Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Long Beach Quilt Show: July 25-27

This week's Show Me theme is "sewing machines"

Fun fact about me...
I would like to think that the reason why I received a very bad grade in home economics at the tender age of 14 was because I was insanely creative and my teacher was just jealous of my immense talent...

but the hard cold truth was that I was really bad!
and I could not wrap my brain around cutting a strait line let alone sew one!....
I failed miserably at sewing ....

lets just say that my pinwheel pillow (I am so sorry there is no photo to share but it was so bad even my mom did not hold on to it!) it was the van Gogh of pillows (beautiful yet insane!) my center corners did not match up! but because I stand behind everything I make and being that I am a true dreamer (aka stubborn!), I came up with adding a round piece in the center and went as far to stuff it a little: a very large button if you will... I handed this in as my final project (and yes you can bet money that I waited to the night before to create this gem! not a lot about me has changed in 2o years!) needless to say when I handed my pillow in, she shook her head and said... "Ruth you need to go to your desk and rip out all the seams and start over!"

fast forward 20 plus years and you will see the I prefer ripping my fabric to cutting and I use so many stitches in my work that you can not tell where I start or begin...

it tickles me every time I get a email from someone asking me advice on sewing machines because I am still that little girl that received a D in her sewing class.
(D stands for delightful after all!)

But that said I do have advice and I am here to tell you that newer is not always better and spending $5000 plus on a new top of the sewing machine with a computer has only gotten my self something that is smarter then me. ( I chose this model because of the foot free hand guided free motion stitching that I have yet to fully explore) But brains aside this is one great machine it can truly do what ever it is that I need it to do right down to hands free auto sewing a button hole!

Now when I started out sewing mixed media I used a old Montgomery Wards machine from the 70's (it was yellow) it worked ... but a few years ago my world opened up as I was working on a big project it was 100 degrees out and as my studio did not at the time have air condition and the machine was housed in a large cabinet and it could not be unbolted or moved easily so to my rescue was my Neighbor who offered me her sewing machine, a Bernenna 1020, after a few seconds I was in love! this was the machine of my dreams! it was strong and so easy to use! I had tears in my eyes when I had to give it back to her! But I have now moved on,

can you guess who comes packed in this delight sturdy time loved case?

after over 80 years of use the leather is worn but the handle is still very strong because of the metal hinge.

the top shelf holds the Bakelite foot peddle along with bobbins, tools and accessories.

and look what is inside! my Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine,
(you can find out more about them here)

I call her Little Sheba! she weighs only 11 pounds!

and as you can see she looks amazing from ever angel!

She purrs like a kitten and takes what ever I send her way!

Her backside is attractive even at her tender age (her birth year is 1936)

but it is her scrolling face plate that captivates me the most! she is one elegant lady I think you will agree!
(more details and slide show here)

Now the real reason why I got little Sheba was for when I travel to teach or for Demo's,
and if you will be attending the
Long Beach Quilt
July 25 -27

Long Beach, California

you Can meet Sheba and I at:

Make It University!™ with Cloth Paper Scissors®

I will have some of the jewelry from A Charming Exchange along with a copy of the book for you to preview and hopefully books to sell.
I will be making some fiber jewelry and creating some mixed media painted pages and altered fabrics that I will be sewing on.

for “Open Stuido's; along with fellow artist:

Artists in Open Studios include:

Alisa Burke

Lisa Engelbrecht

Allyson Faulkner

Jamie Fingal

Jane La Fazio

Ruth Rae

Beryl Taylor

I can hardly wait to meet all of these amazing women, I admire all of there art so much!

But for now you will find me in my studio playing with my girls
Sheba and Sabine!



Carol said...

Ruth do you mind me asking how much Sheba is worth??? My friend who sews a little just inherited one, I was marvelling at her as she's a bute too. Can you give me a ball park so I can tell her?????Thanks and good luck with the show!

Maija said...

I have an antique Singer sewing machine, but I don't know how to make it work!! Much too confusing!

Doreen K. said...

Love your little sewing machine. I will be at Long Beach. Hope I can meet you. I am so excited, I have never been to a show as big as this one seems. I live about 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

Guzzisue said...

so glad I'm not the only one who failed at needlework at school. Love your machine, I gave away my singer in the days before I knew anything about all this sewing lark :-) but aswell as my recent machine I have a 1950 s Jones, hardly used, all feet bar one still sealed in bags waiting for my to take for a test drive.

Kelly Snelling said...

Ode to a Sewing Machine by Ruth T. Rae...lovely, lovely girls! you will have a blast at the long beach show.

ANNA said...

You do make me smile. I too have several machines - from the old singer hand turning, the bernina sport 1015 (which is my fav) to the Pfaff 2170 top of the range computerised beast. Currently working on rusted fabrics which seem to be a bit still - only the Bernina chomps through those! I love them all to bits for different reasons.

Anonymous said...


I can't wait to meet you in person! We are going to have a blast at the show!


Cathy said...

Oh, Ruth I am deep dark emerald green with envy! I have always wanted a featherweight and have yet to get one. Your big machine is so cool and yes--it would be way smarter than me that's for sure, but oh that little featherweight...sigh....be still my heart!

Cathy :)

Mary Z said...

OM goodness Ruth, I have a Sheba also - it was my MIL, same box and beautiful metal tooling on the side, I'll have to take a look to see if it's the same model, I think it is! It is a workhorse isn't it! Enjoy keeping up with your blog and beautiful work!
Mary Z
PS - I too have a Bernina Aurora 440 and yes, it IS smarter than me :-)

Joyce said...

For 2 years in a row inn home ec in junior high I cut holes in my sewing projects. I only passed because we had an expert seamstress living across the street from us who managed to save my projects!!

Now I quilt and do all kinds of sewing projects!

I have a beautiful old treddle/converted to electric Singer machine in a beautiful cabinet. For me it is a "display only" piece that is in my dining room.

I actually do all my sewing on a Husquvarna.

I came by to visit after purchasing a copy of Artful Blogging. What beautiful things you make!!


martha brown said...

I'd give you an A+ in my class any day! I love your Sheba!I have 3 modernish machines. My very trusty Bernina, and then a back up (ummm, maybe a Singer?) and then a back up for the back up. I would be sooo stressed without my machine! I'd like a machine for my treadle base though, just in case of power failure. then I'd be stress free forever!

annie lockhart said...

hey ruth...
always fun to see what your sharing and creating...i need a kick of inspiration right about now! thx!

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

It is a beauty for sure..
xoxo Nita

Charmingdesigns said...

I sold my featherweight a few years back and regret it. I just found a friend who MAY give me hers. They are the best!!! I just found your blog through Amazon..I'm looking forward to your book. Laurie

Judy said...

Hmm I like that foot free machine - I am always having to get my boot off to sew properly. Miss you

Gilding the Lily said...

Ruth: Just read Kelly's post! Congratulations! Are you floating above our heads like a happy little cloud...i would be! Can't wait to see your creation and have one for myself! Hugs, Nancy

inventivesoul said...


You are so much fun to read Ruth!

You have a TINY old Singer!
I've never seen one this old/small.
My "old lady", what I call my old singer, is HEAVY!
Too heavy to have fun schlepping her around!
But I do agree, the OLD details on the machine are just SO nice to look at!
Have fun!

ellene said...

that antique machine is adorable. the black ones are so beautiful to look at. I have a replica with the iron scroll base, and it's got gold swirls and words on the machine. They just don't make machines that gorgeous anymore!

Sue McGettigan said...

Oh-my-goodness!!! Little Sheba is just gorgeous :) I have an old Singer on a treadle table, although it was made electric, just LOVE it. I'm hoping to go to that show, so perhaps I'll be able to meet Sheba - and you!

Jacky said...

Little Sheba is a "gem". What a beautiful sewing machine, you must be so proud of her (I certainly would be).
I have my trusty Bernina of over 20 years and and old Singer treddle which sadly is not in working order, she needs a new belt. Before I got her she was used at a stable yard to mend horse rugs!
Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.