Not really a horse – but a workhorse.
Yesterday we talked about sewing machines for quilting, and I mentioned my Singer Featherweight. For those who are not familiar with these little machines, I thought I’d tell you a little more.
The Singer Featherweight sewing machines, made between 1949 and 1965, have turned out to be favorites among quilters around the world.
As their name implies, they are light weight and originally came in a carrying case. That makes them extremely convenient for taking to workshops, weekend retreats, maybe a trip on a cruise ship, or a week with the grandkids.
All they do is stitch forward and backward – no zigzag, no buttonhole, no hem stitch, not much else. And that is what I like about mine. It is easy to use and doesn’t have anything complicated that will cause it to break – or that will cause me to do any sewing other than making a quilt.
Me – I don’t like to sew clothing – at all!
They have all metal parts, and are now being discovered in the attics, closets and basements of great-grandmothers and grandmothers in many parts of the world. These treasured machines often were put away for a more modern machine, yet kept because they were still in great condition. Often you can find one that has not been used for many years. If you do, latch onto it.
When quilting daughter Stephanie moved away to college, she wanted a sewing machine. The first stop was the classified ad section of our local newspaper to see if we could find an old Singer Featherweight. Sure enough, the second week we looked, there was one – and at the right price. You can expect to pay about the same price for one of these little treasures as an inexpensive brand new machine.
My buddy, Monika, at my local Sew & Vac cautioned me against using my Featherweight, saying that the replacement parts are getting difficult to find. That may be, but when I compare the performance of my new machine with the stitching of my Featherweight, the Featherweight stays out and the new machine is used for machine quilting only.
As for quilting daughter Stephanie – that’s the only machine she has.
I’ll take my chances and hope that, as the machines wear out, parts manufacturers will figure out there is still a market for replacement parts.
You can read more about Singer Featherweight sewing machines and find a link to an expert on Featherweights who is a friend of a How-to-Quilt.com Newsletter Subscriber: