Sunday, September 27, 2015

Swimming Against The Tide

This is the title of the Row By Row from Homestead Quilting in Lakeland MA. It went together fast I am happy to say, and then I began to work on the Boston Bridge Row, it's applique so not my favorite! I did alter the design a bit, the fish were too plain so I added that red stripe!
 Grand Illusion is bound too, another crossed off the "to do" list which seems to grow in spite of my efforts!
The problem is that the bucket list continues to expand, too many ideas and too little time. This week we were out of town part of the week limiting sewing time, then I decided to paint the family bathroom upstairs, another day gone without a stitch sewn!
This is my antique New Home treadle, I had asked DH to bring it down from the Colorado house so I can use it sometimes. I bought it from eBay some years back and the pack and ship place in MA made such a sorry job of packing it that it sustained unnecessary damage. Fortunately DH was able to secure the head so that it works, but there's still some cosmetic damage to the sewing surface and I am preparing to give the cabinet a good cleaning. It is called a "parlor cabinet, it has "claw feet" and decorative molding on the sides.
I guess it was decorative in order to be displayed in living areas. A sewing machine was quite a status symbol so it isn't surprising that it would be on display, I think it's beautiful!
 As close as I can tell from online this badge indicates the age it says "Republique Francaise", "Exposition Universelle 1889" seems it was a celebratory edition for the French World's Fair for the 100th. anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. It was manufactured in Orange MA.  and that is where I found it so it had not strayed from the place of birth!
The head is dull and needs cleaning of the 125 years of gunk but it's a delicate task to preserve the decals. So far I have only used a damp cloth with a little soap, but I have read that kerosene is ok, I will test that out in an inconspicuous spot!
It looks better than it did originally, I suspect it was stored in a barn once electric machines became commonly available, but it has had a lot of use I can tell by the wear on the surface and I always wonder how many set of clothes, quilts and drapes it made for the families that used it.
Obviously it looks better than when I first got it, but I was very excited I couldn't wait to treadle and this is a sample of the first stitches I made with it, even the tension was still perfect!
It needs quite a bit of love and I will tackle it little by little and see how much I can restore of it's beauty without removing the lovely patina of age.
This looks to be an original oil can or at least close to it. I understand that antique machine collectors covet these old cans and pay top dollar for them, so I feel lucky to have this one.

The belt is rather worn so I will replace that, but everything else is in good condition especially considering it's antiquity and later lack of love!
The tin of attachments and instruction book are intact, quite a miracle I think. This would have been added much later, nothing similar appears to have been available at the time of manufacture.
They are all in good order, no rust or damage I can see
A couple of examples from the attachment instructions
 These are so quaint!
So I am excited to have my elderly lady here I hope I remember how to wind the bobbin and thread her up, it has been a long time!

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