Category Archives: Everything Else

Vintage Singer 99-13 Sewing Machine On Offer

Update: My machine has found a new home where she’ll be given TLC.

It’s hard to part with old friends, and this is the machine I learned to sew on, but the time has come to find it a new home. It, or rather she, is a 99-13 portable sewing machine, one of 10,000 made in 1930 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, AD093993, Motor #48-7053, Catalog B.U. 7-E.

She sews forward straight stitch only, and is operated with a knee control. She comes with a complete buttonhole attachment kit, a cord, and assorted other feet and attachmentts that may belong to it or another vintage Singer that belonged to my granny. The 99-13 is considered a portable 3/4 size machine and comes in a bentwood case, though it weighs in the neighborhood of 20 pounds. I had it serviced some years ago, and it still runs and the light works as of two weeks ago. Here’s a post that further describes this machine.

If you are willing to pick it up in Akron, Ohio, it can be yours for $20, with all accessories included. Prices online are all over the map, but I know this model isn’t as desirable as a featherweight. Sorry, but I think shipping costs would be too much to make that option worth anyone’s while.

You can contact me at snarkyquilter@gmail.com if you’re interested or have questions.

99-13 front
99-13 case
Buttonhole attachment
Instruction manual for buttonholer #160506
Feet, bobbins, and attachments

Feel free to pass this offer along to anyone you know who might be interested. It might be just the thing for a Singer enthusiast. Thanks.

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My Spoonflower Addiction

As digital fabric printing becomes more prevalent, fabric users have even more choices for printing their own without resorting to the vagaries of their home printers. The latest SAQA Journal has a good comparison by the Pixeladies of fabric printing services. In the future I may try some of the services reviewed, but for now I’m sticking with Spoonflower as I know their interface and have been satisfied with their work. And it doesn’t hurt that they’ve been running 20% off sales.

I’ve turned to photos printed on fabric as a way to continue creating now that intense piecing is literally painful for me. I aspire to create work like the one below, but I’ve a ways to go.

“Union Station” Jill Kerttula

Jill Kerttula uses fabric printed photographs as a starting point for her work. Her blog entry about “6 of Chaos”shows her process. You can see more of her work on her website.

From my latest fabric order I created “Corrugated,” which uses four fat quarters of Photoshop edited versions of a photo my friend Penny took. I’ve inset narrow strips of varying widths to spice up the palette.

“Corrugated” detail

I don’t know if I’ll add more embellishment or quilt it as is. Any opinions are welcome.

Inspiration for how to deal with another fabric from the same order has been slow in coming. This is another photo from Penny that I played with in Photoshop. I want to emphasize the gritty textures, and may add some of the fabric I painted for my Tansy Hargan class.

Just in case you wondered, I’ve never had any flower photos printed for me, though I’ve used photos of trees.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.

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And The Winners Are…

The Random Raffle Generator selected the following entrants to receive my pieces:

  1. Arch – Chris Wheeler
  2. Art – Kay Welch
  3. Eyes – Karen M
  4. Ferny – MaryJo K
  5. Geese – No one
  6. Opening Up – Jane Herbst
  7. Openings – Doris Miller
  8. Silk – Penny Bruce
  9. Spring – Doreen Kuster

Congratulations! Please email me (snarkyquilter[at]gmail.com) with your mailing address within 7 days so I can ship you your prize. If I don’t hear back from you I will select another winner.

If you live within easy reach of Akron, Ohio, I’d appreciate it if we can arrange a porch or doorstep handoff rather than rely on USPS. Let me know if this works for you.

It took me a while to warm up to podcasts, but now I listen as I sew/paint/collage/print. Here’s one devoted to quilting from the Quilt Alliance. I also love Jill Lepore’s The Last Archive, which has nothing to do with quilting.

Finally, because every post needs a picture, here are four of my latest hand stitched, needle felted wool circles. So far I’ve done 17 of 25.

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Covid Cutups

A very slender silver lining in the current pandemic is the ability of humans to find humor in an awful situation. Give people extra time on their hands and orders to self isolate and they get creative.

With so many art museums making their collections available for online viewing, it’s inevitable that people, cooped up in houses or apartments, will revive the old pastime of tableau vivant. The Getty Museum spurred some of these efforts with its challenge to recreate art in its collection with three household items.

The Astronomer, 1668, Johannes Vermeer. Oil on canvas, 19.6 in. x 17.7 in. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image: Wikimedia Commons. Recreation on Twitter and via Facebook DM by Ann Zumhagen-Krause and her husband with tray table, blanket, and globe

On Instagram @covidclassics four roommates are recreating famous paintings with much ingenuity. For each post they show their version, the original painting, and a behind the scenes look at how they did it.

Then, why not adapt famous art works to be more relatable to your pets? Two self-isolating Londoners created a museum especially for their pet gerbils. Unfortunately, the gerbils take chewing the scenery literally. As is often the case, these museum goers have ignored the signs.

If you’ve come across other examples of humor to help us cope with our times, please send me the links. To quote Jimmy Buffet, “If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane.”

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Artistic Endeavors – Enlightenment and Entertainment

Photo Sources

From Gratisgraphy

New York Quilt Project Being Digitized

Influence of Women Artists

Ruth Asawa

Songs and Geography

Song Map of Texas

Free Art Books Published by the Getty 

The Getty Center

Artistic Maps

Susan Stockwell Colonial Dress

Japanese Book of Wave Patterns

If A City Looked Like An Artist



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Help Me Shed Light On My Work

I mean that quite literally. My husband has proposed some lighting upgrades to make it easier for me to see what I’m doing in my studio. It is a former bedroom with the obligatory middle of the ceiling dim light. New energy efficient bulbs haven’t helped much. The two windows are on the same wall and either bring in too little or too much light from their western exposure.

So far I’ve done online searches, which have given me general guidelines but not enough specifics as to products to use/avoid and costs. Some of the studios pictured have tons of ceiling lights, but visions of large price tags for fixtures and electricians dance through my head when I look at them.

Drop lights and wall sconces

Track lighting. (I want that cabinet to the right.)

Rows of track lighting. My fabric doesn’t look like that.
I like the idea of adjustable height lights.

I have task lights at my work table and on my sewing machine, but there are dark areas by the ironing board and design wall. I know changes are needed, but I’m befuddled about where to begin. This is where you come in.

What lighting solutions have worked for you? What kind of budget did you have? Are there resources I haven’t yet tapped to help guide me?

Thanks.


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Artistic Endeavors – Just Dance

Fred Astaire. Restored by Nick & Jane for Dr. Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans Website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

I have shortchanged dance in this feature, so I want to remedy that by featuring a seven minute montage of dance moves from about 300 movies.

If you’re movie obsessed, you can track which movies the clips come from, thanks to the list on Open Culture’s post. What a mashup – Blazing Saddles, The Deerhunter, Pulp Fiction, A Hard Days Night, and Groundhog Day all have their moments.

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Artistic Endeavors – Aboriginal Art

Because Australia’s Aboriginal people have no written language, they told about their culture through stories and symbols and icons. Traditionally paintings by Aboriginals were drawn on rock walls, ceremonial articles, as body paint and most significantly drawn in dirt or sand together with songs or stories.  Artwork we see today on canvas and board commenced merely 50 years ago, according to this article on Artlandish. Roughly the same story is told on this art gallery’s website.

In the 1930s Arboriginal artists such as Albert Namatjira painted watercolors of desert landscapes near Alice Springs.


Until the 1970s watercolor was the medium used in commercial Aboriginal art. Then, Geoffrey Bardon,  a school teacher, noted that storytellers would draw pictures in the sand while telling stories. He encouraged them to paint their pictures on canvas.

Since then Australian Aboriginal Art has been identified as the most exciting contemporary art form of the 20th Century. Aboriginal Artists need permission to paint particular stories.

They inherit the rights to these stories which are passed down through generations within certain skin groups. An Aboriginal artist cannot paint a story that does not belong to them through family.

Aboriginal art differs in character and style depending from which region the artist is from and what language is spoken.  Most contemporary art can be recognised from the community where it was created.

Dreamtime or Jukurrpa and Tingari (the term varies according to their particular local language) is the translation of the Creation of time for the Aboriginal People.  Most Aboriginal Artists paint facets of their Dreaming which forms a share of their inheritance and identity.


This is the ancient story of the Milky Way and the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). This Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella from her mother, handed down to her from her paternal grandmother, Long Rose, given to Gabriella by her father.
aerial view used by some artists
indigenous painters at work

In May 2007 the first piece of indigenous art sold for more than $1 million –  Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s work ‘Earth’s Creation’ to a private buyer for $1.056 million.

The market for such art has helped strengthen Aboriginal culture and provided much needed boosts to local economies. Aboriginal designs can be found in cotton fabrics sold online and in quilt shops.

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Humans Plan, God Laughs

I was going to share some of my recent experiments with a new to me coloring tool, but instead I had my appendix out. I feel much better now.

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Artistic Endeavors – La Wilson

Last month an obituary appeared in the NYT for La Wilson, who designed quirky assemblages out of odd materials that may or may not have had deeper meanings.  My eye was caught by two things – Wilson died in Hudson, Ohio, which is about a 30 minute drive from my house; and her work is in the Akron Art Museum’s collection.

The copy for her 2014 show at the Akron Art Museum said,

Over the years, Wilson proceeded to position blocks of type, stamps, pastels, crepe paper, fishing lures, plastic forks, coins, rosaries, airplanes, toy guns and a myriad of other materials into boxes or frames creating elegant compositions that evoke delight, nostalgia and sometimes even a dark edge. Wilson comments that her constructions evolve from a “stream of consciousness,” noting that the objects either “click almost instantly” or “take forever to work.”

Not only did Wilson have the Akron show, but she was awarded a Cleveland Arts Prize in 1993. I’m ashamed to say it took her obituary to make me aware of her work, despite her local presence.

She talks about her methods in a short video made in 2011. Apparently her approach was purely intuitive. I love that she knew something was right when “It makes my heart beat faster.”

You can see more of her work at the John Davis Gallery website.

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