Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cathedral Stars in Albany, GA!

When you gather 28 quilters together for a workshop ---it’s a lot of fun to see what machines come to class. 

Of course I love to spy the familiar black boxes of the featherweights – and I know the green/cream box will hold a white one with a faint green tinge to it ---

As I left the rest room to walk back to the classroom, I spotted the case for an ATLAS against the wall!

It turns out this is a replacement case for a student’s hand crank machine shown to the left!  The case was in fairly good condition, and made a good base for the class 15 singer machine.

we had a few featherweightes, but I can honestly say that I had never seen THIS KIND before ---

Remember back, in July I wrote about the “Black Side” 128 I found in Pennsylvania? Click the link to see the photos :)

I actually had a student with a blackside Featherweight!

AlbanyGa2012 079

This machine was made in 1941, and during this time there was a shortage of nickel and chromium, and the normally shiny chorme parts were replaced with flat matte black parts. 

SingerSewingInfo.Co.UK states: 

‘Blackside’ Machines: 
During the period 1941 to 1953 Singer occasionally produced what are known as ‘Blackside’ models. Unlike the standard machines, many of the normally bright plated parts utilised a chemically blacked finish instead. This is thought to have been in response to shortages of nickel and chromium. 

It is a characteristic of these machines that there seems to have been no hard and fast rule as to which ‘Blackside’ parts were fitted. Generally needle plates, bobbin covers and faceplates etc. would all be Blackside, but various knobs, levers, screws etc could be either bright or black. At the same time Singer also produced a range of accessories, tools etc and even bobbins that were blackside. Generally blackside components had the same Simanco part numbers as their bright plated counterparts.

Along with the “Blackside” face plate – it had a blackside foot:
AlbanyGa2012 080
The foot is original to the machine!  I have come across black bobbins along my journey as well --- I’ve got a couple featherweight bobbins that are black instead of chrome.  Just a very interesting piece of history!
Our class was held at a church with a large social hall.  The lighting was great, and the space was ENORMOUS!  They had moveable walls that we could pin blocks to, and it was fun to see the blocks taking shape hanging on the walls!

If you look close enough, you’ll see the Leader/Ender spools in progress too!

I’m out early this morning on my way back to North Carolina!  It’s about a 388 mile drive ---I’m eager to get home as quickly as possible so that I can wash what’s in the suitcase and repack it for Michigan tomorrow.  To go from 82 degrees in Albany to 17 degrees in Lansing doesn’t sound like a picnic to me!  Time to pull out my Ugg boots!


  1. Safe travels! I am heading to Indiana today for the Dear Jane retreat. Bringing my FW with me to finish two quilts before your mystery starts. Take care.

  2. Hurry home. I'm in Quiltcam withdrawal.

  3. Anonymous7:41 AM EST

    It will be in the 50's when you get to Ann Arbor. Two more sleeps.

  4. ...and on slide nr 34..... 8^0 a trirecs block turned around!
    I really hope the quilter will notice that in time!
    Have a nice trip around the country and safely home!
    Love from a grey and chilly Amsterdam

  5. In ETx its 39 deg. this morning. But I like the cold. enjoyed the history lesson on the featherweight. Mine is a joy to sew on. The blocks the lady's worked on are lovely. Have a safe trip and I to am having withdrawals. Keep the update's coming, love them.

  6. Cool info about the blackside FW...I've seen other blackside machines, too, but never the FW.

    Those portable design walls are the BOMB! How cool is it that they could put their finished blocks up on them for inspiration!!!

  7. cool seeing such hand sewingmachine as the singer in your picture... such machine was the first sewingmachine i learned to sew on... my mom thought that if i could turn the wheel with 1 hand and hold the fabric with the other, that would prepare me for sewing perfectly.... oh those memories!

  8. Speaking of hand cranks (and treadles), the Rim Country Quilt Roundup show in Payson, AZ has an award for quilts that are made entirely by either hand crank or treadle machines. Two ladies had a booth demonstrating this. It was great!! Lavinia/AZ

  9. I'm headed to Michigan for Thanksgiving. Although Lansing isn't the best part of Michigan to be sure. If you ever have a chance to go to something in Traverse City, do it. Especially during cherry season. :)

  10. Hey Bonnie, It was snowing this morning in Toledo, about 45 minutes south of Ann Arbor. Just flakes on our walk in the park. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and am wishing that someone can't make the workshop and I can get in. Have safe travels.

  11. Thanks for the info on machines. I am not mechanical and have shied away from older machines, but am considering it now. Have a safe trip. Micki

  12. love those Cathedral Stars! that's a quilt i want to make soon. I've just gotten all three rulers, ordered the book, and will be eagerly looking at all the blocks for color choices. I'm also clearing my decks so i can have room to do the next mystery quilt.

  13. I also have a black-sided Featherweight. Thanks for the info about it. I always wondered why everything was black. My sister-in-law found it for me when she went to a yard sale in Maine. She paid $10 for it!

  14. Have you seen a Crinkle Featherweight? I bought one 5-6 years ago when I really didn't know much about Featherweights but knew I wanted one. Now I have learned they are quite rare.

  15. Love the Cathedral Star Blocks, they're all so colorful. Have a safe trip back home. I look forward to quilt cam again also.

  16. I have a black 221 featherweight that I'm selling. Proach1015@yahoo.com


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