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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn
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    161

    old singer sewing machine AND quilting help

    Hi,
    I recently got an old singer sewing machine ("born" in october 1919 in NJ). It was only $20 so I figured that if all I could do was look at it lovingly I would be happy. To my surprise, when I got it cleaned and oiled the guy said it ran great! It's one of the ones that would have had a treadle, but now is retro-fitted with a motor.
    My problem is that when I learnt to sew in grade 8 home-ec I was taught to start by doing "3 stitch forward, 3 stitch back, continue forward". I don't see a reverse lever on this machine, so, am I supposed to do 3 stitches, turn the work, do 3 more, and then turn the work back, OR is that not the right method for "locking" the stitches at the end of the line and there is a better way? I have been doing simple mending around the house so it hasn't been a problem yet but am starting a quilt and want the easiest method possible!

    On to quilting, I have a pattern that I love, but really need a very basic how-to to go over everything from the start, including applique. Any suggestions for books out there? I'm pretty intimidated by the quilting store here in new york, and can't afford a class right now anyway.

    Thanks for any help!
    Bree

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down by the bay
    Posts
    767
    I have an old Singer too, not quite that old though, probably 40s or 50s? Was my grandma's. I can't use mine either, though it's my fault - I adjusted the thread tension and now I can't figure out how to make it not suck anymore.

    Anyway, though I don't have anything productive to say, I'm excited to see what advice you get :)

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    NYC
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    21
    first thing I'd do is ask the guy who oiled & cleaned it! a quick google search turned up a bunch of sources for manuals and repair instructions for singer machines (for example http://www.parts.singerco.com/html/library_page.html) if you know the model number of your machine...
    sorry, can't help with the quilting question (although maybe start at the library since you won't have to pay for it if it turns out the book isn't right for you)
    amy

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Fabulous Brooklyn!
    Posts
    18
    Hooray for old Singers and Quilting in Brooklyn!

    I belong to a little quilting group in Brooklyn if you want to join a few other quilting nuts (mostly completely novice, but some with experience) for a little live interaction, help, fun, etc.

    Come to the Church of Craft if you're interested: they meet 2nd Sunday of every month (that's next weekend) in Brooklyn.

    As for your questions:
    I think the whole forward, back, forward doesn't matter as long as the stitch gets locked somehow. In piecing a quilt, you don't lock the beginning and end stitches because you're going to sew another seam over the beginning of the seam anyway, so no worry. Also, if you're sewing all the way around something, like a pillow, when you get to the end, you're back at the beginning, and you just keep going to cover the first few stitches. OR... if you can either drop the feed dogs (the part that comes up and pushes your fabric back for you - "underneath" your stitching) or pick up the pressure foot, you can probably either fake a backwards stitch or just stitch one or two in place, which would have the same effect as an initial backstitch.

    Hope that makes sense. Email me if you want the info for Church of Craft: amber_wiley at hotmail.com

  6. #5
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn
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    161
    In piecing a quilt, you don't lock the beginning and end stitches because you're going to sew another seam over the beginning of the seam anyway, so no worry.
    Thank you so much! I knew there had to be something, I just wouldn't have come up with it!

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    sittin' on the dock of the bay
    Posts
    749
    I've been trying to teach myself how to quilt for a few months and having a *ton* of fun with it. Like you, I'm totally intimmidated by the quilting shop and taking a class isn't an option for me, so I've been browsing quilting books pretty obsessively. My bf likes going to Borders a lot, so I just go with him, plop myself down in the craft section, and check out the different books until he's ready to leave. I'm planning to buy a book eventually, but I'm trying to figure out which one has the clearest instructions and best information before I do. In the meantime, I've learned a *ton* just from browsing.

    Also, you should look up a thread I started a few months ago asking for online links for first time quilters -- some great experienced craftistas put some links in there that have been invaluable to me.

    ETA: Oh, and congrats on the sewing machine find! That's awesome!

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2
    Hi there ... I learned how to sew on an old Singer that had no reverse ... my grandmother told me to leave enough thread hanging at the ends to tie up. A little time-consuming, but it works.


 

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