Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Those Fungly Fifties!

I am home from the QU show! I tell you what, Quilters Unlimited puts on one of the best shows I've ever seen as far as independent non-judged shows go. Really REALLY a nice venue. If you ever have the chance to go, DO!

I also saw first hand how much work goes on behind the scenes to make things like this run smoothly....the amount of volunteer hours is staggering, and they all did a fabulous job.

I had maybe...45 minutes tops to shop the show! *LOL* Which is probably a good thing considering that I still managed, within that short amount of time, to adopt a Singer 301 that just had to come home with me! She even had a name tag on her, telling me her name is Edie. Edie likes her suntan! She is a long bed 301, takes the same bobbins as a featherweight, and is considered to be the featherweight's "big sister". Her bed folds up just like on the featherweight...but what I love about her is that her workings are all encased. No exposed belts or motors! She is gear driven, and is the first model introduced with the "slant needle" design which is supposed to give you better visibility when sewing.

Being a tall girl, at 5'9"....Having the larger more open throat space also gives me more room to see what I'm doing since many times I'm sitting where I end up hunching to see through the throat space on my featherweight. She's also just a BIT heavier. 14lbs I think, and less likely to go scooting around the table when sewing on a larger project, or putting on borders or binding. Isn't she swell?? She does a BEAUTIFUL straight stitch, and her motor just hums! She came with her case and instruction book, and a new cord and foot pedal so I know she is wired safely.

Her serial # is NA156809 which means she was born in 1951!

On my way home yesterday, I stopped at one of my fave antique malls since I hadn't been there for months and months....and I found this AWESOME FUNGLY FIFTIES top! The block pattern is one I've always loved, but never wanted to attempt because of the curved piecing. Hands All Around! I just love the oddball combinations of the 1940s and 50s fabrics! There are some feedsacks in there, lots of dress prints and plaids...some of the fabrics you can almost see through, so if I were going to quilt it, I'd probably put a layer of batiste behind those blocks or something...not sure. It may just be a fun study in fabrics. Makes me want to get out that Fungly that Tonya and I were doing last summer and finally finish the borders for it...this is just so interesting to look at, bold and splashy with plenty of strange-bedfellows combinations!

For those asking,the blocks are hand pieced, and then the top is assembled by machine. Lots of bias edges on those outside triangles! I'm adding borders, and I've decided I'm going to machine quilt it. The top has flannels, feed sacks, rayons...everything...some puckers, lots of points chopped off. Not anything that can be improved by hand quilting, so I'm going to machine quilt it and use it in the guestroom :c)

The one other thing I brought home with me was a chest cold. Whhhaaa! Sinuses down the back of my throat, sore throat, elephant on my chest...miserable. So no gym for me today. Maybe not tomorrow either. I leave for Chicago on next Monday and I can't have this coming along with me!

I think I'll load a quilt in the machine and play today....


  1. Edie looks familiar. I had her younger sister from 1959. New in 1959 when I was 13.

  2. Wow! Edie is one tanned chic. Mine is a Kenmore from who knows when. It appears she has never seen the sun.

  3. I always love to see the treasures you find on your outings! Thanks for sharing...I love that you find so much beauty in these old quilts, maybe not for the literal, but for what went in to make them....I personally love this top, wow, I bet it has a story to tell!
    quilt hugs

  4. I am a big fan of older Singers and this is a model I have been looking for it seems forever. I did recently find a Singer 15-125 (it's green!) which is fabulous for my small machine quilting projects. So Hvae fun with Edie.

  5. Anonymous11:41 AM EDT

    Yep...I agree, I love my 301! I take her, rather than my 221, with me to quilting classes! Mine's named Emma and she's got a great stitch going for her and always dependable! Thanks for sharing your find... you made an excellent purchase! Hugs, Elaine in SLO,Ca

  6. I hope you feel better soon. Its no fun to have a cold this time of year.

    See you in Chicago next week!

  7. My mother had a 301 and it was the machine I learned to sew on in the early 60s. That machine is still humming and my mother sewed all our clothes, did sewing for others, used it for sewing wool for braided rugs, etc. until she got her Pfaff 1222 in about 1970. I now own several 301s and it is one of my favorites along with my 1222s. I like it better than my featherweight. I took it to a quilt retreat and it was one of the quietest machines there! We also have zigzag and buttonhole attachments for it.

  8. I'm curious, is this Fungly top hand pieced or machine pieced? It's a cool pattern, I like it.

    Great find on the Singer 301. I know several people that sew on those. I've never been lucky enough to find one though.

  9. Hope you are on the mend soon...colds in summer time are no fun...well they are no fun in winter either...but you know what I mean :o)

    Great vintage top. I love the pattern...very different to what is fashionable now.

  10. Bonnie,
    It looks as if Edie likes to make crumb blocks as much as you do.
    I was gifted with a suntanned sewing machine in a blonde Hollywood style cabinet and sewing chair to match. It looks like Edie but has "cams" for the different stitches. I have not tried running it yet.
    Hope your cold goes away. Summer colds are worse than winter ones.
    XOXOO Subee
    p.s. word verification is phelm!

  11. I love the Hands all around. I have one my grandma made, but it is sashed. If you ever develop a pattern for this, please post or publish it. I keep thinking there should be some way to use acrylic templates from a DWR to make the center, but that's as far as I get. I'm glad to see this one "rescued".

  12. I went to that show years ago...they really do a good job. Love the newest old addition to the herd of sewing machines you are corralling!

  13. What will you be doing when you land in Chicago? Specifically, what town will you be in? Just wondering....

  14. Only you, Bonnie, could make a silk purse out of a sow's ear of a quilt top like that Fungly Fifties. It will be gorgeous when you're done with it.

    My 301 looks just like yours. She sews like a dream, which is why I named call her Sweetness. Had I gotten the 301 before I got my Featherweight I wouldn't have looked any further.

  15. Your tan 301 looks great. I got one last fall, it was a little beat up so I sent it off for a tune up and a paint job. She is now BRIGHT RED. Sews like a dream. Hope the cold gets better.


  16. Congratulations on your "new" 301. I found one in a local sewing machine store and almost bought it. But since I already have two Berninas, a Singer 401, and a Featherweight, I didn't feel I could justify it. (But I've always kind of regretted not getting it.)

  17. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I LOVE the Hands All Around top you found. I'd love to make that pattern! Curved piecing really isn't that hard. But I hate making templates.

  18. Edie is just darling - I've been looking around for a black version for quite a while. One of these days one will find its way home with me.

  19. I'm glad you enjoyed our show! I spent entirely too much time and money there myself.

    A friend of my daughter's told me she wanted to start learning to sew, but needed a machine. Would you believe, the next day I found a Singer 401A at a yard sale for $15? Boy, does it run nicely! It's the same as the 301, but with cams for fancy stitches.

    Barb Powers

  20. whee, fun buys. that quilt is great.

  21. The quilt top is great! Also, about the machine, and others that you have! I read something in an old copy of "Threads Magazine" that I thought I would pass onto you! It said that if you have machine(s) that have to sit not being used for a while and you live in maybe a somewhat damp area, chances are the machine could be suseptable to rusting. So, you know those little do-da bags that come in electronic's the ones that are to keep moisture out and say DO NOT EAT! Well, the person suggested that people put them into the case of their machine(s) and this will keep the moisture out and hopefully rust free! I think that you can get them at some electronic's stores too. Anyway, for all that it is worth I passed it on!

  22. I just love this quilt top!! the fabric choices and the workmanship. this would have take alot of work with all the different choices to chose from.. you were very fortunate.

  23. The quilt top is beautiful! Can't wait to see it finished.


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