New Toy

Earlier this month, my oldest-youngest brother came to visit for a couple of days.  He was traveling to a blacksmith’s convention in Salt Lake City.  We were naturally a perfect stop along the way.  The older I get, the more I appreciate my siblings.  Sometimes, I really regret being so far away, but then I’ll get a nice visit, or be able to make a trip home, and it is all better.

My brother is an interesting and busy guy, kind of like me.  He travels for work, but also travels for fun.  He is the one of us who has the most wandering feet.  The travel for his job helps keep those feet happy, yet he has a house, and a big workshop, that he spends his free time in.  He’s been blacksmithing for close to 20 years, I think.  And his most recent hobby is working on old sewing machines.  Not sort-of old.  Old. Treadle machines, some early electric machines.  He knows more about sewing machines and how they work than I could ever catalog.  He buys them, fixes them up, and then either sells them or gifts them.  He always has a handful in various stages of rebuilding.  I got to see some of them at Christmas when I went home for my dad’s birthday.

Kenmore art deco sewing machineAnd this year, for my birthday, he gave me the one machine I had pretty much slobbered over.  It is an art-deco masterpiece.  And it runs like a dream. My mother brought it with her when she came in late May, and I set it up in the sewing room but because of all the shuffling around and the fact that that room was being used as someone’s bedroom, I didn’t have a chance to play with it until after my brother’s visit some 7 weeks later.  I am in love with this machine.  That is despite the fact that the threading pattern is crazy and not quite what I expected, and that putting a bobbin in takes some acrobatic hand maneuvering.

It sewed through the thickness of a flannel baby quilt with extreme batting, and didn’t skip a stitch.  It stitches so smoothly that the table barely vibrates.  It is set in a custom-made hard-wood table my brother built for it.  The table was built for his height (he is well over 6 foot tall) but works fine for me.  In his blacksmith shop, he hand-made the pedal assembly.  This thing is so much fun to sew on, that I’ve been looking for projects to work on!  Not that I don’t already have enough of them!

Spending time with my brother a few weeks ago was wonderful.  And I won’t be able to sit down at this machine without thinking about those wonderful two days.  I may be biased, but my brother is amazing. :)

The art shot…all shiny!

Kenmore art-deco sewing machineYou only get frontward and backward, but you can set the stitch length for each one separately.  Kind of a nifty trick!

Kenmore art-deco sewing machineTension adjustment. 

Kenmre art-deco sewing machineCrazy threading pattern.  Fortunately, my brother found instructions and included a copy of them with the little tin of tools and feet.

Kenmre art-deco sewing machine

The hand-made pedal assembly.

Kenmre art-deco sewing machine

The baby quilt pics…you can see how thick the fabric was, and it sewed it just fine! This baby quilt went to the new mom and dad  who lives across the street from us.  Emily and Matthew’s baby boy Grayson was born on July 7th.

Baby quilt stitchingBaby quilt stitching

Baby quilt stitchingIf you got this far…I’d love to hear about some wonderful gift you’ve received from a family member, or maybe you have a story about your sibling(s) you’d like to share.  Leave it in the comments!


2 Responses to “New Toy”

  1. jillybbear says on :

    My mother gave me her old Singer from the 50’s. I had used it a few times but the timing is out on it and it got packed away and a new machine bought. I would love for someone to fix it up and love it again. It even has it’s own cabinet that was bought by my father for it. If you think your brother would be interested – let me know.

  2. PamP says on :

    I am the lucky LUCKY LUCKY mom of Sue, Ken and Stan. Ken gave me a Singer featherweight machine for my birthday a couple of years ago. It is a 1940 model just like me! It weighs just 6 lbs making it perfect for my mobile lifestyle. Ken comes by his itchy feet genetically.