I am downsizing….sounds like something retired people do but I am no where near retirement! I do find it necessary to simplify my life and that includes getting rid of some things. Confession time: I do not even know how many sewing machines I own. I have a collection of old Singers including several Featherweights that I love. I have a couple Berninas, a Singer embroidery machine, several old Singer 128s, 201s, 15s, 301s, 99s, an 1870 something Singer New Family, a Singer 115 with the coolest gold angel wing decals, an assortment of toy sewing machines and a bazillion attachments and gadgets with the Singer name on them.
I didn’t grow up wanting to collect sewing machines, it just sort of happened. An outgrowth of quilting it seems. I have always loved old things and have a mechanical bent. When I bought my first 1955 Singer Model 99 at an estate sale, I lugged it home with a grin that would make you think I had won the lottery! She was beautiful and it was love at first sight. I cleaned, oiled, polished and read the manual cover to cover. She sewed like a charm, Much better than the Singer I bought at Sams Club in the early 90s. That was what started this obsession with old machines. It becomes an addiction! A happy one, a fun one, and at least it kept me out of…..well, you know. The concept that they were made to last and did last for 50-100 years and more with only the most basic attention is incredible.
I still love them. The machine I use most of all is a 1950 something Singer 201. It was the Cadillac of the Singer line back then. I paid all of $25 for it. She has some scars but will sew through anything and is never fussy about the threads I use…..my Bernina 155, not so much. I like Berninas, I have owned three but there is nothing like the old metal gear driven Singers.
But seriously, how many do I really need? A collection takes time to maintain and it is fun to do so but I want the space and time to make art. So I am back to what to keep and what to sell? Tough question.
To bring this back to quilting, here is a miniature quilt made from vintage fabrics and made on a vintage machine:
This one was made with vintage fabrics from the 30s-40s. It is machine pieced and quilted. Back to cleaning and sorting and selling. Hello e-Bay…….Until next time.