STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a mother, quilter, stitcher, gardener and lover of cats and fine chocolate....

Monday, February 4, 2013

How Many Machines is Enough?

Do you follow Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville? If so, you know that she is a keen and devoted collector of sewing machines. How many machines do you own? I have four, but only one that I actually sew on - a Bernina. The others are merely "decorative". One is an old treadle in a lovely cabinet which I had  refinished and it turned out beautifully. It sits in my front foyer. (I'll show pics of it another day). The third is an antique toy hand crank sewing machine, made in Germany. Again, I'll show it at another time.
Today I really want to tell you about machine #4. Several weeks ago, on Bonnie's birthday (Jan. 23) she showed an antique Singer treadle machine she had purchased, adding to her (significant) collection of vintage machines. She was so pleased that the decals were in such perfect shape and showed close up photos of them. Several days later as I stood working at my ironing board, I glanced down at my fourth machine which I had picked up for $20.00 a few  years back at a local antique shop. It is missing one of the slide plates and is not in a cabinet; it sits in my studio on an old wooden box which is stamped with "Grown and Packed in California, USA  60/70"....  I'm guessing grapes? apricots? Who knows... fruit of some sort, for sure...  Anyway, back to the machine. What really caught my eye at the time was the perfect condition of the decals on the machine. There was not one bit of wear. They were perfect, but for a little dirt/grime/crud... So, as I stood looking down at it, I realized it is exactly the same machine Bonnie was showing!!! When I checked out the serial number (JA719602), it is actually one year older than Bonnie's machine, made in 1924. It will soon be 100 years old!! So, inspired by the great  job Bonnie does at cleaning up her antique machines and getting them working, I figured I should put a little effort into cleaning this one up. I used nothing more than a soft cloth and sewing machine oil, and a toothbrush at one point. Oh yes - and lots of  "elbow
grease". So - here she is. She's a Singer 127.  Isn't she a beaut? I can't sew on her unless I can find a slide plate which fits, and a bobbin - from what Bonnie says, it is called a "long bobbin" which goes in the "vibrating shuttle". Actually I'm not interested in getting her into working order, as I have no cabinet for her, nor room for one. I'm happy to just have her sit and keep me company. But I thought you might enjoy seeing her, in all her new (clean) glory! Aren't the decals wonderful?













































Piece!
Linda

"Priceless things matter not for their value, but because they offer us an enduring reminder of stability and permanence." ~ Barbara Taylor Bradford, Power of a Woman

7 comments:

GailM. said...

Beautiful. Love the old scrolls on the side plate. Man how the machines have changed, yet, a straight stitch is still a straight stitch.

I have four machines too. They all work. I use 3 of them regularly. The little featherweight is in perfect working order, but I don't use it regularly. I wish I did.

Sandi Mac said...

Your post pushed me to actually count my machines. Do sergers (2) and the longarm count as well?

I have 9 machines!! My daily workers are a Husquvarna Mega Quilter (amazing stitch), and the Husquvarna 775 (I also have a 770). I have a heavy duty commercial machine, an Elna, Singer Featherweight, a totally worn out Morse (high school grad gift), my mother's Kenmore in a beautiful cherry cabinet and my maternal grandmother's treadle Singer in the original cabinet, with all the accessories.

Sheila said...

Great post , love the machine , I love antique sewing machines , I have several mostly for display but some could work if I wanted them to . I have three working machines ,a Bernina, Pfaff and Singer .Love them all !!Thanks for sharing your great machine.

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow, that is a beautiful sewing machine. I guess I never looked at the detail and artwork on one before. There is an old one at Murray's mum's house in the full stand. A treadle. I must take a closer look at it.

MissesStitches said...

She really is beautiful! Love those shiny decals. Good job of cleaning her up.

Gwen Buchanan said...

What a beauty, Linda. I love the ornamentation and quality that used to go into our work objects. Wish it was still like that.

I have 2 machines... a 90's kenmore that will not ever keep a proper tension but the bobbin winder still works... and a heavy 60's vintage White that sews perfectly but the bobbin winder is all wonky. I'm sort of stuck with both for the time being.

Karen said...

Hi, Linda: I am *SO* far behind in my blog reading...trying to catch up with a couple here and there, and really glad I started with yours. First off, your header is beautiful - what a striking arrangement of photos. As for your question...I have 16 sewing machines,including 4 Featherweights. (it almost sounds like a confession to say that!!) The older machines are so beautiful its hard to resist when you see one needing a home. I like Gail's comment about a straight stitch being a straight stitch - it's so true, and that's mostly all we need, isn't it?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...