Saturday, November 02, 2013

Heavens to Betsy!!

When we arrived last night at the cabin my big plan was to  get Betsy up and running.

I’ve found that I really like the tubing belts better than the leather ones.  They are much more forgiving and provide better traction –remember I wrote about them HERE. ((Info on ordering is there too))

The tubing comes in clear and in yellow – my first order I didn’t realize I was supposed to CHOOSE the color, so I have yellow belting with black writing on it.  It doesn’t matter.  It still works, and that is what I’ve hooked Betsy up with here.

All was going well…she just needed a bobbin wound ---which was easy enough!  But when it came to threading her…OH. BETSY!

This is what her threading diagram looks like:


Just READ that description and see if you don’t wind up shaking your head and going “WHAAAHH!?”

Last night I was so frustrated I gave up.  Even though according to the diagram I had her threaded right..my stitching was looking like this:

Cabin_Nov2013 036

Ewww.  Just eww.

I gave up in frustration and went to bed.

But before retiring I used some tri flow lubricant on anywhere I felt was still sticky – including inside of where her stitch length guage is…that bar didn’t feel like it was moving very freely, and even where it would move, the stitch length itself never really changed when I tried to sew….sometimes, things can loosen up if you let them soak a while.

I also dripped some tri flow on anything connected to the feed dogs thinking maybe they weren’t moving very freely to feed the fabric either.

And while I was at it, I used some on the presser foot pressure screw at the top of the machine…it was pretty sticky as well and maybe the pressure on the fabric wasn't quite right from the presser foot side.

This morning…still yuck.  things were moving more freely ---but there were stitch issues ---I adjusted the tension on the shuttle.  It was too loose.  I monkeyed with the tension on that weird tensioner thing ((C  in the diagram above)).  I kept going back and forth, a little here and a little there.

These machines take an odd size needle, but I was told that I could use a standard 15 X 1 and just “scootch” it down a bit so it doesn't go quite to the top of the needle bar.  Okay.  How much is a “scootch?”  Monkey with that also.  About that much.  Okay.  try again…

Guess what?

Cabin_Nov2013 035

Betsy’s got her Stitch On!!

There is a life lesson in this, isn't there?  No matter how impossible it seems, go take a nap and come back to it.  Time-outs are necessary.  When emotions are frazzled and hearts are hurting and you don’t know which way to turn, time out.  Rest.  Come back to it.

Thank you, Max Ehrmann!  Who is Max Ehrmann?

Do you know the Desiderata poem?  I have lived by it and loved it from as far back as I can remember:

desiderata - by max ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann c.1920
The line I reflect on the most is this one:
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
And that goes for all of us.  And for what my brother and his family are going through.  Things are unfolding as they should.  And we will love him through it.

Cabin_Nov2013 038

My view through the windows at the autumn colored trees and the flag flying off the front porch.

I've decided to make Scrappy Mountain Majesties in plaids for my brother.  It seems fitting.  Definitely masculine, and stitched up in these mountains that I love so dearly.

Have a great afternoon everyone --- Betsy and I will be mighty busy!

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  1. Bonnie, I can see that you and your family are in pain after hearing of your brother's illness. Prayers for all of you. I agree the poem "Desiderata" will help still your soul and ease your mind to know that it is all part of God's plan. You and your family are in the palm of His hand.

  2. My son has 5 children 4 girls and 1 boy. I am sewing and praying today and spending a few hours with my son daughterinlaw and those lovely children.
    Too quickly was the move from celebrating 2 baby boys joining your family to the health issues of your beloved brother.

  3. Thinking of you Bonnie. Will keep your brother and you in my prayers. Hopefully his tumour is benign and operable. My daughter had a brain tumour when she was 2 that was benign and operable. It was a very difficult time but all turned out well and she is a healthy 29 year old now. Making a quilt will be therapeutic. I made one for my dad when he had a stroke.Thank you for posting Desiderata. I haven't read it in a long time and loved reading it again.

  4. We also will keep praying for your brother and you and your family.
    Such a loving thought to make him a Scrappy Mountain Majesties-quilt in plaids. And on Betsy! Great to have her working again!
    Enjoy your beautiful sights at the mountain; so beautiful to see nature's gorgeous colours.
    And thank you so much for the poem; it strengthens my heart.....
    Love, Ria (the Netherlands)

  5. how neat that you got the sewing machine running by moving the needle a "scootch" whatever that is! Good luck to your brother

    1. I'm pretty sure a "scootch" is a tad more than a "smidgen."

  6. Will keep adding prayers for your family to find peace as events unfold. we just don't know whats around the corner in our lives.

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  8. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I will be anxious to see your plaid Scrappy Mountain Majesties. I have one at the machine quilters now (not plaid), it will go to my youngest son and wife who live in the Cascade Mountains. Was thinking about making another one. No place like the mountains, I have a place at the foot of Mt St Helens with a beautiful view, how I miss it when I'm not there.

  9. What a beautiful poem! I don't think I have ever read it in its entirety. Thank you. Sending you and your family healing hugs from New Mexico.

  10. Hang in there Bonnie...deep breaths and appreciate the day...

  11. Bonnie would this pattern work with Layer Cakes? (Love your pattern)

  12. Your post is so positive today. I know things are rough, but your brother is in good hands. Take care and sew your heart out! Happy you got your National stitching. Same threading as my Two Spool National Eldredge. I love treadling. Makes me feel like I am really sewing. How is that different? I don't know, but it is. Take care.

  13. I will keep praying for your brother and your family. Making a quilt for your brother is the very best way to keep your mind occupied until you can visit him. I know he will love the quilt!
    Judy in Las Vegas

  14. Bonnie, what is tri flow lubricant? Brand?
    I work on old singers and never heard of this.
    Praying for your brother.
    Thanks Paula in KY

  15. I haven't thought of this poem in years. Thank you for bringing it back to me at a very appropriate time. I'm continuing to pray for you, your brother, and your family.

  16. Bonnie, my heart goes out to you and your brother and all the family too. He will love this definitely Bonnie quilt and a great visit when he recieves it I hope :) Less crowd by the time you get it quilted and bound. The piecing and quilting time will give you time to come to terms with it... "quilting it out" as my family says when I do that! Glad Betsy is working for you even if you wind up finishing his quilt on a different machine... nice to have the quiet treadle in front of the window to enjoy God's beauty unfolding like this may be the first time you have really really seen it... yes and be gentle on yourself! Love that :) Faithful follower! Kathi

  17. I went to look at Scrappy Mountain Majesties and I see several layouts for it. I wonder which one you will use for this Plaid version. SEW happy you got Betsy making better stitches! Enjoy your week-end. The China looks at home for sure there. Nice cabinet to display it in.

  18. Hi Bonnie

    So glad you got Betsy singing again, wow.

    On the lighter side, DH and I ran to Hobby Lobby today and I cruised the Christmas ornaments, just looking. I saw Duck Dynasty ornaments and had to laugh and make sure to let you know.
    Happy sewing!

  19. Glad that things are going good with Betsy! Amazing what just adjusting the depth of the needle can do for your stitching. Thank you for sharing the poem by Max Ehrmann. Your decision to make Scrappy Mountain Majesties in plaids for your brother is a great one and very fitting. I am glad that things are unfolding as they should with your brother. I will be keeping him, you and the rest of your family in my prayers.

  20. My first husband had that printed and framed

  21. Thank you for reminding me of that lovely poem which I cherished in the late 60's and early 70's and had completely forgotten about! I guess I needed to hear it again. My thoughts are with you and your brother and your family. I am making a Scrappy Mountain Majesties too for my grandson and his new wife, it's a lovely pattern. And thank you Bonnie for all that you do for us, your followers, and for quilting. Bless you!

  22. So thrilled to see "Desiderata" again, I like Amy had forgotten it. Thank you, Thank you. That was so important to me years ago, and now it has returned to me thru you, thank you, Bonnie.
    My best to you, your family, and especially your brother as you all go thru this rough time.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing gentle thoughts - they are worth remembering to read and re-read, many times over.

    Although not exactly the same as yours, Mark Twain wrote a line I keep in my heart and thoughts:
    "I've known many troubles in my life, most of which have never happened." In his way, he was saying worry is useless. Have to realize concern is not worry. Concern has a reason and can lead to good.

    Smiles and hugs

  24. Sometimes you just need to sleep on it...how many times have we heard that phrase? There have been times when I was fixing a computer that I've had to do just that. Everything I tried just seemed make things worse until the frustration had me wanting to throw the thing into the driveway and back over it. :) Just walking away for a while or going to bed for the night can help so much. It's like your brain keeps on working in the meantime....just like the penetrating oil on the sewing machine. :)

  25. Just catching up on two days posts Bonnie and need to say how sad I was to hear about your brother, I hope you get to see him soon. Desiderata sits by the side of my bed since I first came across it so pleased you have it.

  26. Haven't thought of the poem in many years, but it one to ponder. So sorry to hear about your brother and hope you get to see him soon. Know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for a great blog, I so enjoy reading it .

  27. Thanks for the memory! Words to live by!

  28. Hi, Bonnie. Have a couple of things to say. One, thank you for the timeliness of this post. I read it last night and told my husband, "The next time you want to order anything from McMaster Carr I want to order this belting and try it out." This morning the condensate pump on our furnace had quit for the second time in 10 days. We decided to order a back up. My tube belting is on order!

    I also want to offer my prayers and support in your brother's medical need. I know I read at least one comment from someone else of this nature but...My aunt was dxed with a brain tumor over 15 years ago at 45. Still going strong. Actually doing better than she was 5 years ago. Thanks for sharing the poem. I had never read it in its entirety. Keep stitchin' and praying. I like to pray for who I am sewing for when I make quilts.

  29. You go girl! Thanks for the poem this morning. Love that one too. Yes, make your brother a quilt. Good idea. Brsynski in Texas has had good success with brain tumors, and his work has reproduced and been acknowledged as a real medical breakthrough. There is a documentary by his name. His method is mostly nontoxic, though he does use chemotherapy to support some times. Take a look--for your brother?

  30. I have that poem hanging on my refrigerator...absolutely love it! How fitting that you are making that particular pattern...in your mountain cabin on your new machine! I do believe that everything happens for a reason even if it is not apparent right now. I admire your willingness to share your path with us. You will never know how many people you inspire along the way, but be sure it is many!

  31. Hi Bonnie,
    sew happy to see that Betsy is feeling like her old self again! thanks for sharing your solution(s)?
    ....and for reminding me about desiderata - I had that poster on my wall when I was in college - thinking it would look good on my studio wall now - esp. near the sewing machine!
    - and sending prayers for your bro & family - what a wonderful quilt to make for him! I'm sure it will bring him great comfort.

  32. Thank you for posting the Desiderata. It has been too many yeRs since I 'be read the entire thing.

    When I was getting my red eye Singer treadle up and running I was having stitch problems too. I figure out that the needle shank wasn't long enough. I cut a small piece from the center of a round toothpick and used it as a shim between the needle and the machine. Once I determined the length of the shim thru trial and error, I asked my shop foreman to cut some pieces the same diameter and length from welding rod. I haven't had a problem since.

    You and yor family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  33. Such a lovely and heartfelt post Bonnie! Thank you for all the reminders . . . In life and with old sewing machines. Hugs, Allison

  34. your brother and your family are in my thoughts and prayer. lovely view out of the cabin window. I am working on Smith Mountain Morning that I took in your class in Peoria beginning of Oct. I have most of the parts made for the stars and have one color way blocks done. doing red and green for a Xmas quilt thanks for all you do for us... thinking of fabric for the mystery ...

  35. what I've heard is - if you have to ''schooch'' the needle down just a bit, then it's a tiny bit out of timing. My mom's old Kenmore she got in the 60's was that way for MANY years until she took it in for an adjustment. Now, it sews fine w/o scooching the needle down......

  36. My mother loved that poem, for years I think it went without an author, but I am glad someone has been given credit for it. Prayers for your family!

  37. Prayers for your family. I haven't even thought of Desirada since high school. My daughter will read it tomorrow in school (since I homeschool, I can work that in).

  38. My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family. love that poem I had not read it in years but it does bring comfort. I hope it does the same for you. Betsy is looking quite grand, glad you got her stitch all figured out. Keep on stitching! We are with you in your challenging times..

  39. My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family. love that poem I had not read it in years but it does bring comfort. I hope it does the same for you. Betsy is looking quite grand, glad you got her stitch all figured out. Keep on stitching! We are with you in your challenging times..


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