Friday, April 03, 2015

Treadle THIS!

How many of you recognize this fabric?

I was dating it to the late 1970s by the selvage --

During this time of my life I was in high school, sewing my own clothes.  And very involved in drama, musical theater and choir productions which meant I was also sewing costumes.

 Not just for myself, but also for other students.

I didn’t have access to a sewing machine at MY house –I lived with my dad at the time, but I had been offered the use of a machine by the mom of a friend.  You would often find me there after school and on weekends just sewing away.

My friend didn’t care much for sewing, so I think her mom was happy that someone did!  And she taught me quite a bit!

When I got married…my meager stash came with me, and the rest is history.

I unearthed this piece today while digging through the random blue hunks and chunks, pressing them and getting them ready to cut down for my piano key border-to-be.


Yeah, this one too!  How old??


This is ALL I had in pre-cut blues!

This almost empty pitiful bag of blue strips is why I needed to be cutting down today.  There is just not enough variety or volume to make a piano key border out of what is already cut, so I will cut more, and add these to the haul.


Does it look so ugly now?

Amazing things happen when you cut older outdated fabric into 1.5” strips.  It’s no longer about the print of the fabric, it’s all about the color and the value placement.  This is going to be awesome!

What is even more awesome in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina today?

The weather!  I feel a treadling on the deck session coming on:




This is the 66 treadle head I bought on my birthday weekend in January.

I’m sewing pairs, which will be joined into fours, and then cut to length and then assembled for my piano key border.


That navy top one?  Y2K Millennium fabric!  CUT IT UP!


Yeah, she’s cozy, alright!


Life is good in the sunny spot on the deck!


I’ve now got this to press to get ready for the next go-round.

I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I think after pressing it’s time to give it a rest this evening.

I feel some more Spider Web binding coming on ---only one side and the hanging sleeve left to go!

Enjoy your Friday evening, everyone!

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  1. I can hear the purr of that treadle all the way in St. Louis. Looks very peaceful. Happy Easter.

  2. A great way to relax! Happy Friday Bonnie!

  3. I can smell the woods from here, Bonnie! Your treadle machine is just gorgeous - so fun for you to sew outside. I have to say, I'm jealous that Mona has been adopted by you as her quilt coach, how lucky for both of you. I also used to sew with a friend of my mom's who helped support my creative habit (inherited from my grandmother). Mom taught me to use her featherweight, but she didn't love sewing the way I do. Have a wonderful Easter!

  4. Liz Anderson10:03 PM EDT

    That looks like an awesome day. I have often thought about taking my machine outside to sew on nice days. I think I'm going to try it.

  5. The bottom one you are asking an age of is asking is about 1979-82 (while I was in high school). Concord was the only print/calico maker available at the time. I had some of the same print, as I love blue. It also came in brown & orange (my mom was doing a lot of autumn stuff!). Thanks Bonnie for another memory!

  6. I love seeing your views and hearing your stories...... I feel like i'm there with you. What a relaxing time you and Sadie have together! Thanks for sharing! Happy Easter!

  7. You must be about 5 years younger than I am. I too, did lots of sewing for myself. I also told myself I would be making a quilt someday. My scraps all merged with my mom's back then, I didn't start keeping my own until I moved out.
    I graduated from HS in 1976

  8. Allover small floral with vine on prussian blue -- might be from late 80's/early 90's? think I have a piece on navy blue background.
    I sewed my own clothing in HS and slso dresses and playclothes for my little sisters. I learned by watching my mom sew me dresses when I was in 1st and 2nd grades -- early 1950's!

  9. I love those Vintage finds. The selvadges were much smaller then. I sewed all my clothes after 8th grade. The Piano Key Border will be great!

  10. I always enjoy your blogs, including the scenic views and all the quilts---but I love the pictures of Sadie the most. I'm unable to have a dog, so I've adopted her!

  11. Anonymous8:41 AM EDT

    I just did my excercises this morning and my legs ache just thinking about the treddle. My aunt still uses hers for all her quilting and taught me on it. I have moved on to newer machines but remember my legs aching. My guild is starting a scrap quilt challenge and I am trying to figure out what I want to do for it. I saw your quilts in Maine Monday and they were so great. Loved your talk too. I look at fabric differently now. Love your blue strips, it is going to be great. Your sweet dog looks so happy in the bed on the porch with you. Have a great Easter and spending time with friends and family.

  12. Ahh, the idyllic life for you and Sadie with that lovely forsythia blooming in the background. I love your "Sadie-gate" on the deck so that she isn't tempted to chase opossums and skunks if you should step away for a moment, LOL! Porcupines are the worst.

  13. Funny you had this topic today, and showed your baby relaxing in a dog bed because I had a Eureka! moment this morning. I have the hand me down stash of both mother and mother-in-law. Though there are lovely fabrics in there, the bulk are ugly, dated browns, tans, and ugh green. I haven't been able to even give them away, and I will never use enough of them to make a dent by cutting them smaller. I have a puppy coming soon, and I'm going to cut the ugliest of the uglies into strips to stuff a dog bed. In a muslin liner, and a zippered case I'll make, they should be comfy and washable. Yippee! Whole dog bed, free from my stash!

  14. Your border is going to be fantastic. I also have some y2k material that has been cut into strips. What possessed me to buy so much of that stuff? I hadn't thought to move either of my grannies treadles to the deck and sew outside although I have taken a portable machine to the lake and used a longgg extension cord to make a quilt top while hubby fished. I may just move to the deck. It's time it was used for something. Happy Easter. Phyllis

  15. Oh my goodness, I recognize the second one from own stash...lol! So funny! Pbstrand@msn.com

  16. Anonymous8:02 PM EDT

    Do you use your GO machine for all your strip cutting and squares and triangles or do you use a rotary cutter and mat? could you do a post on how to efficiently use a GO machine...been thinking about the investment. Anne

  17. Hi Bonnie! I was given a Singer 66I Treadle Machineabout a month ago. All she needed was oiling, a rubber ring, and a new belt! She sews beautifully! Love her!! JDonhorses@Live.com in Charleston, SC!


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