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Friday, June 08, 2012

Welcoming Ken Home!

Okay, I’m almost ALMOST embarrassed to admit this!

But I bet you were guessing it anyway ---

I can’t help myself!

It’s almost as bad as the other night when we were driving home from Michael & Harriet’s house after dinner ---There was a kitten in the middle of the intersection!

I only saw it because of the headlights of a passing car.

I made DH pull over and I went out to get it…it came right to me, just mewing up a storm.

It was well fed. It smelled “clean”. It had a full belly. I thought it might live somewhere close ---- I don’t think it had been dumped.

But DH said “No WAY!” and all we could do was drive to the next house away from the intersection in the direction we think it came from and let it out on the side of the road. And it tore my heart out! But he was right, it was late at night, and I could not bring it home.

And for Lynda who commented so harshly -- here is my reply:

I could NOT bring it home late at night -- I have two other cats and a dog and family to think of who were against it. I did all I could in that situation and it broke my heart to have to do it. I am an animal lover also, but I have a FULL HOUSE.

So, this story goes like this:

Sherry and I walk into the Antique Mall and greet the old guy at the counter. He asks if we are looking for anything in particular that he could help us with. I tell him “Why yes, we are looking for old sewing machines!” And he scratches his head, thinks a bit and says “I honestly don’t think we have any ---“ and I feel like I have dodged a possible bullet, and we go on our merry way to inspect the quilts we saw hanging over the bannisters.

I had no more than walked about 12 feet --- and there on top of a dresser ---was KEN!

My biggest concern was if he would run or not – things were pretty tight in his movements ---but we carried him to the counter and asked if we could plug him in.

He ran. Barely – grindingly ---and BOY was he dirty!

But he came home --- for a whopping $40.00.

I paid $30.00 for my pedicure – plus the price of lunch ---when you think of things in terms of what other things cost, it doesn’t seem so bad does it?

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Ken had been stored a long time --- you can see it on his foot – little rust flecks – and his undercarriage was COVERED in grime and spiderwebs. I set about to cleaning him up. Upon opening his feed dog cover – OY!! What a MESS! Out came the Q-tips and machine oil! I worked and worked and worked on him, inside and out….

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He’s a 1950s singer clone basically, sold under the name KENMORE. What I love is the RED in his decals!

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Pretty flashy, eh? And you can see he really cleaned up nice!

The one thing I needed for him though, was a base…..and I found myself cannibalizing the base for one of my Singer handcranks…in fact, this has me wondering if Barbie would fit in here too? The hand crank was in a bent wood case, but the base is a standard full size.

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Oh Ken, you are looking smashing!

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And you guys can laugh all you want at my pink Ikea light --- but a girl has got to have a bit of pink in her life, and this way I know no one else in this household will be caught dead stealing a pink lamp from me!

I put my Sew Adjustable table around two sides giving me the perfect L workspace. If I’m sewing with a regular machine, like my Bernina, I can put the back section on, but find it easiest just to have the two sections when working with vintage machines.

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Ken and I got very busy yesterday, digging into that pile of leader/ender 4 patches! I can’t show you what it’s going to be – it’s for the next book in the pipeline, but never fear ---you WILL love this one! And of course, I’m sewing leader/ender cheddar bowties at the end of my rows –Win/Win!

I also just met the NICEST lady via her ad on Craigslist. I’ve been looking for 2 featherweight cases. I have 3 featherweights, only one has a case. She had an ad for one for $35.00 Turns out she is a machine hoarder lover too, and is down-sizing! OH NO!! This could be VERY BAD!! But we had a very enjoyable chat on the phone this morning talking about this machine, that machine, and we will be meeting up tomorrow for me to pick up the featherweight case. Isn’t it fun when other quilters/sewists cross our paths and we find we have much in common?

And that’s it for my confession. It’s a load off my chest!

But this machine insanity just has to STOP at some point, doesn’t it? :cD

52 comments:

Marcia said...

Who would laugh at a pink light??? Mine is white to match my machine, yours is pink to match yours. Love it! Got it after seeing yours.

Marcia

lynda said...

Sorry but I would have NOT left the kitten by the road to walk into traffic again! No one in their right mind would leave a kitten outside to wander around...my husband would have said the same thing and I would have ignored him! At least take it home and put an ad in the paper....sorry to be harsh but I am an animal lover...

krisgray said...

LOL! This post read just like a conversation I might have with my mom! She "collects" vintage machines too. Ken does look fabulous!

Karen said...

Oh, don't stop buying machines. I enjoy the stories. And now you have Ken to go with Barbie. Perfect combination.

Birdie said...

After reading about yours, I bought a sew adjustable table. I love it! I've used it on two of machines now, and it helps so much. Thanks for the endorsement! I am REALLY wanting a feather weight, but haven't come across one yet that is good shape or Im happy with the asking price. You make me jealous that you so many! But ... my mothers machine that I own now just got back from getting a good once over. The bobbin case was broke, but now she ready to go. I guess I shall be spending some quality time with her. btw... Her name is Stella!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

I could NOT bring it home late at night -- I have two other cats and a dog and family to think of who were against it. I did all I could in that situation and it broke my heart to have to do it. I am an animal lover also, but I have a FULL HOUSE.

Birdie said...

After reading about yours, I bought a sew adjustable table. I love it! I've used it on two of machines now, and it helps so much. Thanks for the endorsement! I am REALLY wanting a feather weight, but haven't come across one yet that is good shape or Im happy with the asking price. You make me jealous that you so many! But ... my mothers machine that I own now just got back from getting a good once over. The bobbin case was broke, but now she ready to go. I guess I shall be spending some quality time with her. btw... Her name is Stella!

Birdie said...

After reading about yours, I bought a sew adjustable table. I love it! I've used it on two of machines now, and it helps so much. Thanks for the endorsement! I am REALLY wanting a feather weight, but haven't come across one yet that is good shape or Im happy with the asking price. You make me jealous that you so many! But ... my mothers machine that I own now just got back from getting a good once over. The bobbin case was broke, but now she ready to go. I guess I shall be spending some quality time with her. btw... Her name is Stella!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Great name for a machine, Birdie! Sew on her -- you will bond!

Karen said...

You do amazing work! Ken is very handsome! I'm also jealous of your pink light, I bought two, one for travel and one for home. I could only find black and white, but they are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing. Your machine family just keeps growing and growing. Is it nice to ask how many branches there are now on the machine family tree!? Lynda from Chicago

qltmom9 said...

Just enjoy Ken. What a deal!
We must be the dump zone because there are always strays GALORE around here. I won't let the children feed them or they stay. Even my neighbor whose children are all moved out can't keep them fed...the opossums eat too. LOL!

Lucy~

qltmom9 said...

I had a blue light and my boys kept mooching it. I finally found a similar one in pink at the Goodwill Outlet (shirts are 69 cents a lb there!) and nobody bugs me for my light. My littlest guy got the blue one.

Lucy~

rosewillow.org said...

Wow, what a great machine! I'm so glad you brought it home with you. Have lots of fun with it! :) Best regards, Dianne B. in England

Peg H said...

WOW Bonnie ~ GREAT job on bringing Ken back to life! He's just gorgeous. Looks like he's a good hard worker too. Can't beat that - handsome AND industrious? Yum. ;-)

Good job on getting the kitten out of the road, too. You did exactly the right thing IMHO (all things considered).

rosewillow.org said...

Wow, what a fine sewing machine! I'm so glad you brought it home with you. Have lots of fun sewing with it! :) Best regards, Dianne B. in England

rosewillow.org said...

sorry about that double posting....lost my internet and thought it hadn't worked...

Mitts said...

Ohhhhhh I love your "Ken" what a handsome piece he turned out to be, congratulations, you certainly have a restorer's eye!

Saska said...

I love Ken! He looks great all polished up and given new life.

The kitty situation is hard. I have 6 (SIX!) outside cats and people think I need more just because they have extras.

Judy said...

Hmmm. Maybe start a museum, and put a card with your "posted descriptions" beside each sewing machine, and set them up to be sewn on. Then you can sew on them happily whenever you want, or teach classes using them. Or, let others teach classes using them...ANYTHING so you don't have to stop collecting and writing about them! :) Love your blog.

jean said...

I love seeing your old machines! I find them fascinating. I only have a couple of them and they sew so well. My featherweight I just had to have because it was made in the same year that I was born. So I just had to have it. You understand. Did you use the oil to help clean the rust? I would love to know how you clean them up. Especially if I would just happen to find one that needs a home. :-)
Thanks for sharing your adventures!

Anonymous said...

Please don't let people judge you. I'm a pet lover too, but I would not bring a stray home. If the cat looks well fed, and there are houses near by, it probably lives near by. I run in the mornings and have been chased by small cats/big kittens (hunting instincts). There is no way would I bring them home. Some of these cats are field/ferrel cats. I honestly could not afford to care for another cat. It is more than just feeding them. There are vet bills, immunizations, spay/neuter fees (if needed). We already have 2. You really don't know about the cat. I grew up with out door cats. They'd go everywhere, even as kittens. It isn't feasible to take in every stray cat, and at night, it will be difficult to find a vet or shelter open to drop the cat off. I'm sure the cat found its way home.

Anonymous said...

So, is your next book going to be "The Care and Feeding of Antique Sewing Machines"? Just how many have you collected so far? I just love that all of them have to work to remain in your "stable!"

Oh, and do not worry about the kitten--cats have an amazing will to survive and this little guy is just fine.

Anonymous said...

My friend just bought a 1953 Singer. I was jealous of her too....Lucky you finding all these great machines. I will have to work harder to find one for myself! But know that if you house gets too full, I am willing and able to be a foster home for one of your machines.
Scrappy Nanna, Ontario/Canada

Kathy Biggs said...

Oh you lucky girl; Ken is one handsome dude!!! Your purchasing logic justification is right on target, too. I just wish I had the space to be a machine hoarder..uh, uh, uh...I mean COLLECTOR...I really do. And as for the hot pink lamp, it's PERFECT. My youngest daughter who is still recovering from knee surgery problems just had a new brace made in that hot pink. It rocks...that color that is.

Lori said...

Very pretty and a steal at $40!

Sherri said...

so I'm sure other inquiring minds want to know as well as mine, just how many machines do you currently have?

I am down to 3.

I have an inherited Bernina (1957) built into a cabinet (works but is very basic and have not used it to date. I inherited it from my 96 year old grandmother a couple years ago when she moved into a nursing home. It has all the doodads but I have no idea how to use any of it!); a refurbished Euro Pro Shark (it is my backup machine and only cost $70, but was given to me as a birthday present by a quilting friend); and my new favourite, my Babylock "Grace" (this one I use daily).

I just sold a Pfaff Hobby 1020......someone I knew was without a machine and didn't have a lot to spend, so I sold it to her cheap. It still works like a charm.

I have no plans to buy another machine for quite a while now. DH would not be happy with me if I came home with another machine! lol

Louise said...

WOW! what a steal Bonnie, I too am a sewing machine collector, love them and I won't mentioned how many I have ;) ....Ken look very nice to be as old as he is, have fun working on him....Louise

Angie said...

Ken is very handsome! ---and Bonnie, if you have the space to store or display the machines, I don't see any harm in collecting them. They are wonderful finds!

Kathaleeny said...

Last weekend we picked up a beautiful stray collie with no collar at Albertsons. They had called animal control to pick him up but strays often get euthanized. He was delightful and our little corgi thought he had a new best friend. We found the owner on Sunday and she turned out to be a total flake who doesn't believe in chipping or collars or neutering. My entire family is heartbroken and we can't even feel like we did the right thing giving him back. No good deed . . .

Anonymous said...

It's OK Bonnie. Besides my HQ16 I have 13 or 14 other machines. I also have 3 Featherweights. Love it! Love it! Then I am in charge of the 30 sewing machines in my clothing class. :)

Karen in Corona, CA

All8 said...

Ken will be quite the companion to your Barbie. Very handsome indeed.

As to the kitten, that must have been so hard for an animal lover like yourself. Pretty sure he'll find his way home, they usually do.

Anonymous said...

Who said you can't find a good man? He is beautiful and I am jealous. Enjoy your new friend and let NO ONE put you down. Keep loving life and sharing cuz there are people like me who look forward and enjoy reading your adventures.( some day I will figure out what a URL is so I don't have to be anonymous. )

MADAKAMOM said...

Lucky You! Ken is a handsome devil! Wish some featherweights would show up around here! I saw one once... but it wouldn't move at all and they were still asking a pretty penny for it!

Amy Laura said...

Good for you! You are doing something that you enjoy, it isn't costing a ton of money, and it isn't hurting a soul! No problem :-) You may have to kick your kid out to make more room for machines, though!

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, you did what was right for you and these people have no right judging you. I am sure if you dug into their past, you could find something to judge them on but I know you are not the type of person to do that publicly. We only have one person to answer to and be judged by. Back off ladies.

Anonymous said...

Lynda and Raine...Think about what you are saying. By bringing home a stray you could subject your own beloved animals to an unknown illness. Some people are so willing to criticize. How many lost or strayed animals have you removed from the street late at night? Removing this kitten from it's neighborhood could also break an owner's (perhaps a child) heart when they were unable to locate the kitten when they discovered it missing. Remember, if you can't be nice, just shut up!

MtnBarb said...

I'm wondering how many machine lovers/collectors you've created! I love your posts about the machines and am wondering where you keep them all? Last month I went to an estate sale. In the corner of a shed, I found a 1925 Singer Treadle Machine with accessories in perfect condition. My son works for a waste management company and able to rescue a 1916 Singer portable electric. He's now on the lookout for more. haha Our town and the next one over has lots of antique shops so I'm always on the lookout for MORE! They definitely are hard to resist!!

Betty said...

Don't beat yourself up, I'm sure you did the right thing with the kitten. At least you got it out of the street. If it was well fed and friendly, it probably had a home nearby. Some child might have woken up to look for their pet and been heart broken that it was gone. When I was a child, I was only allowed to have pets outside. I am currently feeding a neighborhood cat and her 3 kittens, outside. I would never bring her in and take a chance that that she could possibly compromise my indoor cat's health and happiness. Some folks think their way is the only way!
BTW, now that I've stepped off my soapbox, Ken sure cleaned up nicely!

Betty said...

I tried to reply here earlier, but couldn't, so I posted my comment below. Lynda, I agree with Anonymous, you don't know the situation and you shouldn't judge. Bonnie did the best she could do at the time!

quiltfool said...

We do our best. And, what we do best is collect vintage machines! I would have been hard pressed to leave Ken, so I'm glad you took him (especially at that price). Me, I'm trying to stop collecting. I have one more machine I want, but that has to be the last one because I am out of room. Lane

Anonymous said...

Ken = Eye candy for Barbie! He sure did clean up nice! Joy In AK

Anonymous said...

Ken is a cutie! My son thinks that any Singer he sees needs to come live with me. A few Saturdays ago he sent a picture msg to me of an old Singer in a cabinet from a garage sale. My DH said "offer the guy $20" (yeah, right), but he took it! Got it home, cleaned it up, and it's wonderful! It's a Singer 500A, nicknamed by Singer as The Rocketeer. It's one of Singer's sturdiest machines. My son made his Mom proud!

Joann said...

About the kitten...I agree with the others Bonnie did the right thing. The kitten was not neglected and perhaps not even lost. On my street we have a cat that belongs to one of our neighbors. They have a doggy door in their garage for the cat to come and go as he pleases. all of the neighbors know this. If a stranger comes onto our street and takes him thinking that he was abandoned he would be lost forever. One shouldn't "assume" that if an animal is out and about that he is lost or neglected.

Janet O. said...

I suspected you brought home a new machine. I love reading about your collection of machines--makes me feel so not guilty that I only have 4! : )
I think you did more than most people would have done for that kitten--and you did the right thing!

The Beaton Path said...

Bonnie, Ken is quite the looker! I'm a vintage sewing machine rescuer/collector myself and I wouldn't have come home without Ken! LOVE the red! And you snagged a FW case for $35?! Holy cow! What a deal! What Craiglist were you on? I may have to contact this lady myself!

Sewing Sue said...

People who are true animal lovers spay/neuter their pets and keep track of them appropriately. You did the right thing with the kitten. I once nearly ran over the neighbor's dog in my own driveway after he got loose. I felt horrible! My mom was visiting and she said "If they really loved that dog they'd take better care of it, and you're not responsible for every animal in the neighborhood!" Thanks, Mom...

Connie said...

Ken is just beautiful! Congrats on bringing him to life again!

Sharon~Two Bits Patches said...

I had decided that I couldn't but anymore sewing machines unless I got rid of some of my current possessions - and then bought two in one week. They were bargains! My first treadle 1910 Singer at a antique store relocation sale, and an Elna Lotus ZZ for $30 at a Sunday market - how could I say no (and hubby talked me into it)

Mary said...

Lucky KEN! He did clean up nice. I think there is never too many machines for a Quilter to have. You really know how to make us all green with envy over your finds. I'm just shopping in the wrong part of the country!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Cool machine! I would have snapped up Ken also. Love the pinstripes too. One may be next on my wish list. Just scored a W&G handcrank for outrageously cheap price, so I'm a happy camper. My collection? I'm too scared to count! But I do have at least 13 treadles. 99% of my sewing is done on a treadle or handcrank. Love those old machines! Di in TN

Carla said...

How do you get rust spots off? With the qtip and sewing machine oil? Just added a featherweight to my collection. Thanks for your help.