Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Creative spaces

I know I told you that Mom has recently rediscovered quilting, and has once again become obsessed with it. But I don't think I've told you about her other, related obsession.... antique Singer sewing machines. Apparently many quilters think they are the bomb, and she's hopped right on the bandwagon.

When I was a baby, she inherited her grandmother's treadle machine. It wasn't in working condition, and she used it mostly as plant stand. But a few months ago, she shelled out some cash and bought a Singer Featherweight. I'm not sure how the idea came about, but I know she wanted a machine that was portable for sewing classes. Of course, being my mother... it's now become a hobby.... and I think at last count she was at eight or nine vintage machines (and we're talking about restoring her grandmother's)

In her defense... they've all either been absolute steals (Kijiji is amazing) or given to her when people find out she's a "collector".

One of those was from Dave. When I told him about Mom's new hobby, he said "Oh, there's one of those in grandma's garage..."

Next thing I knew, it was in Dave's trunk, and we were on our way up to Mom's to deliver it. It was in pretty rough shape. The machine was working, but it was filthy hadn't been used in at least 40 years or more. The table had chunks out of the veneer, and at some point, someone had decided to use it as a hobby table and it was covered in green spray paint.

So Mom pulled the machine from the table. And while she worked on cleaning and tuning it (it's pretty amazing, you can still get most of the parts for them and Mom's become quite adept at fixing them), Dave set to work on refinishing the table. When it was all back together, Mom decided that since it was Dave's great grandma's, it should really come home and live with us.
It's a Singer 201 - Made in Scotland in 1949. It belonged to Dave's great grandmother, and at some point was brought over to Canada - he believes not long after his Grandma married his Grandfather and came here.

It only does straight stitch, but it does have reverse. Mom loves sewing on all of hers (as I said, she's got a couple different models) but what I really like is the table...
I like the extra room to sew, and the fact that it stows away.
So when I need to use my modern machine (for garments, or zig-zag work) I can stow the antique and work right on the same table.

It also freed up my old sewing desk. It's now been repurposed  for dedicated office space - much needed since I'm working from home at least three days a week now.
My studio is not large (about 9' x 7'), but with a little creativity, I was able to arrange things so I have a sewing corner, and  this comfy little office corner (bonus points if you can spot the photo-bombing kitten). A few dollar store white boards added and it's everything I need to efficiently tackle my day job.

The studio is still on the cluttered side... I have some new shelving to put up, and quite a bit of craft supplies to sort through. But it's nice to have dedicated spaces for all facets of my work - creative and otherwise.


Eastside Cats said...

Can you imagine life before sewing machines? All those stitches done by hand...eeks! I learned to sew on mom's Pfaff monster, which sewed clothes for six kids, and is still working today! The really old machines have charm.

Araignee said...

My mother had a machine just like that one and I learned to sew on it. It was a great machine. I wish I could remember what happened to it. When The Mister was cleaning out his mom's house last month he told me he found one just like it in the attic. He sat it out on the curb for the trash and someone came by and asked him for it. He didn't tell me first or it would be here now. I was furious.

Vera said...

What a treasure! Dave did an awesome job on the table and I love the fact that the machine came over from Scotland with his family. So cool. It should be fun to use. (Oh yeah, I see the photo-bomber - lol).

Cat Lover said...

Wow, your "new" machine looks wonderful! The old Singers are great, last forever.
Take care.

bittenbyknittin said...

Nostalgia! My mom had an old Singer from that era. She gave it to a niece, so I'm sure it is long gone by now.

kathy b said...

Wow You really brought that thing back to life. It is beautiful> Happy your mom wanted you to have it with yoU!

kathy b said...

Have fun

chrisknits said...

I wish I still had my dedicated space. But moving from a 4 bedroom home with bonus room, to a 3 bedroom loses a lot of space. My new space shares a TV cabinet, Computer desk, and huge recliner. Not the most usable space to put a sewing table in.

Anonymous said...

That is the same machine my mom had when she gave up my grandma's treadle machine. I don't think mom ever used it much. She wasn't much in the homemaking skills.

I was thinking about my machine the other day and realized it is 40 years old and still going strong. You can't beat an old machine.

The Well Fed Wheel said...

I love the old Singer machines. They're so neat looking and you really did a nice job on the table. It's really nice to be able to preserve a family piece like that.

Delighted Hands said...

What a treasure to have the sewing machine and table working again! Nice job on the mechanical and the refinishing! I'm so glad you have the space in your office to work more easily-I love to organize my 'stuff' !