Tag Archives: needlework

Newest Member of *The Choir

Saturday had a small adventure that included a drive I normally do for the day job.  I journeyed up to Daly City to see a vintage industrial Singer sewing machine, a 150w3.  Because of our weekly shift at the per adoption center, we needed to be up and on the road early.  There was the normal filling of the gas tank and acquiring caffeine.  Then we stopped at U-Haul to pick up the small open trailer I had reserved.  There was no way the machine was going to fit in my SUV, an while it would have fit in Kel’s van, the trailer has a much lower deck.  The assumption was that this piece would be heavy.

The drive up took longer than it normally would as pulling the trailer, especially with it unencumbered, required slower speeds than normal for me.  I didn’t twitch too much.  We found the address via GPS easily enough.  Then came the truly challenging part.  Daly City is essentially a suburb of San Francisco.  If you’re old enough to have watched the TV show The Streets of San Francisco you may remember how steep many of those streets are.  Not only is this street one of what I think of as the extra steep ones (so grateful to not be driving a stick), it’s a dead end.  Not a cul de sac with a little turning bubble, but a dead end.  So very carefully, I managed to get both the vehicle and trailer turned around, though by the time I was done it was way beyond a 3-point turn.  See the image below from Google Maps.  The yellow arrow is where I had to pull in, the orange is the direction I had to back the trailer then my SUV, and the green is the final parking spot.


The drive and turning challenge were absolutely worth it though.  The machine belonged to the seller’s grandmother who was a seamstress who did draperies, leather work and a multitude of other things.  It was obviously well used and well taken care of.  As expected of an industrial machine, the motor is sizable and mounted under the table.  There is a knee bar but it does operate by using the treadle peddle.  A test sewing on the scrap leather on it showed she sews like a dream.  The table itself is a thick butcher block piece on a cast iron treadle base.  It has a separate bobbin winder and dowels embedded into the table top to hold extra bobbins and thread cones.  A small work lamp is also a part of the table.  There is a drawer on the left that has extra needles, bobbins, throat plates, presser feet and more.  Another bonus is the machine cover that was obviously made by her previous owner.  The first two photos are from the seller’s listing, and the remaining ones are from the spot of my garage she has claimed.

I spent time today cleaning and organizing the garage.  Considering the power draw this machine has, and the fact that the garage is the only room with all ground capable outlets, I think it is a good place for her.  A bit more work out there, and I may have a proper workshop.  My electrified workbench with riser and shelf is already out there so it will certainly be a good set up.

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Filed under *The Choir, History, Needlework, Sewing

What’s Old is New Again

For a while we were self hosted and now we are back to WordPress which works for me. Due to the day job I’ve been in for nearly the last three years, my time is limited. Here’s to efforts to get this back up and running, and, with some effort, regular posting. I’m targeting once a week but it may be a slow ramp up. I’ve a few new projects starting up at work, and start up always tends to take a lot out of me.

In any case, in the vein of this post’s title, I’m going to share some things I found while wandering through a favorite thrift shop today. I usually go right to the tiny “craft” section and dig through, typically finding a cut or two of cotton fabric to add to my stash. Considering we were there earlier in the week, there was nothing new that suited me. While the munchkin played in the toy section I wandered into linens. And what did my wondering eyes behold but a stack of tatted edged doilies. From the look and color and stitching, I’d guess these are decently aged. I only rescued about half of them. The gallery below shows the set I have as well as closeups of all the different edges that were there.

I would have bought all the doilies but there were thimbles calling to me. I’ve been collecting thimbles for a few years now. Some are souvenir style from places we’ve visited. Others are ones I’ve come across at needlework or thrift shops. Of the three I brought home today, two are from English makers and the third is French.

To top off the find there was a cocktail napkin for lack of a better term. It is linen and stitched with hardanger and pulled thread work.

hardanger napkin

hardanger napkin

I guess I will never understand those who casually discard such things, but at least they ended up in a thrift shop and not the garbage. There was another piece that I would have dearly loved to bring home but was out of my price range. It was a needlepoint about 18 inches square of a Siamese cat on a patchwork background. It would have gone lovely with the needlepointed Siamese cats I have that were Addie’s.

Ah, such is life. Until next time.

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Filed under Needlework