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WIP Wednesday: Herringbone Baby Quilt + Antique Treadle

Squee! I have so many projects that I’m excited to be working on, and it’s causing me to bounce back and forth between things (read: not making good headway anywhere!). It’s not the most efficient way to work, but I’m having too much fun to care.

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

After launching my Etsy Shop, I decided to get back to some neglected projects. Project #1? A long overdue baby quilt for my friend’s daughter. I’m so embarrassed that this “welcome to the world” gift is quickly turning into a “Happy Birthday” present. I designed this herrringbone pattern to use up  the scraps from my partial lonestar burst quilt, though it’s taken a lot longer than planned.  In hopes of making some headway, I brought this project to MamaPeaches’ house last weekend for a mama play date. Best.time.ever. Fabulous friends + simple piecing + featherweight + her gorgeous sewing cave is pretty much my new definition of heaven.

This baby quilt will (hopefully!) be my first quilt that is done entirely on vintage machines — so far all the piecing has been completed on my Featherweight or on my fabulous vintage Brother. I just adore the vintage machines and find myself choosing them over my big Janome more and more.   

Economy Blocks WIP, by Stitchified

I’ve also been working on a layout for my Economy Blocks. This project was started during a trying time, and I added a block to it (almost!) every day throughout the ordeal. Just looking at the blocks is a powerful reminder of both me and my family’s journey over the last two years. I just need to bring myself to add another 100 blocks so that it’s queen size!

And lastly, I started restoring this amazing White Vibrating Shuttle III treadle machine that my stepmother picked up for me last summer.

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

At just $5, this thing was a total steal, but it’s been my most difficult restoration yet. It was missing the vibrating shuttle and bobbin, and tracking down replacements has taken months of dedicated internet sleuthing. I was able to find a shuttle stamped “White” on Etsy that looked like the drawings of VSIII shuttles, and took a chance — thankfully it fits perfectly. Then, after spending hours (and hours!) looking at photos on eBay, I snagged a single White long bobbin. (Dorky restoration note: Unlike Singer long bobbins, White long bobbins have a hollow core, which makes them distinct enough to pick out of a lineup of say, a hundred ebay listings.)

Finding the missing parts gave me the push I needed to start cleaning the machine. I’m pretty sure she was sitting in a barn for a significant portion of the last 125 years — there was a lot of straw hidden in the cabinet and the whole thing is FILTHY. I’ve only just begun to remove the grime, but I’m making good progress. It’s so gratifying to shine her up.

I put together a little demo of the process, but first a quick before picture of the area I was working on:

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

And a super gratifying video showing the grime coming off (not shown the 10 minutes I scrubbed the area with Qtips!):

A video posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

And a shot of what I’ve done so far on the backside:

White VS((( restoration, by Stitchified

Yeaaah, I still have a long way to go. And I still need to tackle her moving parts… and then there’s the cabinet. Oh, the sad dried out cabinet. She’s been around for around 120 years (last patent date is 1890!), so I figure she can wait a few more months for a proper restoration job. 🙂

Oh, and for those interested, I do have a few new additions in the works for the Etsy shop.  I’ll announce the postings on IG if you want to follow me there.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!  Eek, I didn’t realize that WIP Wednesday is on a two month break. Linking up with some new link parties and looking forward to visiting some new friends and their blogs!


and Handmade Tuesdays

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Ali March 23, 2016, 10:22 pm

    She’s a real treasure – lots of love going in to reviving her! Vintage machines are so beautiful – Ali x

  • Terry March 23, 2016, 10:30 pm

    What a neat old machine. You are doing a great job of restoring her. Good luck on the rest of the job.

  • JanineMarie March 23, 2016, 11:13 pm

    The words “antique” and “treadle” pulled me in right away! I really like the crisp look of your herringbone quilt. Good luck with your restoration. That machine and cabinet will be lovely. I do my piecing on a featherweight and my quilting on a Singer 115 treadle. Love them both!

  • Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine March 24, 2016, 9:30 am

    Your projects look great! That’s a lot of economy blocks, can’t wait to see your progress.

  • Tracy March 24, 2016, 11:48 am

    Sounds like you have been having a lot of fun! Congrats on the new etsy shop ~ it looks great (but of course, it would, what with your excellent skills and discerning eye!) Your economy block quilt will be so fabulous (not to mention a beautiful reminder of your family’s resilience) I went through a very dark period several years ago, and while I didn’t make a block a day or anything, I did manage *some* sewing, and quite honestly, that sewing was a saving grace for me.
    Have fun with your continuing restorations ~ I imagine it is exhilarating to see the machine shine!

  • Susan March 24, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Terrific quilts you’ve got going – you’re brave to commit to make 100 more blocks. I guess one a day will get it done!
    And amazing how well that machine is cleaning up. Hope she purrs when you’re all done!

  • Karen March 24, 2016, 2:35 pm

    Memories of trying times, that will be a quilt you will remember. Your economy blocks are so cheerful and colorful.

  • Amy Wright September 21, 2017, 10:01 pm

    Any more tips on finding white long bobbins? My treadle came with 1 but I would love to have more!

    • Jen September 27, 2017, 6:35 pm

      Hi Amy! I’m afraid that’s all I have for tips. The vendors I usually go to are all sold out. Best of luck to you, and sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

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