My Grandma's sewing machine ( thoughts and pics )

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by WriterofWords, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Since I decided to do one of the swaps under Hobbies, and I also wanted to try making shopping bags out of my dog food bags, I got out my Grandma's sewing machine. It's an early 1900's Singer, she was born in 1911 and received this machine as a gift when she was a girl. Later in life she had an electric light put on the back, one of those "Improve your machine!" specials Singer had to update and get your machine up with the times. I very seldom saw her use it, unless my Grandpa's uniforms needing mending quickly or something super heavy like a tarp needed fixing. It will sew through 3 layers of tarp like butter, I would know this because I repaired my shelter-halves with it! My mom used to use it, and taught me how but I don't remember so she'll be coming over tonight to help with it. I know we are going to sit around and talk about Grandma, because she was my mom's mom. The wife of a career Army officer who put over 30 years in, this machine has been in more countries than most humans will ever visit. On a trip to Panama it was dropped over the side of the ship as it was being unloaded in a large cargo box. The box also had their car in it which is the only reason it was salvaged! They went after the box to get the car back, it was 1938. It was accidently sold in a yard sale at Ft. Hood in the 1940's and my Grandma made my Grandpa go get it back for her because her Grandma gave it to her. In 1941 at Ft. Bliss TX it mended General I.P. (Innis Palmer) Swift's uniform before they shipped to the Admiralty Islands because he caught his cuff on the door of the Officer's Club and my grandparents lived just a few doors down and Mrs. Swift ran down to their house to get my Grandma's help. I have so many stories that go with this machine, every time I use it I get so caught up in it's history I don't get much done for awhile.

  2. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    My mother-in-law quilts, and she has all of the new flashy machines... but uses the old singers that they have found at yard sales.
    I think your quilt will be wonderful.
    I am reading all of these quilt threads, and I am getting my nerve up. Please post what you make so I'll have noobie inspiration!
  3. chickennurse

    chickennurse Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2010
    I enjoyed your story. I sew, have a few sewing machines including a computerized embroidery but think your machine is the Bomb! Hang on to it and pass it down with a journal of the stories. You should be very proud and the fact it still works is amazing.
  4. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    When I finally can, there is a machine I want that is only about 150, it does fancy stuff that is hard or impossible to do on this one. I love this one and it's always gone with me whenever I've moved and then come back home. I took it in to be cleaned several years ago and the shop owner made me an offer so good it was hard to say no, but it would be like selling my soul.
  5. blessedchickenmama7

    blessedchickenmama7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2008
    Western NC
    OOOHHHH!!! It's beautiful! My grandmother had one almost like it. My aunt has it now and I am coveting it.

    The history behind yours is amazing. What great memories.
  6. key west chick

    key west chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Holy cow Kate, thats awesome, and I can't even sew on a button!
  7. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Older Singers are workhorses and you should hang onto it as long as you can! I have one from the 1950s that I bought used at a sew-n-vac shop when I was 17 (saved up my own money for it and everything.) I'm saving it to teach my girls to sew on. You can't mess up on it, it's very simple and straight-forward. I have another expensive machine that does everything but wash dishes, but I will never part with my old Singer!!!
  8. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    That is an awesome machine! I drool over the ones I see in shops now.
    I have an Elna from the 50's that is like new that belonged to my grandmother and an old treadle I don't know how to use.

    I would love to see what you make with your grandmother's machine.
  9. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    That machine brings back painful memories for me. My grandma had one, and every single time I touched it...I got a whoopin from her...LOL! She did finally let me at it when I was about 13 or so. She taught me how to sew a little and we started a quilt together on that machine. We made a few quilts that year when I was over at her house I helped. It was fun. I wish I had been working on my Christmas present, but she wound up giving all those quilts to my cousins for Christmas....hehe, but I got the memories. Very beautiful machine, I wouldn't part with it...EVER!
  10. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    My grandmother had one similar to that, only hers was mounted in the sewing desk and had a treadle. We got into more trouble for sneaking into the room with her sewing machine and pumping the treadle up & down... stoopid kids... we forgot about the fact that sound travels... [​IMG]

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