Featherweight Fan Club – Part 2

Pati's machine
My New Friend

I promised to share a few stories with you about Featherweights. Here is mine:

I wanted to buy a featherweight for all the right reasons – I wanted something that I could leave packed up and ready to wheel off to wherever my quilting escapades took me. I hated unplugging and packing up Bernie the Bernina every time I went to a class or drop-in. I started doing some research and then mentioned to some friends that I was going to buy one. Nancy, the most prolific quilter I know, announced that I should buy hers. “Why don’t you want it?” I asked, wondering if there was something wrong with the machine. “Because I have two of them!” she said. Well, of course she did! And so I became the owner of a beautiful, 1950’s Singer Featherweight. But the story doesn’t end there – I met up with Ann, another quilty friend, to attend a local quilt show. She had shown me her sweet little featherweight and we were chatting about them as we walked into the show. The first thing we see is a Featherweight vendor display with the most beautiful cherry red Featherweight calling our names. It was one of those angel-singing-moments for both of us. My heart skipped a beat, and I am sure Ann’s did too. “But I just bought one!” I exclaimed. “That’s okay,” said the vendor, “we can paint it for you – any color you like!”

My (future) red machine

And so, Ann and I have made a pact that there will be two freshly painted, cherry red Featherweights in our very near future.

Marge Wasserman
Rescued from an Old Farmhouse in New York

Everyone seems to have a story about finding or “acquiring” a Featherweight. Old barns, Grandma’s attic or at a garage sale. Marge Wasserman shared her story with me this week:

“In 1997, I took a trip to New York, and visited a friend near Lake Keuka, in the gorgeous leaf-changing autumn weather.  He lived in a ramshackle old farm house and grew wine grapes on his property.  As is common with old farmhouses, this one had an outdoor kitchen, which was covered but open to the air on the side.  A lot of junk was stored there, and one day I noticed a familiar “Little Black Box” amongst the clutter.  I asked him what that was (knowing full well, as I had one at home already) and he said it was his mother’s Singer Featherweight his dad had given her for a wedding present in 1937.  He had also used it for years himself.  I asked what he was going to do with it, and he said he figured he’d give it to some local Mennonite quilters.  Very much not in character for me, I said, well, if you are going to give it away, could I have it?  He said sure!  The machine’s serial number gives it a 1938 date. The machine is in very good shape.  It has always run beautifully and I keep it in my car to take to classes, workshops, etc.  One other special note, inside the machine box was a beautiful sterling silver thimble which had belonged to his mother, and which he also let me have, and it is the only one I use.”

Our own Laura Nownes also shared a fun story. “A few years ago I was standing in the checkout line at a local fabric store. A young woman in front of me was sharing her story of a recent garage sale she went to. There just happened to be a “small, cute black Singer sewing machine for $25″ she said. She only had a $20 bill on her so made the offer and went home with the machine. She had no idea of the little treasure she had just purchased. The lady behind me and I just rolled our envious eyes. Oh my, some people have all the luck. Obviously they are still out there if you are lucky enough to stumble upon one.”

Remember Carolyn’s beautiful machines featured in part 1 of Featherweight Fan Club? Here is Carolyn’s story:  “These two featherweights were bought from Twice as Nice Shoppe in Fremont CA.  Tom Trebotich paints the machines and another person does the flowers.  He brings them to quilt shows to sell as well as selling them out of his home by appointment.  The purple machine was my first featherweight!”

A lot of our readers also wrote comments on Tuesday’s post to share their Featherweight love story. Brita from Scrapsofhappiness.blogspot.com wrote to me after Tuesday’s post, “It was a sign. It was meant to be, I’m sure. I’ve been drooling over a Featherweight I found online, and I debated, debated, and debated whether I should buy it. After reading your blog today, I knew I simply had to get it and I did! Thanks for the noodge. Now, excuse me while I go wandering around the Internet to all the sites you listed!”

Take a moment and read more of the wonderful comments shared here.

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To end this Singer Featherweight Fest, I will share a few  wonderful creations inspired by these lovable machines.

Christine Thresh's Featherweight Wallhanging
Love this quilt by Christine Thresh
Valentine
Adorable Valentine by Cotton Pickin’ Fun!
Rubber Stamp
Rubber Stamp by NoraJane on Etsy
Loralie Fabric
Loralie Fabric at She Sells Fabric on Etsy
Earrings
Tibetan Silver Earrings by The Bluest Sky on Etsy
Lucyslocket on Etsy
Felted Wool Pincushion by Lucys Locket on Etsy

Take a moment to like us on Facebook and share photos of your Featherweight or Featherweight memorabilia. I would love to see it! See How We Sew Facebook Page

Thanks for taking this little journey with me. It was so much fun!

Love, Pati

Signature Cropped

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6 thoughts on “Featherweight Fan Club – Part 2

  1. I have to warn you, once you start, they are like popcorn. You can’t just have one. You will always want to give another a good home. I, too, painted one candy apple red with a layer of gold for the base. I am going to try to only paint the ones that are beat up. I also warn you that some people look at you like you are crazy- even quilters. I love it and use mine all the time. You neglected to tell us her name! Mine is “Ruby”.

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  2. I have been luicky to find and purchase two of thesee wonderful machines. The first one I got cost $35.00 and the second one for $101.00 that was a bid item. I too use them as a take along machine for sewing at a nursing home for them to raffle the finished quilt. love those machines.

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  3. My mom bought her Featherweight in 1940 with her first paycheck from teaching. She sewed her wedding dress on it and used it for 30 or more years before she gave it to me. It is my go to class machine as well as the “teach the grandkids to sew” machine. I love seeing Mom’s notes in the instruction manual.

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  4. I am amazed at how many wonderful comments, stories and photos I have received from our readers! Thank you all! It has really made for a fun week for me. SHWS readers are the best!!!

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  5. Somehow…between your first and second Featherweight post…the love of my life gave me my own adorable fire engine red 1946 Featherweight! I’m just thrilled I shared your post with him!

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  6. I have a featherweight that belonged to an aunt. Somehow my sister, a non-sewer, ended up with it and I talked her into giving it to me. But I have never used it — I guess I will get it out, now! I am glad for all the sites you listed; they will help me get up to speed on my little treasure. Thanks!

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