Sunday, June 14, 2015

NC TOGA day five

Saturday is the last day of the TOGA.  The minute I walked in the door Carolyn came up to tell me that she woke up thinking about the little Fleetwood.  So that went home with her and I ended up selling all of the machines that I had brought.

We also exchange quilt blocks made on our people powered machines (treadles and hand cranks).  Ginger and family sorted them out.  I have her permission to show this photo of her daughter.  I mention this EVERY TIME because we all need to be careful about posting photos of children and young persons on the web.

My formerly imaginary friend Elizabeth stopped at IKEA on her way to the TOGA and picked up lights for her quilting friends.  She found one for me that is a near perfect match for Shield Maiden.

I really needed a light for this machine too. It lives in the antique sewing machine museum, AKA the living room and the ott lights just don't fit in with the decor.  This is the machine that sewed all my exchange blocks this year, btw.

We finish up around noonish with a raffle.  There were many wonderful things that I did not win, but I did take home two Singer slant shank buttonholers, one Jetson pink and one of the later ones with 20 templates.

And I won a Singer 99.  Because I need more sewing machines, right?

Great TOGA and I am already looking forward to next year.

Friday, June 12, 2015

NC TOGA day four

Lovely drive to the TOGA through the wheat and corn fields of North Carolina.  Reminds me of home back in Ohio and not the crops that first spring to mind when you think of NC.  Tobacco is not gone, but it is no longer massively subsidized by the federal government.

Today is a big day.  Many people just come for today and tomorrow, some just for today.  Lots of sewing, chatting, buying and selling.

I sold all of the machines that I brought except for the little Fleetwood.  My price on that one is set at "this is what it would take to pry it out of my hands".  I would not have been surprised if it had sold and am equally unsurprised that it did not sell.  I'll be glad to take it back home with me.

And I bought two machines from Melissa.  Quite a deal, actually.  I gave her 4 vintage sewing books and $8.  She gave me a Singer 66 in rough shape and a potentially pretty mint green 15 clone.  It's deals like this that keep my house overflowing with sewing machines.  Both will be converted to hand cranks and the 66 will be extravagantly painted and decaled--- my current obsession.

Vicki bought two machines from me to go with her collection of Singer 15s.  A 15-125 and a very old 15-20 something.

Sherry bought a 301.  And I have arranged with Ann to sell her another 301 I have in a cabinet the next time she drives by my little town.

I bought a rose embossed case from Nanette for my Kenmore 1040 to replace its slightly broken case.  

The church sanctuary was draped in quilts as usual, all at least partially made on a hand crank or treadle.

Went out to dinner with the gang and I took a photo but never got the chance to ask if it was OK with everyone to show their pictures.  So I'm not.

This last photo is for my friend Pam in Texas who sent me a vintage pincushion that her grandmother had made that is exactly like this.  Very beautiful.

Tomorrow is the last day of the TOGA.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

NC TOGA day three

This morning was the usual trip to Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia.  I was there two weeks ago with SIL Patty, Queen of the Enablers.  I've lost count of how many sewing machines she has found for me---4---5---6?  So anyhow I slept in and made it to Mary Jo's just in time to go out to lunch with the gang.

After lunch was the usual trip to Long Creek Mills.  I missed this at the two previous TOGAs I attended but today I finally made it.  They are a wholesale (I think) thread distributor.  

People who have seen my studio will laugh heartily to learn that I bought a bunch of thread.  But they won't be surprised.  I love thread.  I have 12 of those wooden thread racks mounted on one wall.  Nine for regular sewing thread and three for poly embroidery thread.  another four for serger thread over the door.  The rest of the thread (special construction thread, non-poly embroidery) is in four drawers of a sewing machine cabinet.  It's all about having what I need when I need it without having to go to the store.

And yes, I HAVE been promising various people pictures of my studio for years.  Someday.  Really.  

I bought giant industrial size cones of stuff I use all the time and small spools of metallic and variegated pretties on sale.  The bright gold in the foreground is my go to color for machine quilting.  Somehow almost every quilt I make NEEDS to be quilted in bright gold.

I also bought two giant rolls of interfacing/stabilizer, thick and heavy duty.  $5 each, how could I not?  Probably should have bought more.  Di and Susan kindly toted them out to my van in the broiling NC sun.  Di says this weight is perfect for placemats, which my spell checker initially tried to persuade me should read "placenta".  I will use them for the purse project that has been simmering in the back of my mind for at least a decade.  Could get dozens of purses from all this.  Or it will sit in my studio for another decade.  It won't spoil.

The car keys on top give you an idea of size.

In the bad news department, four, count them FOUR, people that I was really looking forward to spending time with either can't make it at all this year or will only be here on Friday.  But there will always be another TOGA next year and three of them I will get to see in NonTOGA locations.

BTW, does anybody else have problems charging electronic devices in hotel rooms?  They are VERY slow to charge and quick to lose the charge.   Is Monroe in some kind of electromagnetic vortex?  Happens every time I come here.

I did discover several years ago why hotel room coffeemakers make such dreadful coffee.  It isn't necessarily the coffe itself because I brought my own coffee and it was just as bad.  They just don't get hot enough.  Is this related to the device-charging problem?

Now I bring a filter basket that sits on top of a cup--my own ceramic cup--and heat the water in the microwave.

Because coffee really, really matters.  Even more than thread.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NC TOGA day two

'Hey, my iPad keyboard has reappeared!  Whoo hoo!  No more talking slowly and getting names wrong!  

Linda with the Singer 12 in yesterday's post is really Lynda.  And Edna was there too but I did not get her photo.

One of the TOGA traditions is to put a sewing machine in the window.  Most of us stay in the same hotel and it helps us find each other.  It works, too, several people have stopped by.  I think the reflection selfie is a nice touch.

Today was a chill out day for me.  Last year I had a health meltdown mid week that ruined much of the fun.  This year I am trying to take it easy and go the distance.  So I skipped Edna's classes today.  Slept in until 10.  Talked on the phone to Linda (spelled correctly) for an hour.  Got coffee and doughnuts (yeah, right, I do know how healthy THAT Is).  Drove around and hit a couple of thrift stores---because that is my life.

Found nice pieces of what I call REAL batik, what batik looked like for centuries before millions of quilters decided they had to have it and it got dumbed down in the mass production process. 

The selvedge says "Super Puissance Wax".  Puissance is a word that I could both spell upon hearing or pronounce upon seeing without having the slightest idea what it means.  The joys and perils of geekdom.  I will be googling it upon finishing this post.

Definitely produced for the African market, either in Africa or India.  Indonesian batiks are distinctly different (still talking about the real ones, btw).

I do like modern quilting batiks and the fabric quality is very good, but they look nothing like this.  I like social science too (I am a geographer by disposition and training) but I don't confuse the social science  side of the house with SCIENCE.  (Actually physical geography does do real science, we are a schizophrenic discipline).

Back to the hotel for more chilling out and having fruit for lunch, thus restoring my self-esteem.  Just kidding, I like fruit as much as I like doughnuts and I pretty much ignore my self-esteem.  Life is so much easier that way.

Maria showed up to claim 3 of my sewing machines:  Singer 201, Adler Belvedere, and the little National with a makeshift hand wheel knob.  

Out to dinner.  Nothing quite as raucous as a group of (mostly) old ladies.  Overheard down the table:  "you are not having enough sex".  Kind of surprising because it is really not that kind of raucous.

Turns out s.e.x. means Stash Enhancing eXperience.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NC TOGA day one

 Today was the first day of the North Carolina toga.  today was devoted to working on machines.

Susan lead a beginning repair class. 

Here's Linda with the singer 12 she bought from me.  I think the photo captures her look of adoration very well.

Four of us brought Davis vertical feeds to work on.  this machine belongs to kitty and has the best Davis decals I have ever seen. Somehow I failed to get a picture of Kitty.

Gay Sharon had a gorgeous small handcrank machine. Another photo I missed.

  Here's Maria Dremel ing away.

And Melissa doing the same.

I sat next to Carolyn and we both worked on Davises.

Here are Ann and Linda intent on their machines.

Susan's grandson Wyatt was very helpful in carrying heavy objects in and out of the room.

I wrote this whole thing using the voice feature on my iPad. What a pain in the neck. never again.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Machines that might come to the 2015 NC TOGA

Newly added:   Three legendary machines.  All as-found, meaning that I have not worked on them yet.  All turn freely.  Not included in the bullet list below (because I am running out of time!) but all have more pictures at the bottom of the blog post.

Wheeler & Wilson No. 9.  More pictures at the end of the blog post

DIBBS:  Singer 12 with original hand crank.  More photos at end of blog post

Pfaff 130.  More photos at the end of the blog post.

and now back to the machines previously listed in this post.

National Expert BT Vibrator.  EXTREMELY funky base included,  Or a cabinet.  Or both.

For treadlers within a 3 state radius of North Carolina, the highlight of the year is the NC TOGA. Not Christmas, not Thanksgiving, not their birthdays.  The TOGA, Treadle On Gathering and Academy.

What is it like, you ask?  Well, it is kind of like Burning Man.  Well, OK, it is NOTHING like Burning Man.  But you won't really understand what is happening until you get there, and I imagine that Burning Man is like that also.

Singer 66

I'll tell you more about it later if you like.  But today I want to show the sewing machines that I am offering for sale to other TOGA-attendees.  I will not ship them.  Really, so don't even bother to ask.  I will not hold them for you.  I want you to see and try before you buy.

Singer 15-125

I will bring these machines only if there is serious interest, meaning that you might actually wish to buy.  No commitment, if once you see it and you don't like it, no hard feelings.  I did it this way last year and it worked very well.  Everybody WAS happy, took their machines home and I had only hauled the machines that people actually wanted.

Singer 177.

It has been at least a year since I fired up any of these machines, and a couple of them are "attic-fresh" and untested.  I will test in advance any machines that people are interested in and as that happens I will update this post.

Singer 285.  It's reputation as the worst vintage Singer ever is well deserved.

I'll keep a list if more than one person is interested in the same machine.  First to ask gets dibs.  Look on the left hand side of this page to "view my complete profile" and contact me by email.  Or you can contact me through the NC TOGA yahoo group.  That is the only place I will list or discuss prices, btw.

Singer 306

If you are interested in buying a particular machine from me and want more information about it, just contact me.  You can also request more photos and if they are not buried in the back of the workroom  I will comply (serious buyers only please).

Singer 301

Another Singer 301.  Ask me if you want more than just the straight stitch foot.

If you plan to buy a machine from me and want a cabinet for it, just let me know.  Cabinets are free (with one exception) but I can only cram a few into my van.

Singer 328

DIBBS means that someone has expressed an interest and I will be bringing the machine.  If that person see them and does not want them you can still contact me and I will put you next on the list.

PLEASE NOTE that at the bargain basement prices I am asking all you get is the machine as is.  Missing or broken pieces will be noted as I check them out and pack them in the van.

  • Empty Singer treadle.  Any of the treadleable Singer machines mentioned will fit in here.  The plain basic 5-drawer cast iron model.  Working but I haven't done anything to it other than oil it and make sure it is functioning properly.  Medium cosmetic condition. 
  • Singer 27, Sphinx decals, medium amount of wear to the decals.
  • Singer 328, reportedly treadleable but I have never tried.  Takes flat cams, and the zig-zag cam will be included.  More cams available upon request.
  • DIBBS.  Singer 15-something (26 through 29 probably), very old and without a motor boss but with a motor. How is that possible, you ask?  with a very clever wrap-around from the back access port.  Sphinx decals in medium bad shape.  Eminently treadle-able.  Attic fresh.
    • Oiled and checked out. Stitching properly, nice balanced tension.  Turns freely and smoothly.  Needs bobbin winder tire and motor belt (if you plan to use the motor).  I did NOT test the motor. slide plate is present but spring is broken on one side.  has bobbin case, some light corrosion inside but it works fine.  stitch length lever works.  tensioner works properly.  UPDATE:  I found the controller but have NOT tested it.  Proceed at your own risk with the antique electrics!
  • Singer 177, treadleable zigzagger.  Budget model with an underpowered motor but that won't matter if you treadle it.  Made in Brazil and not too many of the turn up around here.
  • Singer 237.  very popular treadleable zigzagger.  Has motor on it now.
  • Singer 66,  a later model with a back tack (reverse).  Treadleable if you add a spoked hand wheel.  If you want to treadle it ask me for a spoked wheel (but I am not selling the spoked wheels generally).  Has motor on it now.
  • Singer 306, cosmetically unappealing, bobbin case missing (Cindy has them) but a lovely, lovely stitcher and a treadleable multi-stitch machine. Has motor but the wiring is shot --- that won't matter if you want to treadle it.  Takes flat cams, and the zig-zag cam will be included.  More cams available upon request.  Takes class 206 needles and bobbins and a few will be included.  Cindy can supply you with more.  
  • DIBBS:  Singer 223.  Oiled and tested, all functions working, including motor.  treadleable zizagger WITH A BLIND HEM STITCH built in. Feed dog drop.  this model is a personal favorite of mine. I have wiped the surface layer of dust off of the exterior but it would benefit from a more thorough cleaning.
  • DIBBS:  Adler Belvedere.  Oiled and tested, stitching nicely.   one of the coolest looking mult-stitch machines I have ever seen.  Perhaps treadleable but I have not tested it (will test before bringing upon request by serious buyer).  It's potentially fatal flaw is an internal nylon gear, but it is working well now.  Has motor now.  Controller came out of a cabinet and does not have a bottom to it.  If you use it table-top I would advice taping a piece of plastic over the bottom of the controller,  Needs new light bulb.
I don't have extra hand cranks so I can't supply them but you can get them easily from Cindy or from  You may also need to buy a spoked wheel for the hand crank conversion.
  • Singer 185, 3/4 size machine, hand crank adaptable and a wonderful machine.
  • DIBBS:  National Expert BT Vibrator.  Oiled and tested, stitches well.  Shuttle and two bobbins.  3/4 size, long bobbins, wheel knob rather than hand crank.  and cabinet that fits it but it will not fold down into it.  Regular needle slid down a tiny bit works fine.

None of these can be treadled or converted to hand crank.
  • DIBBS:  Singer 301, black. Tested and stitching nicely.  Bobbin case and one bobbin.  electric, cannot be treadled but a favorite with quilters for its light weight and portability.  Button controller.  Previous owner spliced an extra length into the power cord so it is VERY long.  that could easily be removed by someone with minimal electrical skills.
  • Singer 301, mocha, ditto.
  • Singer 301 cradle, which allows the machine to be EASILY put in and out of some (but not all) Singer cabinets.  I have a couple of them.
  • A Singer cabinet that will fit the 301 cradle.  in decent cosmetic condition.
  • Singer 348, tailed, cannot be treadled.  Lovely aqua color. Takes flat cams, and the zig-zag cam will be included.  More cams available upon request.
  • Singer 337, same family as the 348 a straight stitch machine and zigzag machine.
  • Morse 3/4 size long bobbins, tailed, takes regular needles.  Sadly NOT hand crank adaptable.
  • Singer 285.  3/4 size, not really hand crank adaptable.  Absolutely adorable.  Absolutely horrible machine.  Fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way. Worst drive train mechanism EVER.  It is in a case that also fits a 185 and the case is worth the price I am asking for it.
  • DIBBS   Singer 15-125.  Oiled and tested, stitching nicely.  with potted motor and therefore not treadleable.  Same mechanically as the workhorse 15-91 but a much prettier two-tone green. button controller is also green.  NOTE:  head only, needs to be in a case or cabinet to stitch.  
  • DIBBS:  Singer 201-2 with potted motor.  Oiled and tested, making nice stitches.  has motor and controller. power cord in rough shape (spliced and/or taped, tape coming off). Running with motor but very slowly:  could be controller needs to be cleaned, could be motor issue, could be that power cord.   in funky but fairly sturdy case with the bottom of the case missing.  bobbin winder needs to be adjusted.  Light works.  I have wiped the surface dirt and cobwebs off, but a good cleaning would help. 
Singer 15 with interesting motor attachment.  base shown is not included

My prices for the ones with issues or bad wiring are designed to tempt you into taking them off my hands.  Ditto for the Singer 33* machines.  Not bad machines, I owned one and sewed on it exclusively for over 45 years.

Morse 3/4 size, long bobbins

Singer 237

Singer 223.  Photo is not of the actual machine. The actual machine has not been cleaned up yet.
Singer 348
Singer 337

Adler Belvdere

I never got around to my usual Christmas CraigsList sale in 2014.  I've been sidetracked from fixing them to the painting and decorating of machines.  But I do still have plenty of machines and I really need to clear some of them out.  Some are very common around here, some quite unusual.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing them.  And if you are going to the NC TOGA please buy one (or several!) and help me make space for the new ones that will inevitably follow me home.

Now back to the newly listed treasures.


SINGER 12, the model that put Singer into dominance in the domestic sewing machine market


and a look at the 201 that someone has dibs on.

machine is now in this case with the missing bottom

finish is rough, but the camera flash makes it look a bit worse than it really is. 

this photo on the other hand makes the finish look a bit better than it really is