Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Mending Library!

Diana sent me the most interesting article about a gentleman named Michael Swaine who operates a free “Mending Library” , complete with treadle sewing machine ((No electricity required)) for those who need simple mending tasks done!

The story is fascinating and you can read more about it HERE.  Be sure to click the link on the article to view the second page where more images are shown.

I wanna go sew with this guy!

Excerpt from the article:

On the 15th of every month, Michael Swaine trundles into San Francisco's Tenderloin district with a cart-mounted sewing machine—the old-fashioned kind, which you can only operate by means of a treadle.
Setting up shop in a reclaimed alley known as the "Tenderloin National Forest," as he has for the past 12 years, Swaine offers his services as a tailor, mending whatever clothing the neighborhood's residents bring him for free.
A performance artist, an inventor, and a professor of ceramics at the California College of Arts, Swaine sees opportunities for change everywhere.
His current ambition is the construction of a free "mending library," a place for "fixing the holes in our lives...to borrow thread and sewing machines and talk about life.”

This treadle-lovin’ girl thinks Michael Swaine ROCKS!

I’m back to my room after a wonderful Oklahoma Backroads workshop – a round of antique shopping ((Just wait until you see what I saw!)) and dinner out – holy cow did we get an amazing show of thunder and lightening and the biggest downpour EVER!

I’m planning on an easy evening of some hexie sewing in the room……tomorrow it’s back to Lebanon for a Jared Takes A Wife workshop ----loving every minute of my time in PA!


  1. What a wonderful example this man has set. So cool that he is using a treadle too. Of course, that way he doesn't have to worry about a power source.

  2. I am always awed when I see examples of how others are so unselfish with their lives and talents. I want to be like him when I grow up!!!

  3. Cool! I have a White Rotary head, but, I need the treadle base to go with it. One of these days a 'twiggy' cabinet will come along. Have fun sewing your hexies. I'm headed back upstairs to do some more paper piecing (on my hand crank, of course). Sew much fun!

  4. OHHH I have the same machine and I just recently got it up and running. What a wonderful story and an amazing and generous soul.
    Faith in ME

  5. What a wonderful soul to help others that way. There seem to be quite a few White treadles out here in Colorado.

  6. Anonymous10:06 PM EDT

    I have heard of him. An amazing guy to keep going for so many years!

  7. I LOVE this! What a great guy. Years ago a few mothers took our machines to the school to help the kids make crazy quilt blocks. MANY kids had never even SEEN a sewing machine and were ripping off jeans and sweatshirts for us to MEND! We were amazed...

  8. Wonderful story. I just loved it. What a great guy, person. We can all make a difference.

  9. Michael Caine has found a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of his neighbors. Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing this. It makes me think about the ways that we can all contribute our talents and gifts to make the world a little better. I see examples of this in our quilting community all the time.

  11. Thanks for sharing Bonnie! Great article to share...Judith, Texas


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