Sunday, January 10, 2016


Saturday dawned a cold day outside but it was a warm welcome that I got from the quilting group up in Cambridge at the First Baptist Church. Back in September I did a bit of show and tell at the first meeting of the  new year, talking about how great vintage sewing machines could be. A few of them were already believers but after my talk I sold several to members of their group and made some new friends. It was fun to go back and this time show them how they could clean their sewing machines inside and out. I loved to see what they were working on but especially all of those sewing machines! Of course, they were portable and mostly "white plastic" but they really had some very nice ones and I was only too glad to admire them:
I spy the Singer 99's bentwood case on the far right: yup, she bought it from me after my last visit!
They had already been working an hour when their leader, Gale, gathered them together around my small set-up of two sewing machines, a Signature from the 1970's and a Brother from the 1990's. The various parts were labeled and I talked about what could be cleaned on the outside and what could be cleaned and oiled on the inside. The top would come off the Signature sewing machine to look inside and oil, but the Brother was all sealed up, as most of their sewing machines were, too. We talked about what could be done in the bobbin area with a brush and a drop of oil in the right spot. They were invited to bring up their own machines and any questions and I had two nice women who showed me their sewing machines and wondered if they could be put to right again.

Here's the first woman with a very nice Pfaff that she said was not working as good as it used to so with a few screws removed under the handle this is what we found:
What is that stuff?
She was speechless. I wasn't sure what all of the junk was but it seemed like some kind of linty stuff so we got cleaning with sewing machine oil on cotton swabs. In the meantime, there was another woman with a Viking 150, I believe, that she bought at a thrift shop that she wanted to get working. It did work but seemed way too sluggish to her so we just took a good look at it:
The top did not come off but we found the bobbin area could be taken apart and, boy, was there a whole bunch of lint in there! While she worked away with cotton swabs and tweezers, I went back to the first sewing machine where it was now looking pretty good. While they worked on cleaning up their own sewing machines I walked around the room and talked with everyone and answered questions that I could but most women just wanted to know that their sewing machine was okay. Of course, they were fine and with their new bottles of Triflow sewing machine oil they hope to keep them running good. I bought a dozen bottles of Triflow as part of the class I hoped to teach but with no students I brought them along for the quilt group and sold all but two!

Back to the Pfaff that had so much lint, it was now cleaned up inside but as we were getting ready to place a few drops of oil in select spots I found a thread stuck in the take-up lever. Try as we might, it was going to need needle nose pliers at home to get it all out. The ouside was finally cleaned with TR3 Resin Glaze and now she was going home with her sewing machine looking and acting like new again. All of the lint cleaned out and a few drops of oil made all the difference so wait until that stuck thread was removed!

The Viking was now much, much cleaner and when put back together and tried out: success! It ran great, full of pep that it didn't have before. This sewing machine is going to be used by an exchange student who has shown an interest in sewing and now it will be a great machine to learn on. I think we all went home pretty happy with our conversations about sewing and the machines we use to accomplish it.

Back home again and working on my own sewing projects, but first I better order another dozen bottles of Triflow oil so I'm ready for the next time.

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