Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Herd

It seems I have fallen into a hole, just like Alice in Wonderland, and I'm wondering if I should seek a way out or just enjoy the stay. I have collected 4 treadle sewing machines and it looks like I will go get another later this week. Five treadles? Five cabinets? All but one are really hefty and take up quite a bit of room but, once again, hubby is more than tolerant as he encourages me and helps in sizing and installing the treadle belts.

It all started when I contacted a seller about a gold colored sewing machine. It was beautiful and sewed like a dream. Everyone loved it and I sold it in December-January as a portable plus a cabinet. A quilter wanted to take it back and forth from home to cabin in the off season but needed a cabinet for when they were going to stay up north. She got a good deal and a beautiful machine:

While I was asking about the gold machine the seller mentioned in a text that she also had a treadle. I said sure, a package deal, and I took them both home. A very nice Singer 66 Red Eye that only needed to have the belt shortened has graced the spot next to the front door, a bit crowded but still can fit. How much fun we had when three of the oldest grandchildren, aged 4-6, learned to sew simple bags either feeding the fabric while I treadled or doing the treadling while I watched the needle. Look, Grandma, I'm sewing!

Next a free treadle came my way with a Minnesota A sewing machine in a very ornate cabinet in excellent shape. How can you say no to free? Then I saw the head and it was in terrible cosmetic condition.

As a vibrating shuttle it worked great so I hated to delegate it to the junkyard but it was pretty pathetic. The search was on for another Minnesota A but, to be honest, they are all so old or maybe poorly painted or used, that almost all of the A's were in the same shape.

Of course, I found one! Not a Minnesota A but an S in a parlor cabinet. More research! It seems the Minnesota's, possibly they are Davis clones, have mounting holes/pins that are a different size from the Singers so only a Minnesota would fit in a Minnesota cabinet. Now I had 2 cabinets that I could only use very specific models. The A for traded for the S and one ornate cabinet has a beautiful S, all functioning and living across the room from the first treadle.

Parlor cabinet? The ugly old A went into it and it sits in the kitchen hallway waiting for a good condition A. In case you are wondering what a parlor cabinet looks like, it's all folded up in the picture on the left and open on the right with the treadle inside. My guess is this made a nice piece of furniture without seeing any of the mechanism. My cat, Meg, is wondering what's in there. No mice.

Found a good condition Minnesota A but refuse to pay over $100 so will have to be patient. While I'm being patient, another treadle falls into my lap from an estate sale, only $20 but a good head, a Singer 27 with Tiffany decals. Cabinet is pretty well trashed so think I'm going to do a bit of a switch around.

Just heard back from the person with the 5th treadle and she said her mother-in-law wanted it so it was off the market. I will have to keep waiting and searching for a new cabinet for the Singer 27. Love those Tiffany decals!

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