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Thread: Older sewing machines

  1. #1
    Super Member ruthie's Avatar
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    I'm just curious, how many of you use an older sewing machine for you quilting/piecing?
    I have 3 old singers(electric), a Dressmaker(1960s) and a Necchi (1960s)
    I love the power on these machines and they're made of metal not plastic, although plastic is nice and lightweight.
    What are you're thoughts?

  2. #2
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have been quilting two years now, and also only have old sewing machines.... I am watching this thread because I am trying to make up my mind if i should buy a new machine........automatic needle threading sounds good , I have a bad eye so this would be nice, also that blanket stitch for applique., so what should i do :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

  3. #3
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    I have a Singer from the 1950's - one of those all metal machines. That's the one I learned to sew & quilt on. But I do most of my sewing now on a "150th Anniversary" Singer. It isn't very fancy, but I wanted to have a zig-zag stitch! lol It's much lighter weight, which is good for me because I take it to class most weeks & it's easier to lift in & out of the car. I think it has about 10-12 different stitches built in, but is not one of the computerized ones.
    I do want to get a Bernina with a stitch regulator, but that will have to wait until I fill up several piggy banks first!!

  4. #4
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    I own several and use them all for one thing or another. I have two old Kenmores and one new Kenmore, an old White, two old Singers (soon to be 3 I am hoping!) and also my MIL just gave me her old Viking Husquavarna. I have a few other machines that are in shapes from not working at all to just need a few parts... I guess you could say I collect them! LOL

    But I use the ones that are working for different things... one of the old Kenmores is the one I use for machine quilting in the ditch, I use the newer Kenmore for most of my piecing but have used a couple of the others for this as well. I have an old Singer I am "training" to use for free motion quilting.

    And my MIL's machine is the one I use for the blanket stitch applique as it has the best stitch for this!


  5. #5
    Super Member 2 Doods's Avatar
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    I guess you could say I collect machines too. I use my late MIL's Bernina for piecing. It must be 40+ years old? I know she had it a long time before I came along. I reciently aquired my grandma's featherweight made in 1948 that is portable. (Thanks Mom!) Just had it cleaned and it would be a nice one for taking to classes-just need to sign up for some! I bought a lightweight Kennmore when my Bernina and Featherweight were in the shop for their cleanings. It is a cheap machine but works well for piecing. I have 2 older Kennmore machines that have cams just in case I need to do a fancy stitch. I machine quilt on a grace frame with my new Juki that Santa brought. I stuffed the serger under the table too just so DH will forget about how many I have :D I also have my other grandmothers treadle machine. It is in an oak cabnet and used for display in the familyroom. It used to work but needs cleaning and a new belt. Nothing computerized -Yet! :wink:

  6. #6
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    I use my old 1975 Kenmore for doing my piece work. It has cams for special stitching (probably the same vintage as 2 Doods). I would like to "collect" another machine with a blanket stitch for applique if I could find one at a yard sale for a reasonable price. :-)

  7. #7
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    I use a Viking Turissa, which I THINK is from the 60's. I use it for everything from quiltmaking to sewing bridal gowns (and everything in between!)

  8. #8
    Super Member ruthie's Avatar
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    I love my singers, I piece on my 99K, do other stuff on my Dressmaker with the cams, freemotion quilt on my 201. I'm trying to get my DH to let me buy one of the new fancy wonderful ones that do all the fancy stitches, but no luck yet.

  9. #9

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    I have an old Kenmore and it sews a straight stitch beautifully. I made several tied quilts on it that just consisted squares sewn together. It isn't a speed demon.

    I did purchase a new machine because I needed more than the ability to do a straight stitch.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stitching4Fun's Avatar
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    I have a newer Necchi, but I find that I really like to use my Singer Featherweight 221. I had two of them and gave my daughter one. I have a Necchi that is about 50 yrs old and still works great. I also have an older singer, a Montgomery Wards Signature was my first one, and I stil have that and that was about 35 yrs ago that I got that one. My mother had a Brother and that was a good machine. I also have had a Dressmaker.

    If I am quilting on my home machine I like to use the Necchi. But stitching I love the featherweight. It sews such nice nonpuckering stithes that some of the machine do at times. My other quilting I use my longarm which is from Nolting.

    I do upholstery work so I also have those machines. One is industrial for clothing and it sews really well also. The other are Consews and for heavier sewing. All together I have over a dozen sewing machines and each and every one of them gets use.

    And the thing is.......even if I don't need another one. I still look at them. With all the new bells and whistles on them nowadays, I wish I had the newer ones, but I have restraints on to keep me from getting one.

    grrrrrrrrrrr.
    Barb

  11. #11
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    My kenmore is 40 years old. It works great, but i cant seem to do free motion quilting on it. It has a darning feature, and i can drop the feed dogs, but i dont have a darning foot. I am thinking of trying to buy a darning foot for it. I've tried it without a darning foot, and wont work. I wonder if i can buy just a darning foot and what they cost? Maybe i wil look online.

  12. #12

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    I have a new Janome computer etc. and a 50 year old Pfaff. I love the Pfaff because it has more power and is not stuck on thickness on my quilts. they both have needle threaders neither one works. I would love to have the new Pfaff that is coming out but since I just got my Janome a year ago there is very little chance, besides the price not pretty. I think the Jamome is too touchy.

  13. #13
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Pollock
    I use my old 1975 Kenmore for doing my piece work. It has cams for special stitching (probably the same vintage as 2 Doods). I would like to "collect" another machine with a blanket stitch for applique if I could find one at a yard sale for a reasonable price. :-)
    Ha ha, me too!
    What model number is it? Mine is a 1774, it came with a little table unit, so it's not really the portale kind. I use that one for most of my sewing, really, but lately I've been sewing at my boyfirend's place and I use his mothers old Singer Genie 354. It's decent, does a couple of different zig-zag stitches, but nothing compared to my other one I have at home. I've mentionned before that there was some water damage in my basement a couple of weeks back and it ruined my 1949 featherweight (GRRRRRR) I SHOULD come out on top with the insurance claim and buy something decent, like possibly something not older that I am, lol!

  14. #14
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    Ruth, I have an New Home (janome) MX3123, $279. Really like it has 23 stitches, several different feet. I just purchased a walking foot for it and got a 1/4" foot too.

  15. #15
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    I have 5 old singers. I love them. Its the only thing I use now. I paid $400 for a brand new Necchi and can't even give it away. I only wish the old singers had different stitches.
    Judy in Ohio

  16. #16
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have two singers that take cams and do decorative stitches....late 50's :D

  17. #17
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    What model number is it? Mine is a 1774, it came with a little table unit, so it's not really the portale kind.
    My Kenmore is a model 1730 & it is portable. Hope you can find a machine that you like. Too bad about the water damage in your basement. The bright side is you will get to go shopping for a new machine. :D :D :D


  18. #18
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    When I learned how to sew, I used my moms Singer Touch and Sew. Since she is gone, I now have it and need to get it cleaned so it can be used again. I also have my grandmothers Singer, no clue what model, that she used back in the 20s/30s to sew sails for fishing boats. It's an electric model. Both of those Singers have/are in cabinets. Original cabinets. I was looking for a machine to make clothes for my daughters and my mom and dad bought me a $100 Singer. I used that for a long time and took it in for servicing. The man was going to charge me $125 for cleaning, etc. That's more than what the machine cost! So, I went out looking for something. Wandered into Sears and saw the Kenmore Ergo3 and bought that. I fell in love with the embroidery function.
    I got that home and a friend of mine dropped off her portable Kenmore to me saying....she didn't know how to use it, wasn't going to learn and wanted it out of her house. Just wished she had brought it over a few days before! So...I have 2 usable machines and the other 2, I call "decorator" machines.

  19. #19
    Super Member Janstar's Avatar
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    I have a 40+ year old Singer with all the bells and whistles, at that time. I sewed all my 3 kids clothes on that. Got a Kenmore when I started quilting, 8 years ago. Now I have a viking Designer 2 with the embrodery attachments. Love all of them. I use all of them for something special. Really like the needle down and the sensor foot for quilting on the Viking.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BDor's Avatar
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    I had a singer (do not know what model) that I got when my daughter was in high school ---quite a few years ago. Loved it, sewn many a stitch on it. When I carried it back in for repair a few years ago the man told me he could not fix it again. I was sick loved that old machine. So I just went to walmart and bought me a Simplicity very basic. At that time I was not into quilting but it has served me well. I have done all my piecing and some machine quilting on it. Sure would like to have a fancy new one and I'm just waiting for DH to buy new golf clubs or golf cart and that will be my time--I do try to keep up with his golf buying. LOL

    Beverly

  21. #21
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    I have a Singer 1425, cost $1400, 26 years ago!! It was an amazing machine and it sewed its way through everything from baby clothes to high school musical costumes for my children. But it just didn't have the power that I needed for stippling and other things. So I am the proud owner of a Janome 6500... $1800.00. I call it my early retirement gift and quite honestly? I LOVE it.

    My sister fought the urge to upgrade. Said her $400.00 20 year old Kenmore was just as good as my Janome. She just bought the 6600 and sheepishly admitted... newer is better! She's in love too!

  22. #22
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    I have a singer 660. I don't know how old it is, but my ex-mother-in-law had it for a long time and had it reconditioned and gave it to me about 10-15 years ago.

    It has cams and stuff, but really I only use the straight stitch and zigzag.

    I really like it though. It's very dependable.

  23. #23
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    I have a 25 year old Bernina 930 that is so heavy (solid metal) I can't lift it! Love the machine and it does not compare to the computerized machines of today that are all plastic.

  24. #24

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    I have a Singer 316, over 50 years old. Very solid and dependable. The only thing that I may have problems with sometime is the motor, when you run the thing really hard for a long time it starts to sound kind of unhappy. But, I know a guy who rebuilds small motors! :) So, if it would break I wouldn't have to replace the motor and have it be another color, it can still match my lime green machine! :D The thing is heavy though, yikes! What I love about this machine is that the moving parts will never break as long as it is maintained well and the parts that could break can be repaired fairly easily. :) I loooove older singers!

  25. #25
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    I see that many, many of you have Kenmore machines...was that made or sold by Montgomery Wards years ago? Before I quilted I had a Mont. Wards machine that I thought was Kenmore that worked like a champ on the clothing construction I did alot of. It was a true work horse. When I got my New Home 8000 about 20 years ago I gave the Mont.Wards machine to our daughter and she loved it until she let our granddaughter make doll clothes and something happened to it. She got rid of it and I was sick as I would have loved to get it back. Good machines.

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