The Next Generation

I got a call from our friend Tommy yesterday. He's on the fire department with the husband. He's also an auto mechanic with an upholstery business on the side. I've sold him two vintage sewing machines in the past: a Necchi BU Nova and a Singer 78-1 industrial. He was calling to tell me that his daughter—who is a senior in college—picked up a Singer 185J at the thrift store for $13.99. He said that when she brought it home, he said to her, "What were you thinking?" but then he started researching it online and realized that it was a good, solid machine. I told him that she had chosen well. (She has been sewing all through college on a little Brother that he bought her at Costco.)

This isn't her machine, but it's just like it. (This is one I picked up for somebody else a couple of years ago):

Tommy's daughter's machine came in a case—although those cases are notoriously brittle with age—but because it is a 3/4-sized machine, cabinets for them are a bit harder to come by. Tommy wanted to know if I had any leads on one. "As a matter of fact," I said, I have an empty cabinet that will fit this machine sitting in our upstairs bathroom. I'd be happy to sell it to you." (We're using it for extra storage.) The husband is going to bring it down and load it into my car and I'll take it over to Tommy's this afternoon on my way into town. 

[And this, dear people, is why I buy sewing machine stuff even if it isn't immediately apparent that I am going to need it. One never knows where it is going to end up.]

I am thrilled that this young lady knew enough to appreciate the value of a vintage Singer. I hope she has many hours of fun sewing with her new machine.


I could hardly sit still to work yesterday. I really wanted to spend the day machine quilting one of the (many) tops I am trying to get done before Christmas. I finally sat down at the machine just after dinner, got everything set up to free motion quilt, and took off—except that I had forgotten to adjust the tension to compensate for the heavier thread I am using on top. I have the special blue dot FMQ bobbin case for my machine, but the top tension still needs to be tweaked a bit. I then proceeded to violate Rule Two, which is to turn the quilt over and look at it to make sure everything looks okay on the back, too. I had done two full rows before I bothered to turn it over, and I was horrified at how sloppy the bottom stitches were. And this is a quilt with a solid background, so there is no hiding sloppy stitching (not that I would, but especially not on a quilt with a solid back). 


There was nothing for it except to take the quilt off the machine and rip out those rows of stitches. I went and settled in on the couch and watched YouTube videos with the husband while the seam ripper and I got to know each other. I'll take another stab at the quilting tonight. Once I get the machine set up properly, the quilting should go smoothly. I only have two quilts I NEED to get done before Christmas, and this is the first of them. If I get these two finished in the next 24 days, I'll be satisfied. 

It happens to all of us eventually. I should know not to be in such a hurry. 


All of the pork got delivered Monday night and amazingly, all of ours fit into our freezers. The processor was offering Canadian Bacon this year, so I had him do some of that for us. I'll try it this weekend. It's good to have that finally crossed off the list, and I am also thankful that the husband was able to drive up to Eureka and pick it up. He's still working, but the lack of daylight limits how much he can get done. He is very happy when the solstice rolls around and the days start getting longer again. 

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Reader Comments (2)

I take it her machine did not need any work on it? I should get that box with the fabric in it mailed this weekend. UPS delivered a box of wine we are giving my brother-in-law for Christmas. It was supposed to be delivered between 3-7. They finally made it at 8:30....and they still had more deliveries to make. Not a job I would want this time of year. Which is worse...having to rip out sewing or knitting?

November 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDoreen

Ripping out sewing is definitely harder and more time consuming.

I haven't seen her machine yet so I do not know what kind of shape it's in. Her father is more than capable of cleaning it up, though, if it needs any work. I'll try to remember to get a picture if I see it.

November 30, 2017 | Registered CommenterJanet Szabo

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