As I haven’t quite got to the making stage of my next challenge piece, I thought I’d write about a recent acquisition.

I have a STABLE (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) that doesn’t appear to be decreasing in size. I have had a few months of tightening my belt, so fabric acquisition has not been as frequent as previously. I have indulged a little in buying some fabric – as there were some major deals to be had in the Doughty’s Boxing Day Sale, which will be used mainly for Quilts 4 Care Leavers and Project Linus.

I have made a conscious decision this year that I will not indulge so much in fabric and other crafts – I will endeavour to use more than I buy, and so actually bring some order to my rather chaotic sewing and craft rooms. Having called them chaotic, I do know where to look for items – I know where they are…most of the time. Sometimes I look for things in the previous place I put them, and then realise that I moved them to a more sensible / easily remembered place, that I sometimes manage to locate quite quickly. Now I come to think of it…I had trouble finding some plastic templates I use for embroidery in November, and I thought about relocating them somewhere more sensible…did I relocate them, or did I keep them in the place I found them, as that would be the place that I remembered finding them??

Anyway, as I have decided not to expend so much on fabric (and on other items), I found myself in a little bit of a quandry the other day. It was the day of my quilting group, and I looked on Facebook and something caught my eye in the Marketplace section. It was a sewing machine in a cabinet, and the price looked perfect. I did consult my husband about it, and when I asked where we would put it, he replied with “Does it matter?” – which was the perfect answer in my mind, and so I sent the vendor a message, asking if was still available – as it had been in the Marketplace for the past week.

What goodies hide inside?

The description said that it was in reasonable condition, and it is a treadle machine – a Singer. I had a message whilst at the quilting group, saying that it was still available. There were a few more exchanges, and I discovered that the vendor was just along the road from me. I took my husband and his car along a little later in the day, and we collected the sewing machine in its cabinet. In my excitement about the machine, the cabinet and the chance to own such a machine, I forgot to ask anything about it. I have the belt which needs some adjustment, and reattaching, and then I’m good to go. It has come with the instruction manual, and the attachments box too. The top of the cabinet needs to be reattached (the screws are with the machine), and it is showing signs of use, but the possibilities…

The treadle with a mat on top

I know that quite a few quilters have a penchant for old machines, and have quite a collection of them. I didn’t think that I would end up joining this crowd, but it seems I may have taken my first steps…and possibly just in time. I notice on Facebook that Western Power is looking to put our electricity lines underground and that the work should be completed by 9th April this year; I’ll have to get the treadle machine working by that time, so that my sewing is not curtailed during the time that the power is off…l wrote a blog last year about my experience of the power being off – and knowing about it!

The tool box – with some feet that I don’t have for my modern machine!
The cabinet is showing some wear and tear, but it shows the machine was used
Some friends knew about the machine, so I had to send them a photo of us together…
It even came with the instruction manual
Advice for where to oil – something that isn’t mentioned in my modern machine manual.


I was particularly interested in the manual, having seen so many posts about the advice to women about how to prepare themselves for sewing. I didn’t happen to see that advice in the manual…perhaps that was in later manuals!

If anyone has any hints or tips for me with my new toy – I’d be most interested – for example, do I need any particular needles or can I use those I have already? What are the pitfalls – the things to watch out for?



  1. Maggie Attfield

    Oh the memories came flooding back! I learned to sew on one of these, so when I went to secondary school and was confronted by a hand wheel Singer, it was a real step down from hands free!
    I remember Mum changing the leather belt. It lived in an alcove by the hearth, so it was always available if you just lifted off the cover. She would only ever use 40 thread, but ours was a Jones. You can get a fair old speed going and it is a most satisfying noise!