Monday, February 6, 2012

Sewing machines galore

  I am a sewing machine connoisseur of a sort and this is the machine that started it all.  Back in the sixties my mother purchased her new Singer 401.  It was the top of the line Singer at the time and she was so proud of it.  When it was delivered the man who brought it set it up for her and showed her how to use it.  I don't know if sewing machine retailers do that anymore.  My mother loved to sew and I was the glad recipient of many of her creations.  I remember one dress in particular, a red and white dotted swiss dress with a full skirt you could twirl in and a big velvet sash.   She made this dress for me to wear to a television show in Cincinnati.  Some of you reading this may remember the Ruth Lyons 50-50 club that was on WLW. 

   My sister, brother, my mother and I drove down to Cincinnati for the show.  Mother was just sure that Ruth Lyons would notice me.  Her show had just turned to color from black and white so everyone tried to dress as flashily as possible.  Well, I wasn't noticed and prizes were given away and my little five year old brother won a set of gold plated silverware in a fancy box.  I was so jealous.

   Back to sewing machines, I learned how to sew on this Singer and made some of my own clothes while in high school.  When I graduated, my mother and father offered to buy me a new sewing machine and I told them I was never going to sew anymore.  Boy, have I eaten my words and kicked myself several times for refusing their offer.

     Years later in the late eighties my husband and I opened a sewing machine and vacumn cleaner sales and repair shop.  It quickly morphed into a quilt shop, but that's another story.  This was one of the first machines we sold.  This is a Riccar R3600.  Most people have never even heard of the Riccar sewing machine, but I would put it up against any sewing machine made today.  We had this model in our shop and I loved sewing on it.  David had a bad habit of selling the machines I loved right out from under me.  After we sold the last one of these they stopped making this model.  I was so disappointed we hadn't purchased one for ourselves.  This Christmas David was looking for parts to repair another Riccar I had worn out and came across this machine on Ebay.  He bought it and also bought the machine he was trying to buy parts for.  It seems Riccar parts are hard to come by anymore.  I am now the happy owner of one of the best sewing machines in the world in my opinion if you are using it to make quilts and quilt them which I do alot.

     This is a Riccar RE571.  This is the model I completely wore out sewing.  I would not be exaggerating to say I probably made hundreds of quilts and other things on it.  This is not the one I wore out.  David bought me another one on Ebay and it sews like brand new.    Do you see a pattern here?   I do like Riccars and do not want to be without one for a single day!

       This is the Riccar R751 that I am using in my shop right now.  It is a work horse of a machine and sews so smoothly.  I'm not even selling them anymore, but I could sing their praises forever.    Right now I am making a special person a Christmas present on it.  That person shall not be named nor what I am making.  Just suffice it to say I am enjoying making it very much.

     This is a Singer Featherweight.  It is a quilter's dream machine because it sews so well and is small enough to carry to classes.  David got me this one from an older lady in Bedford.  She advertised it on the radio and he heard it and went to her house and bought it.  It has its own carrying case and attachments and is in mint condition.  Ain't it cute?

   I also have a treadle machine that is dated l913, the same year our house was built.  It is in a beautiful cabinet, but I can't get to it right now because David has one of his old thread cases on it.  Yes, he collects old thread cases.  I will write about them some day.  I have one more Riccar that I have never sewn on and I would show you, but Bonnie is looking at me and saying "Quit all that sewing machine shenanigans and come out and play with me.  So bye for now.  My pup calleth.

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