Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Treadling on the Deck!

I have been hankering to do this for a long time…and finally….I just wheeled that treadle machine from the dining room, across the kitchen floor, down the hall and out to my upper deck along the backside of the house overlooking my yard.

Oh, this is Bliss!

Sadie thought so too….she sunned herself and took a long nap while I treadled away, working on the strip sets that will become the piano key borders for the baby quilts for my nephews.

Can there be anything more relaxing than this?

Maybe a nap…but then I’d miss the beauty of the day!

Have you ever moved your sewing to outside?  I do have an electric outlet on the deck, and I did need it for my Ikea lamp, to be able to thread the needle and to see what I was doing while sewing.

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It’s not glamorous – but I did put down a rug, and set myself back enough to be in the shade.  It is hot in the sun already in North Carolina, and I don’t just burn…I FRY – so I was happy for the shade.

My strip drawers are on the edge of the picnic table..I even brought out my sewing stool and a trash can!

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And THIS is my view!

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I am sewing on Hannah, my Singer 1893 VS2. 
I so love her decals!  And she is happy to be humming along just chain piecing away.

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THIS is what happens with continuous chain piecing with a treadle!  It might get in the way of your pedaling!

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The neatest thing has been making these baby quilts….including MY grandfather’s shirts in them.  The babies’ GREAT grandfather’s shirts…..Life is a circle, isn’t it?

I’ll still have plenty to do come Quilt-Cam time tonight.  It will be too dark to sew outside at 9pm, so I’ll just move everything to the treadle in the basement….and we’ll keep working on it. 

But you know what?  Tomorrow just might find me back out on that deck again!

((I will wheel the machine back inside over night…I’m careful with this beauty!))

See you at 9pm!


  1. I love your sewing machine, beatiful decals!

  2. I have always wanted to do sew outside. We are putting up a pergola as I write this and plan to work outside until it gets unbearable.

  3. Looks like the perfect day! You might want to go out early in the day cause from a record low last night were expecting a near record high!

  4. Anonymous5:30 PM EDT

    Talk about a dream afternoon? Love it! Yes, I have brought my FW out onto the deck on the cool of the day. Like you say, it was blissful to the point of serene.

    I have seen so many old photos of women, out in the mountains, using a treadle on the porch. Has to be cooler outside than in when you cook over a open fire like they used to do.

    OK! Inspiration for tomorrow early! Thanks,have fun Bonnie!
    Smiles, JulieinTN

  5. When the kids were young and we camped a lot, I would set my machine on the picnic table and sew while I watched them play. What special memories we have of those days!

  6. Oh, what fun...I wish I weren't tied to the electrical outlets on days like this! (Maybe DH will look the other way while I sneak a treadle machine past him someday...)

  7. You have such a beautiful view from your deck. It must be absolutely wonderful to sit out there and sew. I can just imagine the sound of your treadle machine making its rounds! I look forward to seeing you treadling tonight.

  8. I used to sew outside on the patio when I was a teenager...haven't thought to do it in recent years though!

  9. Now this looks like total bliss! Hmmmm, I just might have to take my featherweight outside on the porch before it gets too hot!

  10. Well Bonnie,

    You lucky cake, I don't know what to say. Meanwhile, in England, where we are having ridiculously cold weather for May, I have been treadling these past two days just to keep warm INSIDE the house. Tonight we have the wood burner and a coal fire burning again and have given up pretending it is spring.


  11. I SO want a treadle machine! Once I retire (in 22 working days) I will have time to hunt.

  12. Love it!!!!! So inspiring.....

  13. Anonymous6:19 PM EDT

    i too own an old singer treadle machine. use to sew my daughters school clothes on it. that was 32 years ago. now it needs a new belt. i still love it though and i have a covered deck too. hhhhhmm....maybe....

  14. A wonderful day! I'm sure that is exactly what the original owner of your beautiful treadle used to do...enjoy the great outdoors while stitching away :)
    Looking forward to quiltcam tonight!

  15. Sounds wonderful. I wanted to clean our screened porch off today but the pollen is still so thick our cushions would be bad in no time. Hopefully soon though.

  16. love this post... have a dream of a treadle machine so I can do exactly what you have done.... and a fantastic project too!

  17. I knew there was a good reason for wanting a treadle--quilting al fresco! Love it, Bonnie!!

  18. I will definitely have to do this with my Household treadle. I know
    you had a wonderful day!

  19. Found you again! All is going well now with the feed.

    Margaret in Central Alberta

  20. Hi Bonnie,

    I have an idea about your Aurifil issue. I don't have a treadle machine, although watching you is tempting me.Maybe, because Aurifil is a tad finer, it is not quite strong enough to go through the rigors of that type of bobbin set up.

    I love sewing outside, and have pulled my electric machine to sew on the porch, and have even taken it car camping with me, and plugged it in to the electrical hook ups. So nice to have a sweet 4 legged companion to keep you company, she sure did look contented.

    I am not sewing anything yet. I was gardening till dark, and now I am RAVENOUS! Dinner first. Thanks for keeping me company while I heat it up.

    Later I will do some cutting for an Ohio Star quilt I am about to start.

    Thanks for quilt cam.

  21. What a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day...and your comment about your grandfather's shirts and life being a circle was so lovely it brought a tear to my eyes!

  22. Anonymous9:52 PM EDT

    Yes, I have treadled away on my front porch - it's been a couple of years, but it lifts one's spirits! So happy to you got such enjoyment from your day.

  23. Hi Bonnie from Deb in Upstate NY.... great to see you back in your studio.... feed is coming thru just fine. Loving the treadle action today and cannot wait to get mine home (that I bought today) to start working with it! I made 4 more Charlotte's Basket blocks since the workshop this past Friday... and was cruising down Easy Street Part 4 this Afternoon..... thank you for all you do for us from Deb in rural Quiltville!

  24. OH Bonnie
    I would so be out there if I were you. Enjoy and I will see you in Sept here in Rogue River,Or. Cant wait.

  25. Hi Bonnie, you have a beautiful view there and I think it's great that you moved your treadle and supplies outdoors for some sewing time.
    I've often thought about moving my sewing machine outside for a day of sewing, but we are in such an open area and it's usually always windy and dusty here, so I haven't done it yet, but I have done some hand piecing outside, might have to do that again one afternoon, or even one morning before it gets windy. I do take my machine and supplies when we go camping though... love camping and sewing... so relaxing!

  26. Love it! I plan on doing that after I retire.

  27. What a perfect way to spend an afternoon on a beautiful day. I have a hand turn singer to use when we eventually get some decent weather in the uk. It is still cold and wet at the moment. I have a small veranda on the front of my sewing cabin and I am really looking forward to being able to sew on the singer or sit out there and sew down bindings.

  28. I assume it was not windy for your al fresco treadling.

    One time I spent an afternoon eviscerating neckties on the patio. Let the threads fall where they may!

  29. what a great way to spend an afternoon. You are making me want to try out a treadle machine. how do you obtain new belts for them?

  30. Hi Bonnie, One of my MOST favorite things is to sew outside. I've made many a quilts on picnic tables camping. Always pack the machine when I camp. I've even machine quilted an entire quilt on a picnic table over looking a lake and drinking a beer. Shear bliss. I have built two porches onto my house just so that I can quilt which ever way the breeze is or isn't depending on the time of the year. If I don't feel like bringing out the machine, I will set up for applique and draw out on fusible and iron, pick out fabrics. The whole nine yards whatever my desire is that day. Glad you joined the outside club, lol.

  31. I've taken my hand crank out to the patio many times. I have full shade by 3pm, so, that gives me a few hours to stitch before supper. I don't need my light, since my area isn't covered, I just get my shade from the side of the house. I do have to bring something to hold the fabric pieces down, since the breeze likes to move them around.

  32. Anonymous7:19 PM EDT

    Your home?! Lunch together? Your turn to buy. Lol

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