If you read my blog regularly, you know that I am a fan of Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville.com .. I find her blog to be fun and full of great information. What I love about Bonnie Hunter is she uses vintage sewing machines, hand cranks, treadles, featherweights etc. She has an incredible collection of machines, and often shows machines out in the marketplace (craigs list or antique stores) to be wary of, cheap imports, clones etc. On her blog a couple of days ago, there was a video by a reporter, speaking to the “plastic” in todays modern machines. If you are shopping for a machine, I would recommend spending a few minutes; read Bonnie’s post and the imbeded video.
My sewing machine collection is growing…I think there are seven machines in my house & sewing room out in the garage.
Sadly #1 machine sits on the floor of the garage; waiting to be loved….I haven’t even taken the cover off of it. I found it in a closet recently. My husband has lots of closets full of his mom’s stuff. Though I never met her (we got married in 2006); I’m sure she will love knowing her machine is going to be used again. My mother-in-law passed away around 1993, and I am guessing the machine has not been touched since.
Ok; for the sake of a photo; I am going to the garage right now for a photo….ohhh…I’m back…that was a delightful surprise….I took the cover off; there was a bit of rust on the hinge plate…but then wow…..
What did I find: a SEW-GEM FULL Rotary machine, model 215; Gellman Manufacturing Co, Rock Island Ill USA. It has NO rust anywhere that I can see…the paint is a textured brown. Well; since I had the cover off and saw what beautiful shape it was in, I loaded in the car to take to the service technician to get it in “GEM” shape. I really do need to research this machine and find a book so I know more about it. I will have to dig for a serial number too. I am going to take it to my service lady at Serendipity and see if she thinks she can put it in working order. It weighs about 40 pounds. When I get it back home, it may take two men and a crane to carry it up the stairs though! Beastly heavy; so guessing it is real metal!
I think I am going to also take the (#2) old Singer touchtronic back to her also to put in a new bobbin case. It is a 70’s era machine and was quite pricey in it’s hey-day. I chatted with Bill to see how much he is willing to spend….mmmmmm…I think another $100 would get that bobbin issue resolved…maybe I will contemplate it a while.
My sewing machine(#3) that I use all the time is a Brother 6000ci.
Bill got it for me for Christmas when we were newly married; thinking I might want to consider sewing for a hobby. He has lots of hobbies, and was worried I would grow bored in retirement. (What do you think???)
After working on the queen sized quilt and struggling with the lightweight plastic machine; I am definately thinking SOLID METAL ! The Brother has a broken “foot”…part of the base got cracked when my dear husband was trying to get it from the dining room to my car. I didn’t have a tote for it; just the hard plastic cover. Poor guy tripped on our old porch steps; he fell; the machine hit the driveway; and the rest is history. The porch steps have been redone….we spent a kings ransom and had the whole porch removed and rebuilt! The machine, well, it is not fixed. Since I use an extension table; it keeps it “steady”; but with the weight of big quilt going through, I was constantly having to adjust the legs, etc. Only about 15 of the 60 stitches work properly anymore. Perhaps there is a plug to a computer card loose . ..hmmm…excuse for opening it….but NOT while I am in the middle of a project…oh dear….
In our dining room are two treadle machines. Initially; I just love them for the cabinets. One was a machine my husband had bought at an auction, and he refinished the wooden portions of the cabinet. The machine is a MINNESOTA Model C; serial nr L251844. He said it “just needs a belt”.
The other treadle machine is a Singer.
We acquired this machine when my husband’s ex wife passed (along with her Singer touchtronic and the heavy duty singer). The cabinet is in beautiful condition as well. This machine used to belong to one of her grandmother’s. Her father, Walt, restored the cabinet and put the machine in working condition, including a new belt, and said it works. Now, I have not tried either treadle….but I would like to learn. I think I am going to invite Walt over for lunch and a lesson on day this fall.
Back out to the sewing room in the garage; there is another SINGER machine. …oh; what have I started…it has such a great table, I have piled it up with STUFF…..so….before I can progress to the garage I go. (Ok; There will NOT be a before & after junk pile photo…..I am a messy girl). While I clean up; I might as well really clean up! (Blog entry on hold for 24 hours…….)
Well….cleared this great table off and look what was hiding underneath!!
Bill tells me he and Walt added an electric moter to this machine…note the switch on the table top. Throw that switch and that big old motor fires up. Bill and Walt did upholstery with this machine. It is missing a thread post and there are parts missing on the tension coil. Going to look for an “owners manuel” on line and see what is missing. He thinks it was used in an industrial environment before he got it at auction. See how much room there is for quilting! 10 ” of space.
And last, but not least; the newest…the Brother Embroidery machine I won in February!
So, a little view of the machines in my life! Enjoy !!