Welcome to the Quilting Board!
Sharon, that is beautifully written. When I purchased the 237, I didn't think much about it other than it's a vintage bargain. My opinion of it has changed considerably since then. Like John, I'm sorry for your loss of your son. And I'm also blessed that I've once again been reminded that a sewing machine represents a world of good.
The correct needle placement for the Singer 237 is needle flat right and threads from left to right. Bobbin goes in with the thread coming over the top toward you.
Sharon W. -- thank you. After reading your post, I had to check to make sure I hadn't inserted the bobbin into the case incorrectly. It seems to be just like most of the other machines I have but I think I broke the needle because it was bent and extended beyond the hole in the plate when I put the zig-zag setting at its widest.
Btw, what brand thread do you recommend? I have a mix of spools that came with the machines. I bought a box of Gutermann, 10 spools, but maybe there's a brand that's less expensive but decent for practicing. I have some Coats & Clark that seems OK.
I would recommend watching for sales at whatever stores you have locally. I'm signed up as a member with both Joann's and Hancock's because they both have frequent sales and coupons. When the thread goes on 40% or 50% off, which is not uncommon, then stock up.
Stocking up on thread is an excellent idea if you're going to use a lot of it but keeping it stored out of sunlight will lengthen its shelf life considerably and I have found for myself that eventually the thread can overtake you too.
I meant to behave......but there were too many other options
I've been sewing for almost 50 years, quilting for 25 years. I love collecting machines and learning about them.
My sister bought 100 organ needles on line and got really low quality. They broke thread or the needles broke. Not much good.
NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
Find me at Victorian sweatshop discussion group