Thursday, December 20, 2012

Treadling on Thursday - 1/4" seam allowance

One of the hardest things for me with treadling is getting a 1/4" seam allowance. I'm really just "eyeballing it" and sometimes it doesn't work well. 

Do you see at the point of the scissors that there is NO seam allowance in this piece?!? That has happened several times. I think it's just because there are so many things to concentrate on when treadling, that I forget to watch the seam allowance.
I decided to try piecing scraps on phone book pages like Bonnie does, but I have to say that I really don't like it! It's a strange reason to give, but quilting is a very tactile experience for me. I don't like the "feel" of using any fabrics except cotton (and can't even handle wool!) and I discovered that I don't like the feel of the crinkly phone book pages. It works well as a foundation and comes off the back very easily, but it doesn't "feel" right! 
Weird, I know! But quilting (and life in general!) is a process of learning what works for you, and discovering what brings you the most enjoyment...and stitching on phone book pages isn't one of those things for me!! LOL
But operating a treadle IS one of those things! I have had such a great time learning how to operate this my SINGER 127! To read more about my machine, click on the "1901 Singer Treadle" Page under the blog header photo.
And if you are interested in purchasing a vintage machine, there is a great article to read at Dragon Poodle Studio.
Happy Treadling!


Karen said...

I admire that you are using your treadle machine. I no longer have the ones I had for so long but I never actually used any of them. I did pump the treadle every so often to keep the machines from freezing up.

Missie of Traditional Primitives said...

How bout a piece of tape for a guide? Perhaps you are against putting tape on this old so, they make a plastic that sticks like tape but has no sticky. I get mine at Superior Threads for locking large spools of thread to keep them from unwinding. I would be happy to send you a piece (if I can find it)... Just let me know!

Ellen said...

I do admire your determination to learn to use this machine. It is probably like learning to drive - everything is so overwhelming at the beginning and then over time it becomes much more comfortable and then you wonder what all the fuss was about! You go girl!!

The Calico Cat said...

I am going to use poor quality fabric as the foundation for my string project.

Missy Shay said...

On my hand crank, I used a small ruler to measure a 1/4 inch and then marked it with blue carpet tape. It does not leave any kind of residue and and is very easy to follow. You can see it here. This what my quilt teacher showed me for my electric, but I now have a quilting foot but it works great for my hand crank! I'll do the same for my treadle.

My Sister Made Me Do It.... said...

I have been slowly trying to get myself motivated to start treadling. Do you know of any groups that have linkups or group QAL's for treadles?

Anonymous said...

I piece on a treadle, too! I love it. It does take some getting used to. I love the cute little foot that is standard on old Singers, BUT I find them impossible to achieve a 1/4" seam allowance with. I've switched to a quarter inch foot with fabulous results. If you have another machine there is a good chance that the feet are the same you might be able to swap them for a test drive.

Many blessings,

Debbie said...

I have two treadles I need to freshen up one day...I acquired them by chance within a 6 month time period. I am so encouraged reading your journey. I do know there is a reliable man who works on them in my area in Alaska and it is a goal of mine this summer to get at least one of the machines to operating!

Janet O. said...

I don't like the feel of phone book pages even when I use the phone book. Don't know that I could piece on them.
I've always wanted a treadle, but if it takes a lot of concentration, I might not be a good candidate for treadling! : O)

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I have two 1/4" feet for my vintage, low shank machines. I love them. I have measured, and they are a correct 1/4" unlike my Janome foot. You can get them from Cindy Peters. Well worth the money, and much cheaper than the one for my Janome, too.

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Hey Kathy:

Have you tried Q tools from Alicia's attic for getting a 1/4" seam guide for your treadle? These are re positionable vinyl strips. I tried them when I took a class with Marci Baker and they work quite slick. I don't use them often because I found a wonderful 1960's era Brother sewing machine straight stitch foot which does a perfect 1/4" seam so I'm all set. Check the website for those vinyl strips

Not sure if this link will work, but you can google Alicia's Attic and find them in their online store. Hope this helps.