Monday, 23 March 2015

Antique sewing love!

Hello all, about time I touched base and told you what I've been up to!  Firstly I am studying like crazy trying to finish my course.  With only a few units to go, this has been my main priority.  I am really REALLY (I can't emphasise that word enough lol) looking forward to graduating this year with a nice little Certificate IV in Bookkeeping in my hand!

On the sewing front... ohhhh I've been having fun.  Three words.... Vintage. Sewing. Machines.  Yep, after a lovely weekend day trip to Yarragon I found this little beauty in an antique shop.

Instantly I fell in love and my collection began.  Of course, this also started a research quest for information on these machines.  She's a Singer 15-90 or 15-91 made in 1938.  She's a little worn in places, and I must say I was a little scared to use her as the wiring didn't look too safe, but after my handy DH replaced the wiring I'm pleased to say she sews like a dream.  This machine operates with a knee lever instead of a foot pedal.  The case is in bad shape but if nothing else she is fun to play with.  Perhaps down the track we will find another in better condition and then this one can be used for parts.

In a weird twist of fate, as we were looking at this machine in the antique shop, one of its other customers approached me and told me she had a vintage treadle she was interested in selling privately.  Ohhhh my!  So the very next day we drove for about 30 mins and picked up this lovely.

She's a Singer treadle Class 31K made in 1921 in Scotland.  Unfortunately she's not in the best condition but with a new veneer top and a new leather belt she will be in working order.

Then... yes there is more... whilst picking up the treadle we discovered the Tyabb Packing House.... ohhhhh if you are into antiques and things of the past, you simply must visit this place!  It is enormous.  Now there are some beautiful things here and they aren't cheap, so don't expect a bargain, but its well worth taking a look.  The key is to know what you are looking for and how much its worth.  The dealers are often willing to negotiate on price.  There is also a beautiful cafe on site if you need to take a break (trust me, you'll need it!).  A few weeks later we came home with this little lady from the 1950's.

Sadly she didn't come with a foot so we will be on the lookout for another of these for parts.  However, she was pretty inexpensive so we decided to snap her up and home with us she came :)

I love the thought of these machines coming to live with me.  I wonder about their history, the many clothes and quilts that have been made on them, the stories their original owners had to tell.  They even smell old!  You just can't buy sewing machines like these anymore.  All metal, heavy, sturdy and hard working, passed down through the generations... real work horses.  Many just need a replacement part or two, some oil and a bit of a clean.  Some of them only do a straight stitch but thats fine with me!  They are great for piecing.   I'm looking forward to learning more about them, and hopefully restoring them to working order.  And there is a great deal of info available on the internet, you can even download the old manuals.  In the US, there is a growing number of quilters acquiring these beautiful machines.  I hope it takes off in Australia too.

Another wonderful thing happened recently.... I finally, after a couple of years, found my CD for EQ7!  Hooray!  I have been hunting high and low for it, and after two house moves in the past few years I really had no idea where it was.  But I came across it accidentally whist looking for something else (always the way).   If you don't know what EQ7 is, its quilt design software.  You can literally spend hours just playing with, and designing your own quilt blocks.  And, as I recently discovered, downloading actual fabric collections to add to your palette! So much fun!!!

I have so much more to share with you, but don't want to make the post too long.  But next time I will share with you our last guild meeting with guest speaker Michelle Yeo, progress on my Vintage Happy quilt, and my new project with reproduction fabrics.

Until next time,

Yours in stitches

Leanne x

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