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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Simply Because it’s Green!

It’s definitely green – and I’ve been green with envy over those who have been lucky enough to find one of these!

This is an Elna Grasshopper ---classic 1950s styling!

I’ve always admired them ----and they DO look a lot like a grasshopper or praying mantis the way that the knee control folds up and out of the way!

Maybe, since this is the year of the CICADA…I could call it one of those as well…but Nnnnnnaaahhhh – it’s a Grasshopper!

When Barb Vleck of EQ fame sent me a message saying she had two of these, and would I like to see one….I said YES!

After seeing it….I was hopelessly in love.  ((Yes, I know, I am SUCH a fickle girl!))

Did I want to buy it?  SOLD!

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The coolest thing is that the carrying case folds out to become the extension table! 

The bobbins on these are bigger than the featherweight bobbin, so they hold more thread..and oh, it just reminds me of M*A*S*H* growing up!  This machine was made around the same time that the Korean war was going on in the 1950s. 

The hard part?  How to get her home!

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#1:  Pack socks and other little stuff all around it to cushion it from the inside of the case!

I thought of padding it with my ummm..slightly less than clean undies, but thought better about it -- just in case TSA needed to do an inspection! LOL!

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#2: Pad it with a couple of t-shirts on top and close the lid!

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#3: Pack it in the bottom of the roll-aboard – rolling clothes into as small a wad as you can around it!

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#4 Pad the top of the load with a very special quilt gifted to  me the other night!!
((More to come on this quilt when I can get it home and get good photos!))

Carry ons can weigh up to 40llbs in the USA.  I think I am pushing the limit here, but as far as I know my plane is a smaller commuter jet where roll aboards are checked plane side --- I won’t have to carry it ON to the plane!

What didn’t fit into the suitcase is stuffed into my backpack….

TSA bells and whistles went off like crazy going through security  because they couldn’t see through the metal carrying case….but we unpacked it, showed them ((to many ooohs and ahhhs!)) and ran the suitcase back through again ….all systems go!

I’m waiting for my flight to board and I will finish this saga after all is home to tell the story.

As for a name?  The jury is still out!  I’m thinking of calling her Margaret after Margaret Hoolihan on M*A*S*H* !  She always was shown, still looking sexy….in army green!

Thank you for the wonderful trip, Illinois!  I’ll long remember the great time we had!


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47 comments:

Kim Andrews said...

I have an Elna Grasshopper named Katherine, after the original owner. There is a wonderful Elna Grasshopper blog that you must check out. And the Elna Yahoo group.

There are two places to look for the age of the machine. Take off the covers for the bobbin, feed dogs, and then the longer arm cover can be removed. On the back side of it should be the manufacturer date printed. Also on the right side of the machine above the wheel, there is a small round disc attached with one screw. Unscrew that, and swing it up. There should be a date printed in there too. Can't wait to hear what age your's is!

pcflamingo said...

Too cute! Sure you don't want to call her Hot Lips?

gmp said...

I just bought an Elna Supermatic on ebay. Looks almost the same as the Grasshoper, and has the knee control and the case that converts to a table too. Mine arrived broken, and I haven't found someone local to take a look at it, so I haven't been able to sew on it yet.

wkruskie said...

Very nice me like ;)

Suzan said...

Margaret is a PERFECT name!

Missy Shay said...

I want one now!

Leah said...

Yes! Margaret is the PERFECT name. She's lovely!

sunshineannie said...

My Grasshopper is a bit older than that one I think, it's more rounded and the case is all green.
Don't jar it, or drop it!, because if it has the bakelite motor cover like mine, it breaks easily and then you have nothing. Well, unless you want to pay a fortune for a whole new motor.

Ann Mary Wagner said...

That's awesome! So glad you could figure out a way to get her home! Margaret - or "hot lips!" - perfect name. Can't wait to hear more. So good to see you in person in Ottawa. Glad you enjoyed IL.

Ann Mary

Betty said...

I love the story clear thru the packing and airline process, Margaret is a great name.

Linda said...

You definitely need to call her, Hot Lips!

Shirley said...

Color me green with envy.

Carolyn Sullivan said...

I had one that my soon to be DH obtained for me in 1971-72? I loved it used it for years till one of the plasic gears cracked. one of my DD's used it while the broken waiting to dry glued gear was out of it. She never admitted it till a year ago, but I knew!!! I'd buy one again.

PattieD said...

Son in law just called me today about one he found...I guess I better get her....

Jane said...

I saw one that I would have liked to have. But in Grandma used to use in the '50s, so I'm sure it still works - no I don't have the bobbins - or instruction manual" condition; I though $350 was sort of steep. I'll keep looking.

Shelley said...

I am "green" with envy :) Remember, Margaret was also called "Hot Lips Hoolihan" lol!

~~Sew Happy Designs~~ said...

Wowza it looks awesome!! Another interesting machine for your fleet! Can't wait to hear more about it!
Cindy in NY

banjo795 said...

I dunno why, but I think the name Kermit might be appropriate ;->

CoCo Quilter said...

How about Klinger he always looked fine in a dress.

Tammy said...

Awesome packing story Bonnie. The Elna Grasshopper is a classic vintage machine. I'm delighted you found her and brought her home. Margaret is an excellent name for your Elna. Happy Stitching.

Jane said...

Gotta love those old Elnas... I've been dreaming of one, too!

cityquilter grace said...

ooohh hot lips for sure! and i would take one of those myself...

nancy hutchison said...

hot lips was a nurse :)

me@home said...

My late aunt had a green Elna. I'm not sure if it was this model or not, but the color and the logo are exactly the same and it had a knee controller too. I remember it well, because once when I was staying with my aunt and uncle as a small child, I accidentally hit it with my hand when I turned over in the middle of the night and nearly scared myself to death! My aunt was a home ec. teacher, designed her clothes (which *never* had that "whipped up by loving hands at home" look that we all *try* to avoid) by draping and loved her Elna!

Maree in NC ☺ said...

She's beautiful! I'm a huge Wicked fan, so I'd have to name her Elphaba! ☺

Margaret said...

I saw one of these at a garage sale a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure what it was so didn't buy it. Now I am kicking myself. Maybe she still has it....I will have to check.

dokiquilts said...

you've gotten me so excited about vintage sewing machines! (btw, i had emailed you a week or so ago about my Singer's foot pedal--haven't solved the problem but i'm getting more used to it--thanks! :-)

Laura said...

This is what my Mom had. I sewed so many things on this. I really liked the knee control, it took a while to get used to a foot pedal. Oh the memories. It finally died about 10 years ago so 50 years of sewing was worth the investment that my Dad made!

LesQuilts said...

Oh Bonnie...
You have to, have to, call it Hot Lips!!!
Wonderful opportunity,
Take care, Leslie

Stitched With Prayer said...

Oh my gosh!!! What a beauty she is, and I gotta say that though "Hotlips would be fun...she is such a gorgeous lady, that Margaret might be more appropriate, don't you think? You can always call her Maggie for short, can't wait to see the quilt cam when you introduce us to her. Big hugs....

ritainalaska said...

fabulous! a green machine! love it for being green and having the cover make a table. a very nice addition to your collection! congrats!

Beth said...

What a cool machine!

JaneB said...

Viking also made a sweet little green machine, the 19e. I've been stalking them on eBay, but so far too expensive for my budget. The cases are lined in a dark green gingham. Too cute. Enjoy your little grasshopper.

not so zen -quilts in Paris said...

I have 2 grasshoppers, very cheap here and they were bought by the time by people who valued QUALITY. Reliable, hardly any noise, BUT, as they say here, heavy as a dead donkey..... I adore the vintage look but i don't use the valise as a working table. Hubby made a simpler wooden one. Hugs from Paris dear Bonnie, will we see you again one day?????

Barb Vlack said...

I'm very glad Bonnie was so excited about the Grasshopper I offered. The green Elna Supermatic is not the same as the Grasshopper, though it is sometimes called a "Grasshopper" in error. They are both green afterall. The Grasshopper has a short shank, so all the accessories for the Featherweight fit! Bonnie was quick to point out that the bobbin for the Grasshopper is larger than that of the Featherweight so it will hold more thread.

I now want to call my Grasshopper "Hot Lips." I hadn't previously connected the Grasshopper to the M*A*S*H era, but I always thought the case looked like it should carry ammunition.

Love the way Bonnie packed to get the Grasshopper AND her clothes home in one bunch!

Lakegaldonna said...

Wow, I have been trolling eBay since I had seen one at a retreat. They have always been too much $$. The Grasshopper is really a neat little machine. Hoping I can still find one some day.
Can't wait to see you use yours.

Chl said...

If you want a Margaret from M.A.S.H. name.... then it NEEDS to be

H O T L I P S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bouts Choisis said...

I love my Elna Grasshopper! The stitch quality is excellent. The Elna One (Grasshopper) was made from 1940 (so before the 50s and pre-dating the Featherweight) and mine is a 1947 model. I bought it here in France from a man whose grandmother used to strap it on the back of her bicycle and go from house to house doing repairs and alterations for people in Villedieu les Poêles - a little town near here that I know well. That explains why the case is a little battered I think - but it's lovely to know its story!

Aliceart said...

I love these! I have a green Supermatic, but love the look of these! Congratulations - I would have done the same. :-)

quiltfool said...

I am green with envy. Please let us know what you think of it after you've gotten a chance to test it out. Lane

Andee said...

WOW I have never seen a green machine! I was thinking you were saying Margaret for Margaret Hamilton..green witch on Wizard of Oz! :)

kayt said...

Forget Margaret; go with her alter-ego, Hotlips!! I know a "hotlips" when I see one! Oh my! Machine lust!

Mary said...

Perfect Machine for sewing on this year when the Pantone color is Emerald Green. Her name very well could be Margaret for that Wizard of OZ witch in the Emerald City. You are going to need more shelves in your corner to hold all the fun machines that you adopt. A lucky problem to have. I hope to see you stitching on it for a future QuiltCAM.

Unknown said...

OHHH! My grandmother had exactly that Elna! I didn't know it was called grasshopper. Sturdy. Never needed repair! A bit heavy, though.
I learnt how to sew on it, and lost it when squatters came into the empty house that was waiting to be sold and stole it...
Brought back beautiful recollections...

moran said...

I have a 1941 for sale...comes with case, oil cans, extra parts, and feet. Still works great...and the light bulb still works as well...asking $350...email me at iowamorans@gmail.com if interested..put Elna in the subject box so I know its not spam..thanks

moran said...

also the accessory can...this thing is in amazing shape...

Raoul said...

Hello. I am indeed fortunate to have exactly this machine. I did have to bypass the knee control & put in a foot pedal. The control finger plates were all worn out. I found it in a ceiling while fixing my geyser. The landlord gave it to me & that was 20 years ago. I just used it to sew canvas seat covers for my car. I love the machine. It just keeps on going & is easy to service.
Excellent. Raoul the owl. Knysna south Africa.