Saturday, April 15, 2017

More Vintage Sewing Machines

Oh yeah, I am a vintage sewing machine junkie for sure!  Last week, I bought three more of the old beauties - I just couldn't help myself!  The difference this time is that these three are actually in nice working order and not from someone's junk pile.  While I do love doing rescues, once in a very great while I have to get one (or, in this case, three!) that's already cleaned up and working.  A very nice gentleman had a bunch of beautiful old machines he was selling.  He said that after his wife passed away a few years ago, he has gradually lost interest in the old machines.  I do understand that when you lose your life partner, many things just don't mean the same.

Well, anyway, he had lots of machines, but I just don't have room for treadles, so had to walk by those.  But, he just happened to have some very nice table models that caught my eye.  Most of his machines were "special."  In other words, not your everyday Singers and Whites, but not ones you see very often.  Since he was cleaning out, his prices were way below reasonable, so I had to get three...haha ;)

Even though all were in great condition, I still had to spend some time this afternoon polishing, oiling, and just plain fondling the old girls.  Oops, I hope that doesn't sound too perverted...haha.  Those of you who have been bitten by the Vintage Sewing Machine bug know what I mean!  I haven't sewn on these machines yet, but all three are in great working condition.

One is a Davis Vertical Feed with a hand crank.  This one was made some time between 1860 and 1870.  I haven't been able to track down a closer date, but hope to find it one day.  She doesn't have feed dogs, but has a foot much like a modern walking foot.  As you sew, the food actually moves front to back to feed the fabric through.  It's more than fun to watch!  This one has a coffin top lid.

This one was manufactured by Hengstenbeg in Germany.  She's called a "Housewife's Delight" and was made around 1895.  She has a beautiful Mother-of-Pearl inlay in the bed.  I had not seen that before.  This one also has a coffin top lid.

The last one is a Willcox & Gibbs, Model 64.  The closest I can get to a manufacture year is 1912.  What a unique machine this is!  It runs so smoothly and is super fast!  It's hard to believe this is the newest of the three.  It's amazing how heavy it is too.  It has a huge foot pedal.

Here's a video of the machine running.  Better keep your fingers out of the way on this one!

I guess the nice man I got these from saw that I was completely hooked because before I left, he GAVE me an absolutely gorgeous 1919 Singer 66.  That worked out perfectly for me, because I wanted to switch out a 1901 Singer 27 I had that was in very poor condition with a machine in better shape.  Well, I put the Singer 66 into the nice cabinet in place of the 27.  It was perfect!

What a great end to a week!  Oh, I also took three quilts in for a quilt show coming up next weekend.  I will have another story and pictures next week about that show.  Stay tuned......

Monday, April 3, 2017

Piecing Today - Queen Sized Quilt Top

I finally got some time to go to my "Outhouse" to start piecing a queen sized quilt top I've had fabric for sitting around for a long time.  I got out my Singer 301A to work on this project.  I love these little machines for straight stitching.  In my opinion, they out stitch any of the others I've used.  Don't get me wrong, I love all my vintage machines (Singer 221, 401A, 404, & 27), but the 301As overall perform the best for me.

Chain stitching the Half-Square Triangle Squares.

I never get tired of my view over the machine.  We had a beautiful day.

The center lines have all been scant 1/4" stitched and cut to form 2 piles of 50 HST squares each.  The left pile I will press the seams towards the darker fabric, the right pile I will press the seams towards the lighter fabric.  Why press the seams in different directions for half of the HST squares?  Once I begin stitching the squares together into rows, the seams will "nest" together because of the way each square is turned.

All 100 HST squares have the seams pressed in the appropriate directions.

Now, each HST square needs to be trimmed to 8 1/2" squares.

Here I start laying out all of the HST squares into their proper formation.  This is the start of the center of the quilt top.

Stitching the HST squares together into rows.  

I'm loving my new 1/4" foot I got from Nova's Featherweights & Quilting.  Not only does it work great on my 301s, but it will also fit the 221s.  It's just right for stitching a perfect 1/4" seam!

That's it for today.  I will post more progress in days to come.