Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Falling in Love Again

This was not supposed to happen.  I am a treadle-onion, one who loves and uses antique and vintage sewing machines, mostly people-powered.  I see them, and my heart goes pitty pat.  I buy them and clean them and oil them and thread them and sew with them.
Like this one.  It even has my name on it!  I sent all the way to England for it.  What could be better than this?  Why would you need anything else?
Well, maybe a sweet little Willcox and Gibbs chainstitcher.

Or a nice old Minnesota A in a parlor cabinet.

I really thought I had everything in a sewing machine I could ever want--until I met my Pfaff.  (sound of harps and angels singing).

 Now, mind you, she does have her faults.  She's noisy.  Instead of the tickety, tickety sound of a treadle, there's a humming motor.  And she is absolutely not portable.  (For portability, a featherweight is best every time.)  As to appearances, she's strictly utilitarian.  No decals, no brass badge, no bent wood case.

She didn't seem to have much personality.  So I tried to think of her as just a tool, like a rotary cutter or a seam ripper.  I pieced on my favorite machines, and did the quilting with the Pfaff.
I wasn't supposed to fall in love with her.  But, like Marlene Dietrich, I cahn't help it.
Time after time, she quilts.  No drama, no problems, no temperament.  The built in walking foot combines with my pin basting and makes the quilting actually easy.
I am almost embarrassed to write this next part (and I should be!).  All along I have been following the instructions I got from the guy who sold me the Pfaff.  I clean and oil the rotary hook area after every other bobbin change.  I unplug the machine when I'm not using it so she won't have a power surge. BUT--last night was the first time I changed the needle since I bought the machine! (face plant)  I just didn't even think of it.  I have quilted LOTS of quilts with this same needle.  And this wonderful piece of German engineering just kept making beautiful stitches. 
So that seals it.  I'm in love.  And now of course I've got an earworm of Marlene Dietrich that just won't go away.
At least my cat is enjoying the Minnesota A.

In other news, I finished making the half log cabin blocks from 1.5 in. strips.  This is a stack of 120 of them.

And here's what's left in the drawer!  At least I can close it now.

I saw this in a shop window on Michigan Avenue in Chicago last week.  It was hard (okay, impossible) to get a good photo in the bright sunlight, but I'm sure you can see it's a Singer Redeye treadle.
Here's another photo, this time with the reflections of my grandson and me.

I hope you're enjoying good weather this week.  We certainly are! 
Make time for sewing.  It's worth it.