Grease and Thread

I am officially terrified of the next block in the skill builder sampler, a feathered star with 97 pieces. 97. I really shouldn’t have counted them. I have part of the fabric cut, and I need to get it in gear and just do it. I mean, really, what’s the worst that could happen?

While trying to work my way around to the feathered star, I’ve been procrastinating in grand fashion by overhauling the Singer 15-91 that I’m going to do the quilting on. I picked it up at auction a while back and verified that it runs, but I hadn’t done a cleanup on it yet.

I was suffering under the impression that it had been rewired in recent memory because it had a modern plug, but it turns out that only the wiring from the terminal block on had been replaced. The wiring to the motor wasn’t looking so healthy, though, and inside the motor the wiring was definitely shot, bits of insulation crumbling off here and there. Fair enough — it’s a 61-year-old machine. And I’d planned to tear down the motor anyway to clean the old grease out.

I had to enlist help with the soldering since I’ve never done that before and didn’t want to screw it up (I should learn to do that. Doesn’t that seem like the sort of thing a person ought to be able to do?) but it’s rewired now and ready for me to finish cleaning and put it back together. Here’s what it looks like at the moment:

Singer 15-91 motor, disassembled

Greasy! The thing that’s wrapped in plastic to protect it from cat hair is the armature (the bit that spins inside the motor). I’m also keeping the whole pile stowed in a huge ziploc for good measure — sometimes Vladimir cat likes to steal shiny things for his secret mad scientist lab. The round bits on the right are the handwheel and its associated doodads, below the armature is the worm gear from the motor, and on the left is the motor, partially reassembled.

In happier news, apart from needing new wiring the inside of the motor looks just fine, and it’s clearly been well-maintained over the years. Barring any further surprises, I should have it back together and running in pretty short order.

The actual sewing WIPs are coming along, too. The calavera embroidery is really starting to shape up now:

calavera wip

(That fabric is so hard to photograph — for some reason when I resize the photos it wants to moire like crazy.)

And I’m almost done with the piecing part of the hexagon pincushion. Just a couple more seams, and then I’m ready to take the paper templates out, trim it into a rectangle, and stitch it up:

hexagon pincushion wip

Linking this up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. Hi Daisy, thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.

    I know what you mean about the quilting I’m already thinking about what I can make next….. trying to hold myself back! I was the same about the clothes making and still am a bit. Just trying to make really easy things, but they still always go wrong! Lots of patience is needed I think.

    Love your embroidery and hexagons….they’re going to look great when finished. Paper piecing is the thing that really scares me!

  2. Jane
    May 1, 2013

    Whoa! I’m beyond impressed with the whole taking apart the sewing machine thing. Awesome! The embroidery and hexies are sweet, too!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog as well!

  3. Leigh Anne
    May 1, 2013

    I am so impressed by the sewing machine repairs. I keep thinking I should really learn how to do basic maintenance on my machine :) And yes, soldering is definitely a handy skill to have in the toolbox :)

    But what really caught my eye is the embroidery. I have a friend who would go bonkers for that! Are you using a pattern or did you design it yourself?

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