As mentioned here before (and often) I am a thrift store junkie. It is just so much fun to look at all the
One of my all time great finds was a cast iron paper towel holder, enameled pink. It has a finial at the top that has holes in it. I realized its potential immediately.
It was designed so that you can unscrew the finial, pop a roll of paper towels on, and replace the finial. The finial keeps the paper towels from leaping up off of the post and escaping. Like they do.
The smaller post on the side is designed to keep the paper towels under control. But you can also put a cone of thread on it, and run the thread up through the finial. Cutest thread stand EVER.
Uh, well, at least until the one shown below came along. And dear readers, it was many, many years between the discovery of the pink one and the arrival of this lovely. So don't expect to pop into your local charity shop and just pick one up.
It is wood rather than cast iron, but is performing well. It is marked "Fiesta" on the bottom and yes, that is an adorable Fiesta-looking teapot on top of the finial. The thread feeds through the handle of the teapot.
This is the official microwave quilting station. Literally two steps around the corner from the microwave. During the couple of minutes it takes for leftovers to heat up I can get a tidy amount of chain piecing done. And that is my favorite quilt-block-piecing-machine, a made-by-Toyota 15 clone.
Ignore that silly green thing in the middle. It was supposed to be a thread stand and it came from an online sewing supplies store (NOT Jenny). It was an un-usable piece of junk. I would say that it fell apart except for the fact that it was never together and it was physically impossible to put it together and have it stay together. So I used JB Weld, and modeled it on the paper towel holder. WRONG. The little post for the thread was supposed to be in the middle, with the thread guide on the side. It worked though. I have given it away since acquiring the Fiesta teapot one.
The pink one lives down in the studio with my latest wild passionate love interest (I'm the passionate one. I don't think the Pfaff really feels any emotion).
Introducing: Pfaff Creative 7510
So what did I pay for it, you are dying to know, right?
Five US dollars. With the original manual and a set of presser feet.
It was sitting on the floor of one of my favorite charity shops. I'm not really interested in modern machines, but I look at ALL the machines. No power cord, motor controller (aka foot pedal), or manual was present--or at least that's what the sneaky machine led us to believe. My favorite cashier Miss Maggie looked it over too. The reason it was $5 was the missing power cord and pedal. I figured a Pfaff for $5 was worth a chance at least.
Popped it into the back of my truck and by the time I got home the road vibrations had popped open the "secret" compartment in the cover. And there were the missing cord, pedal, and manual.
I know y'all are vintage folk, so I'm not going to tell you about all its marvelous features like the fact it tells you when the bobbin is going to run out. Or any of the other nonessential whiz bang features that modern machines have. I'm not going to drool over the joy of stitching on it.
UPDATE: OMG I totally forgot to NOT tell you about the awesome dual feed. Thanks for the reminder Angie! It's a built in walking foot but way better. Better because you can use many different presser feet with it.
And I'm not going to describe all of the decorative stitches that you can make up to 9 mm wide. 9 mm!!! My vintage flat cam Singers will do a dainty 5 mm and my modern (2005) Janome will do 7 mm. And I absolutely love decorative stitches.
9 mm, yum. Shown on a one inch grid in case you are an American and don't have a clue how big 9 millimeters is. (says this American who, after a 25 years of teaching earth science at a major university, still can't mentally translate Fahrenheit to Celsius. Which I still think of as Centigrade).
So dear readers, are you using any non-traditional devices for thread holding? Tell us in the comments below.