A “New” Friend Joins the Party ~ Singer Featherweight 221

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have a bit of a confession. A “new” friend came to live with me last week. Meet Betty Bee. She is a Singer Featherweight 221, born in 1950. Sharing her this week is sort of timely, as yesterday was the anniversary of Isaac Singer’s patent of the sewing machine.

A few weeks ago, during my weekend in Wisconsin, I spent some time eyeing Jeni and Holly’s featherweights. Such great machines, and wow, just amazing that something with that many moving parts 60, 70, even 80 years old can still work perfectly!

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided that a Singer Featherweight would be a perfect travel sewing machine…and even a “kitchen table” sewing machine. My house is tall and narrow, so my sewing studio is up on a third floor. I love the idea of having a permanent, lightweight machine that I can stitch on in the kitchen when the kids are home, and then store away on a book shelf when not in use. I know a lot of these machines are listed on eBay, so I started there. I was pretty overwhelmed and honestly, I am not an eBay person. Just tell me the price and end the games! :) But after looking over listings and finding one that appeared to be in good shape, I did some bidding and actually won! Meet Betty Bee – named by my 8 year old daughter.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Betty Bee had one owner before me, and previously lived very nearby in Wisconsin. In fact, so close that she took less than 24 hours to arrive at my house. The original owner’s name was on a piece of paper in the case (that also included the name of her former employer), so I Googled her and was able to print out a little history to store with the machine.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She is in great condition. As with any machine, learning to thread it and get started can be a process. (Yes, it took me some time to realize I had the needle in wrong!)

I joined a Singer Featherweight 221/222 group on Facebook, which has awesome information in the Files area related to the machine. I also followed some online videos to help me clean her, switch the bulb to an LED, and replace the felt drip pad. (I bought the bulb, felt and a couple other maintenance items at April 1930’s Featherweight Specialty Shop.) She came with the original manual so I used that to make sure she was oiled and lubed in all the right spots.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides apparently being addicted to sewing machines, I also have a weakness for Lululemon. I managed to get a bag there that fits Betty Bee and some supplies perfectly.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Here it is, next to the original case.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am sure you will see more glimpses of Betty Bee popping up here and there. She came with a bunch of presser feet, some look more like torture devices. But I’m guessing I will mostly piece with her.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She will be much cared for and used in her new home, and my daughter has already claimed her for once I die. Ha! A long, long time from now. 😉

Not Your Mama’s Bee ~ July

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

July was the second month for my kid’s Not Your Mama’s Bee. If you happened to miss June’s post, a group of friends have put together a quilting bee for our kids! We have ages 5 to 9, boys and girls. And I think the parents are learning as much as the kids.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This month happened to be my daughter’s month to request blocks. Recently we have been talking about giving her bedroom a little makeover. I decorated it back when she was 2, and although I think it still works great for an 8 year old, she is ready for a change. I can’t really argue too much with her, as I change things here and there all the time.

She really likes the idea of a navy, pink, turquoise and gold room, so she requested Star Quilt Blocks of any size in those colors. She made a wonky star herself, and my 6 year old son made a sawtooth star. Not sure I’d recommend making flying geese with a 6 year old again, but we survived! :)

The kids are doing great with the sewing machines. I have my daughter using my BERNINA 440QE and she can now pretty much sew independently on it. My son is sewing with my help on my BERNINA Ambassador machine (the 750QE). He loves to push the thread cutting button when we are done stitching. This month I started letting him push the foot pedal, but I still help guide his hands as he guides the fabric. To say he’s accident prone would be an understatement! Much to their dismay, I am still keeping the speed turned way down on both machines.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So far she’s received 9 of her blocks. Above you’ll see the 6 we had back when we took the photos. She is talking about doing a random layout with blocks of solids/prints mixed in. (Similar to my Starfall Quilt).

And now we are already into August, and ready to sew a new block for a new friend!

Bag Making with Noodlehead and Handmade Style

Tablet Case / Pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Over the last week, I have made not one, but two bags. I must admit that I was somewhat motivated by seeing all the great handmade pouches and art bags and duffles on my trip to Wisconsin. My second motivation was receiving Handmade Style from Anna of Noodlehead. (thanks Anna! xox) Handmade Style is such a beautiful book, from the projects to the photography (by Holly of Bijou Lovely and Anna herself). The book is laid out with 60+ pages of styled project photography at the beginning and then 80+ pages of directions with hand drawn diagrams. There is a pullout sheet with pattern pieces.

Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There are quite a few things I plan on making in the book, and I started with the tablet case.

Tablet Case / Pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I picked some Cotton + Steel canvas for the outside quilting cotton for the inside.

Tablet Case / Pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

At the last minute, I decided to leave off the tiny pocket, but if I had left it on, I would have used some of the scraps I bought from Krista at Spotted Stones.

Tablet Case / Pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

You know it’s a good day in the sewing room when you get to use your piping foot (BERNINA foot #59) and a hammer (yep, that snap is installed GOOD.)

Tablet Case / Pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I love how this tablet case has darts on the bottom. There’s plenty of room in the case for my iPad, Kindle and even chargers. I plan on loading it up on my next roadtrip!

Tablet Case / Pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have a few more projects on my list from Handmade Style. I really want to make the Gingham Bag. (left page, top right photo):

Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This makeup travel case (I even want to copy the fabric! Yep!):

Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I love this modern triangle quilt.

Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And I am seriously contemplating making this bench!

Handmade Style by Anna Graham : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ll be sure to share as I create!

Great Big Giveaway Day ~ August Edition

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I know I probably say this every month…but I can’t believe it’s already August! Summer has flown by here and school starts in only 2-1/2 weeks. In celebration of a new month, my sponsors have a great giveaway day planned for you. This month there are 6 giveaways for 6 lucky winners.

Reminder ~ Please check your email (including SPAM folders) or back to this post after I choose the winners on Friday. I want to make sure everyone gets connected to their prize.


1. Fat Quarter Shop is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one lucky winner, so you can pick out your favorite fabrics!


2. Shabby Fabrics is offering one winner a $30 gift certificate so you can shop!


3. Connecting Threads is offering a $50 gift card so you can pick from many beautiful fabrics or notions!


4. Gotham Quilts is giving away a $25 gift card so you can shop! I love this Maker collection.


5. Dinkydoo is offering a lucky winner a $25 gift certificate, and everyone can receive a 15% discount off entire orders by signing up to their Newsletter! I’m a huge fan of the new Cotton + Steel collections.


6. Southern Fabric is giving away a $30 gift certificate!


To enter to win, simply leave one comment on this post. I’ll select the winners on Friday, August 7th. Good luck everyone!

++ Closing comments to pick the lucky winners! ++

Congratulations to the following winners! I will be in touch to connect you to your prizes.

230 – Dortha
Fat Quarter Shop – $50 gift certificate

58 – lesley
Shabby Fabrics – $30 gift certificate

351 – Heather McDonald
Connecting Threads – $50 gift card

151 – Robin F
Gotham Quilts – $25 gift card

236 – Brenda Rusche
Dinkydoo – $25 gift certificate

31 – Heather Kojan
Southern Fabric – $30 gift certificate

Thanks to everyone for commenting and supporting my awesome sponsors!