Sunday, April 23, 2017

Annual Outing

This was the weekend of the Textile Center Garage Sale and if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know this is one of the highlights of my sewing year. I volunteered on Thursday  and this year I signed up to help sort books. Since I'm a librarian I figured I could handle the job but when I got there it seemed most of the work was already done. There were far more books than any other year, covering about 40 feet in length and five shelves tall. Once the last of the boxes of books were opened we went on to boxes of booklet types, the kind where in several pages they show you how to applique cats onto sweatshirts and other gems. Someone had donated boxes and boxes of plastic sleeves that held their collection of patterns gleaned from various magazines. They were in good shape, organized, and had been stored in three ring binders but there were hundreds of them. The woman who was sorting them with me said she was going home to look at her collection of patterns and try to assess how many she could realistically use over the next years and then dump the rest. I heartily agreed because I don't want my children to have to wade through all of my "collection" like we had just done.

Saturday dawned bright, clear, and warm so my daughter Kelly and I got ourselves together for this annual feast of fabric, yarn, and so much more. I'm not sure if it was sorting through all of those plastic sleeves two days before or if the closeout of Hancock Fabrics had everyone full, but there was quite a bit less fabric than usual but much more yarn. Patterns and magazines were okay but we both struggled to find ten or twenty (they are 10 for $1). Here was my modest haul:
More dots, book print, and swimsuit fabric
There were some accessory types of items:
Patterns, yarn in a bag (only wanted the cotton), woolly nylon serger thread
and even a slant shank walking foot:
Low shank slant needle walking foot: doesn't fit Singer 401's
On our way back to the car they had several bins of free fabric but you had to look pretty hard. There were some nice scraps of a denim with Lycra that I thought I could make leggings for my granddaughter. We kept digging and digging until we had a whole bag full! Here's my free stuff:
Denim, muslin, gold coated fabric
Who knows where these projects might end up? Once we got back to the car and determined we would have to wait another hour for the bag sale, we looked at each other and said "Let's go home and do yard work!" And we did.

It was a beautiful day, we had several hours together, we each knew how overstocked we already were with fabric and yarn we might not use so could walk away this time. It could have been a combination of things that kept us from returning but a sign of health when we recognized we didn't need to keep buying but now needed to get sewing. Or knitting. Or repairing sewing machines.

Sewing Machines! I almost forgot to tell you the big change in their sewing machine sales this year at the TCGS. In the past they had a silent auction for all kinds of bigger items from looms to sewing machines but this year everything was priced to sell. Prices were pretty low and a wide variety of machines, all with notes about condition. I could not resist a New Home XL-II with a note "needs work" because I had one of these that was such a gem and wrote about in A New Home for a New Home . I had the repair manual and if it needed a new feed dog gear I was ready! Here's the best part: it was only $5. I brought it home and found out the handwheel wasn't moving so I took out the needle, no movement, the bobbin case, no movement, the hook and its parts, and that's when my husband said from across the room "Look at all of the thread in there." Sure enough, thread was clogging up the works and when it was cleaned out the handwheel moved just fine. I plugged it in and away she ran.
Second time around: another New Home XL-II
More cleaning and oiling, taking the bottom off to clean and oil, there was nothing wrong with this machine! It has wonderful storage for the presser feet but this one did not come with any extras and that's too bad. My other sets of snap on feet don't fit in the top storage compartment and I would love for this machine to have a nice set like my previous one did:

Previous New Home XL-II with a full set of snap-on feet
A very complete set that I'm now coveting. I would also like an instruction manual but don't think that's going to be free but maybe I could spring for a new one since I got the machine at such a deal.

Moral of the story: you never know what is going to show up at these sales. It's garage sale season, folks, so do not despair because there's a vintage sewing machine out there with your name on it. You just need to find it. It's a quest. I know you can do it. Please report back to headquarters when you are successful. Signing off, it's your Sewing Machine Mavin.


Jonathan said...

Those walking foots are excellent. I've used one on a straight shank sewing machine. Loved it.

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.