Monthly Archives: January 2018

Singer 237 update

The type of post that only a sewing machine “collector” could love! I think the motor could stand to be cleaned and checked. It’s a bit noisy. But here is my test run:

The red is the top thread with white or maroon as the bobbin thread. The tension is right on, even doing a satin stitch. The FMQ goes faster that I’d like, but I’ll work on that using a treadle. I don’t have a case for this machine but I think it just earned the cabinet. I’ll use the 66 in one of the existing treadles for now, until I find a permanent one to use.

More machines

I made one more trip. I picked up a Minnesota K, plus treadle. The treadle base needs work and it’s missing the drawers. The head needs to be put back together. I picked it up so that I could make a treadle base to use with one of these other machines. I could use it for the Singer 66 and my new to me Singer 237.

So let’s talk about the Singer 237 Fashion Mate. I had a list of machines that she was selling so I started researching them. I would never have considered this machine. It’s too modern and reminds me of when my grandmother was buying newer Singers. But, there were posts on the internet that spoke highly about the machine. It has a plastic piece on the top and front, but the parts are metal. It does straight stitch and zigzag. The instruction booklet for it actually mentions the model sold on a treadle base. So I picked it up.

I needed to put some pieces back together. It seemed to turn okay by hand so I powered it up. It seemed to run okay but I couldn’t get it to zig zag at the widest stitch. I checked and found that the needle had fallen down and wedged against the bobbin case. Moved that and every thing works fine. I still want to go through it and will try sewing on it this weekend. It could be a nice FMQ machine. You can lower the feed dogs and it will use the same darning foot that I have been using on the treadles. I still think it will work better as a treadled machine, so will try that and also try the Singer 99 for FMQ. This machine will be a keeper.

I picked up what I think is a White VSiii. Someone put a hand crank on it. It does not have a shuttle or bobbin, which I understand are hard to find. I think I will likely find a new home for this one.

And the last one was a gimme as I was leaving. Unfortunately, I think this one needs to go to the crusher. It’s a very heavy Morse straight stitch. Her daughter accidentally dropped it and broke off the bobbin winder. That’s not a big problem. What we didn’t notice is that it bent the needle bar badly. And the machine is locked up, which means there could be even more damage. It’s one of the heaviest things I’ve ever seen. I might offer it up as a free parts machine but I just don’t want to mess with it.

So that’s the latest and hopefully last update on new machines for awhile. I want to mess around with the Necchi some more too. I’ve ordered some scrap fabric. It sounds bizarre but I really don’t have any scrap to use for quilting. I have a couple of new quilting books. And I have an idea for a project. I’m starting to learn FMQ and have been making pot holders out of my practice pieces. The problem is finding time to work on this. We have our annual Library Messabout at the Portland library tomorrow. One of the members will talk about sailing his wooden sailboat to Hawaii. Everyone gets together and looks over old boating books from their closed stacks. It’s usually a nice time and I can look through the library for books to take home.

Also, more progress on fixing up the house. We had a friend finish repainting the main bathroom. He did a walkway in the back yard out to the shed and finished up some of the painting out front. He isn’t working right now, so we want to hire him to help us finish this place up. I will have to find a way to move everything out of this room so that we can paint it, which will be a major deal. I might take a day off for it. I have a seed order in. I don’t want to plant much but would like a few tomato plants. I can always hope that I’ll have a real garden. I did manage to make it to the staff meeting this week. My O2 levels have been great. It still wears me out and it takes a couple of days for me to recover. I still feel better than I have in years.

I forgot an important piece of news. I signed up for the Ray Elkins sewing machine repair workshop in July. I am really looking forward to it. The problem will be finding a machine to work on in the class. If the Necchi still needs work, I could take it. I suspect another machine will turn up before the class.

More tapping into the universe

See? I start getting more sewing machines and become down right chatty. So, a local woman cropped up on Facebook, in one of the sewing machine groups I’m on. She has to move to a smaller place and needed to get rid of roughly 22 machines in a short time frame. She’s been collecting these for awhile, so this is like her C list of machines. My Saturday was spent driving into Portland to pick up a nice Victoria treadle for a woman in Boise. She’ll be out to get this, when the weather warms up a bit.

It’s nice to have a treadle that is just visiting, but I did have to rearrange things to have space for it. Then I went to the other location. This happened before payday, so I had limited funds for this. I picked up a National Two Spool. There’s no cannister, so I may never get it running. But maybe I’ll get lucky someday.

I actually passed on a treadle. She had a Franklin in decent shape. I’d gone out there to get it, but it just looked so much like my Free. I wound up with this instead.

It’s a Singer 66 in a Chippendale cabinet. I did pick up a motor for the Singer. But it just seemed like it would be a good machine to treadle. Looks like I was right. (I made a short video of the Singer being treadle, but Word Press won’t embed it into the post. It runs nicely and I can use the bobbin winder!)

I don’t make a very good collector. I am just drawn to certain machines and they aren’t always the collectible ones. (Which is why the Victoria is very safe with me.) It just seemed like this 66 had been a well used machine. I really love the cabinet and looks like my Nechhi will fit right in. (Yes, I tried this today. Those machines are heavy!) The woman told me that when she started out, she was just trying to save everything and wound up with a lot that she should have passed by. Someone did get the Franklin and I hope they enjoy it. I plan to make one more trip out as I might pick up a couple more machines while I have the opportunity. And I need parts.

Tapping into the universe

I have been thinking about the nice batch of sewing machines I have. Right now, I’m not seeing anything that interests me. But, when I was considering buying a Necchi, two popped up. I would have liked the BU, but am happy with the Supernova. The camstaft was frozen, so I have been working on unsticking it. A bit of heat seems to be doing the trick. When I wanted a Davis, one showed up at a nice price. It really seems to work out. Now it’s true that I hadn’t been looking for machines for a long time. And maybe there were some great Necchis when I wasn’t looking for one. I like the way it has worked out. I will need to play around with free motion quilting a bit more this weekend. Need to pick up the front yard first.

And that is another thing, I’m tired of living in the suburbs. It’s a comfortable house and it’s easy to get to the stores. I am so tired of having to deal with the neighbor’s dogs when I let mine out, or the neighbor that thinks our front yards should look like a golf course. I am not interested in that. I am interested in growing food, which I can’t do here because we don’t have a place that gets good sun. It’s a new year. Maybe there are changes on the horizon.

And a happy 2018 to you!

We had a nice Christmas. Quinn and Abby came by for a visit. Lon will be a grandfather in July! We are both happy for them. We opened presents while they were here. Lon had already given mine to me. It’s a suede purse, with Free Motion Quilt work by Tim Latimer.

Tim is known in the quilting world for his hand quilting and work with treadles. The purse is nicely made and looks even better in person. I managed to get the Davis sewing, which took some time to sort out. I haven’t had a chance to use it much. I will probably work with it this weekend. I have a FMQ piece that I am playing around with. Would like to try using the Davis for the binding. Since I had a spell of the sewing machine itch, I have still been reading the ads. I decided I wanted a Necchi. They are well liked and I’ve never sewn on one. I found a Necchi BU that I wanted but the seller flaked out on me. Then a Supernova came up and I jumped on that one.

I was able to get it to stitch, after some work and help. I have a set of cams for it, but the camstack seems frozen. That’s going to require a bit more work. I really don’t care about having the cams, but do think that part of the machine should work. I like having the high and low speed switch. I think this will be a keeper, once I get it all sorted out.

When I picked it up, I also picked up this:

I have no idea what I am going to do with this. It needs a shuttle and I don’t have a treadle base for it. I will probably try to find a better home for it. It moves smoothly and I think it would sew just fine.

And, this weekend, I was given a Singer treadle base. I don’t have anything to fit in it right now, but it’s a nice base. I will not let it be turned into a table.

I did a little practice Free Motion Quilting this weekend. I used my Singer VS2. It went pretty well. I think I have an issue with that shuttle and that’s when I had to stop. It was going pretty well before I stopped. I will try and do some of this every weekend.

And finally, I think we are both finally getting over this cold that has dragged on for weeks. My voice still sounds pretty rough, but I’m not coughing like I was and my O2 levels are good. So nice to be able to sleep on my side again.