Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It was a Featherweight Kind of Day

Even though I already had three perfectly good sewing machines, each in excellent condition and kept in good working order, I had been thinking that maybe I "needed" a Singer Featherweight.  I knew that many quilters sew on nothing else.  I had been told that absolutely nothing sews a more perfect stitch than a Featherweight. I realized that there is an entire sub-culture of Featherweight enthusiasts within the quilting world.  I had even seen that knowing look pass between quilters at retreats as they glanced with approval at one another's beautiful little pieces of sewing history.  I would never become one of those quilters.  

Then again.......... I thought I might just keep an eye out for one.  After all, I have friends whose husbands have found them at garage sales for $50.  I've even heard of gals who have been so lucky as to find one along the side of the road piled up in someone's cast offs.  I could handle a deal like that!   So, I put the word out to my quilty friends, and in no time at all I became the proud owner of my very own, brand new, really old Singer 221 Featherweight.  I took it out of its cute little carrying case and looked at it after I got it home in September of 2007.  Then, because I like to be shown how to do things when I am learning something new (and because I am a real scaredy-cat!) there it sat.  Ignored.  Neglected.  Forgotten.
My friend Darlene came over to my house yesterday and brought one of her many Featherweights with her.  She had a very informative book with her which helped me learn how to thread my machine, fill the bobbin, and clean and oil it, and I can tell you that those basics have not changed much in the last 77 years since Singer introduced this machine!
I also learned a lot about my particular machine. Based on the serial number mine was made between 1935 and 1938. It has a very beautiful Egyptian scrollwork faceplate.......
..............and a shiny gold oval medallion proclaiming "The Singer Manfg. Co. Trade Mark."












It really does sew a beautiful stitch.  I wanted to do some serious sewing on it, but I felt like I should make a 1930's era quilt block.  I felt like I needed to only sew on 1930's reproduction fabrics with it.  I felt...........Well, I felt hungry!  So we went out for lunch and had a really good visit.


I guess the main thing is that I finally bonded with my Featherweight, and now I am looking forward to sewing on it, even if I have to use those batiks I love so much!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sandy, Great post and a greater picture. Boy am I glad that you deleted the "bad" one. Wouldn't want to compete with the beaautiful little 'black beauty" and her mistress. Now I expect to see a 1930's block by our next meeting.

Have a great trip and visit. See you soon. Lv Dar S

Gloria said...

What a beautiful machine! I'm eagerly anticipating what the two of you will create... :o)

solomi558 said...

I,ve long wanted a feathweight, my machine man charges £150 for one, I have a Janome and a brother but I sew want a S , featherweight--------cottonreel

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Sandy, your Featherweight is beautiful. My hubby bought one for me 6 years ago, and I love it. It does sew like a dream. Mine looks very similiar to yours. The only thing I would suggest is purchasing a quarter inch foot with the guide. My machine came with a 1/8" foot, which was not helpful for piecing. Happy sewing :-)

Michelle said...

That is a beautiful machine! I love the faceplate and the decals! It has so much character! I need one of those!

Mimi said...

Woohoo...it is a beauty. You're doing better than me. I haven't gotten either of my two out since DH cleaned them up and oiled them. I really need to do that, too. Can't wait to see what you create on that little beauty.

Conquilts said...

You look great next to your machine. I have one and don't sew on it either. Some day...

Ruthie said...

Congrats on getting to know your machine. I've been thinking of getting one also.

Sandy said...

Thank you for your comments, ladies! I'll have to look into getting a 1/4" foot. That sounds like a good idea. I think I will take this with me to the next retreat I go to!

Pat in Atlanta said...

Sandy you will become addicted. I love my featherweight I got a few years ago. I had her cleaned up about a year ago and she is even better than before. You will come to love yours too. Mine is a little younger - 1947 or 48, so I don't have your beautiful faceplate. Our Marlene from California gave me the name of a man who makes parts. I will see if I can find it for you!!

janice said...

How do you like your Featherweight? I saw one today at a class. The first I heard about them was on your blog. Is this going to be something I "need"?