Monday, June 18, 2018

A Day for Porch Treadling!

This may look simple enough to set up, but let me tell you – I had one dead end after another, and was about to throw my hands up and call it a day.

My thought was to simply pull the treadle machine out on to the front porch from the dining room.

Not  a long haul, but it does involve CARRYING the machine cabinet because you can’t roll those metal wheels over the threshold due to the risk of damaging the wood with the vintage metal wheels.

The machine is on carpet sliders in the house, but by the time you reach the threshold you are going to lose those and have to lift the cabinet to get it up and over anyway.

Were I to have a second person at hand, it wouldn’t be hard, but as I was only one – it went like this:

Slide the machine cabinet with the beautiful gifted Singer VS 2 to the first raised threshold. Remove machine head from cabinet to lighten the load.  Carry the cabinet out the front door and set it on the porch.  Replace sliders as to not damage the porch paint.  Slide into desired location.  Replace machine head – connect belt and get to treadling.


This was my set up.

There is a plug for my iron, so my work space position was determined by the length of the iron cord!  I thought I was raring to go, so I set up to wind a bobbin – only --


Nothing happened.

This machine has sat unused for so long that the bobbin mechanism parts are frozen up.  The wheel won’t turn.

It’s likely a simple fix, like removing it and soaking it overnight in kerosene, but did I have kerosene?  Did I want to get some?  NO.  And I didn’t have another machine head at the retreat house or cabin that would wind this size of long bobbin.  

I was dead in the water before I even began.  Well, RATS!

I could sew on an electric machine – I had the pink atlas in the cabinet in the dining room.

But I wanted to treadle…..fiercely!

I grabbed my keys, drove the 7 miles back to the cabin to grab another machine head – thinking this cabinet was the same size base as the one my 66 redeye sits in.

It takes approximately10 minutes to get from Quiltville Inn to the cabin – 3 minutes to grab my machine, and 10 minutes back again.  But I felt my cool morning hours slipping away as it began to get hotter and hotter, the humidity rising with every passing hour.


I set up HERE, on the back porch ready for some simple string piecing.

Same cabinet, different machine.

And now I am faced with ANOTHER issue – the belt for the VS2  was too long for this machine.  AND the machine didn’t fit very well in the hole, resting instead on the top of the cabinet instead of within it.

At this point I turn the cabinet upside down, remove the drip pan from underneath the hole, hoping that helps the 66 fit better.  This is a VS2 cabinet – the machine holes are different sizes, Singer had not standardized their machine base sizes yet.  Even with the removal of the drip pan, it still didn't fit quite right.

Well Heck.  That machine is just going to have to rest its front edge over the edge of the hole, I’m not carving a bigger hole, and I’m not going back to the cabin for a different cabinet! (*&#@$(*&!

And I had more belts – I cut a new one to length, stored the one for the VS2 in the drawer, and dang it!  This girl was going to sew come heck or high water!

And I did.


With this view in front of me.

(see how the front edge of the machine in sup a bit?)

There were cattle down in the creek area below – I could hear their mooing as I pedaled the machine, finally in my happy place.

And then a couple of thunder boomers and THIS:

I said come Heck or High Water-- and that is just what I got!


Well criminy!

That rain is blowing in from the south, sideways on to the porch!

It was a mad dash to get it all inside – I was actually relishing the thought of a summer rain – but this came on a bit too much, too quickly.  And do you see how far up on to the deck that rain blew in?  But ahhhh -- the cool rain, the wonderful smell.


I trimmed blocks on the kitchen island while the thunder and rain rolled through.

Using the dining room as layout space for this project --


Getting closer!

Who am I kidding?  There are something like 192 blocks still needed for this quilt, and it’s only going to be full size!  But oh, the scraps it is sewing up, and such a fun project to do.


And I eventually DID end up at the Atlas in the dining room with the rain still falling outside.


Furniture rearranging….

I had the hair brained idea that I wanted the two matching beds in this big room, so the 3 beds from bedroom number 1 got moved to bedroom number 2- and the beds in number 2 went back to bedroom number 1.  Am I nuts?  I just thought this was going to look better!


The two beds from bedroom 2 are now in 1…

And just like Goldie Locks, this girl took a NAP, rain still falling, wonderful pinging on the tin roof above.  This bed is an extra long twin, and it will be great to have one for any of the extra tall peeps who come to retreat. This was an awesome nap, my first of hopefully MANY before we turn this house over to retreaters in 2020.


Bed number 3 for this room will go in that opposite corner.

It was 7pm by the time the storm was mostly done – I’m glad I stayed through it, as I didn’t want to drive IN IT.  I spent my evening curled up in my comfy chair still working on a binding, nearly 1/2 way done now.

I got a call from Yellow Freight letting me know my shipment of Quiltville Date Keepers will be in this week. Pencils are to follow at a not too far off date.  I was hoping they’d be available at the same time so folks could get both at one time, but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen that way.

I have a local guild meeting luncheon HERE on Thursday – anxious to meet these ladies and gents and make an acquaintance with local quilters.  Followed by a Dentist appointment on Friday.  I fly to Chicago on Sunday.

I believe I’ll be heading home on Friday after the dentist, swing by Yellow Freight after the dentist, have Saturday home before flying on Sunday – (Yes, this is me making decisions out loud!) And perhaps we can fit in a Quilt Cam Saturday?  Stay tuned and I’ll let you know what time.

We are getting SO CLOSE to releasing this July’s Leader & Ender Challenge – so excited about this one.

Our next Quilty Box gift-away will happen as I leave for Chicago – so stay tuned for that as well, you won’t want to miss it!

June 18, 2018 at 07_15AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

It's Monday with a brand new week ahead!

Turn your determination up a notch and let's get going!

Make it a good one, folks!


  1. Well you certainly tried to treadle on the porch! All the things that happened just show us your level of perseverance. Layout of strings is coming along nicely. Oh a nap at the Inn! Looking forward to the July Leaders & Enders challenge; just found my quarter square Leader & Ender challenge so will try to get that buttoned up. The rails and checkerboards are still languishing in their box. Enjoy your guild meeting luncheon on Thursday. Putting down some semi-retirement roots early is always a nice thing. Hugs, Allison in Plano, Texas

    1. It doesn't feel like semi-retirement - this feels all the more BUSY! LOL! But I am loving it up here, and to know some locals, and to build a network here - it feels good :)

  2. I am in total admiration of your seemingly unending energy! I know you are like the rest of us and need downtime on occasion, but you definitely have more get-go than most! Love your adventures, Bonnie! Quilt ON!

  3. You are one determined gal! Glad you were able to get some treadling in. I dream of the day I'll be at the Inn learning how to treadle too!

  4. Love that you finally got to Treadle. Taking a nap like Goldielocks, lol. Thanks for testing out the beds. I get to got to my Guild mtg today and bring a granddaughter home. Gonna be a fun week.

  5. Love sharing your journey! You amaze me at every turn!

  6. Oh my stars Bonnie! You should write a novel or a least your autobiography! What a story teller you Are! Determination won!

  7. Happy to hear you will have an extra long bed. Great for all of us TALL quilters.

  8. You are a determined woman. It shows the ingenuity you have for all those hurdles. Just keep on going. That's you Bonnie. Go girl!!

  9. I love hearing of your adventures and getting Quiltville Inn ready. It is a beautiful place!
    I have to tell you that the Talking Turkey workshop in Napa was the first time I have string pieced and I have been quilting for years!! I loved it and will be doing more of it in the future! Thank you for sharing your life adventures with us!

  10. I really like how your string block are coming along! We may to fight for that extra long bed! Looks like a wonderful place to have an afternoon nap, with rain coming down. Yes Please...

  11. Bonnie you are one determined woman!! I would have quit half way through. The view is beautiful!

  12. Oh my giddies, all the hurdles were thrown at you. I am so glad that you had a nap after. You are busy but you do need to rest too. Take care x

  13. You were very determined to sew there. Next time you will have all you need to treadle and hopefully it won't rain on you. Seems to be lots of trolls posting lately? It's a shame they do that. The quiltville inn is looking fabulous.

  14. This post made me smile, I could visualize it all, especially the furniture moving! My mom constantly moved and rearranged furniture when I was growing up, we had hard wood floors, and her method of moving furniture was to put a homemade throw rug under the legs or whatever, and push that furniture around! Beds, dressers, sofas, you name it, we pushed and pulled it all around that old farmhouse! And I still move heavy furniture this way!!

  15. I'm having knee replacement surgery on July 15 and I'm wondering if treadling will be good rehab?? You've got me planning for treadling. :P

  16. Well no barrier will stop Bonnie lol, so please you got to enjoy treadling on the deck the views are stunning. Your bedroom layouts look amazing and to curl up and have a nap was rightly deserved.
    Your beautiful string quilt blocks look amazing it’s going to be gorgeous when you get it done.
    Yikes I really must get my leader ended blocks together I’ve got half sewn together, and I just love the effect of the rail fence with the checkerboard.

    Thank you so much for sharing all your adventures, take care
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  17. What a day! I was worn out by your story (and you took pictures of each step). One observation about that guest room: the bed in the corner has no night table and no light. If I were staying in that room I could NOT use that bed. I need a lamp to read by and a table for my eyeglasses and clock (or watch or phone).

  18. Hi Bonnie. Have you ever heard of a Betsy Ross treadle sewing machine. I got one at $25. The cabinet is lovely but I’ve never heard of the treadle.

    Ann in Red Lion PA

  19. Bonnie, I just don't know where you get all of your energy! I'm so glad that you got a nap. I was envious,it looks so cosy! What a great job you are doing and things are moving right along. Thought I might give you a tip that might help moving your treadle to the porch, my husband always puts my stuff on cardboard to slide it not to damage the floor. I don't know if it will help you or not but thought I would share. Thanks for sharing your adventures , enjoying them so much!!!

  20. I so love to hear about your days they are so hectic but so fun and you get so much done with a fantastic sense of humor. Yesterday there was no sewing as my Sienna had to have new brakes, but my 16 year old granddaughter Gianni came to pick me up and we spent the day doing Retail Therapy. It was a blessed day.

  21. On the strength of your recommendation I ordered a few spools of the Signature 60 wt. thread. First job was binding On Ringo Lake. What a wonderful thread that is, flowing through the binding like water over a dam. Thank you for letting us know about this marvelous thread. do you also use it for machine quilting on your Longarm? and Piecing? thanks bonnie, you are terrific.

  22. I need a nap after reading all this! You are an inspiration.

  23. I am getting so excited for your quiltintg retreat to open. I really want to come and do a quilting retreat with you!

  24. Hi, Bonnie....I’ve been thinking about your missing gate opener because I’m always misplacing things. When seasons change, it’s very easy to put your keys in your jacket pocket in the Spring, then not find them until a chilly day in the Fall. Yep, that’s what I did last October......found them in March.

  25. it sounds like a great afternoon...minus the glitches! But without the glitches the story wouldn't be as entertaining!!! What a spectacular view and the rain on the tin roof sounds delightful!


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