Dick Wightman's Bulletin Board


1934 Singer Sales Report Form

I am really getting to the deep clean out around here, going through my own "historical" (hysterical?) files envelope by envelope. A couple of days ago I found what I took to be an old Singer sales time payment record. Guess I didn't look at it closely enough when I got it long ago. It isn't that, it is a record of payments due on sales from a Singer shop in Spartansburg (no indication whether PA or SC) to the Singer distributor. Date is Oct. 13, 1934. Apparently they made 14 sales in whatever reporting time frame was covered. Can't tell as much as I'd like to as the person did not use the form correctly, didn't use the columns as they were labeled. I'm sure it recorded the info the user needed to later complete his official reports. It's obvious this was a personal record from which he would then fill out a new, proper form to submit to headquarters. All of the sales record the customer's name and two of the sales have another name next to them, "Nate". My guess is that these were sales by an employee rather than the store owner, or perhaps he placed machines in another store in a nearby town or something. In any event, he needed to keep those sales identified, probably to pay a commission to that individual. Each sale has the customer's name noted. I can't see well enough to run a total on a column written in fountain pen, but the lowest sale appears to be $1.25 to Mattie Bennett. The highest was $8.60 to H.G Mais. I don't recall machine prices from the mid-30's but I'd guess the larger amounts might be down payments on new machines, the smaller partial payments under the Singer payment program and/or notions like needles, belts, etc. Quite fascinating in any event.






Cat Applique Quilt

Here is a computer scan/multiply of the block I am using for this quilt:

This is four of the blocks. I think you can see how each block goes together. They are 6 1/2" blocks. The green squares are cut to 4 1/2" the brown sashes cut to 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and the accent corners to 2 1/2" x 2 1/2", assembling to 6 1/2" blocks. You can see how the blocks are rotated in assembly to give a sense of movement. This was a computer repeat of one block. In the actual quilt, each square will have a different color and shape leaf:

Here is a pic of the quilt I spotted at Pacific Fabrics that inspired me to make the pattern:

Here you can get a feel for the "movement" of the block rotation. The movement effect is also enhanced by the varied colors of the green blocks. I'm still debating as to whether varying the leaf colors on mine is sufficient or if I should get a couple more greens.

Now, the "hook" to this project is that the four block lower right corner will be a solid green block with an appliqued calico cat and a similar sized block will occur on the left edge 2/3 of the way up but will contan an appliqued black and white cat. The idea being that the cats are watching the leaves. Anyway, it seems like a good idea. I'm not sure I like the idea of a single green giving more of an impressio of the leaves being on a lawn or if I prefer the additional movement that several shades of green would give.

Further developments will be posted as I am able to complete them. Getting one block made and this much computer planning done was an accomplishment in present circumstances.


My Fall/Winter 2015 Quilt Activity

Here are the pix related to my post re fall/winter activity:


These are my left over 2002 Block of the Month blocks



This is the Amish log cabin that was one of my very early quilts



This is another log cabin, done in the Barn Raising arrangement and as a theme quilt. All of the fabrics are prints of tools and it was made for my buddy who shares all my shop and sports activities. This and the above are pretty much my favorite log cabin layouts.



A Few More TOGA Pix

Lynn sent another batch of pix. The page is already loaded up, but she had a particularly nice set of Jan Sabin and the great display of machines and parts he always brings. The top shot included a pic of the front of the glass front bookcase Wheeler and Wilson parlor treadle.










2015 Pacific Northwest TOGA Howard's Restore-a-Finish Demo

These pix (by Eileen) are of the restoring a finish demo at the 2015 Seattle TOGA. Unfortunately, I didn't have the sense to actually take a before pic, but Eileen pretty well caught the condition of the top of this White parlor treadle. There was one area where someone had spilled something caustic, alcohol or possibly nail polish remover, and really taken the finish off. There was another area that had had a spill and somehow darkened very noticeably, then there were a couple of rings... coffeee cup or plant dish.

This demo took awhile because I talk too much (and fell over at one point) but the actual work or rubbing the top lightly with fine steel wool, then an application (quick wipe on and off) of Old English scratch remover, then two rub downs with Howard's Restore-a-Finish, and finally an application of Howard's Orange Wax, was probably ten minutes of the time. Study the stains and dull spots in the first six pix, then compare to the last pic, taken this morning ... no additional work or applications, just some time for absorption. Not bad for just a small amount of effort.

Howard's products are availbable at many major antique malls, some home improvement stores and on line. A similar product that I don't personally have as much experience with but that seems quite comparable is Dr. Woodwell's Elexir.













More 2015 Pacific Northwest TOGA Pix from Eileen

These pix are by Eileen, who did an excellent job of capturing the feeling of the event and even kept names straight!


1891 Singer 28... went home with Eileen



Britannia NFS




Carla and Dick looking at blocks she made while traveling on planes, using a Singer child's hand crank.




Carla working on the draw string bag project.



Deborah working on the draw string bag project



Eileen (and friend) talking with Captain Dick


Heads for sale



Jan, Mr. Sew Dandy, on left, showing some of the fabulous attachments, historic items and machines he brought



Lynn with hand cranks



Mike and Mary Rust. We owe Mike for the big covers we had in case of rain or fierce sun... not much chance of the latter this time, but normally August can be real hot. Mary and Mike are planning a Spring TOGA for Portland



Mary Rust and Pat



The next several shots are of folks mingling, looking at machines and talking... in other words, participating in a TOGA







At this point, the issue of food came up, the barbecue was lit and many table surfaces were cleared of machines to make room for the serious business of lunch



A rare Dutch Phoenix industrial machine and a Wheeler and Wilson "Bookcase" parlor treadle. When the front door is closed, it presents a glass front with faux book bindings behind, as if it were a library cabinet. These came with Jan went home with Mary Rust.



Robin with Necchi hand crank



Dick Wightman
(Captain Dick)

Email to: rwightman@mindspring.com


Afghan Project - Result 1

135 crocheted squares, two balls of black yarn for sewing and between 55 and 60 hard pushing hours of hand stitching later, the Afghan Project is now officially half done. This is the first of the two. I've never worked with crocheted blocks before. They are surprisingly heavy, with the result that this is one really heavy afghan. It's also larger than the usual afghan, but both of the guys I'm making them for are tall. This is what they wanted and the blocks were available, so.... As an afghan, it should be very successful. I sure was warm while assembling it in my lap! 8^)

I'm going to take a break from afghan'ing, catch up on some backlogged chores, let my hands uncramp (that became quite a problem) and then do the floating blocks pillow project for you all before I go back and do the second afghan.



A long time ago I came up with a nice arrow block pattern. I made up a quilt with it as a shoot prize but never made one for myself until now. I'm real pleased with how it came out.


Back Yard Range

Obviously a composite picture, but it works. in the left corner is a double foam block with (currently) a bear target. Pavers in the lawn mark 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 yards. Pic is taken from 25. In the right corner is another double foam block with the turkey. Shooting at the turkey from the pavers gives a constantly changing angle and odd distances. Two shots from each paver is a "round", five rounds is a "set" or 50 shots. I try to do two sets a day if the weather is decent. For variety, I still have Herman, the foam javelina I made to practice for my hunt back in 2008 and I stick him in odd places behind bushes and shoot him from anywhere.


Stairway to Spring Quilt Finished

Finally, after a month and a half's work, Stairway to Spring is truly finished. This is the largest quilt I've done in about 10 years or so. This is the quilt I had actually finished as a smaller work ban my wife liked it enough to ask that I expand it to over queen size. I did that by adding extra borders and the side panels. I'm overall very pleased with it. The only problem that's bothersome is that it shrank from the quilting and washing more than anticipated. The width ended up OK, maybe an inch shy of target, but the length came up nearly 5" short. This will be alright because we had planned on a good bit of tuck in over the pillows at the top. As finished, it drapes perfectly all around and the top just comes up to the headboard with no tucking. That can be lived with. Washing brought on the expected puckering for a nice appearance. Special thanks to Rachelle Howard on Treadle On for suggesting the diagonal treatment of the quilting on the three adjacent borders. That worked very well to lock up a large area that didn't have adequate piecing seams to lock it up.











Rectangle Island Quilt







Star of Treadleonia Quilt



Floating Blocks or Shadow Quilt



Mockery is a Rokkaku kite I built nearly 20 years ago. It was very large, 12 1/2' x 7 1/2'. I found that I was no longer able to handle a kite that size, so cut the skin down to 6' x 5'. Here is a pic of the kite aloft.

This shot was telephotoed in from about 200'. The grey sky is almost like a studio backdrop!

Current Sewing and Light Woodworking Shop


Sewing Side 1

Here you see a Brother industrial needle feed machine which is specifically for handling slick kite material and for the quilting phase of making quilts. The work table/feedout is 3' x 5' and consists of 1/4" masonite over 3/4" plywood. All nylon cutting is done on the masonite by heat knife. When the masonite gets too marked up, probably about after a year, I'll unbolt it and turn it around. After both sides are gone, simply replace the masonite. I think I'm going to be able to put my 12 drawer rack of treadle drawers between the dresser and the treadle by nudging the dresser over to the left a bit.


Sewing Side 2

As you can see from the previous pic, this spot held a nice treadle. However, since my ankle/foot will no longer stand up to steady treadling, I decided to improve the overall sewing situation by locating one of my favorite big machines here after upgrading it substantiall. The machine is a 1970's Pfaff 134 straight stitch industrial. I found it in a chicken coop (!) roughly 20 years ago and used it for many years in an industrial treadle. I bought it a new stand and a DC servo motor and it is one of the smoothest sewing machines I've ever used... great for quilt piecing.

Three early vintage Singer 28 hand cranks are on top of dresser, which contains tons of sewing and quilting patterns and supplies.



Tool Side 1 - Drill Press and Tool Storage Area (Corner of incredibly messy workbench will not be shown in full :^)


Tool Side 2 - Roll around work table, table saw and lathe. Note: there is an alcove directly opposite this, behind the big Brother sewing machine, where a bandsaw and belt sander are hiding out. A drum sander and jig saw are stashed in the furnace room, so I still have a lot of woodworking capability.




Direct comments/questions to Captain Dick: rwightman@mindspring.com



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