Tuesday, July 02, 2013

And She Sews!!


The DAY before I left for Louisiana I was running off, in a huge thunderstorm, to rescue a treadle machine that was being sold for $65.00 – clear over in Huntersville, about 70 miles from my home.

And trying to get back in time to do Quilt-Cam that night.  And we made it!

The machine….was rather sticky.  It hadn’t been sewn on in decades, and it hadn’t been cleaned in at least that long either.

There was gobs of vintage lint and junk in the feed dog area, the bobbin area was wound with old thread and cobwebs.

And she was OH SO VERY STICKY!!

I spent a bit of time oiling and cleaning and trying to get every dry moveable part lubricated….and it was still sticky when I went to bed.

It was still sticky the next morning when I was ready to head to the airport….

But a little voice reminded me that I had been told to just “Lube it and Leave it!” It takes some time for oil to penetrate years of junk….and I had a plane to catch anyway.

Yesterday after my nap --- I came down to the basement studio, and walked over to see how it fared.  I was nearly afraid to turn the balance wheel – would it STILL be sticky? And then what?


She had SOME cosmetic issues…namely THIS:

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Rusty Chrome.  Before!

I set to work with some Maas Metal Polish and with a bit of elbow grease we now have THIS:

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It will never return to the bright mirrored finish of the chrome it was born with, but the soft silver patina of the balance wheel is so much better than the rusty version, don’t you agree?

The bobbin winder needs a new tire..I’ll pick one up today when I pick up the Morse that had a check spring replacement for its tension control.

I need to clean up that bobbin winder..it’s still pretty gunky, but I wanted to see if I could get her sewing.

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It may be a bit hard to tell – but if you look at this photo, you can see that the 127 behind it actually has a bigger throat space.  It sits taller, as does the 66 who's cabinet I borrowed for the test run here.  I removed the 66 to try this 15-30 out.

Because this machine sits lower, I had to change the treadle belt out as well.  Luckily the machine came WITH a belt that was still in good condition, so I threaded it through, reconnected the staple and went to sew.

The belt is a bit stiff…I actually think the previous owner adjusted it too short for this machine – the mistake most people make is thinking that a belt needs to be tight….it doesn’t…it just needs enough contact to get the wheel to turn.  A belt that is too tight will actually make it hard to pedal.  It’s not pedaling as freely as I’d like it to, but you can’t add more length to this belt!  I’ll replace it with a tubing belt when I put it in its own cabinet when we move it to the cabin.

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GREAT TENSION, Beautiful stitches!

I actually had to loosen the tension just a bit – and I bet it is because of the threads I was sewing with.  Our modern threads are finer than what was used in the past…..and other than that small adjustment, there was nothing I needed to do.  Check the stitch length…adjust it a bit longer for the stitch I like, and let her sew and sew and sew and work all that oil into everywhere it needs to go to make her a happy machine again!

This is my second machine with the Tiffany decals and this one is by far in the most pristine shape I have ever seen.  I am just so happy to be moving this machine to her new home!

This girl was born in 1921!

Our fingers are crossed that the underwriters get the loan approval to our attorney by NOON today – that’s the deadline.  And they’ve been dragging their feet on some things..and we are down to the wire…our closing is Wednesday morning at 10am!  There is no time for a screw up – with a long holiday weekend in the works, if we don’t make closing, it’s going to really put a delay on everything.

But good thoughts, please!!  Blow some winds of luck our way ----and this cabin will be ours by Wednesday at noon!

How about some Quilt-Cam tonight?  I’d like to keep this girl going through her paces…and she needs a name.  I had asked the previous owner about her history and she knew nothing, she bought her used as well, and had never gotten her up to sewing.

See you at 9pm Eastern!

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  1. Count me in! I'm going to collect my "new" 99 that's just been serviced hopefully in time to sew with you, any ideas as to what to call her?
    See you later with (fingers crossed) my cleaned up girl!

  2. In my excitement I forgot to say how lovely your new treadle find is! Your posts got me to checking my treadle. It's a singer made in 1904 in Germany. I've got a new belt to collect at the same time as my 99 so i have to find time to try both machines.
    Fingers crossed for your closing, it's an exciting and nail biting time!

  3. a real gem bonnie....where DO you find these? i am craigslist all the time and almost never see one....

  4. Do you have a machine named Tiffany yet?

  5. All fingers and toes crossed for you on the cabin closing...Love that machine--so pretty...I've never treadled before--my Grand'mere had one and I was still little when she broke up housekeeping and moved to California with my Aunt...I so WISH I had it now. Best of luck...Julierose

  6. Hope your closing goes off without a hitch, will you head to the cabin for the fourth? The new machine is beautiful, see needs a name that is as beautiful as she is and appropriate for a mountain girl!

  7. Hi Bonnie--
    First to say I follow you every day and LOVE your enthusiasm for quilting/sewing!! I actually have both of my grandmother's treadles. Neither are working although one is in better shape than the other. Where do I find belts, new shuttles, etc? How do I know how to get them going again? Thanks in advance for your help! I live in a small town in western KY near Paducah.

    1. I took mine that I found on Craigslist, to my local sewing machine repair shop. They got it working just fine and the guys down there had fun doing it. It was a challenge for them. They didn't even want me to pay them they had such a good time. So I just paid for the parts and went on my way.

  8. how 'bout, "Prissy" -- short for Pristine. Or, even, Pristina.

  9. I second that name by Linda. Tiffany??????

    1. I agree with Linda and Kathi! Tiffany would be a great name!

  10. Your machine is beautiful. I have her sister born the same year with the tiffany decals in a parlor cabinet. I was fortunate to know the story behind mine. She belonged to the wife of a tailor from Poland, named Bessie. I just love sewing on her and gazing at her beauty!
    Good thoughts your way, that your in your cabin for the holiday.
    I love that spool pin doily on your new machine. Would love to have the pattern for that one!
    Look forward to Quilt-Cam tonight, as I always do!

    1. I use a doily premade that I buy at Michael's or other craft store. Usually I have to force the center hole, but it is not hard to do.

  11. I found a Singer 413 in a junk emporium at the weekend, she had the original invoice from 1984 so is a relatively young girl. She was pale yellow and sticky with nicotine but gleaming white now, and her name, Barbra she is my favourite singer after all.

  12. I have an old treadle machine and I am missing the bobbin and case. Where can I buy them?

  13. If you do go to closing, read all the figures very very carefully...it's the time for mistakes and snafus.Retrograde Mercury.

  14. Oh how we enjoyed spending a couple of days with you here in Louisiana. Hope to attend another class someday.

    Tiffany sounds like a good name to me, too.

  15. I like Linda Meekins' idea up there - "Tiffany"! I want a treadle!

    And speaking as a mortgage loan underwriter - I don't know how things work on the east coast, but out here on the west coast the underwriter can only work with what the loan officer and the loan processor provide him or her. If there are hold ups, it's because the loan officer and/or processor haven't given the underwriter complete information or documentation to work with. Sometimes I will get a file and I swear they must think I am Madame Cleo, able to communicate with The Great Beyond and See Things that Aren't There.

  16. What a beautiful machine!

  17. She is so pretty! Hoping everything goes well today with no last minute glitches, crossed fingers and toes for you

  18. I like the name Tiffany too! Wow, you are a whiz at these older machines - have fun with it in your new cabin. I'm going to look at machine tonight - can't wait. So glad your hubby liked his hat.

  19. How about Betsy or Ross ... in honor of Betsy Ross ... she sewed the first American Flag ... and it is the 4th of July and she/he will be living at your Cabin in the Sky .... Linda

  20. How about naming her Virginia or Carolina? I forget which state your cabin is in, but I'd name her after that state since that is where she will live.

  21. What about naming her Grace or Bella? Some name that indicates beauty, because that is by far the prettiest machine like that I have ever seen!

    Looking forward to Quiltcam tonight. Hoping to get to sew with you. I'm working on some pinwheel blocks that are close to being done.

  22. in case Tiffany is already a member of the family... How about Audrey Hepburn? for Breakfast at Tiffany's?

  23. Now I'm REALLY jealous of you and your amazing machines. I like the idea of naming her "Prissy"...just not Tiffany (I'm cursed with that name lol)

  24. If the winds of speed and efficiency blow your way, send them back around this way. We just put a bid in on a house and are waiting to hear back.

    How about Little Orphan Annie for a name or Annie. She seems to have no history we know about but cute, amazing and she "sings" wonderfully.

  25. How do you clean the decals on these old machines. I saved a treadle from DH aunt and she is pretty grungy. Not sure what to use to save and clean the decals. She is a Spinx from 1918 and made in Elizabethtown.DH has fixed up the cabinet and I need a new belt but she should be able to run this summer.I have never treadled but am looking forward to learning how.

    1. I heard the best thing to use to clean machines was an old t-shirt and machine oil. It makes the black shine. The decal part I would use a damp cloth and dry good. Chemicals can remove them from experience. Chris

  26. Anonymous10:23 AM EDT

    "Tiffany" or "Spiffy Tiffy" - such fun! Congrats on the new machine!

  27. Anonymous10:31 AM EDT

    Wondering where you find tubing for a belt? I got a black rubber replacement belt from Lehman's (mail order) but are there others available?

  28. My suggestion for a name is "Gibson Girl." Here's a trick you and DH can use for chrome. Take a square of aluminum foil and crumple it up, not too tight, and rub the wheel, aluminum bumper on the car, (which I doubt that many people still have unless they've kept a classic car.) or anything chrome and it will make it shine like new.
    So excited for you closing tomorrow! I know you'll enjoy your new second home.

  29. OH BOY!! Quilt cam with your new baby!! In her honor, I'll get out my 1895 Singer 15-30 with the Owl decal to sew along with your new beauty! I have a Singer 115 with the Tiffany decal and I do call her "Tiffany". So...I have another name idea for your tiffany. How about "FAVRILE", pronounced fav-reel. Favrile glass is a type of iridescent art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The little panes in the tiffany decal look like favrile glass...aren't they just so beautiful?! I'll try to email a photo tonight of my Owl 15-30 with a sewing project during QCam. Sending positive energy toward you for that cabin!!

  30. stormy or stormie would b a nice name, she's a beauty happy sewing

  31. What a beauty for you to have for your new retreat. Since she came from Hunterville, why don't you call her Diana, the huntress of mythology
    I hope the paperwork gets settled, nothing worse than dealing with those who fall behind and de lay things.
    Enjoy your long weekend.

  32. You've got yourself a diamond in the rough. So I think you should name her Tiffany Diamond, after her decals.

    She is a beauty, enjoy her in your new cabin for many years.

  33. Yay! Is she gorgeous!!! Isn't that metal polish just so gratifying! I love it too.
    Good luck on the cabin closing, I am definitely picturing you there over the holiday! : )

  34. If you ever decide to move your appliances, you can always get free help from Appliance Repair Los Angeles and EZ Appliance Repair Inc at 800-350-0224. FREE HELP AVAILABLE.

  35. Yay Yay Yay!! Can't wait for Quilt Cam!

  36. Name? How about "Sweet Mary", or maybe MAry Ruth?

    JUST LOOK, did a search on favorite girl names in 1921...here they are:
    1 Mary
    2 Dorothy
    3 Helen
    4 Margaret
    5 Ruth
    6 Virginia
    7 Mildred
    8 Betty
    9 Frances
    10 Elizabeth

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  38. I'll be using my 1914 Singer 115 treadle to sew a Smokey Mountain Star quilt top together tonight. I used 30's repro fabrics. My machine looks just like yours does, except its older.
    Sharon Weaver

  39. congratulations on the new arrival! She looks wonderful. Enjoy!

  40. Hi Bonnie, I've been meaning for years to check out the Singer site to see when the machine I have, which was my grandmother's. was born. So after you posted the actual Singer link the other day, I finally went ahead and but in the serial info. It was born in 1922 and is model 128. I just downloaded a manual but I'm a little nervous to turn it on. I have no idea how to use a shuttle bobbin. Maybe one day I'll try.
    -debby, Chester NY

  41. It sure is beautiful and gl on your cabin. I hope to sew with you tonight again. I was there last week when you got the news of your delayed plane so hope tonight goes all well for you this time.


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