Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Carla’s Cutie Pie Hand Cranks!

Okay, everyone now ----- AWWWWW!

Isn’t this so cute?

This is a vintage Singer model 20.  A toy machine loved by little girls from the 1920s all the way to 1949---with a newer model coming out in 1950.

Sewing machines were on little girl’s wish lists from the time they were old enough to crank the handle, learning sewing skills as they made outfits for their beloved dolls --

The model 20 is a REAL sewing machine, even in tiny size.  It makes real stitches, though no bobbin is required –it’s a chain stitcher!

Carla first came onto my radar a few months back when I was sent a link to her blog with THIS POST she wrote about flying to CHINA ---clamping this little baby down to her seat back tray table and piecing away on Maverick Star blocks!

**Note** on my laptop I had to enable windows media player to play the video on her post, and viewed it in IE instead of Chrome. Who knows what is up with my laptop!?

So…if the video doesn’t play for you – here is a screen shot!


Crank Away, Carla!!

About this little baby, Carla writes: 
The 99 cent store had a clip on LED light I could use to keep the light right where I needed it on the dark plane.  I made a stiletto using a toothpick figuring TSA wouldn't allow my metal one.  I was able to complete 14 Maverick Star blocks per Bonnie Hunter and many more bits and pieces.

The flight was so much more enjoyable while being productive! 
The machine is so quiet you don't hear it above the engine noise and it certainly didn't bother the gentleman who sat next to me and slept the entire flight.  SFO TSA didn't even blink when the machine went across the xray screen.

Shanghai security laughed when I opened the container to reveal what object had concerned them on their xray screen.
So there you go!  That Sew Handy machine ((1950s model)) that I have sitting in its original box on a shelf at home is going to come out to play!


Singer Model 20 safely held in a dollar store container!


The Singer model 20 takes these needles:  24 X 1.

 Carla set up to give us a demo during our lunch break!


To mimic the thickness of the fold down seat back tray, we used the end of a table top ironing board.

The machine was missing its original C clamp, so a new one was purchased…at Harbor Freight!

Watch this baby go – I made a video!

Now some of you may be concerned that chain stitching can come out --but remember, the stitches are small, and seams will cross seams so they are just as secure as our regular machine stitching.  You can also leave tails and anchor threads if you so choose.

Women in the 1800s made their CLOTHING on chain stitcher machines, and no one was running around town with their clothes falling apart!

With all of this excitement ---you may be asking yourself what machine Carla used in class?


A Big Girl Hand Crank!!

I’m not sure on the model of this one..I think it’s a 128 ---correct me if I’m wrong. But isn’t she a beauty??

And yes, there is a video for this one too!

I so love the sound of these hand cranks!


It was so great to meet this sweet lady!!

I can tell you if we lived next door to each other we would be best friends, and there would be no stopping this vintage machine love!


Last Night’s Crowd!

Last night we had a great gathering of scrappy quilt lovers at the River City Quilt Guild in Sacramento!  It was a really fun time, and I know it will be a blast today ---we’ve got Boxy Stars up on deck, and 50 students in the workshop --

Let the Scrappy Party get started!

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  1. Quilters are so inventive! No grass grows under our feet! Love the hand cranks! I just got a 99 hand crank and love the sound it makes.

  2. I am so thrilled that was the sweet lady who was able to take my place in Monday's class! She came up to me at River City and thanked me for the opportunity and wished my daughter well (whom is sore but healing). I too thought that I would like to get to know this kind woman more!! What a neat story!

  3. I couldn't play the video, either, so, thanks for taking a video and posting it on your blog. I've been wanting one of these. One of these days....

  4. Like Carla, my "portable" class machine is a hand crank. Love the looks that I get when I unpack it. Those are wonderful machines that she brought to class. I don't do many plane trips, but if I find one of those little ones before my next trip, I know what I'm getting :) Thanks for the videos and the vintage love.

  5. YAY CARLA!!!! And, YAY BONNIE for sharing Carla's lovely hand cranks!! :-D As things go, it is probably due to YOU BONNIE, that Carla came up with the idea to get a small hand crank for her China trip. I think (correct me if I'm wrong Carla) she saw my GPS-tractor Willcox & Gibbs chainer sewing video that you, Bonnie, had blogged about awhile back. That gave her the idea that she might be able to take one on an airplane. Heck...if a crazy lady could sew on a tractor, she certainly could sew on a plane, right? We emailed back and forth about finding a hand crank W&G, which is not easy and is quite expensive. So, she ended up getting the cute little Singer 20, which is even smaller and lighter than a W&G. I was so thrilled when she sent me her video of sewing on the plane. :-) So, one of the many wonders of the web is due to you posting my tractor video Carla came up with her brilliant idea. Don't you just LOVE IT!!??
    Becky (FiddleyBits)

  6. I think the big girl hand crank is a model 28. The 128's had their bobbin winder mounted higher. Either way, it's a beauty.

  7. Anonymous2:51 PM EDT

    I also have a Singer 20 model that my husband purchased in a resale shop. He gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago. It's missing it's clamp. We'll need to check out Harbor Freight. I've only used it for display. Guess I should take it when we travel.

  8. That was great, I had wondered if the chain stitching would be secure so I thank you for answering the question before I could even ask it.
    I have a crank machine that I used some a few years ago, I think it is at my son's and I need to bring it home and use it again. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  9. I saw one of those many years ago-I was a kid, and I have always wanted one! Thanks for the pictures. nanny_of_phillip@yahoo.com

  10. I so loved seeing this hand cranked toy model on your blog, as I have an Australian made version, manufactured in Adelaide after WW2. It is the best present my husband has ever brought me, but unfortunately I cannot find a needle to fit. Now that I have seen the needles the Singer uses, I will try a speciality store next time I am in the big smoke, as I am busting to use this beauty....not on a plane, but when we are away in our caravan.

  11. I have one of these little machines from when I was a kid. Probably one that came out in 1950. I had forgotten that it had a clamp. I have it on display. The chain stitch doesn't seem to work anymore or maybe I just haven't threaded it correctly. But it used to work and I remember my Mom saying a friend of hers made herself a dress on her daughters.

  12. I could not watch the video either, so I was thrilled that you did a video of both machines. I have never seen a hand crank machine, but I think every sewist/quilter should have one :D; then we could sew even in a power outage! I think I'll start looking..... :)

  13. Neat post! I'm curious if the machine on the tray table bothered the passenger in the seat in front of her? I belonged to the River City Quilt Guild when I lived in Sacramento...big shout out to anyone still there that knows me!

  14. So much fun spending time with Bonnie and the Sacramento area guilds. Thank you to the guilds for hosting Bonnie and to Bonnie for reaching into our lives! And to Shirley for your spot in the class. The larger machine is a 1909 Singer Model 28. Absolutely a treasure and so calming to stitch with. The little one WAS inspired by all the stitching on the plane that Bonnie does and Becky's tractor video. Sometimes all the inspirations and pieces come together at just the right time! I too was concerned that the cranking while attached to the tray table would bother the passenger in front of me so I brought along a wooden cutting board to set on my lap and clamp the machine to. Wasn't necessary. Cranking while attached to the table didn't cause any disturbance to the other passenger. Cutting board would work for stitching in the car though!


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