Tag Archives: Singer Sewing Machine

Machine Quilting On A Featherweight

They are small. They are light. They stitch a perfect straight stitch. And they can be used to machine quilt!!

The Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine Model 221 was first introduced in 1934 at the Chicago World’s Fair. At the fair, the featherweight was considered a revolutionary machine due to its aluminum construction, small size, and a weight of only 11 pounds. The Featherweight machine was manufactured from 1933 – 1968 in just three basic colors: black, beige and white. Featherweight machines have stood the test time, built in an era that things were meant to last forever. Today, the machine has made a resurgence as a reliable sewing machine and as a collector’s item.
featherweight photo: View 8 MW150006.jpg

At Road 2017, Jennifer O’Brien from Sew Craft taught a $5.00 Lecture Class, Machine Quilting on your Featherweight. The first thing that the students learned was, yes, you can machine quilt using the small but mighty Featherweight. In fact, the principles are similar to any machine quilting project.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

In order to do free-motion machine quilting, there has to be free movement. Because the feed dogs on a Featherweight cannot be lowered, they need to be covered up so the fabric can move smoothly for quilting. Jennifer suggested using a Teflon pressing sheet cut the size of the arm of the Featherweight and secured to the machine using either masking tape or 404 adhesive spray. She also advised to cut a small triangle hole in the area where the needle goes in and out to avoid having the needle rub against the Teflon.

Another adjustment to the Featherweight for machine quilting is trading out the pressure foot for a machine quilting pressure foot. She recommends a “big foot” because it has an oversize, clear foot.

To start quilting on a Featherweight, start from the center of the project. With the pressure foot raised, put the material under the pressure foot then lower the needle down and up one time so that the bobbin thread just pops up. Pull the bobbin thread up to the top to prevent it from bunching up underneath the fabric. Once the thread has been secured on top, lower the pressure foot and begin gliding the material to free motion quilt the material.

Jennifer made a video to demonstrate these starting tips:

Because the sewing area of a Featherweight is limited, Jennifer cautioned that handling the fabric can be tedious. She recommended putting a table to the side of the sewing area to handle the weight of the fabric.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

As with all quilting, Jennifer said that Featherweight machine quilting takes practice, especially moving the fabric under the machine. She mentioned that quilting curves is easier than “stitch in a ditch” with a Featherweight. Jennifer suggested that the best way to practice is to make loops, L’s and C’s and even writing your name. Her final advice was to start small to encourage completing projects, pace yourself and don’t hurry.


2016 Road Faculty: Meet Kimberly Einmo

Kimberly will be teaching three classes: 3006C Lone Starburst; 4006C Perfect Pinless Pinwheels; and 5005C Mystery QuiltKSEinmo-Studio-1a-262x300

Kimberly Einmo is used to being the only girl in the family. Growing up with two brothers, today, she is married and has two sons. How did Kimberly, the only quilter in her family, first get interested in quilting? Kimberly remembers it this way: “My mother had grown up in the depression era and hated anything to do with sewing. But she had the wisdom to know I should have some basic sewing skills ,so she signed me up for some sewing classes when I was seven years old at the local Singer Sewing shop in Massillon, Ohio. I loved sewing from the start and it wasn’t long before I was making many of my own clothes. I joined a 4-H group when I was eight years old called “Buttons and Bows” where I learned even more about garment construction and crafts such as Christmas stockings, tote bags, and holiday décor items.  I would enter my garments in the county fair every summer and I loved winning blue ribbons! For Christmas, when I was 10 years old, my parents bought me a sturdy Singer sewing machine that had zig zag and hem stitches which at that time, were quite a big deal! They also surprised me with a cabinet to hold the machine. Those were the best Christmas gifts I ever received! I still have that old Singer machine. However, it wasn’t until I walked into that quilt shop in Alexandria in 1991 when I realized you could piece blocks and quilt on a sewing machine.” Even though Kimberly can piece and quilt by hand, she loves sewing on her sewing machine so much more.KE-Variable Pinwheel Lonestar block with watermark

An award winning quilter, designer, and author, Kimberly has written five books. She also hosts four popular online classes with Craftsy.com and has appeared on several television and radio programs.

Kimberly has taught all over the world with her farthest class being in the Czech Republic where she has taught several times for the Prague Patchwork Meeting. What does she like most about teaching? Getting to know her students personally. Kimberly enjoys meeting meet each and every student and finding out a little bit about their life and why they like to quilt.

Once, when Kimberly was teaching, she had a scary experience. She was teaching a class on a Friday night at a quilt store. The store was actually closed, but the front door was unlocked. A man walked in to the front counter and told the shop owner that he had a gun and had just committed an armed robbery and that he wanted to turn himself in to the police. Kimberly overheard the conversation and grabbed all her students and locked them in a tiny bathroom while she called 911. She kept an eye on the shop owner and the man while the owner talked  very calmly to him. The police arrived and took the alleged robber. Kimberly remembers it was an incredibly tense situation. Afterwards, she and her students all giggled from nervous energy about having crammed so many women in a tiny bathroom!

What is Kimberly’s best quilting tip?  “Take your time and be very accurate as you cut and sew. Accuracy is oh-so-important to achieve great results.”KE-Fire and Ice with watermark

Kimberly hopes her students come to her classes with an open mind and are willing to try new things.  She always encourages her  students to step out of their box to learn something new. Kimberly has a personal goal to make every class she teaches a “stress-free” zone.  She wants her students to leave her classes knowing they learned a lot, accomplished a lot of actual sewing, and to go home feeling relaxed, happy, and refreshed from a great day in the classroom.KE-Magical Blocks Out of the Box

You can visit Kimberly at her website:www.kimberlyeinmo.com