Monday, June 8, 2015

Grandma Marnene's Sewing machine

I recently had the pleasure of receiving my husband's grandma's sewing machine. It's one of only two heirlooms of hers that we have.

The sewing machine itself was in pretty bad shape really. It had spent time in garages and even had a lengthy stint outside. Seriously. Outside. It totally needed help. 

Step one was finding out if it actually worked and yes it did. It also smelled like smoke whenever it was fired up (pun intended). 

Fortunately for us, old sewing machines have motors on the outside. Right?  Like a boat. And even more fortunate was that vintage Singer sewing machine enthusiasts, you know who you are, like adding motors to old treadle sewing machines so that they don't have to be run manually. So a really short time spent on eBay led to the perfect and reasonably priced motor

After that, a phone call to a retiree who's wife insists he repair sewing machines instead of staying home all day came by and fixed all the parts that were having trouble. 

See how cute:

The sewing machine is specifically a Bel Air 990 from occupied Japan. A lot of its parts and features are just like the ones used for Singer sewing machines which is fantastic!

It also is an embroidery sewing machine so it has a lot of different stitches. 

My first project on it was a dress - I'll write a post on that experience some day. 

My second project though was a modern hexagon quilt. I'll also eventually do a post on the process of English paper peicing but I digress.  Quilting with the machine led to a very funny, although at first really annoying, hiccup of sorts. 

Actually, hiccup is the perfect word for it. The machine would see along just fine, hiccup, and I'd end up with about an inch of zig zag stitches before it went back to normal. 

See irritating for a perfectionist but after some grrrrrr moments I realized, What the heck? It's one of a kind now. 

Oh and here's the finished quilt:

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