Monday, May 27, 2013

Retreat with the Cranky Treadlers!

My friend Allison is just as nuts over people-powered machines as I am!

I was SO jealous when she told me of the “Cranky Treadlers” Retreat that she participated in……NO ELECTRIC MACHINES ALLOWED!

Of course, we DO need power for things like ott lights, and cell phones! It’s a blend of the “Then” and “Now” with the best parts of both!

This would be the ultimate HEAVEN for me….and yes, quilters DO travel with treadle machines.  Some have modified simple tables to be more tranportable ---I’m on the look out for a beat up cabinet with good irons that I can strip the drawers from and just have a table top ---perfect for deck sewing at the new cabin!

This first photo comes with the caption of:

Deb U.'s Singer 66 in the MUTT table her hubby made for her.
Multi use treadle table, in case you didn't know what MUTT stood for. Shaded nine patch in progress.


And Allison writes:
Bonnie,  Just had to show you heaven on earth being in a room full of fellow enthusiasts for treadles and hand cranks.  Sharing of scraps and a ton of "Bonnie" projects in the works.  Finally put borders on my Easy Street mystery.  Enjoy the show . . .  Hugs, Allison
Photos and captions by Allison!


"DUMP" your scraps here that you want to share!


Mary Lou J.'s plaid yummy!!
((This is Goose in a Puddle from Scraps & Shirttails II!))
Mary Lou J. on my beloved hand crank I loaned her so she could come play with us!
Notice how she has her shoe off to sew?  No foot controller needed.  Old habits die hard!! LOL

Allison B.'s Easy Street has borders!!

Great Job, Allison!!

Which brings to mind something I need to pass on!  It’s almost June 1st!  Easy Street will be retired from the website ON June 1st in preparation for including it in my next book…please print and save now, because it will not be available later until it is ready in book form, where it will not be a mystery, but a regular easy-to-follow book pattern!


Plenty of room for 4 treadles and 9 hand cranks.  We are doing it again in the Fall with a Thursday arrival.  Won't you join us?

I sure would, if I could!!


Sue C. at "Penelope" Pfaff 130 treadle working on shaded nine patch.

Note the simple table top….this is on my NEED list!


New friend Valerie N. from across the pond that flew in with  this precious Vesta she picked up at auction.

I helped her to get it to stitch, the she cleaned it up to start on her project. She's moving five minutes from me!!
((New enabler friends are great to have!! LOL! Welcome, Valerie!))


Leslie E.'s 99 hand crank and double nine patch project.

**Side Note** The electric cords everywhere give me the modern giggles!  Quilters love to sew late into the night and we NEED irons, ottlights and cell phones and MUSIC!  I think our fore-quilters would approve!


Mary Lou S.'s (yes TWO Mary Lou's!) Frister and Rossmann 15 clone in a putty color working on 16 patches then trimming them on point.


"Your mission, should you choose to accept it . . ."

Was someone restoring this one? Selling this one? Parting it out??  Nice little 27 there ---if it is what I think it is!


Let's go cranking and treadling again soon!!

What a hoot that must have been!  Makes me want to treadle treadle treadle and crank crank crank!!

I hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day weekend as much as I am.  I have completed the hand stitching of THREE bindings, and the binding fest continues!


Much love from the basement ---

Be sure to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!


  1. Awwwww, thanks for featuring our Ladies Only Cranky Treadler Retreat! Happy Hero Day to everyone. Go hug your soldier! My daughter-in-law is back safely from her tour. God is so good! Hugs, Allison in North Texas

    1. Allison, so glad to see the pics and hear about the retreat! I recently acquired a beautiful 66 treadle and wondered if I was the only one nuts enough to think about taking it to a retreat or class. Now I know, lots of us a are nuts enough! LOL

    2. Yes, Valerie there are lots of us classic/vintage sewing machine nuts out here; glad to know you are one too! Next class or retreat you have, take it!! I remove the head, then flip the cabinet over and take off the legs so it can travel in three pieces. I plan to get comfortable enough with my 'new to me' portable Willcox & Gibbs chain stitcher to take it to Bonnie's class that will be held in Dallas in September. Enjoy your Singer 66 treadle and give it/her/him a good workout!!

  2. Looks like fun! I have a treadle but it is not working. It is a 1902 model. Came from my Granny. She sewed everything on it. Including bridesmaid dresses. I think it was her mothers, my Mama Ruby... I need to see it I can get it working. My legs could use some exercise..lol

    1. Angela, you will find a wealth of information here . . . www.Treadleon.net. Hope you get your family treadle going soon!!

  3. The treadle in pieces was brought by Mary Lou J. It was beyond what she and hubby wanted to tackle, but Deb U. and her hubby were game and a deal was struck. Sphinx 27 is correct with the added bonus of a puzzle box filled with attachments.!!

  4. What a wonderful gathering!

    Bonnie, since your schedule is so tight, and now Austria added in, I'm wondering if I should be thinking up something new for the December time I normally set aside for your wonderful mysteries? I know it is only May but I'm a slow thinker :)

    Sharyn in Kalama

    1. Oh hush your mouth!

    2. well Someone had to ask :) She gives to much at some point something has got to give~

    3. I thought I heard Bonnie mention she'd be working on the mystery while she is in Oregon this year. She said something on the last Quilt Cam she'd be sewing on it at her friend's kitchen table again this year. Since she does everything so far in advance, I'm hoping it is the yearly mystery we love so much.

  5. This was my first quilt retreat and it was a blast!

    1. It was so good to retreat with you Missy. What fun we had working on our machines and helping others with theirs. All the fabric, patterns and thread flying around and sharing!!

  6. Bonnie,
    There is a NC Toga coming up.......handcrank sewing for 2 whole days! All kinds of machines for sale too! It's in Monroe, NC next month. If you want info let me know.


  7. BONNIE! Stop! I do NOT have room for a people-powered machine in my home! But, you SURE are making me think about it. If I ever need to corrupt someone, I'll study your (wonderful) methods. LOL! This looks SOOOO fun! I'd love to hear the sounds of everyone talking and the machines moving. VERY cool!


  8. Makes me want to break out the treadle but I have some guild squares that need to be made into quilts first.
    Angela, treadleon helped me lots getting my machine going, people there even posted pictures so I would see what they were talking about and compare it with my machine. Don't be afraid to ask questions, they are always helpful.
    Sharyn, I've been wanting to ask about the mystery too but didn't have the guts to. Thanks very much for doing it for me. ;-)

  9. This is perfect timing. We went to Ottawa IL yesterday, visited the Reddick Mansion, beautiful Civil War dedication quilt, photos to follow. The best part of the trip my FIRST TREADLE. She is a 1926, beauty, all the parts work, lots of attachments, they most probably came from an electric, that handbook was in the drawer. Once she is cleaned, she will be beautiful once again. The cabinet is in very good condition, as are the irons on the bottom,m even had a new leather belt in the drawer. It will take time and energy to clean her, but well worth it. Enjoy your holiday,

    1. Congratulations on your first treadle Lynda!! All the time and energy will be well worth it. Bet the first time you sew on it will bring tears to your eyes. Such a connection to our past.

  10. Love the MUTT table. Green with envy. I wish I was a part of that group!! It looks like all were having fun. Have a safe holiday! Be sure to say thank you to a VET today!! 8-)

  11. you could post your problem with eq on quiltingboard.com. There are some ladies on there who are super with it

  12. Ooh I love that Vesta!

    1. You are the first person I thought of when I saw it and helped her get it to stitch. I told her about your YouTube videos and wonderful blog!!

  13. I just acquired a 1919 Singer treadle. I have absolutely no experience with a treadle. Could you have a retreat at the new cabin so I can come and learn how to treadle?

  14. My Gran had left me a lovely old Singer treadle, but one day while I was already living and working in a different city, my mom just got rd of it:( I have actually been looking around at the miniature hand-cranks or toy machines, because if the exchange rate improves I might be able to hope for one :) I'd want to do piecing with it because my modern electric machine disturbs the family when they want to do stuff, and I read that these litle hand-cranks are quiet. Any recommendations of where to look (a bit war of the quality on ebay, and I can't return stuff from africa!), which models sew well, and where to find a fair godmother. -giggle-

  15. That looks like so much fun! I have a treadler Singer 99 Redeye... but I would have a very difficult time traveling with it..the table is way too heavy

  16. There's also a Treadle On (people-powered sewing machines) gathering every year in Lancaster, PA (Blue Ball). This one's coming up on June 8th & 9th (Friday & Saturday). LOTS of fun. If anyone's interested in joining us, shoot me an e-mail at happytreadler@hotmail.com. There's really nothing like the sound of a hall filled with the clickity-clack of treadles and hand cranks. <3

  17. I see this was the Northeast Texas group. I'm going to go, one of these days. I was born in Greenville, where the retreat is held. Have fun in Ireland & enjoy your new cabin (can you tell I'm getting caught up with blog reading)?

  18. Oh WOW, I sure need the info on this one. Since I am in North Texas and just recently acquired a beautiful hand crank. I have a Treadle which was my Great Grandmother's but that is way to heavy to try to transport. Maybe I need a MUTT table, where would one look for one of those? LOL Allison, love your Easy Street! Thanks for Sharing.


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