort and these were the machines they used. My mother fell in love with the machine and bought one for herself. This machine lasted for a lifetime. My father came home from war and they bought a small farm and raised 5 kids. This machine served her well and before she dies was passed on to me. I in turn have also raised 5 children and this old machine has turned out many a baby dress, diaper and kids clothes through the years. And not one piece of plastic on the whole darn machine...

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing all this wonderful information.

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  8. Great photos.. I cant believe you've got so much snow still.. a good ol fashion Snow In. ;) Pretty unusual for the south..

    I've got 2 beautiful old Singers.. My grandmother gave me my great grandmother Lizzie Davis Delilse's Singer Treadle machine and table. She too was a seamstress and she bought this duo used when my grandmother was a little girl, some 100 years ago. Its not usable now (it got left on a porch with a window open in the 70s) but I always dream of having it restored. I havent given up hope yet.. I live about 30 miles away from one of the largest Amish settlements and I have hopes to find someone there that might be able to get it working shape for me again.. I need to start asking around now that I've made the acquaintance of some of the Plain Folk there.

    My mother also gave me her 1930/40 Singer sewing machine.(It has a belt though) This one is still in really good shape & I keep it serviced.. she still sings like a breeze though I rarely use it. Im slowly working on getting a space set up where I can keep my machines out or at least not have to pack everything up every single day.. I have a Bernina machine too M'honey gifted me with about 8 years ago.. I should probably sew something. ;)

    I love that you're making your own britches! Haha! love it! M'honey was just commenting last night that he doesnt like the ones I've been getting for the last 3 or 4 years. The store I used to get them from is gone so I've had to resort to whatever I can find.. I'll have to consider this.. they cant be difficult.. When my girls (29&31) were babies, I made all their church clothes & did some snazzy jackets back in the day for a band.. Im sure I could copy them. Thanks for the great idea!

    I really enjoy looking at your photos of your greens, quilts & daughter.. Shes a pretty girl. Have a great day & keep warm! Blessings!

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    1. Welcome to Hickery Holler and thanks for dropping by. When my girls were little I made their clothes as well. My husband is very large through the shoulders and he loves when I make his clothes custom. He says they fit him so much better than what I buy in the store.

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  9. Would you mind me asking what kind of elastic works best for the undies? I see lots of "fold over" varieties on Ebay. Lots of good prices. I'm not sure what to use but this looks like a quick project and one I would like to try!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I use 1/2 inch foldover for the leg openings and 1 inch smooth lingerie elastic for the waist. I like the waist elastic that has a soft side for against your skin.

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