Thursday, August 2, 2007

I didn't stitch yesterday, but I did do something stitch related and important. After talking about machine care recently...it was time to give my machine some TLC. I thoroughly cleaned the bobbin area with alcohol as I was taught to do. I then reapplied the oil recommended for my machine. It was also time for a new needle and to clean the outside surfaces of the machine. Now it's ready to go again for about another 8 hours of sewing. Here's a pic of what I use to clean the insides of my machine.

Since I'm talking about machines, I'll show you a sampling of the machines I work with. My main machine is a Bernina 930. DH bought it for me in 1986. It was a reward to me for being a good wife who was very supportive when he decided to return to college to get his degree. We had 2 babies....need I say more. Right after he graduated and we were back on our feet financially, he insisted we go buy it. I love this machine as the straight stitch is wonderful. It has several decorative stitches too, but I have rarely used those. I did use them when my kids were small, and I did lots of garment sewing. I don't do much of that anymore...so my need is mostly for an excellent straight stitch. The only down side of this machine is it is VERY heavy and difficult to take for a class.

Since the 930 weighs a ton, several years ago...at the urging of DH....I bought a Singer 301. This is the machine that I take if I go for a quilting class or if our sewing group has a retreat. This little machine weighs about 16 lbs. It also has an excellent straight stitch, so it is ideal to carry whenever I want to sew away from home.
A few years ago, I was trying to find an old sew cabinet for my daughter to sit her portable machine on. I stopped at a local thrift store and found a cabinet that was good condition. The lady told me $25 as there was no cord or foot pedal and the machine probably didn't work. I was happy to get the cabinet for that as the cabinet was in good shape. When I got it home, I took a cloth and wiped across the label area to see what kind of machine it was. An old black Singer! As I continued to wipe away the grime, I got pretty excited as the gold lettering and the black paint looked like new. It looked as if the machine had never been used. Then I happened to notice that the area where the cord plugs into the machine looked just like the cord for my 301...so I got the cord and gave it a try. It worked. I called Singer to see if I could get a replacement cord and foot pedal. The lady said they were still available and she told me that the machine was a Singer 15-91 made in 1951. She also told me that if the machine was in reasonable condition, it would be well worth the price of the cord because those old machines are workhorses. So, I ordered the cord. Then I found an online manual so I could disassemble, clean, and lubricate the machine. When I completed the cleaning and gave it a test drive, it worked like a new machine. I feel that it had been used very little and really is a new...old machine. The stitch on this one is also very good. I guess I don't have to tell you that DD did not get the cabinet. I didn't need another machine...but how could I not keep it! I have practiced machine quilting on it with a darning foot. I plan to do more of that this winter. DH was also very supportive on me cleaning and getting this machine in working order. Do you see a trend here??? He actually supports and encourages my sewing habit! In case you haven't guessed...I do plan to keep him since he is so good to me.

I have a two more very old machines. I'll share those with you on another day as I don't actually sew with those.


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6 comments:

Andrea said...

What an interesting post. Always nice to see what other quilters have got. You really struck lucky on the Singer ! My DH is like yours - encourages my sewing and spending as he knows it makes me happy - bless !

corry said...

You have some nice sewingmachines, Love the old singer! I had an old pfaff but I gave it to an organization that restores those old machines and then send them to Africa.

Darlene said...

You have a beautiful "fleet" of machines. :-)

Su Bee said...

Well, you never know what you'll stumble on. You found a super Singer, and I found you! I went link-hopping and love your blog - beautiful!
Keep it up!

Bren said...

Su Bee is right..you do have a wonderful blog! Your machines are great. I am glad they all like you...mine is beginning to tolerate me.

Wendy said...

Nice collection of sewing machines. It's it great to find such a good deal at the thrift store? My DH is very supportive as well.