I have a big road trip coming up.
With the next couple of days at home to prepare, I’m prettying up some of my little ladies and getting them ready to go on the road with me.
I need some space. These machines deserve to be loved in a home where they are used, and used often!
I want to make sure that everything is in tip top shape so wiring has been checked, they’ve been oiled and lubricated, shined and adjusted, new needles put in and stitch samples sewn.
In most cases they are going for just what I have in them plus the cost of new parts. Some machines were adopted without bobbin cases or cords or foot pedals. Most needed new bobbin tires or belts.
All of them are precious!
This is a 1940s 128, a 3/4 sized bullet shuttle machine.
It’s got a crinkly finish, very popular starting in the WWII era, and you’ll notice that her slide plates are black instead of chrome. Her end plate is also this gun-metal black. The chromium went to the war efforts, and pieces were finished this way for a period of time. She comes with a wooden dome cover and extra long bobbins.
I’ve been cleaning up a couple of very neglected 301s.
I spent time searching for and locating original vintage foot controls and cords, presser feet and bobbin cases – they were little more than just machine bodies when I got them.
They are not beautiful machines, something happened with thie tan paint in this era. MANY of the 301s have spotting going on underneath the clear coat. I’ve been told it is due to humidity or moisture, but chances are, if you have a 301, and you live in the south, you’ll see this happening. I call them freckles. It gives each machine its own personality.
But don’t let the spotted finish fool you!
These machines are work horses doing 1200 stitches a minute and delivering a perfect straight stitch in the process!
I’ve got some TR3 Resin Glaze on order, in hopes of getting their finish back to a nice shine, even with freckles. One of the poor machines was SO awfully dirty, it was nearly a chocolate brown before I started cleaning late yesterday afternoon. I start with a wipe down with warm water and a bit of dawn dish soap to see if anything will come off. NO HARSH CLEANSERS. I know that some use machine oil for cleaning, but that won’t do anything much but attract more dirt and make dirty things shiny.
I have no idea what the dark brown stuff all over this machine was –could it be nicotine?
Gojo hand cleaner, the non-pumice kind is my next go to, along with an old tooth brush. Sometimes wooden toothpicks, when wet - make a good little tool for getting gunk out of crevices and grooves. Chrome pieces are soaked in warm water with more dawn and scrubbed.
Everything is oiled and cleaned (NO WD40—it’s a solvent, not a lubricant!) and lubricated before reassembly and test stitching.
See the spotting on the bed? Poor thing!
But that stitch is wonderful!
I must admit that my HIGH of the day (Or more likely evening) was after reassembling everything only to discover that the presser foot would not go down. It was stuck in the UP position.
I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t go down, so I compared the two 301s side by side, lifting the lever on each to find out what was supposed to happen, and why it wasn’t. AHA!
A gentle tap with the hammer on the end of a strategically placed screw driver had the stuck bit unstuck and moving like it should, and that presser foot could not be more happy to be DOWN again.
There were loud cheers and fist pumping happening in the basement studio. I figured it out, and solved the problem. It’s a feel good all around.
There are a few other machines coming with me for fun. My plan is that I will rehome what I can, and use what hasn’t found a new owner to sew on during my evening hotel sewing time.
I’m also wanting to rehome a terrific Bernina Activa 145, a computerized machine. I’m just not using it, and I know there is someone who is going to want a 3/4 size lighter weight Bernina for classroom use.
(This is not my photo. My machine also has accessories, hands free knee bar, cover and accessory box.)
I just brought home the Bernina 802 Sport, a mechanical machine that will do all I need it to do. The Activa 145 is just way beyond what I need, so I am hoping to find it a new owner.
**Note** I am not shipping anything to anyone, these are available to students during my workshops. I’m trying to keep this simple!
This one, well – I was on the fence but…
Okay, maybe I’ll keep her just a bit longer!
One machine that is being discarded after an attempt to bring her back to life is a little 99 who shocked me TWICE when I plugged her in! ACK!! Someone had tried to rewire her in the past. She is a knee controlled lady, but the knee bar doesn’t work, it doesn’t stay connected like there is something wrong with the post inside. She is missing her slide plate as it is, and her finish is horrid, not to mention her case is falling apart, so I’ve made the decision to strip her down, save the parts I can (bobbin race, needle plate, face plate, tension assembly, presser foot and screw, needle clamp and screw, spool pin….) and let the rest of her go to wherever old machines go. Discarding carcasses is a hard thing for me to do but there are some you just can’t bring back to life.
And who knows WHAT I’ll find on this upcoming journey? Rehoming these machines means I can keep rescuing others and enjoy them for a while before passing them on to the next person who will love them.
Saving the world, one machine at a time!
Binding – all done!
All that remains in the hanging sleeve and the label.
But not tonight! We’ve got Quilt-Cam tonight via Facebook Live! If you miss it, it will be uploaded into tomorrow morning’s blog post, and also linked in the archives so you’ll see it there.
Quiltville Quote of the Day!
Any amount of moving forward is still moving forward! Sometimes progress can't be measured by the eye but it's there.
Oh how I love a simple nine patch! Quilt found in Grapevine, Texas.
See you for Quilt-Cam tonight!
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!