June 28, 2011

I officially need an intervention

There are four sewing machines in my house right now. Twice the normal complement. I know, I need help.


So first I got this beauty. I've been pining over an extended arm Juki for half a decade, and luckily all that dragging my feet allowed a new model to come out in the meantime.


There was an immediate free motion quilting extravaganza. Soooo much space. Soooo fast. Needle down! Exquisite speed control. This machine and I are going to be very close.


Then within a week I scored this treasure off craigslist. I spent a couple hours cleaning and oiling it. The toddler and I investigated the treadling and...it works!


It was only $65 and I'm over the moon about it. It's a late model treadle, a Singer 15-88, and it's surprisingly similar to the Singer 401a (which, sadly, will be getting the boot in all this hubub). The tension assembly, the stitch length, the bobbin, the bobbin winder.... all so familiar to me.


It even has the manual and a little key for the drawers. Which the toddler has already figured out how to use. And if I ever decide I'm crazy enough to FMQ on it, there is even a way to drop the feed dogs.


I love the art deco styling of the faceplate. And that decorative Singer emblem.


The manual is full of delights. The sentence describing how to operate the treadle: "Continue the motion thus begun by an alternate pressure of heel and toe, until a regular and easy movement is acquired, and the balance wheel kept in continuous rotation by use of the feet alone."  Indeed!

I enjoyed discovering that some previous owner was also sewing with a little one about:


And this gem:


So I am in hog heaven and my silly idea of taking a sewing machine to Burning Man is coming true! My husband has already started to waver though. "Kind of a shame to take it out to the desert," he said. But I think it will be complete magic. Prior to me buying it, this machine was just sitting in someone's garage for 10 years. Far better to use and enjoy it and spread the love of sewing. More on that scheme soon.

15 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

Oh we are sewing twins! I have both a Juki AND an old Singer! Aren't we THE luckiest people around. And to think you have all the bobs and bits!! Lucky you!

Amber H. said...

Hahaha, I too have an extended arm Juki; however I got it used and it even came with a quilting frame for a song. I also have a vintage sewing machine; however mine is a Pfaff 130 I got from a yard sale. Sadly, it's not a treadle powered machine, but I LOVE IT! In addition, I've also got a Babylock Xscape that I did all of my primary sewing on. She came with a carrying case since she's a travel sized machine. AAAND I also own a Babylock Lauren serger.

I too feel like it's a bit excessive to have 4 machines; but they each have their own specific purpose. So I don't feel guilty.. that much. I guess the thing I can consider to sate my conscience is that I didn't pay full value for any of them; they were either bought used or on a sale!

Suzanne said...

I love seeing variations of my avatar all over your blog page today. As I see it, each machine serves a different purpose. So there is no redundancy at all. Your Craig's list score is fantastic. I hope you enjoy it!

Megan said...

You sound like my mom, LOL. My dad went to an estate sale and bought an old Brother on a sewing cabinet for $10 bucks, and when he got it home, found another machine IN the cabinet. So, 2 old machines (that work) and a cabinet for $10 bucks. Plus she has two treadles, and three Featherweights, plus a serger, embroidery machine, and her regular Kenmore machine...plus she gave me a Featherweight for my birthday! :)

The Vegetarian Hunter said...

But, isn't burning man the drunk and stoned party in the middle of the desert where people just run around naked and fornicate?? ha ha, I have obvioulsy never been, but this is what I gathered it to be from my friend whom has.
Great score on the machine - it is beautiful, they do not make them like that anymore.

Toyin O. said...

Those machines look great:)

Ayala Levinger said...

haha I know what you mean!!
I had 2 sewing machine and a few weeks ago saw this BEAUTIFUL old pfaff, black, all metal, very very heavy in a second-hand store and HAD TO HAVE IT. my boyfriend was very happy we had such a small car and I could take the other old singer with table... I promised the singer I will be back soon hahaha

Michelle said...

You don't need an intervention! I have over 30 machines! I hope you know how popular your Singer 401A is. I would definitely NOT give it the boot. If you don't believe me, check eBay for Singer 401A's.

I have TWO Juki's...and a Janome 6600, of my more modern machines....and I feel NO guilt!

There is no need to feel guilty about bringing home machines. We are SAVING them. They deserve love too!

SewHappyGeek said...

A wider than 16cm space sewing machine...ahhhhhhh. jealous now!

Jeane said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage sewing machines. I would love to have a used Juke and if I had known how good the older machines are, I would have never upgraded my Bernina. I have a featherweight, 1904 singer model 15 treadle, a singer clone model 15 called "Fabric", I love sewing on all of them and I FMQ on the treadle.

Sarah Craig said...

I also have a Juki and a treadle (my treadle is much older than yours, but works like a dream) plus a Featherweight, a lovely turn of the century Singer that was a very early portable machine, two other Singers, and a treadle! So don't feel bad! I absolutely love my Juki, and wish I could get a second one so I could leave one on the quilting frame and have the other one for piecing.....

anotheryarn said...

Your treadle is a beauty. I sort of see your husband's point (I've heard the dust is just awful on stuff).

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

S.M.A.D. Sewing Machine Acquisition Disorder. It is a disease that you seem to be coming down with. I have it BAD. I collected 3 treadles in 4 weeks. I'm not even sure how many machines I own (not including toy type machines). Congrats on the treadle and your disease.

DragonPoodle said...

Four machines is NOT excessive. It is just the beginning, mwahahahahah

I also urge you to reconsider your decision to ditch the 401. it's widely considered to be the best machine Singer ever made. and it will do all those decorative stitches.

I've been thinking about an extended arm machine for my quilting frame. thanks for the Juki recommendation

KatieQ said...

I'm jealous, you scored a fabulous machine for yourself. I never seem to find anything on our local Craig's list. I'll have to keep checking.

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