Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not Yet, Ugly Betty!

Poor Ugly Betty.

She’s been a long term project --- I adopted her from Carol  in Altoona a few years ago….and little by little I am getting her up and running.

I ordered new cords and foot pedal.  I ordered a new oil pan for her bottom.

I have cannibalized parts from other machines including my demolished fuscia featherweight to get her up and going.

All I know about Betty’s history is that she was rescued from beneath a blue tarp at the flea market after spending who knows how many winters out in the cold and wet.  And if there were winters, there were summers and falls and springs…and poor Betty was in the junk pile just waiting like a lost little puppy.  Who would want her?  Her paint is chipping up off of her base clear down the the aluminum.

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You can see her clear coat is partly worn away and cloudy ---was this from the weather exposure, or was she just ridden hard when she WAS loved?

A couple weeks ago I thought I could finally get in there and get her running….but she had a check spring issue.  Allison to the rescue!  She just “happened” to have spare tension assembly parts on hand and when I returned from the cabin, a small box with goodies was waiting for me.

Could this be the day we get to test Betty’s stitches?

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This was the check spring that was on her….too small, and NO SPRING!

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See the difference between the two? I’m wondering if her original spring broke and someone just re-bent it and tried to make due with it? Or maybe..it’s simply a spring for the wrong machine.

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I set up to sew!

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She makes a BEAUTIFUL stitch!  This is the bobbin side….I like to test with contrasting thread, one color on top, one color in the bobbin so I can tell which thread needs adjusting.

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Uhoh, Betty, We Have A Problem!!

First off, pardon how gross these photos are….I’m still working on getting her rust off and cleaned up – it’s a process…but I wanted to see if the tension was fixed.  Though she sewed fine for a while…when I really got her going, the thread would break.  On closer inspection…I have a broken thread guide….so the thread isn’t directed  where it needs to go from the right side of the needle…..

I took a look at my mocha long bed 301, Edie --

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Edie’s Thread Guide ---

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With a bit of effort and a bit of WD-40 to loosen that tiny set screw…I have the broken parts out...

Looks like sewing with Ugly Betty for Quilt-Cam tonight won’t happen….but since we’ve got Edie out – looks like she will fit the bill!

In the mean time ---another email is going out to my friend to see if perhaps, just by chance, she has one of these too?

Better Luck Next Time, Betty!

I’ve got a crazy day of running around ahead of me today.  I have a massage appointment – so I’m not in knots when driving to Pennsylvania on Thursday.  I’m getting my hair trimmed, my eyebrows waxed ((OH! CATERPILLARS!))  And my van, Shamu really REALLY needs a bath inside and out.  I love to travel in a clean car….

And I’m dropping a bunch of goodies off at Karen’s house for the goodie bags for Collaboration Celebration that is happening in just about THREE WEEKS!  I am so excited I can barely contain myself.  Currently we have over 40 quilters traveling from all over the USA, from as far away as Canada – I can’t wait to meet you all, we are going to have a ball!


Click HERE for more info!!

It's not too late!  There is still time to join us!  Contact Karen & Lisa at info@sewsisters.biz for more information.

I better get a move on it if I’m going to accomplish all of this ---fingers crossed for Quilt-Cam at 9pm Eastern TONIGHT! No Thunderstorms in the forecast like we had last week.  The laptop works, my connection is good….the only thing missing is…YOU!

See you then!

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!


  1. Bonnie, if your friend doesn't have one of those, let me know. My husband just might.

    1. Got the part pulled and will ship to Bonnie Thursday! Nice of you to offer a back up Not Lucy.

  2. Good luck getting the machine going, looks good. I will have to catch you on a saved copy of quilt cam tomorrow (Aust) have to pick my DH up from the airport. Have a great night sewing. Julie

  3. My tan 301 is my favorite machine and I have 11! I just love the way it sounds and runs. I would love to give all my machines a name but nothing ever "sounds right". Any suggestions on picking names? My white featherweight is Elizabeth because that was the name written on her manual so that one was easy. Bonnie, I love your blog. Love your cabin also. Come to Alabama!

    1. Hi Sylvia, my go to machine is a tan 301 too! Upstairs I've got my LBOW in a Trapezoid cabinet I found in January and finally picked up in July. ELEVEN!! How wonderful. You won't ever run out now will you? Names . . . my tan is OF- "Old Faithful." The LBOW looks peach more than tan so she is "Peaches". Keep on slant stitching, Allison in North Texas

  4. Hi Bonnie, ooooooh . . . You are so close to getting Ugly Betty going. Yep, just pulled off the part for you and will ship out Thursday while on errands. So happy to be able to help!
    Hugs, Allison in North Texas

  5. As I'm getting more into quilting, I'm beginning to realize the value of older machines. Have been tossing around the idea of picking up an old treadle and a 301...

    1. You will never regret owning either of them! I also want to convert one of my old Singer 66s to a handcrank. I would recomend a 66 for your treadle, as it is a low shank and very easy to find attachments and parts for, as is the slant needle 301.I have a two tone 301, and I have just gotten a black one from a friend of mine. She has lost her clear coat, and had to be rewired, and to buff a bit of rust off her bobbin case, but she is a dream now.

  6. Betty's probably happy just being in a controlled environment!! So nice to see an old sewing machine being cleaned up. I got the chance to sew on an old Featherweight and boy did she sew nice!!! Something abt the old gals that work so well, esp after some tender loving care.

  7. Phoenix perhaps? Or better yet "Bonita" ... because one day she will show you WHAT pretty is when she is humming along sewing like a dream.

    Happy she has been rescued by Bonnie The Fixer!


  8. Bonnie - Love the way you have the ability to dismantle and reassemble the parts of these old machines.
    You never cease to amaze me.
    Judy in Philadelphia

  9. Bonnie - Love the way you have the ability to dismantle and reassemble the parts of these old machines.
    You never cease to amaze me.
    Judy in Philadelphia

  10. Bonnie, I just sent you an email about an old machine I was thinking of purchasing. Would you please take a quick look at it and give me your opinion? Thanks! Love your blog :)



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