Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Paper Towel Holders and a Not-Vintage Pfaff


As mentioned here before (and often) I am a thrift store junkie.  It is just so much fun to look at all the old trash treasures.

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



Here's what exhaustive research 5 minutes of Googling tells me about this machine.  Made in 1994 (or thereabouts, I'm doing this from my unreliable memory now), and one of the last models made in Germany.  Extremely well reviewed.  I haven't discovered what it cost when new--leave a comment if you know.  But the day I bought it I discovered two different online sewing machine stores that were selling them for $1200.  $1200.  Right now.

So what did I pay for it, you are dying to know, right?

$5.00

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.

apron ties

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).

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So dear readers, are you using any non-traditional devices for thread holding?  Tell us in the comments below.
















21 comments:

  1. Now I know what to be looking for!

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    1. Yes, my dear enabler! With you on the hunt perhaps we will find another one!

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  2. One review on PatternReview notes buying on clearance in 1998 for $1200.
    There's my 5 minute Google contribution.
    SWEET DEAL!!

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  3. My latest thread stand was one I made from various things I found around the house (an old yardstick, a BBQ skewer, an old plastic food container, half of an old knitting needle, a bag of sand, a pair of nuts and bolts, and some tape). It holds a regular spool of thread on its side so I don't have to use the too-short spool pin on my "new" Singer 411G. (https://growyourownclothes.com/2017/03/24/my-singer-411g/)

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    1. OMG, the 411 is awesome and I now live in hopes of finding one. Your thread stand is really cool!

      Hey, everybody, check out Leila's thread stand at the link above.

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  4. I need that teapot one, for my W&G, with the broken thread holder. So far, I use a coffee cup to put the thread in. I do have one of those pretty, flower ones, but, I use it for the treadle.

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    1. Have you tried the modern repro thread holder for the W&G? I bought one for mine, but the W&G is still waiting for me to get around to it.

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  5. Oh gracious, Cheryl!! I'm the lady with your Singer 316G twin that wrote to you a few years ago the bobbin... And I have to say, I am on the hunt to be your twin here too! Those decorative stitches make me swoon! If you see one, I'd love a heads up.. I'm in a tiny town in East TN.. Nothing like that shows up here in our little shops.. Sigh.. So glad she got a good home with you.. Love your posts.. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, don't we love those 316s!! If I ever see another one of these I will be amazed though. Keep looking, you never know what will show up. Happy hunting!

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  6. ...and I thought I was so smart to use a plastic drinking straw over my machine spool pin for the larger spools. You guys got me beat! Cheers!

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  7. I wanted a spool holder that wouldn't fall over like the plastic one. Scrap wood base, two pegs, tall dowel with plastic hook to carry thread (I do hoard the plastic packaging bits - they do come in handy and all fit in an old diaper wipe box). It takes all the things that topple off the peg on the machine.
    I have a housefull of Fiestaware. Because every meal is a fiesta, not a siesta, on Fiestaware. But I've not seen one of those towel holders. Probably just as well. No room left.

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    1. If it makes you feel any better it is obviously modern Fiesta and not vintage.

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  8. Oh my goodness - you got a sweet deal indeed! I have a Pfaff 7550, purchased in 1995 for just shy of $3500. It has served me faithfully since then, with only an occasional trip to the SM spa for rest & relaxation. I don't know if the 7510 has this feature, but mine has a built-in walking foot, which is wonderful! As much as I love my vintage machines, the 7550 is still my go-to machine, mainly because of the even-feed feature.

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    1. Thanks Angie, I had forgotten to rave about the walking foot. I have corrected my error in the post above (and given you the credit).

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  9. Love this. I am tired of taping my plastic mess of a thread stand back together after the cats snap it in yet another place. I screwed it to a wooden base so they couldn't knock it over any more, but they continue to kill it nevertheless. Now on the lookout for a vintage paper towel holder.

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  10. Cheryl, I have the 7570 - and I think it's the reason I love sewing so much, it's such a dream to sew on. I'm green with envy over your $5 7510.... enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
    Teresa from Ray White's class a few summers ago

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  11. I think your blog is the only one I read which makes me chuckle so much - you really captured my guilty pleasure in my (bit newer but not whizzy expensive) Pfaff, when I know my old machines (50's Singer, 70's Bernina) are the true, beautiful stalwarts to treasure. Not so bothered about the decorative stitches (not got enough finesse in my sewing) but the even feed feature and up-down needle convenience are just great. You deserve to find a newer treasure at a bargain price. I'm sorry to hear of your bereavement. Your mother in law sounds as if she was as joyous a person as yourself. With best wishes.

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    1. Thanks, Tanya! I appreciate all your thoughts. I wanted to reply to you privately also but you message arrived as "no response".

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    2. Hello, I must seem churlish not to have replied but seek to excuse myself by my lack of tech savvyness, which extends to the fact that I haven't the slightest idea why my original message would say 'no response'. I rarely respond to blogs or facebook items - doing so feels like a venture into the unknown but sometimes, I do want to express my appreciation. I do enjoy your newsletters, and while I don't follow through with the hard work you describe of bringing lovely machines back to strength and life, my heart is with you in what you do and how you understand the beauty of these old machines. I think from seeing all the comments you get and the discussions you describe, you do have a contagious effect in this respect which is great. Thank you.

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