Friday, April 23, 2010

Scrap organization & Grandma's sewing machine

I am in love with Bonnie Hunter's designs and organization tips. (
I should buy stock in plastic containers. No matter how many I buy I manage to fill them all up!
These containers from left to right are "unit A's", LDL and DLD units. The container in the back is all neutrals. Gosh I love neutrals!!! The bins are seriously more empty now as I have all 112 Unit A's made. Now all I need to make is 112 unit B's.

I fill this basket then take it to the ironing borad. I keep this basket at the edge of my sewing table and as I chain piece I funnel them into the basket. If they would fall to the floor they would be covered in fur or become a cat toy. Gotta keep those kitties in line!

My Grandparents owned and operated their own dry cleaner business. My fondest memories are of me playing on the store front floor as Grandma sewed repairs and greeted customers. I played with the zippers, threads, buttons...anything I could get my hands on. Grandpa did all the pressing and the delivery of the clean clothes. You have to remember that in their era wool, silk, rayon polyester required dry cleaning. The fumes weren't too nice and the store was hot and humid from the steam pressing machines.
Now here is the long story:
Grandma passed away 35 years ago. This machine has been stored in my ex-motherinlaw's attic for that entire time. My EX-Motherinlaw passed away last November. I needed to get this item from the attic before the estate auction people clear out the home.
I have not seen this machine for those 35 years. It is a "White Rotary" machine. In my memories it was in much better shape than it appears in these pictures. I found no spiders or critter evidence in the cubby holes. But we were rained on with old small pins when we moved the machine into the truck. Teeny tiny silver pins. So hard to pick up and/or see. We spent more time picking those little pins up than it took to drive home with my treasure.

A piece of wood seems to be missing from the top of the table. But there is a swingarm lamp bolted to the top in the back where the piece would fit in, so I think it was removed on purpose.
Plus, I do not remember it ever being put away. It was a very hard working machine. Grandma sat at it everyday.
The machine and table are actually pretty light weight. I wish it was in better condition. I would love to have it in the house in working order.
The research I have done on-line makes it born from 1916-1921. The bobbin is still in the machine as is the needle. Hubby says not to trust the electrical cords. They are all really brittle and mended in places with electrical tape.
I do not know how long my hubby will allow this treasure to sit in his precious garage. I do not know if this machine could be refinished or not. Nor do I know where to begin the cleaning.

Our lilacs are in bloom. The tulips are fading but still have lush leaves. The Hostas are growing right before my eyes. Everything is getting so GREEN! The Spring smells so good to me.
And I am surprised at my reaction to the warmer weather. I am a winter person. At least I have always been that way while I was working in a hot factory. I am starting my second year of retirement and I am enjoying the Spring weather much to my own surprise.

I have a pink baby quilt on the design wall right now. I need to make the border and then quilt it. A friend of mine ordered it from me for a May delivery. At least I am right on time for her order.

Sorry...repeat of picture by mistake!

I love this pale toille' of nursery rhyme scenes. It has been in my stash for many years. I finally found a perfect use for it. And the scraps will be very nice for my pink collection.
This pattern is from "Downey Touch of Comfort" program. I sent away for another kit to make for them.


Wendy said...

I love Bonnie's patterns too. Are you going to do her sew-along?

Joanne said...

I love the sewing machine. I think an electrician might be able to help you with the cords but I'd also check or search the internet for another site that can help you with repairs, replacement parts, etc. for White Sewing Machines. Good Luck and I love the pink quilt!

Sewing Junkie said...

The cabinet can be fixed and refinished. The machine can be rewired. Take it to a small appliance store that repairs or to a sewing machine shop and ask them to rewire it. The machine can be cleaned with sewing machine oil little on a soft rag. You might be able to get parts through a website. I know there are several out there with accessories and parts for older machines. Have fun with it. Chris

Karen said...

I know you are happy to have the sewing machine and it's memories. I had a hard time letting my sister have my mother's machine. We both learned to sew on it. I had it in my home for about five years and then took it to my sister's.

Helen in the UK said...

Loved seeing your organisation boxes - I'm a BIG fan of neutrals myself too! So sad that the machine is in need of a lot of TLC ... hope you can find someone to restore it for you :)

KatieQ said...

I'm glad you were able to rescue the machine that holds so many wonderful memories for you. I hope you can find a way to restore and keep it.

gamawinkie said...

The machine is priceless! I like your organization of the units. Maybe I'll get mine done soon!

Anonymous said...

Gods mill grinds slow but sure. ....................................................

Lori said...

I love your sewing machine! I would refurbish it!

Is the scrappy irish in her newest book?

woolywoman said...

check out ISMACS website- it is a group of us crazy sewing machine collectors. The machine will be just fine with a good cleaning, oiling, and greasing, which is really easy. Have fun!

Terri Wessling said...

This cabinet look just like a sewing cabnet that mt father-inlaw gave me before he died. No sewing machine. It belonged to his mother. Very old.

QuilterBee said...

I just won a White rotary machine exactly likes yours for$4!!! I'm going to replace the wiring and get it stitching. Do you remember what your grandmothers machine sounded like?? Curious bc I can't go get my machine till tomorrow lol! Amie :0)