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Thread: Finding something at an estate sale/thrift shop?

  1. #11
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    West Texas
    I have lived in this community for 3 years and have bought 3 FW's, a 185, a Rocketeer, 3 301's, a few Touch and Sew's, 2 6000 Vikings, a penguin walking foot, and tons of other attachments. I have seen many, many more machines that I didn't buy. There is a lot of fun in the hunt. I check Craigslist, garage/estate sales, occasionally thrift stores, Thrifty Nickel, and the daily newspaper ads. I won't pay much, because I don't need anything more, but I still like to look and then buy if I spot a good deal.


  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Wow Daylesewblessed - West Texas seems to be a great place to buy vintage machines! I live in Houston, and I don't see THAT much, and craigslist machines can get pretty expensive - sometimes you'll see old treadles selling for $850!

  3. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Carlisle, PA
    The machines I have found at estate sales were just lucky finds. The thrill is in the hunt! A couple of months ago, a brother and sister advertised an estate sale of their mom's patterns, notions and fabrics. What I found was jaw-dropping! There were well over a thousand patterns neatly sorted by styles (dresses, vests, coats, totes, costumes, etc). I left with an overflowing extra-large laundry basket stuffed with Moda and Thimbleberry fabrics for $20. Final count was over 60 yards!! I found new metallic threads, serger cones, needles, etc., etc. For me, that day was better than Christmas!

  4. #14
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    SW Ohio
    Blog Entries
    I go to flea markets, thrift stores, and antique shops maybe 2-3 times a month. I have purchased a treadle at a flea market in almost pristine condition for $130 and a 1936 FW in pristine condition for $220 at an antique shop. Good prices, but not exactly that "wow" bargain.
    After about 5 years of collecting vintage machines, I finally ran into a great deal at an antique store. I was able to purchase a 1929 Singer 101 in great condition in a beautiful Singer model 40 walnut cabinet. The price tag said $35, which I couldn't believe, but when I went to pay for it there was some sort of discount and brought the price down to $27.16! My DH cleaned, lubed, and oiled it and it runs like a dream.
    Three weeks later, a dear friend saw the cabinet and said "I have a cabinet just like that in my garage. I think there is a sewing machine in it. If you want it you can have it." It turned out to be a 15-91 in a cherry (I think) model 40 cabinet! It needs the wiring from the cabinet to the foot pedal replaced, but what a gift!
    Hang in there, your treasure will show up when you least expect it. In the meantime, enjoy the hunt!
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie C View Post
    The machines I have found at estate sales were just lucky finds. The thrill is in the hunt! A couple of months ago, a brother and sister advertised an estate sale of their mom's patterns.... For me, that day was better than Christmas!
    I've told my children, if something happens to me, they need to let my sister and my best friend go through everything first...at least they'll know what to do with it.

    I LOVE those kinds of sales. I was at one, not long ago, and was amazed and kinda sad that they were selling all of her quilts. These were AMAZING quilts. I bought boxes of fabric, pre-cut for a quilt, patterns, templates, notions and one piece of fabric, at least 8 yards long. Less than $20

  6. #16
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    leavenworth, ks
    Blog Entries
    Went to a yard sale today. The lady wasn't selling her machines but let me drool over two. One was a Wilcox & Gibbs in an awesome cabinet plus she had the original manual and some attachments and the other was a Singer, she didn't let me see that one, in a nice cabinet plus she had several family quilts displayed. One was a crazy quilt made by her great grandmother and her grandmother. Neither of her daughters sew and she says eventually she might sell her machines. I gave her my phone # just in case.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  7. #17
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Aloha, Oregon
    Blog Entries
    I bought a White Rotary machine in a beautiful cabinet - machine was neat too - no decals - all the decorations were cast - have only seen one other like it - paid $40! I would probably have paid more for it since it was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT - it needs a rubber wheelie thingi for it to run quietly - on the hunt!

    I paid $125 for a FW at a yard sale a few years back and $250 for a FW that my husband's cousin found for me in California - she shipped it to me around Christmas and it got delivered to the wrong address - thank goodness the lady was honest and my phone number was on the label - she called me and apologized because her kids had already opened it thinking it was Christmas presents! We both had a good laugh when I picked up my machine.

    I go to garage sales and estate sales and always keep an eye on the online places like craigslist and shopgoodwill.com - you never know when you will score a bargain.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Jersey Shore
    Estate sales are great, I've gotten numerous machines for 10-20 dollars including a 306, 301, and the first Kenmore ever sold...it's SO much fun, and I like to act as if I'm taking it off their hands....lol

  9. #19
    Junior Member NewbieToQuilting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellietow View Post
    I really enjoy reading about everyone's experiences with thrift shops, garage sales, estate sales, and how you find some great machines for low prices. My question is, how often do you go before you find something? Just wondering if some go "shop" for years before they find a great bargain.


    I've been looking nearly every weekend for just over a year and finally found one! Well, actually, my hubby found a 201 for me today!!! He texted me a pic and asked if I wanted it. "OF COURSE!" It's in pretty filthy and the cabinet needs some work, but it's going to be a great machine I think.

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