Quilts contain a certain magic for me. They cover you with the love and work put into them by their creators. A handmade quilt can help your memory live on long after departing this earth. I doubt my two grandmothers ever thought I would be interested in quilting or sewing machines or that their memories would live on through those venues.
After reading this post by Denise at Mountain Quilter, I got to thinking about the antique treadle sewing machine I have had in storage for over 30 years. This machine belonged to my paternal grandmother, "Ma Ma", and to this day I'm not sure why I ended up with it, except that none of the other cousins were interested in sewing. And, lets face it, the machine and the cabinet as they are, are no prize!
You will need to use your imagination to envision how beautiful my machine was at one time and hopefully will be again some day.
I came into possession of it in 1976. I never had room for it, but wanted to keep it, so its been stored for these past 34 years. I do remember that it worked pretty well in 1976.
Even though the machine and the cabinet it is built into are both in very bad condition, when I turned the wheel it turned very smoothly. The belt still felt soft and not brittle like I thought it would be. They don't make em like that anymore! I'm sure if it was oiled and given a little TLC, I could actually sew with it!
All this time I thought it was a Singer sewing machine, but it was actually made by National Sewing Machine Company. I've been doing a little research on the history of these machines and how to clean and restore them. So far my research has revealed that the National Sewing Machine Company made this type machine for Montgomery Ward in the early 1900s.
In my research I found a couple of websites that have inspired me to restore the machine. I don't know when this will happen, but its on my Bucket List! As if I didn't already have enough sewing planned, now I've got a sewing machine to work on too!
There are some pictures on the Antique Quilt Dating site that show really beautiful antique treadle machines that the owner uses for quilt making! She received a National Sewing Machine brand treadle machine, in mint condition, as a gift from her husband, and now uses People Powered Machines (PPM) for most of her sewing.
I bet the designs on the machine were very beautiful when it was new! Another great internet site that gives great information for cleaning up and refurbishing antique sewing machines is found here. at YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S SEWING MACHINE.
With a little elbow grease the dust and cobwebs can be cleaned off the legs of the sewing table.
Wouldn't it be special if this machine were in good enough condition to use for finishing up my maternal grandmother's vintage quilt top that I am currently handquilting? I would be using my feeble quilt making skills, Grandma's quilt top and Ma Ma's old machine to create an heirloom. There are bound to be angels looking over my shoulder as I work on it....
For more sewing machine stories read my prior post HERE.