Sunday, February 04, 2018

My Hands, Her Hands...

I haven’t stopped smiling since I arrived in Ocala, Florida on Thursday afternoon.

You see, I spent a remarkable few hours (not long enough!) in possession of a very special featherweight sewing machine.

Not that the machine itself was out-of-the-ordinary by any means.

It wasn’t rare, or even in exceptional condition, the decals in the front having been worn off through years of sewing.

So what made it so special?

Read on, my friends, read on!


Serial number from the underside.

On November 22nd, 1946 there were 20,000 Singer model 221 Featherweights commissioned into production.  TWENTY THOUSAND.

No, the model isn’t rare, the condition of the machine isn’t “museum quality” or “mint.”


The foot pedal shows years of continuous use.


Goodies from the box!

Wooden spools, some wound with more than one color of thread as if saved for sewing on buttons or mending.  A set of bobbins wound in various colors of thread.  A tube of Singer motor lubricant decades old.

And that marker tag.


I was sewing on Frances Bavier’s (Aunt Bee’s) Featherweight!


Oh my goodness!  How I loved Aunt Bee!


Newspaper from the 1990 auction.

Click image to enlarge and read.

“You can by a velvet Elvis portrait anywhere” states the article, “but only this weekend could you get a great deal on Aunt Bee’s rake.”

Or her Featherweight as it turns out! 

Sometimes life treats you to unexpected experiences and you have a hard time explaining the why, the how you ended up face to face with them. Yet, there they are.

When Karen asked if I'd like to borrow a featherweight for my hotel room stay while in Ocala I never expected that I'd be placing my hands on the machine formerly belonging to the woman known as Aunt Bee - Frances Bavier.

After her passing, her estate was auctioned off and the machine changed hands a couple of times before ending up with Karen.

Everything has been documented and she brought me her poster board with the link directly to Frances.


Travel lamp by Daylight.

As I plugged the machine in and wound a bobbin I was nearly shaking with emotions I could not explain.

My foot on the well-worn foot pedal, a place where Frances placed her own foot as she sewed for pleasure.


Click image to enlarge and read.

Mayberry was patterned after Mt Airy, NC – an easy 45 minute drive up the road from me.  Mt Pilot in the show is Pilot Mountain that I drive by every time I head up highway 52 going north.

I loved the Andy Griffith Show when I was growing up, and we still catch it from time to time.  That was when TV was good.  Non-violent, not graphic, no moral issues or language issues, just good and clean family fun.

The space in my heart for the Aunt Bee of my childhood has grown just a bit bigger.

Thank you for the experience, Karen!  I’ll never forget this!


Yesterday’s #quiltvilleoftheday – H is for Happy, P is for Pinwheel!

This week the digital patterns are coming out to play as currently All Digital patterns are 25% off on the Quiltville Store through February 11th!

I have been collecting H quilts for quite some time, and always wanted to make my own variation.

Use coupon code DIGITAL25 at purchase to redeem. Don’t forget!  Code MUST be used at time of purchase.

And check out the other digital patterns while you are at it!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

I’m so happy I came home on Friday night and have a full weekend at home.

I know I said I'd be posting about Jeff's gift today, but I didn't want it overshadowed by the Aunt Bee posting.

I decided that Jeff deserves his OWN POST!  Because our Last Mystery Monday Link-Up for On Ringo Lake starts tomorrow, I'll post his story on Tuesday! 

Today is just for puttering.  And for some sewing.  Tonight you’ll find me curled up on the couch with some hand quilting…

Just the way a Sunday should be!

Enjoy your day!


  1. That's a true honor to have been able to enjoy Aunt Bee's dear, sweet , little Singer. Burning question; What was the fabulous gift Jeff had waiting for you??? ~ ellen

  2. I decided that Jeff deserves his OWN POST! Because our Last Mystery Monday Link-Up for On Ringo Lake starts tomorrow, I'll post his story on Tuesday! :)

  3. How fun is that? To have all of the background info on Aunt Bea's featherweight - neat!
    A featherweight is on my Must-Have list in thrifting. I have yet to run into one but when I do ....

  4. My Featherweight has the same production date. The birthday (not year of course) of my dear daughter. Aunt Bea reminds me so much of my late mother both is smile and some of her personality traits. I will have to rename my Featherweight with a middle name of Bea to honor this link! Thank you for sharing this delightful story.

  5. What a Treasured memory!! If these machines could talk, the stories they could tell. I'm glad she has the Fetherweight history documented. ISMACS is a great resource for that.
    Yes, your wonderful Son does deserve his own post!! Can't wait to read all about it on Tuesday. Have a Super Sunday!

  6. How exciting! What a special treat that was! I always think of Aunt Bea when I see Blue Willow dishes. As I was reading the article and read “on the verge of celebrating 30th anniversary of the show”, I thought it has been much longer than that....and realized the articles were written about 27 years ago! So we are getting close to the 60 year anniversary now! I did think it was sad that at age 86 when she died, she had no known living relatives. She certainly left a wonderful legacy with her work and we are all the better for it.....especially when you have the pleasure of sewing on her featherweight!

  7. Wow! What a treasure that is. A memory never to be forgotten. I also loved Aunt Bea, always wishing she was my Aunt! So hard to believe that it was that long ago. must be getting old,lol.

  8. What an honor! I loved that show! I shared your post with our quilt guild. We are looking forward to seeing you in May!

    1. Bring on May! I am so eager for winter to be over. It will be here sooner than we know it! :)

  9. I, too, share your feelings about Aunt Bea. What a memory to behold!
    Enjoy your weekend.

  10. That is "sew" cool!!

  11. Wow, what an amazing piece of history. Love that the machine is still being used and sewn on. And shared! Quilter love spread and grown!

  12. What a cool experience, Bonnie! I have the Andy Griffith show on DVD and often pop one in for background as I sew. Never tire of the characters and stories.

  13. You know, Bonnie, that you are almost as famous as Aunt Bee. So 20 to 30 years from now, some quilter will present one of your machines to her group. Bonnie Hunter wound a bobbin on this machine. The whole group will come and stroke the decals on the base and wish that they too had met you.

  14. That's very special, Bonnie. We watch Andy Griffith often, and as I'm 74 and remember a kind of Mayberry life in my own neighborhood. With all today's differences and problems, I sometimes wish I was in Mayberry.

  15. Oh wow, what a wonderful experience.

  16. My goosebumps have goosebumps for you!! What an awesome opportunity!! Wow, some experiences are just amazing. How wonderful for you!! Hugs, Allison C Bayer, Plano, Texas, USA

  17. Loved Mayberry and Aunt Bea! Thank you for the trip down memory lane:)

  18. Saw this on the Superior newsletter and thought it fit so well with the Aunt Bea story: "The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Earnest T Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk."

  19. LOVE THIS!!! Using Aunt Bea's machine is so cool! Thank you for this lovely post and for sharing your wonderful experience!


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