This is the first block from the pattern "The Milkmaid's Album" which was designed by Betty Alderman. Out of print pattern.

Friday, December 31, 2010


I sewed and sewed yesterday and managed to complete the inside of the Christmas quilt I posted a picture of yesterday.  I am at a stall now because I hadn't even thought about border fabric.  I didn't know if I was ever going to get the quilt made, so border fabric was far from my mind.  The quilt shop is closed today so I will look online to order fabric.
The partial seams were about to get the best of me.  There was very little of the quilt that did not involve partial seams at some point.  And there were no directions on how to accomplish the putting together part.  This set of patterns is from an old block of the month put out by Oxmoor House and is no longer available. I substituted blocks here and there to suit myself.  It is a relief to have gotten this far on a long project.  For your information, I no longer have the pattern set.  Keep watching E-Bay and maybe a reasonably priced set will come up for sale some day.

I purchased a vintage sewing machine off of E-Bay.  It is a Bell and is very small.  But don't be fooled.  It is not a child's machine.  The attachments are full size and there are a lot of them.  I always think of them as tools of torture because there are so many strange looking ones with the older machines.
The machine stores in a briefcase.  The machine itself supposedly weights nine pounds.  I have not weighed it but it is very light weight.  The foot pedal  is full size.
The case is not in the best of shape.  It is intact but somewhat dried out as far as the felt lining and the vinyl outside.  There are more attachments under the white plastic slide out that are not showing in the picture.
Here is how the machine fits in the case.
And to get an idea of its size, a picture sitting in front of my Bernina.

I first saw one of the machines in November at an antique shop.  Price was $300.  More than I wanted to spend but I thought it was so cute.  I did an online search for information on the machine and learned it was not a toy and billed as the world's smallest sewing machine.  From the mid 1950's.  The article I read led me to believe that $300 was too high of a price.  I saw some of the machines on E-Bay and as low as $48 but that one had no foot pedal.  In fact, I found three with no foot pedal.  Wonder why.  One of the no foot pedal ones is still on E-Bay for $189.  A really good one passed me by at $125.  I should have bid.  I kept watching one that had one tiny picture that would not enlarge and very little info about the machine.  I contacted the seller and asked for a better picture but he said his camera was broken.  He was selling it "As Is" but plugged it in and said "it works" and does have the foot pedal.  I finally took a leap of faith with the seller and purchased it for $80.  It arrived yesterday.  Needed cleaning up and still does a little more.  Every thing but the instruction book is there but I can order a copy of one.  I am sure that I won't be making a quilt using the machine but I do like smaller size machines and have a small collection of them.  From reading online, they do sew but would not handle heavy duty sewing.  The machine hesitates a little when I first press the pedal but I read that is the way they work.

It is after noon now and I have not sewed one stitch today.  Have to get busy.

Happy New Year to all of you.  We will be cooking sauerkraut and pork and making mashed potatoes which is our traditional New Year's meal.  And we will stay home.  We went out on New Year's Eve years ago and decided staying home and safe was the thing to do.



  1. What a huge accomplishment, Karen! Partial seams can drive the most experienced quilted crazy! It turned out beautifully! I just love it! I can't wait to see what you do with the borders. We always stay in now for New Years too! Safe and relaxing! A very Happy New Year to you!!

  2. I love your green sewing machine..................Hugs Mary

  3. I love that Jeana Kimball Christmas BOM - but it would have defeated me long ago, I suspect! Congrats on getting the center together!
    Your little machine is darling! Sometimes those leaps of faith on ebay are just the ticket! I got a great old Bernina 802 Sport for little of nothing, and it's my "travel" machine. My stay-put Bernina is exactly like yours! :-D
    Have a happy and prosperous New Year, Karen!
    Mary Lou

  4. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh that quilt is fantastic. What a task all done it is beautiful. Love your new little machine too . Happy New Year to you too.

  5. I know exactly what you are going through with the partial seams because my 'A Primitive Garden' quilt was the same and I just about threw it in the trash. How frustrating, huh? But it looks absolutely wonderful, Karen so the frustration paid off big time.

    I never heard of a 'Bell' sewing machine. How cute!

    What time is dinner? Sounds yummy! *wink*

  6. I love your new machine. I just love the vintage ones

  7. That quilt is wonderful and a great accomplishment. Congrats on sticking to it :). Your new machine looks like fun. Enjoy your kraut and pork, sounds delishes to me.

    Happy New Year - Karen

  8. I love your new vintage machine. Happy New Year!

  9. Oh I love your quilt top! Very nice! Your new machine is cute! Have a Happy New Year!

  10. What a beautiful quilt.... and congratulations on winning your bid.. What a buy!
    We too are staying in tonight. We have mass at 7:00 to celebrate the end of the year and then home where I hope to do some sewing...
    Happy New Year!

  11. Congratulations on your accomplishment...wow...that's a ton of work in that quilt! And congrats on your new baby Bell...very cute!

  12. Glad you persevered. I really like the block of Santa, his sleigh and 1-1/2 reindeer!

  13. Karen, your quilt is lovely. Congratulations on your buy. A Bell sewing machine. I have never heard of that model. I have a love for small machines as well and have just started my collection.
    Happy New Year to you and your family. Dinner sounds great! My ham went into pea soup for tomorrow. Tonight we head out with friends to a Japanese restaraunt.
    Can't wait. I love Sushi.

  14. Karen, I commend you on your "stick to it-ness" in completing that beautiful Christmas quilt! It looks stunning!
    So happy for you on that great sewing machine find!
    Wishing you many years of enjoyment with it!

    Happy New Years!

  15. The quilt turned out wonderful! I've never heard of partial seams before, but I'll know enough to stay away ;). I am in love with your new sewing machine, it's so cute! Have a great New Year!

  16. Wow, I LOVE that quilt-good for you sticking at it. So amazing!

    Love your new addition too,

    Wishing you every blessing for the new year and looking forward to more of your wonderful creations:)

    Shazy x

  17. Very interesting machine - I'll be anxious to hear how it sews! blessings, marlene

  18. That is one incredible quilt, Karen, the border should be easy, lol! It's really beautiful and I bet you're glad it's done so far. I LOVE your new machine, that would be a good one for taking to classes!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  19. Karen your quilt is STUNNIng!! Love it and ONLY you could finish it in record time!! Love your little addition...and it's GREEN!! Very cute and what a deal!! Have a wonderful New Year!! Snuggling with a good book is what I plan on doing!!Take care!

  20. Your sewing machine is so cute. Love the color. I think you got it at a good price.
    The quilt is looking awesome, it is going to be a great quilt when it is done.

  21. Your Christmas quilt is looking fabulous Karen! What a project!

  22. I love your quilt Karen.
    Great new sewing machine, it's so cute. And I love that color.
    Happy New Year to you.

  23. I love your quilt!!! Congratulations on sticking with it and getting all those partial seams done. The border will be a breeze now! lol

    Ohhh the little machine is sooo cute! and Green!! :))) Well done on a great purchase!

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Karen.

  24. Hooray for beating those partial seams into submission!! I bet you will scrutinize patterns very closely from now on, looking for partial seams LOL.

    I've never heard of a Bell sewing machine but it is rather cute :0)


  25. Yay!! The quilt was worth the hassle of all the partial seams!!
    What an adorable sewing machine! Now, what would you do with it if you didn't have a foot pedal? Use it for display?

  26. Oh, Karen, the machine is darling. I love smaller, lightweight machines, too, but have never heard of a Bell. Happy New Year to you!

  27. Love the quilt - very sweet!

    The machine is adorable - just enjoy owning it. :-)

  28. Hi Karen! I love your quilt, when you'll finish it, it will such a treasure! Your new machine looks very interesting, I haven't seen anything like that before:)
    Oh, and I wonder what your background is, pork and sauerkraut? It has to be central Europe!?
    Best wishes for 2011!

  29. Karen, The quilt came together beautifully, I can't wait to see it quilted (are you going to do that?). I am really taken with your new little sewing machine. What a treasure. I have never heard of that brand but I love the look of it. Wonderful!!! Have a wonderful New Years Day. Hugs...

  30. Looky there, the quilt top is finished! I love it!
    The little sewing machine is adorable! I can see what you wanted it! :o)

  31. What a darling sewing machine! I have never heard of a Bell, but now I'll be on the lookout for one - too cute. Your Christmas quilt is wonderful. Went out for dim sum for brunch today, so we are stuffed.

  32. I remember that quilt! What a beauty. Good for you for getting it out to finish! and what a funny little machine!

    Happy new year Karen!

  33. Yeeey, way to go on the quilt top- it looks great!
    The little machine is so cute, and what a great buy!
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  34. The quilt top looks fabulous, love it but I know what you mean about the partial seams. I've had a top on the wall for four years at least because the whole thing is partial seams and I'm not sure how to tackle it. Love the little machine, the shape and colour are wonderful.