Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Panel and Featherweight

When I went to the quilt store the other day, I thought I may indulge in some retail therapy, but I didn't really have anything in mind to purchase. I saw some 30's fabrics that would be great for my 30's DJ, and took them to the counter for cutting, and that's when I saw this panel ... I thought it would be just perfect to give to my Mum for Christmas. It's her colours, and I know she'd love it. I haven't really done much with panels before, so I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to quilt this one. I know I don't want to hand quilt it, but I'm not sure what else to do. I will think about it as the time draws near.

I've taken a close up of one of the blocks, I don't know if it's easy to see in the previous picture, but there are different designs on each of the blocks to hand stitch ... like redwork ... but ummmm ... khaki-work?? Mum and Dad are heading to Italy on Thursday, so I may start working on it while they're away (depending on how I'm going with my mini-quilt). Speaking of the mini, five blocks done, four to go. It's going really well!

Both Dawn and Judy have recently posted messages about their new babies ... their Featherweights. It brought back memories of when my first Featherweight came into my life ... I believe it was fated to be mine!

After seeing Linda's Featherweights in 2000, I started my hunt for one in earnest when I returned from the US. After a while of hunting, I spoke to a friend who was a collector, and she told me that if I was lucky I may find one in an estate sale, or basically I just had to call around and let people know I was looking for one, and hopefully one would turn up. She told me that a LQS to her had a display of old treadles from a person who restored machines, so maybe I should call them and see if one was there. I called the store, and they didn't have one, but were able to give me the number of the people that restored the machines.

I called the people, and I chatted at length to a lovely lady named Lyn. She had her own personal machines, but none for sale. It was lucky that we ended up chatting for some time, because after about 20 minutes, she remembered that she and her husband had seen a Featherweight about a year or two before at an antique store in the Port. She remembered it because it looked to be in decent condition, and when they offered to buy it, the store owner turned them down. She wanted to keep it. Lucky for me, Lyn remembered the name of the store (pretty good, because I can't remember any more).

The very next morning at work I called the store. I didn't want to talk about the Featherweight immediately, if they knew I was super keen, I was worried there would be no negotiating on the price. Instead I asked what their opening hours were. It was then that I learned that the store had closed just the week before, and the owner was only there to clean up before moving out. The store was being converted into apartments. My heart just sank, because this was the only lead I had after a while of searching. I asked the lady if she still had the Featherweight, not expecting a postive result, but it was definitely my day - she still had it there! I asked if she was prepared to sell it, and based on Lyn's recollection of it being a good one, offered her $350 for it ... and she accepted! (At that time, $350 Australian would have been around $175 US) I raced down there in my lunch hour, and brought that baby home with me!

It's a darling little thing, the box is in wonderful shape, and even still has its keys. The machine is in great condition too and stitches like a dream. After a little research, I've found that my little baby was born in 1951 in Scotland. I feel so lucky, and quite sure that my Featherweight was fated to be with me. If I had waited a couple of days longer to make that call, the store would have been closed and who knows where the machine would have been! Miracles can happen!


Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

That is a fun story - and timing is everything!



Darlene said...

You were meant to have that little beauty.

The panel for your mom is going to be so pretty. I hope that you'll share your progress.

Joyce said...

Now I want a Featherweight too. I guess I will have to start a search.

quiltpixie said...

the panel you've bought for your mom is great. I'm sure she'll love it :-)

Anonymous said...

I adore my little baby too. I got mine on ebay for around $200, not bad. A quilt shop I called wanted $450 for one! Mine was built in 1947 according to the Singer website. Runs like a dream.


Anonymous said...


I love my Featherweight! It's a 1938 with the beautiful scroll design on the side. My mom gave it to me for my high school graduation in 1973. She had picked it up in a second hand store for $ 35 with all the parts, manual, and a nice case.

I use it most all of the time. I have to re-introduce myself to my very nice Bernina everyonce in a while.

I got a Featherweight for my daughter for her college graduation...it wasn't $35!

Melanie said...

Great Story...I have 2 treadle machines. I don't know much about the featherweights. I'm going to research it some, where it least we can chat about them. Many of you girls are interested in them. Cool pieces you purchased. In a couple of weeks, I'm going shopping.
be good---

Anonymous said...

Great story, and a lovely machine.

Gail said...

Lucky you,sounds like a great buy, and, as you say, meant to be.

Anonymous said...

A. I am so glad that you showed a close up of that cheater - I though those were blank squares and could not figure out what the heck was going on there...

B. Congrats (belatedly) on finding your featherweight.

C. I enjoy mine too! (But I may just use her for decoration right now...)

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh what a great story!

Eileen said...

Wonderful story, and I like that panel. I've seen both red and blue work, why not green or khaki? Have fun with it.

Cher said...

how fun to have such a story to share about your featherweight. I enjoy mine, though I haven't stitched with it lately. I am lazy and it's lots more work to maintain LOL...hope the panel turns out the way you envison.

Judy said...

Cool panel and great FW machine. I am having to most fun learning about mine!!


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