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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

My Jack of All Trades - He Can Fix Anything!

My Hero!!

Two days ago, after sewing through my fingernail and tip of my finger, it threw my mid arm Janome 1600p-db sewing machine out of sync.

It was skipping stitches, not picking up the bobbin thread, and lots of fits and stops and starts with bird nests of snarled threads underneath the quilt on my frame.

The nearest Janome repair person is 35 miles away and he is backed up about two weeks. I didn't want to wait that long to get my machine back.

After consulting various websites, downloading an actual service manual, and having a very talented mechanical hubby ... We did it!!!

I gathered all of the right tools, and held the flashlight. We had to loosen the tiny set screw on the needle bar and move it downwards... where I am pointing with the purple pen. Bit by bit, testing it each time until we found the right spot!

Got a pile of test swatches
from trying things out a bit one way 
or a bit the other way 
until we got it adjusted just right!

Whew.... Back to quilting!

My hero easily saved me $100 repair bill, not to mention a couple weeks of downtime not being able to use the machine. I have other regular sewing machines, but this is a high-speed machine with a larger throat opening. It rides on a carriage back and forth across the frame. It is able to do quilting at a much faster speed as well as handle large king size quilts.


Well, it's been ONE year since we came and looked at this house with our favorite realtor Amy Badendick. She let us come along on the listing appointment when she was going to take the initial photographs to list this home and put it on the market. We got to meet the sellers and walk through the house with them, as well as check things out more thoroughly than just during a regular home showing. We got in the car and decided to sleep on it overnight. The next day we put in the offer and put our own home on the market. We got a full price offer on our Chilton home in 2 days. The rest is history.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary, we did something we've been planning to do for quite some time. A elderly previous owner of the home was still residing in an assisted living center. We had made a few inquiries and they said that she is very alert and cognitive and would welcome a visit from us.

I will respect her privacy and not post all of the details. She as well as her husband both grew up in the neighborhood a block apart from each other. She regaled us with tales of growing up on North Park Avenue and all of the people in the neighborhood. It was so fun to hear her stories.

The things she told us about the house were wonderful and illuminating. After his time in the service, he came back and they got married. They bought this house right across the street from her invalid mother and where she grew up.  Her husband became a Carpenter and a Mason. He is the who one who had built that huge fireplace in the living room. She told us multiple times that her one request was to have him build her a big fireplace!

Also he had built the backyard brick outdoor BBQ kitchen that we can only now see the foundation of. It is used as a small patio base for our picnic table and chairs now.

He built the cabinets in the kitchen in the late 1940s back when they did things the right way!! He had built a booth seat in the kitchen under the windows for a comfy little breakfast nook. We can see the marks on the baseboard and the walls from where the L-shaped bench seat been. Somewhere down the line it had been removed. Now we have a taller bar height table with stools in that sunny place in the kitchen. I can just imagine her children lined up on the little bench with legs dangling, feet kicking against the bench seat, and eating their breakfast at the little table.

As their family grew, they decided to turn this home into rental property and move out to the country.  It was only a few miles away from their parents, and they built a house on a farm. Their country farm is still in their family today.

It was so nice to spend the afternoon chatting with her, and we left her some photos of how the house how it looks now that she can show her family when they come to visit her.


I am happy to say that Steve has finished all of the electrical work. Every single light fixture, switch, outlet, and junction box are correctly wired with new up-to-date, up to code wiring. After he finished the last of the upstairs ceiling fixtures, it was time to finish the insulation in the attic.  (In my last blog post, he had pulled out all of the old stuff).

Steve had done all the prep work and told me that I was going to stay out of the attic while he spread the fiberglass insulation. I have had lung damage in the past and he didn't want to harm my lungs by helping him.  But I did help load, haul and move around the plastic wrapped bales of insulation. I told him a catapult would have worked better to get it all up on the roof!!!!   He brought it all in through the attic window across the front porch. The weather was so warm, it was in the high 50's!

He donned his zip up Oompa Loompa Willy Wonka suit and got to work. Before he spread the rolls of insulation out, he also put on gloves and a full face respirator mask with filter cartridges.

Incidentally, as a side note, we went to buy more filters for his respirator mask, only to find out they are completely out of stock. People who can't get the regular healthcare type face masks are buying industrial face masks in the stores and they can't keep them in stock. We had to order additional filters from Amazon to get them in the mail for his industrial face mask!

Our weather here has been really crazy. We've had the unusually warm weather which has been slowly melting the snow. We've also had some interesting foggy mist come in the other night that was just beautiful and I took these pictures

But then this morning, surprise surprise, we got 2 to 3 inches of new snow cover again.  AAARRRGGGHHHHHHHH

I am snuggly warm in my she shed, happily sewing on my quilt again this morning.  Waiting for the snow to melt?

My ever hopeful husband is out in the garage today. He is tuning up the lawn mower and messing around with the belts in the cutting deck, sharpening blades etc. I think he's trying to remain positive that Spring will eventually come?


  1. Glad that your thumb is so much better and you were able to figure out the issue with the sewing machine. YOur hubs isn't the only one wishing for spring. most of the snow on our farm here in ND is gone, and the ground is not frozen hard due to all the early heavy snow. So, maybe it will be an early spring?? Farmers can only hope.

  2. I iwish we could all have such a handy hubby. Although I have no idea what I would do to keep him busy. :)

  3. Always nice to be able to do-it-yourself and save lots of money.
    Sounds like Steve is getting the itch to start working outside.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the last of winter.

    It's about time.

  4. You're fortunate to have such a handy man, though I'm pretty sure you can do a lot of things on your own as well. But sometimes you need a couple of sets of hands.

    Our snow is pretty much gone today, with a few piles left in the shady spots....but we're expecting more this weekend. Just a fool's spring these past few days!

  5. Replies
    1. my, you are quick! I accidentally hit publish and I wasn't ready yet with the complete post. So I pulled it back and made it a draft again.


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