Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Great Grandma's New Home Sewing Machine Gets a New Home

The internet, for all its evils, can sometimes be a wonderful thing. I recently made a Facebook post about the vintage sewing machine cabinet I received as a Mother's Day gift. A grade school friend's mother (who used to be my neighbor and also was the wife of the doctor who delivered me when I was born and cared for me pretty much all my life until his retirement) contacted me and said she had my Great Grandmother's treadle sewing machine, wanted it out of her basement, and asked if I would take it. Of course I said, "Heck yeah, I'll take it!" So, not even knowing what brand it was or what condition it was in, last night I dragged my guys over to her house and we hauled it up out of her basement. I'm thrilled with it!

It is a New Home Model A circa 1919. It belonged to Elsie Carlson, my Step-Great Grandmother. It would have resided at one time in the farmhouse I grew up in. By the time I met Elsie she had moved to a pretty house in town. I remember it had a beautiful south facing window with lace curtains and she had doilies all over her furniture. It doesn't surprise me that I'd remember the textiles. She passed away when I was only 14 or 15 years old. 

 Everything is still with it, even the manuals.

The decals are in excellent condition. The machine was used but not abused.

A little bit of elbow grease will clean her right up. 

I tested her out when I got home. Without even adding a drop of oil she sews like a dream.

I plan to just remove the 100 years of lint and start sewing. 

The cabinet on the other hand needs some work.

Like most of these machines, some of the veneer has popped off in places. 

And, like most, there was a plant placed on top of it at some point. There are larger chunks of veneer missing here.

Then there is the base. It definitely got wet at some point so the board is delaminating and the veneer on the left side of the cabinet is separating from the plywood.

And finally the bottom bentwood drawer on the left is broken, but we have all the pieces. 

That's all we need. As long as we have all the pieces, all of these things can be fixed. I've already started on the restoration. Just giving it a wash with soap and water proved how beautiful it will be once I'm finished with it. I'll get the engineer to help glue and clamp some pieces tonight and then I will start giving her a new finish tomorrow. 

The machine head also received a bath and is already starting to gleam. 

I'm excited to get this finished and reunite the sewing machine with the antique quilting frame that also belonged to Elsie. I cannot begin to thank Karen enough for calling me and asking me to take her trash but my treasure out of her basement.


Gone Country said...

She's beautiful! It's pretty awesome that after sitting so long it sews with ease.

I bought a Singer Featherweight 221 last year. It sews beautifully! And, I recently bought a treadle sewing table that had a Minnesota machine in it. I know nothing about that brand. The machine doesn't have the belt. I'm planning on taking the machine out and displaying it in my sewing room and retro-fitting the table to hold the Featherweight or to put the FW on top of the table. We'll see how it goes.

Lucky you! Enjoy!

Tombstone Livestock said...

That's a great score, congratulations, great to have a living home.

Tombstone Livestock said...

* loving home

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

This is wonderful! Like a lost puppy finding its way home! Grandma's machine is exactly where it should be.

Florida Farm Girl said...

What a wonderful surprise for you. I'm glad you're enjoying the new project and can't wait to see it all finished.

Kristy said...

I bought that exact same machine (minus cabinet) at an Antique Mall, it was just too beautiful to pass up. My Dad built a small box for it, so it can properly stand at attention. Your gift is amazing and I'm happy to hear that it will be treasured. said...

What a nice thing to have!

I did not grow up around anyone that quilted or sewed quilts. My mom had a MORSE machine that she did repairs of clothing on and the occasional kitchen curtain but to this day no quilts.

What a treasure to have a family machine.