Thursday, July 06, 2017

Pennsylvania Prep!

I’m doing some tuning and testing, and some decision making on what I really want to rehome so other quilters can enjoy the machines in my collection.

I’ve whittled down the herd, driving trip by driving trip, and my shelves are looking just a bit bare!

My passion really is the “unsung heros” of the 1950s era.

I love the Japanese imports and all of their crazy paint colors and atomic body shapes and stylings.

This 1950s Household was found in Georgia, and its paint is a delightfully unusual copper, with the upper part being a cross between a dark charcoal and forest green – sparkly metallic of the day, of course!

And the chrome.  Don’t forget the chrome.

These “Badged” machines came with all different sorts of names, but in this case the name that meant the most to me is the name of the original owner, still found on the paperwork inside.

You can read the story of this machine HERE.

And, oh, yes - the tooth extraction didn't happen yesterday.  After a CT Scan, it was determined that there is sufficient margin of bone to do the extraction and bone graft all in one appointment instead of two, which means I only need to be numbed up once.  August 14th is now the date.

5 more weeks of broken tooth - but that left me the time and energy to tackle this trip prep yesterday without a sore mouth.  Works for me!


Singer 404!

I love the 404s!  If you are just getting started with vintage machines, it is impossible to go wrong with this model.  It’s straight stitch only, and because the bobbin loads from the front, it also has a front facing needle.  So very easy!  The lever on the right side of the base is to drop feed dogs for free motion or darning. 

It’s got the same inner workings of the 301, and a very sleek updated body style and 2 tone paint job.  I’ve got two of these.  I really only need one.


1941 99k with crinkle “godzilla” finish.


Such a contrast!

It’s all “modern” with the crinkle finish, but check out the gorgeous face plate on this girl! 

This machine has been living in my guest room upstairs but no one is sewing on her!  She needs a home where she can be used.

sewingmachines 006

This one comes with a cabinet. 

At some point in time, someone painted this cabinet to match the nursery!  It’s got cute decals on 3 sides.

It’s easy to find the 3/4 size 99k in a “portable” carry case – at 35 lbs! I don’t often come across cabinets for the 99 machines.


Oh the fence with this one!

This "New National" dates from 1890 and was made by the New Home Sewing Machine Company.  It’s not in pristine condition – someone sewed and sewed on this until the decals and finish were chipping off.  But what do you expect for a machine that has reached 127 years in age?


The threading action!

I got her sewing last night, after winding a bobbin, sweet as can be and I just think I need to keep her for a little while longer.

I likely shouldn’t be posting about these ahead of time, because already through facebook posts my inbox is flooding with inquiries from folks who want the machines.  I’m teaching over 2 back to back weekends, and it is likely that the machines won’t still be around for those in group 2.  It’s GOT to be first come, first served.  The less fuss the better.  Thank you for understanding.

Moving these machines on to new owners will free up my conscience to adopt new machines and give them a chance at an extended happy life as well.

On a not so happy note:


Oh dear.  Water leak.

As I went down to the basement where the machines are this morning, my feet squished into the industrial carpet tiles.  WATER!

Not a lot of water, but enough that the carpet had a definite darker ring where water had seeped…..since when?  It was dry last evening when I was moving machines back and forth.  So sometime during the night then?  Possibly.

All I had to say was “Water in the basement!” and both Father and Son were down here locating the source and breaking through the drywall to get to it.  There is a joint that is leaking.

A plumber has been called.  If he can’t come today, he’ll be here tomorrow. There will be some rug-doctoring of the carpet. The dehumidifier is running.

And I’m grateful.  This didn’t happen while we were at the cabin. (Though it could have been leaking for a while?) This didn’t happen while we are on a long trip to Utah at the end of the month where I'm teaching for a week after spending time at a family reunion.

It can always be worse.  So much worse.  No fabric was damaged (but the bottom of a roll of batting got damp) No machines got wet – they are up on shelves.  We caught this in time.

The van is already nearly packed for my trip.  The one thing I can’t do is get a shower or do laundry so this may be when I “phone a friend” tonight!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

I had already chosen this quote before I discovered the water leak. I do believe these little thoughts of the day help in ways that I can’t explain.  Instead of being upset over a wet carpet and a roll of wet batting, I have so much to appreciate about discovering this early.

I can appreciate that my son is an expert at dry-walling and we will get this fixed better than it was before.

Attitude is EVERYTHING.

Even without a shower.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!

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  1. Yikes on the leak. I appreciate how calm you are about it. When things like that happen around here you could cut the tension with a knife. Have a safe trip. I know you will find great homes for those machines.

  2. Leaks scare me. So glad your son is the answer to the repair. You are blessed!

  3. I love your attitude about the leak. It's never a fun or welcome thing when issues like leaky pipes happen, but I too try to look on the positive side that it could be worse. As you said, you could have been away from home with this problem becoming so much worse over time. My water heater just went out and I tried to take the positive side that at least it's summer and not winter so a cold shower is not so bad! Lol
    P.S. My sister and her husband are gone from their home for weeks at a time and put a shut off valve in their garage so they can cut off the water to the house but not the yard so they don't have a flooded mess to come home to.

  4. I love reading about your vintage machines! Someone is going to get a great deal.

    And yes, attitude is everything. Recently we had no hot water and I sent the hubster down to the basement to investigate. There was two inches of backed up sewer water in our (luckily) unfinished basement. The main sewer line was clogged. Roto Rooter was out the next day (and on the holiday weekend, to boot) and got the clog taken care of. However, Saturday evening meant a cold shower for me. The water is not as cold in the summer as in the winter and I thought of those parts of the world where any water at all - clean or not - was a blessing. So, having abundant clean running water in the house was appreciated even if the temperature was not optimal. After a bit of drying out, the pilot light was ignited on the water heater and it fired right up. Hot water within the hour!

  5. perspective is everything - to your DH and DS, that wall is just the equivalent of ripping out a seam, fixing a four-patch, and sewing it back together again ! So nice to have those talents around !

  6. Be still my heart--that New National is a beauty! *I* wouldn't be able to part with it, that's for sure.

    I've read your blog from the very beginning, and today this finally hit me square between the eyes: "...and because the bobbin loads from the front, it also has a front facing needle." Now I'm wondering how dense I've had to have been not to make that connection before, because surely you must've mentioned that at least once in the years you've been blogging!?!?

    So glad the water damage was caught and nipped in the bud!

  7. I love hearing the clickety clack of these vintage machines. Sew nice of you to share! The Bobbin winder on that shuttle was ingenious! Uh oh on the leaking water pipe. Nice you have handy men at your house

  8. I also own several vintage and antique sewing machines. I bought a 404G for $5 and really like it too. It took me awhile to figure out my thread breaking problem was from the bobbin case being too tight, but once I got it right it also sews just as well as my 301. It's fun to read your takes on sewing on the vintage machines.

  9. always somebody in a worse situation...right now my sister's friend is dying of cancer and her son is in the hospital also dying of cancer...as a mother, how awful is that...i am truly blessed as are many of us...

  10. I love seeing all your vintage machines. Lucky me, I just rescued a Singer 404 complete with cabinet in a free pile on the side of the road. Thank goodness No one was behind me when I saw her sitting calling me, and yes she works. Just needs a good cleaning. Have a wonderful trip to PA.

  11. Your saying reminded me of one I made up as a kid ... The way to have what you want is to want what you have.

    Thanks for your constant attitude of gratitude Bonnie.

  12. Thank you SO much for posting the bobbin-winding video on the New National! My Mom had a Singer treadle back in the '50's that used this same type of bobbin, and although I used the machine to make a lot of my clothes back when I was a teenager, I could not remember how these type bobbins were wound and had not seen one of them since. What a neat blast from the past! I love the sound of this machine! I also wanted to say I am really excited about the new Leader & Ender Challenge! I love the black and white checkerboard effect~~~~I'm all in!

  13. So glad for you that your tooth extraction situation has changed for the better in the long run and that you will not be painfully distracted while in PA for your 2 weeks there.
    Love the white cabinet machine. I have the same decals on my daughters chiffonier (baby chest & wardrobe). I have no idea how old it is, she is almost 48 and it was probably 20+ years old when we bought it. We did have to replace one of the decals. It is what use to be called "blonde" furniture. It is in my craft room holding precious fabric & other valuable craft supplies.
    Loved your comment about loving older Japanese machines. That is what I own. It is 47 years old, bought brand new. I wish I knew someone that could help me update it with new "feet" so that it could be more productive.
    Have fun in PA. Loved today's quote also. Planning my L & E challenge too.

  14. You're right...Attitude enables us to move forward! Even thru that k
    leak you're still moving....A few tears or fustration doesn't stop you.I truely appreciate how you live your words....thanks for that.everyday! Your attitude shows me strength!!! Have a sensational day

  15. You are so lucky in finding old sewing machines.Since I started reading your blog I have been looking for one but no luck yet. My husband thinks I'm crazy to want an old machine but i feel like you do, I want to own something that some one else has used and loved.


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