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You can purchase many items from our shop at our web store, via PayPal.
You can also email or telephone me to order an item: .978-352-2676;
Please make checks out to Quilters' Quarters or Terry's Thoughts and Threads Many thanks.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sharing Tips While Waiting for Warmth

As the shop is still closed, I decided I would use this post to offer some reminders that are answers I've suggested to questions that arise in lessons.

Threads and Thread Spools
  • Thread comes in many different styles today, and so do thread spools. An easy way to remember which spool for which spool holder is this: 
  • Vertical Spool Pins (standing upright) take thread spools that look like those you have known all your life. The thread is wound on them vertically, and so comes off the spool best on a vertical spool pin. All old sewing machines have Vertical Spool Pins and have a piece of felt, or a lovely little crocheted doily, underneath the spool of thread - which protects both the machine's surface and the thread spool itself.
  • Horizontal Spool Pins (which look like they are laying on their side) seem to have arrived when machines began being made of plastic, and they are best used with spools that are 'cross wound' (like Mettler, Aurifil and others) The spool of thread remains stationary on the horizontal spool, and an 'end cap' is placed at the end of the pin to keep the spool from being pulled off.
  • Cones are like cross wound spools, and they must have their threads pulled over the top of the cone ... a thread spool stand is often recommended, but I find a teacup behind your machine works just as well.
  • Bob, at Superior Threads, has a great video that explains these different types of spools and spool pins (and advertises his company's thread spool holder which accommodates all types of spools.) It is well worth watching ~ forgive him, for he does confuse the words horizontal and vertical at one point in the video ... but he does know what he is talking about.

Old Sewing Machines
  • Vintage and antique machines require oiling, and manuals are helpful in showing you exactly where to oil the machines. For Featherweights, there are some ports that require oil every eight hours of use, and others that only require semi-annual attention. Whatever machine you have, a manual can be found online, and is essential for good maintenance. You can maintain these machines yourself as well or better than any sewing machine shop. 
  • Cleaning the surface of a vintage or antique, black, heavy sewing machine requires only sewing machine oil, a soft cloth, and elbow grease. Water based products (household detergents) will damage or possibly remove the decals on a machine.
  • Some of these machines  (including those dated 1930s and later) have electric motors that will also need attention and care. Worn electrical wires can be replaced simply with a trip to the big box hardware stores. Motors require Lubrication, not Oiling. Any place that requires Oiling (see your manual) does NOT take Lubrication. Make sure you have the right product:
  • Oil = sewing machine oil. Light weight, clear or white in color. When it yellows, throw it out.   Apply only ONE DROP where indicated in manual.
  • Lube = grease ... like vaseline, or sewing machine lubricant, Usually in a squeeze tube, clear or white in color, applied to gears or into the ports of a motor. See your manual for clear directions and frequency.
  • P B Blaster = a penetrating spray that will lubricate hard-to- turn or remove SCREWS ... not meant for lubricating a motor.
  • Evaporust = a solution that is reusable, biodegradable, harmless but does a terrific job in just a few hours of soaking to remove rust from chrome faceplates, throat plates, screws and other shiny metal parts. 
Modern Machines
  • Machines between the decades of nineteen fifties through early seventies may also need scheduled oiling, according to their manuals. But machines from the eighties and later have been manufactured NOT to need oiling ... they are constructed with a different type of lubricant that is more or less permanent in its viscosity. Check your machine, and if it does not ask you to oil it, don't. But check carefully so that you won't miss it if it does need oil.
I am happy to help anyone with a question about their machine ... while I am not an expert at modern machines that have circuit boards, computer connections, visual screens etc., I can help you maintain your own machine and trouble shoot tension problems if it is an older model... and you have a manual (or I can find one online for you.) Most problems are related to tension setting or timing, and on the old Singer's I'm very familiar with solutions to those problems. One very simple suggestion is to make sure you have the same weight thread in both the top feed and in the bobbin, as a difference will affect your tension. 

I still have several functioning sewing machines in the shop that are for sale; treadles, hand cranks, electrics ... dating from 1920's through 1970's.  Sadly, Rick is no longer here to make new wooden bases for them, but there are people online who do the same type of work and do ship their products from here in the United States. I can help you find them. 

You can stop into the shop to see me, or send me an email to arrange help with your sewing machine. 
  • Email -  (Yes, PENS ... I sew and I write.)
  • Shop phone - 978-352-2676  please leave your name and number first, then a brief message and I'll get back to you. (I don't have caller ID so need that info.)
Happy Sewing - see you in April!
Shop Hours: Thursday noon to 5pm, Friday noon to 5pm, Saturday noon to 3pm

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More Winter Weather Ahead

Quilters' Quarters will remain closed for the rest of the month of March, as more winter weather is forecast for our area.

The shop is too cold to enjoy the beauty and reasonable prices; the discounts will still be offered to Spring shoppers who return in April.

Saturday, April 1st, will be our new re-opening date.

My apologies to all. Your patience is appreciated.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fewer Hours but Greater Sales

Quilt made of Rick's plaid flannel shirts and others,
made by our quilter friends in memory of his work
I have reduced the number of days that my quilt/fabric shop will be open as my better half is no longer with me ... Losing Rick early Christmas morning was a shock and his departure has truly broken my heart. I want to continue with the shop to honor his and my commitment to bring fabrics and notions to a local site that doesn't involve highway driving, and to bring the prices to a more reasonable level for people who do such charitable work as part of their days.
To that end, I'd like to let all know that Quilters' Quarters in Georgetown (two driveways north of Perley School on North Street) will have Spring Hours on Thursday and Friday from noon to 5pm, and on Saturday from noon to 3pm. But though the hours and days have decreased, the sales and discounts have increased; anyone who belongs to any guild or other charitable organization, or who supports the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, or who just sews for family, friends and charities, will receive a 50% discount (that's wholesale pricing) on any materials bought for charitable projects. And there will also be a 20% discount on all fabrics and notions bought for personal use.
This is not a 'going out of business' sale ... but is intended to get the bulk of my inventory into the hands of the people who will make the best use of it. Rick built as many shelves and cabinets as we had room for, and they are currently full of beautiful fabrics bought from various quilt-quality vendors. I have very low overhead (as anyone who has visited the shop on a cold day can attest.) I'm not trying to run a business to 'earn a living' - I've earned my living, teaching thirty years in a good school district. I'm not out to beat other quilt shops' prices down ... I simply want to be a pipeline of reasonably-priced, quality goods.
Quilters' Quarters 'Feel Good Shopping' program will continue to support the Georgetown Public School's Lunch Program in donating funds monthly to provide a real school lunch to children whose accounts are in arrears for whatever reason. And we will also donate to other non-profits, such as the Lowell quilt museum, our local fire department, the public library, etc.
Quilters' Quarters is my way of giving back to the wonderful people who have welcomed me into this community of giving and doing. When I had to retire from my classrooms due to a debilitating diagnosis, I thought I would never again be part of an inspiring, collegial, giving community. But I am. And better yet, Rick was, also. He shared his connections with me, and helped me re-integrate into our small town after having taught elsewhere for so many years. I was truly blessed to have Rick in my life for fifty years ... I now have to learn how to best use my time so that I can rejoin him one day.
Thank you for being a part of what public good I can do with Quilters' Quarters.
UPDATE on Vintage Sewing Machines:
One Featherweight has sold. Another is ready for sale.
One Red Eye model 66 Singer Treadle is sale pending.
Other treadles and their cabinets are available and ready for your maintenance.
White model 77 in cabinet has sold.
 Singers are still waiting to be re-homed...
Singer model 99 

Please share this email with those who would want to know about Quilters' Quarters in Georgetown, Massachusetts. Let them know that the shop is just a few miles west of route 95, and just two driveways north of Perley School on North Street. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Quilters' Quarters is Now Open: 20% Discount on ALL fabric opening week!

Welcome back to all our quilters and sewists. I've missed your company and conversations during these two winter months. The shop is ready for your return and I look forward to seeing everyone again.

Sweet cotton flannel with spring birds and butterflies
This winter has brought some changes to our community - the most significant being the loss of my husband, Rick, who died suddenly of an unexpected heart attack early Christmas morning. Life is very different now, as he and I were nearly inseparable and spent most of our time together. We were fortunate to have these past six years of retirement and never expected our Happily Ever After season to end so quickly.

I know he was pleased with our past year together ... many people came into the shop via Row by Row™ and Humble Beginnings, and when they found his woodworking art here with the fabrics and quilts, they were very complimentary. His work was beautifully done and appreciated by so many of you, and I am grateful that those wonderful memories will be with me for the future.

I will be selling off (or giving away) many of the antique and vintage sewing machines that Rick and I acquired over the past two years in the shop; restoring them to their wonderful, beautiful selves was a project we shared, and without him it is one I will be unable to fulfill, as the woodworking part of restoration is something I cannot do. If you spoke to me before this and have been waiting for a word from me that a  particular type of machine is ready for sale, please get in touch and remind me, as my memory has not improved since we last met.

In time, Rick's showroom of his wooden art will be reopened to visitors. Some of his work will be on display at our local public library just around the block, as Rick was a large part of the Friends of the Georgetown Peabody Library, and they, too, want to honor his work.

If the shop continues to attract enough customers as it has in the past few years, it will remain open. I have plenty of fabric in stock, and am happy to acquire whatever types of notions you wish to find here. I am able to sell things at a reasonable price as I buy much of what is here at a wholesale warehouse here in Massachusetts. My goal in opening this quilt shop four years ago was two-fold:

  • I wanted to provide quilters and sewists a local setting to gather and find the necessities of sewing without taking to the highway. Having a low overhead here at my shop helps me keep retail prices reasonable.
  • My other goal was to help Rick promote his art with greater visibility ... I knew that quilters were a community of artists themselves, and would have an appreciation for the dedication Rick put into each one of his many creations. 

There won't be any more shelves added to my space, nor any more delightful pairs of wooden scissors, or Christmas ornaments, or plaques for American Heroes. But Rick's spirit will always be with me in the shop, and it will remain a comfortable place for quilters to come and gather, and share their stories, their quilts, their questions and their challenges. 

Please come by and say hello when you're in the area ... I look forward to seeing all of you, again, and sharing your stories, and ours,

email:   phone: 978-352-6758

New Spring Schedule for Quilters' Quarters: 
Thursday, Friday noon - 5pm, 
Saturday noon-3pm.
Lessons to be scheduled before and after shop hours.