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Baby peaches

Baby peachesWe were out in the yard this evening, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Baby peaches! My newly-planted little peach tree already has several tiny peaches on it. How exciting. Of course, those will have to be snacks for some small woodland creature, because that narrow branch will never support full-grown peaches. Still, every exciting.

IrisThe iris are in bloom as well. I need to divide my iris bed so we will have more blooms. Iris blooms become more scarce as the plants become overcrowded. That can be a fall project.

I’ve been working on some Lucy dolls that have been waiting a long while for their appliquéd details, and I’ve got a Super Slug almost done. My Viking Platinum sewing machine is working sometimes, and sometimes not. It seems to calm down after I turn it on and off a couple of times, or leave it to rest for a while. Still, I’d like to resolve this as soon as possible. I’ve surpassed my limit on patience with this six-month repair ordeal.

3D Desktop AquariumI found a small, but amusing-to-me distraction in a desktop aquarium. I know everyone probably has seen these before, but I wanted one after I saw them years ago. Apparently, no one around me wanted one however. They keep asking me if the toilet is running when the fish tank noise comes on. Whatever. I think it’s fun.

Thank you, to my new subscribers. I’ve appreciated your kind comments. I hope you will enjoy my blog. Thanks for joining us on our Ruffing’s Facebook page too. Now that I have a new, working sewing machine that does some decorative things, I hope to have more projects to show soon. I certainly have some projects I need to get up online. Always lots to do.

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Return of the Platinum 775

Kenmore 19233 with a Viking presser foot ankleI made a great discovery yesterday. I unscrewed my presser foot ankle from my Viking Sarah sewing machine, and screwed it onto my new Kenmore 19233…and it fit! That means I can use all those Viking presser feet I’ve collected, on the Kenmore, which is a relief, since I’ve invested a lot in presser feet so far. And who wants to have two sets of everything anyway? Update: I also found out you can buy a spare Viking Accessory Ankle , if you want to leave your Viking ankle on your original machine.

Husqvarna Viking Platinum 775 boxWell, guess who came home today? My Viking Platinum 775, which has been MIA for almost six months now, showed up with the UPS man. I couldn’t help making a mental note of the “Keeping the World Sewing” logo on the side of the box. That hasn’t quite been my experience with it.

Husqvarna Viking Platinum 775 sewing machine, with my other sewing machinesI was afraid to open the box, feeling sure there was going to still be something on it that didn’t work, after coming back from the second repairman, who is also the original seller, all the way from California. I turned it on, and it did a few basic stitches, sewing forwards instead of backwards, like it is supposed to. It had been sewing everything backwards before. Then I selected some more intricate, decorative stitches, and it still sewed the same few basic stitches! No decorative anything. No alphabet. The needle up/down button was still broken too. I wanted to cry.

I came back later, after typing a draft of a letter I thought I’d send but didn’t, and miraculously, it was willing to sew all the stitches on its menu. Perhaps it needed to warm up first. I stitched a sampler and it did fine. The needle up/down button was still broken, and the grit behind the panel was still there, things that I noticed after it came back from the first repairman.

Husqvarna Viking Platinum 775 stitching sampleThe buttons and the panel had not been replaced, as the first repairman had told me they needed to be. Yet, here is the machine, sewing with those original parts. I did have to wait another 2 1/2 months for a different part to come from Viking though.

I’m not sure what to do about the remaining repairs that need to be done. I think the second repairman may have just missed my note about the additional repairs, since I had to write a second time in regard to them, after I got the machine back from the first repairman. But, I would have to ship the machine back to California for him to fix those things. I have no one I trust to go to here in North Carolina. I have to say, I’ve had a problem with everyone I contacted so far who is officially connected with the Viking company. Each of those people made insinuations about the seller of the machine, saying he must be doing something underhanded, but really, he’s been honorable so far, as far as I can tell. And he didn’t charge me anything. He honored his own warranty, even though the Viking company would not honor the warranty on their machine. I just had to pay to ship the machine to him.

12 inch fleece Hug Me! SlugsOn a brighter note, I made this red fleece “Hug Me! Slug” with my new Kenmore sewing machine. He’s on his way to the west coast to cheer up someone who has lost a dear friend. It’s nice to have a project to do that means something to someone else. That makes me feel good. I hope the new sewing machine and I will be great friends.

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My food and sewing revolution

flower and vegetable gardenAfter watching a Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I decided that this was the year I was finally going to get around to planting at least one fruit tree, some berry bushes, and a vegetable garden. I’ve meant to do this for about ten years now! Time for some fresh, garden-grown produce!

I planted the vegetables and herbs in my flower bed. Easy enough.

newly planted peach treeThe peach tree was more of a challenge. Before I started digging, I was quite certain I had enough stamina to plant at least two trees. Then I struck ground. Have I mentioned before that I don’t garden like I used to because the ground is mostly clay here? Well, it is.

At first, I felt like I was trying to dig using a spoon, because that’s about the amount of dirt I was moving at a time with my shovel. Then I got out the pick ax, and I felt like I was trying to chop my way out of prison. I said I wished it would rain, and my mom said, “Why don’t you just get the hose?”

So, I dug a 4 inch basin, and filled it with water. After letting it sit for an hour or two, I was able to dig a little deeper. I filled it again, and repeated the procedure until my tree had plenty of room. I replaced the dirt with a bagged mix for trees and bushes. I’ve still got a pile of clay-dirt to move.

blooming blueberry bushesI’ve got six blueberry bushes to plant next. I thought that sounded easy before! I’m determined to follow through.

I looked all over for an ornamental Kwansan cherry tree, and finally found one. But, it was too big to stuff in my Corolla. I may still give that a go.

Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing MachineI also saw Sears was having a good sale on a their Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing Machine this month. We’d looked at that model before, as a good potential spare machine. I decided to go for that too, on the same day I was thinking about finagling that Kwansan into the car. I considered the challenge, for a moment anyway, of getting them both in there, but quickly realized that was not going to work. I’ve been packing plants, and tomato cages, and who knows what in there like it’s one of those clown cars lately.

Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing MachineSo, the Kenmore 19233 is very nice, I’m pleased to say. The inside parts are metal, and you can open the side to clean it. That’s an option that used to be on all sewing machines that I remember, but has been missing on a lot of the current models. I guess most companies want you to go to a repairman just to remove fuzz and dust, or they don’t want to invest in this extra, extremely useful feature.

Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing Machine stitch selectionIt has a good selection of stitches too, and a nice alphabet. I tried them out and the quality was impressive. I didn’t expect such a nice machine in that price range. I’m very pleased.

Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing Machine stitching sampleAs I’ve said before, I’ve been waiting a long time for my Viking Platinum 775 to be repaired. Wouldn’t you know, the part finally came in from the Viking company, the original seller repaired the machine, and he sent it on its way, even before I opened the box of the new machine. That’s okay. I’m keeping the Kenmore. The Husqvarna Viking company took 2 months to send repair parts the first time, and 2 1/2 months to send parts the second time. I’ve been waiting almost six months since that machine malfunctioned! Unbelievable. I’m just hoping it works when it gets here, and that it keeps working. I’ll be testing it out soon.

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Trying out some new feet

Beulah Bunny, original miniature bunny rabbit art doll by Max BaileyI’ve been trying out some new presser feet for my sewing machine. That’s little Beulah Bunny, enjoying her new apron pocket. Husqvarna Viking keeps coming out with new, clear versions of their presser feet, which make certain tasks a lot easier. So far, I have their Clear B Edge Stitching Foot, (below left), and their Clear Open Toe Foot, (below right).

Clear edge stitching presser foot, clear open toe presser footThe Clear B Edge Stitching Foot helps guide you along edges while you do decorative stitching. The Open Toe Foot is great for machine appliqué stitching, because you can see where you are going, when you are following a raw edge or a line. Both have a tunnel on the underside to allow the bulk of your decorative stitching to slide through without jamming anything up.

Using a clear edge stitching foot to sew along the edge of a pocketI used a chalk pencil to mark a straight line on my fabric, when I was putting my decorative stitching on my apron pocket. Then I used the Edge Stitching Foot to follow my line. That kept my decorative stitching nice and straight.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!