Thursday, August 24, 2017

When Friends Meet Family -

Remember this fun excursion to Mary Jo's last February?

Cheri (center) and Joyce (right) drove ALL THE WAY from Minnesota playing Pony Express to bring me a special machine and library table that Cheri had found.

Many circumstances came together to let me know that this machine was destined for me, and I so appreciate both of these ladies for the sweethearts they are.

You can re-read the story HERE.

Joyce has been on one of my cruises, and Cheri even came out to Montana to take some workshops – I would be a happy girl if they both lived next door to me! 

So imagine my happy response when both of them showed up to my Chaska, Minneosta workshops a couple of weeks ago!

On the tail end of my time with the Chaska Area Quilt Guild, I was taken to Maple Grove to spend a few days with my mom and her two sisters, my aunts who are near and dear to my heart.

Remember a year ago July when all three joined my Alaskan cruise?  We had too much fun.

So, here I am carting my suitcase down the stairs at Joy’s house, ready to move into her office space for a few nights, and low and behold –There is not just one, but TWO poor looking plastic machines sitting in front of the couch on the coffee table. “Can you make these work??”  she pleaded.

One looked like a 1990s Kenmore, and the other – a cheap brother that maybe was $100 at a big box store.

The story goes that Joy even went with a friend on a quilting retreat but couldn’t get either of these machines to work when she was trying to sew through ANY amount of layers at all.  There could have been other things wrong as well, but she quit sewing at retreat because she just was so frustrated with these machines.

You need a SIMPLE VINTAGE MACHINE I told her!

And it stayed in my mind all through the rest of that trip.  I even posted for folks to be on the look out.

“Breaker, breaker, all points bulletin….We’ve got a BOLO for a vintage machine in workable condition. Copy!”

And this is where Cheri comes to the rescue again!


Weeee!  Singer 404!

She first calls me with info from a lady who has a 301 for something like $275.00 and a 404 for $200.00  Which was just nuts.  I was kicking myself for re-homing the machines that I did earlier this year because I knew one of them would be perfect for Joy.

Then she remembers to call another friend – and SCORE!  She had a beautiful 404 in great condition for $80.00.

I called Joy, she was thrilled.  I gave Cheri Joy’s information so they could connect and meet up for machine delivery. 

And then I get this text from Cheri:

IMG_4905 (1)

Giving the machine a workout at the cabin to make sure it runs right! LOL!

Hey, if there were any issues, we wanted to know about it before giving the machine to Joy!  And now Cheri thinks SHE needs a 404 too!

Then yesterday, in the midst of waiting for a dental check up, and having to go get my visa photo re-taken (STRESS STRESS STRESS!) and worrying about Mark’s next round of chemo and radiation (More stress and heart hurting worry) I receive these photos:


The package has been delivered!!

These two ladies I care about so much – together!

With Waffles in the middle!


And that SMILE!!!!  Hooray!!

I admit it.  There are tears rolling down my face as I write this post.  This is how wonderful the quilting community is.  Not only caring and giving – but down right FUN!

I hope Joy has many happy years and projects ahead with this machine.


Reasons to love a 404:

It’s basically the same body style as the 301, with many upgrades.  Like the 301, it is completely gear driven, all metal parts, no belts and easy to maintain yourself. 

Unlike the 301, the 400 series machines were the FIRST of the Singer machines to not thread sideways.  You thread the needle straight through, front to back like a modern machine. 

The machine takes a full sized class 66 bobbin, and has no bobbin case – it’s a drop front bobbin just like today’s modern plastic versions.  A big bobbin full of thread is a nice thing to have.

It’s a straight-stitch only machine so the feed dogs are narrow for great piecing.  No big wide needle hole to swallow your triangle tips or make birds nests in the process.

The lever at the right on the bed is to easily drop your feed dogs for free motion quilting.  Right there.  On top.

The machine is NOT heavy.  It’s aluminum, just like the 301 models are.

Besides, who WOULDN’T want a two-toned machine complete with a FIN on its hood?

And since I just sent Joy a pdf link to the manual, I’m also going to post it HERE for anyone who needs it.

I don’t have a date on Joy’s machine, but I know it’s from roughly the same era as mine.  1958.

Isn’t it just GOOD to have a feel good day?


90+ orders out the door!

All of the orders that came in while I was away with Irene are now winging their way to you.  After all of the orders went out I found I still had a few Simple Folded Corners rulers on hand, and more should be here in the next few days.


Listening to my boss today.  I am HOME.

Oh yeah, *I* am the boss!

I went looking for a basket that Irene wanted at Hobby Lobby, and though they didn’t have any, this sign made me crack up.  It’s a home day.  And perhaps tomorrow too.  No sewing will be happening until the weekend.  I’ve got a lot of book project writing ahead.  And while the house is quiet, my music softly playing (RELAXATION channel on Pandora) I am going to hit the keyboard and get some patterns written.  So exciting.  Manuscript rough draft is due in January 2nd!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage basket quilt found in Virginia.

And if quilting makes you happy, do it twice!

Have a Tee-riffic Thursday, everyone!

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  1. I have my mother's 404 and it's what I used for years. However, can't get the tension to stay correct for the life of me now and it's sadly in storage.

  2. Judy H. It will never fix itself in storage. It likely needs a new tensioner, very inexpensive. Take it in and get it fixed!

  3. Quilters are the Best. Happy pattern writing Day. Thanks for sharing the vintage machine love, Cheri! Joy is a lucky gal. Gotta find my 404, I think I might have a 404A. Vintage machine stitching nrxt week at the Fair.

  4. Thanks for the great pandora station recommendation! I'm enjoying it while working on a course schedule and lesson plans for this semester. School starts Monday!

  5. I am "sew" glad your Aunt Joy has her machine and it is one that works! A big shout out to Cheri for her caring and compassionate personality! I have several extra 301's that I need to check out and then find other homes for (don't need 5 of them!)
    Enjoy your computer day and get lots done as I am almost done with my "Bonnie" quilts that are in process-one about to be put together (Texas Tumbleweed from the cruise the other year) and the two different Trips Around the World. Loving cutting my scraps and making something useful out of them!

  6. I have a 404 in a really ugly cabinet, but it sews beautifully. They are great machines for piecing.

  7. I laughed as I read FIN as the word means PRETTY in swedish!!!

  8. wow you and your aunt joy could be sisters almost...i'd recognize that face anywhere! and she does look quite happy indeed...

  9. A friend of mine game me a sewing machine in an old cabinet and the machine is a 404, I have to take the time to clean her up and get her running.

  10. Love a happy ending! Might start looking in Australia for a similiar machine. I have a really heavy Janome which I love but not great for taking to classes. I recieved my traingle tool a few weeks ago from you here in Australia. I used it yesterday for the first time. i am in love grest tool thanks

  11. I'm so glad Joy has a good machine that makes her happy. And doesn't that Cheri have great connections?! It's wonderful that you get a chance to recharge your batteries and catch up with paper work. Enjoy yourself.

  12. My 404 is my favorite machine! Joy will really get great use out of that fantastic machine!

  13. Now I want a 404 (or a 301) but have no idea how/where to get one and then get it repaired....Bonnie, any suggestions or do I have to drive from Boston to find your house and your machines??!

  14. All I can do is smile and hold back the tears of happiness for your quilting family members as well. Be blessed, and let everyone know. ��


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