Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Holy Grail

Every quilter, seamstress, dressmaker, crafter, or needleworker has a holy grail. "If only I could get a Bernina," one might say, "or the Singer 221 Featherweight". Mine has been neither of those. For me, it was finding my mother's machine for a price I could afford. The machine I grew up watching and waiting for her to pass to me. I grew up a tomboy, and she was very frustrated with my interests. So, she gave it to one of my neices and it's not been seen since. I was heart broken. My mother did not live long enough to know I had become a quilter. I'm sure she is enjoying watching the process.

This beautiful woman on the right is my mother, Mary Ellen, at 19. (How in the world did anyone expect me to live up to that? No wonder my father fell so hard!)

This is a Singer 301. I have been searching for one for about 5 years. Finally, I find one on Craigslist! The very nice lady was selling it for $100 or best offer. She had acquired it from her grandmother's estate. No one in her family has the time or the inclination.

I thought I was never going to get it to turn over. Alot of oil, and alot of elbow grease. Hunnybunny helped me, believe it or not. It cost me $60. The ones I've priced elsewhere were in the neighborhood of $300. This is the "Big Sister" of the Featherweight, Singer 221. Quilters love it because the feed dogs can drop. That means I can finally free motion on a vintage machine.


Debra said...

Pretty soon you can call your house a sewing machine museum!

Kay said...

Congratulations on this! This machine looks like my mother-in-law's machine that I inherited when I was first married. I got rid of it--maybe that was a misktake.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I know it means so much to you to have a machine like your mother's. What a beautiful photo of Mary Ellen!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your find! I know it will be such a connection to your beautiful mother every time you use it.

Katie said...

Congrats! I have my mother's machine, a 201-2, but I'd love to have a 301 as well. And it looks like yours has a trapezoid cabinet too. Those are the best! :-)

Sunshine said...

Hi Beth,

thanks for your lovely comment on my quilt festival post! Your profile is set to no-reply on comments, so I taking this route to reply :) I'm glad you got some inspiration from the character quilt.

Those diamonds turned out pretty sharp in "lucy in the sky.."!


Diane said...

Love this! I recently became addicted to vintage machines and have aquired a few myself. This is a beauty!.

Jeanne said...

I found you from the Park City Girl's "Online Quilt Festival". I live in KY, too! Congrats on this beautiful machine. I have a similar situation...

My mother died when she was 52. When my daddy went to get her sewing machine (that she taught me to sew on) to give to me...it was gone! I, too, was heartbroken. Of all the things I wish I had that belonged to my mother, it's that machine.

Sadly, I can't remember exactly what kind it was...just that it was a Singer.