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  • Thinking about thinning the herd but have questions

  • Thinking about thinning the herd but have questions

    Old 06-22-2015, 09:38 PM
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    Default Thinking about thinning the herd but have questions

    well I didn't realize I had *quite* as many machines as I actually do ( a friend visiting tonight said she counted 27 just in the closet and that's maybe half or a teeny bit more than half though not all are antique/vintage a few are newer) some I've bought more than 1 of but a lot my mom bought more than 1 of or she bought me one then found another for herself. I'm learning a bit too late that right now with the shift I work and the callout, etc that I barely have time for quilting and learning to use a different machine here and there- let alone figure out how to use them all and even less time OR desire to do repairs. just squirting oil when needed can be a full-time job. I wish things were different as I love the old machines and would love to spend a day for each one...but it just isn't happening.

    I keep seeing people say how they have parts machines...but I'm wondering...if I have a machine that works (for instance a fw, 301, 500, 401, 328, 99, 66, 15, 201...) is there any reason to keep one that's the same for 'spare parts' or as a 'backup' if I'm not able to fix it myself? I dont mean different decals or belt vs whatever you call it when it has a motor and no belt...I mean is there a likely chance a part will be needed for the machine and I wont' be able to find one? I have a shop that can fix antique and vintage machines and I'm thinking if something is wrong with the 301 or whatever I'm wanting to sew with to take it in, pay the spruce up price ($120 and up depending on parts and how much time is needed) and have a working machine that just needs oil and some regular use and rotate through the machines as the budget allows until all the machines I'm wanting to use are spruced up. once the wiring is fixed and all is working would the machine be likely to be worry-free for the rest of my life?! (i'm 48 LOL!)

    I'm thinking of trading some of the duplicate machines at this shop or sell to some friends wanting some (301 and maybe 403, 503 that are duplicates or triplicates - 301 I have more than I thought and I only bought 2- the rest my mom found at various sales) I dont think sitting in the closet is doing them any good but I dont have time to sew on them all or even plug them in and run them not even on a monthly basis unless I ran extension cords to the closet and set a table up or hauled them out to the bedroom and plugged them in. I'm thinking one good working machine of each type and duplicates for different decals/colors and if it's a centennial maybe..not tossing anything to the trash pickup pile but I'm wondering sometimes if I've taken this a bit too far for the time I have to enjoy them when I've pretty much figured out i'm not in a place in my life right now where I can devote days to working on machines - and I don't have too much interest in doing anything but playing with the cams and sewing on them. not throw anything away but maybe glossing over stuff I already have (though featherweights are a toughy as well as anything with a cool color...) but 2-3 500s and a 503 and 2 401s and a 403 I'm wondering if that's just overkill...I also have 2 99's and they happen to have the same decals - shop has a 99 with older decals that's pretty and different...I have at least 2 long bed tan 301s and a couple of short bed black 301s - is there any reason to keep extras if I have one that sews well? (other than if i just happened to absolutely love that particular model?!)I think those parts are pretty easy to find right? and so long as there's a shop that can fix I should be ok right?

    I know I've read some posts either here or on another forum about people thinning their herd..just sorta thinking out loud and been doing a LOT of spring cleaning that's gone into summer cleaning around here.I've been making space in my house for all the stuff I want and am finally getting space for sewing machines to be set up in cabinets and trying to decide whether or not to buy more cabinets or just replace some machines in the ones I already have. for my limited experience in 'collecting' I've discovered that I LOVE the look of the 15s - can't hardly walk past one without wanting it - even the clones - and I have a feeling I'll be grabbing clones when I see them at a decent price or I just 'want' it...also love the look of treadles/handcranks with the floral decals but since I dont come across those except at this particular shop and they're almost always $250 or more I don't see them becoming frequent additions - plus this shop doesn't usually have the floral decal machines...I also have an affinity for the late 50s machines for the cool dials. for sewing I love how the fw, 301 sew and the fun with the stitches on the 401 and 500 - but honestly I think they're kinda ugly looking I like the black machines and the cool colors not the tan/beige stuff for looks - just for sewing. I'm sure this shop isn't an equal trade- after all they gotta stay in business - but I should be able to trade for a machine I'm pretty sure I want to add or maybe some work done on the ones I already have or perhaps a cabinet.
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    Old 06-23-2015, 02:47 AM
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    Everyone's needs are different. You need to do what is right for you. I'm disabled so don't work any more. I have the time and motivation to work on my own machines. Not everyone does.

    Your situation sounds far different than mine. You have what sounds like a decent paying job and the long hours that come with it. For you it may make perfect sense to have fewer machines and pay for any work that needs done.
    There's also something to be said for a house where you're not tripping over machines.

    Sewing machines are fairly easy to transport and relatively inexpensive. It's a combination that makes it very easy to acquire far more than you have time or space for.

    I say it sounds like you've put a lot of thought in this. Go ahead and thin away. I think it's better for collections (or any belongings) to have use and/or meaning for their owner. They shouldn't be a burden.
    Rodney is offline  
    Old 06-23-2015, 04:31 AM
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    It's sad that they aren't being used even though it's obvious they are loved. If it were me, I'd vote for thinning the herd. Spread the joy of these beauties to others and make room in your home. As for holding them for parts, as long as they run, I'd keep them that way and sell them to those who share the passion.
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    Old 06-23-2015, 04:51 AM
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    Great answers Debbi and Rodney. I to have too many machines and think about letting a few go. I like the idea of letting others enjoy them. But which ones!!!

    Last edited by wilburness; 06-23-2015 at 04:53 AM.
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    Old 06-23-2015, 05:26 AM
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    Bottom line for me is - do they make you happy?

    It sounds like they did, but now they don't. So why keep them? Machines like 301s...there are lots of spare parts available, I don't think you need to keep your own. Something a lot more rare, maybe that'd make sense, but 301s are everywhere and parts seem to be pretty easy to find.

    I think you should let go of the machines that don't thrill you, and focus on the ones that do! Maybe you can trade some of your machines for some neat 15 clones. Someone else will be thrilled to get some of the machines that make you yawn now.
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    Old 06-23-2015, 05:38 AM
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    Wow....I'm speechless but admiring you at the same time . Wish you could have time to play with your machines even though it's a large amount of them. As for parts, I would category them to what they belong to in plastic shoe boxes and maybe you do need to thin them out some? I personally love those FW and 301's as well as the 401's. It's your preference as to what you feel for them and up to you to do what you want with them, no need to worry about what others says. You have family that wants to inherit them? Is one thing to know or you just like to have in collection? I'm sorry I'm no help but hope you found out what you want to do......I wouldn't mind having one or two ����.....for real !!
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    Old 06-23-2015, 06:40 AM
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    thanks everyone. I don't have anyone to inherit- my brother has zero interest in sewing machines other than for sentimental value(he bought our mom a fw for christmas one year and got it back after she passed and doesnt' want to sell it even though he doesn't use it and wont' let his wife touch it) my friend's 7 yr old son isn't likely to have any interest.

    bottom line is they DO make me happy- I've always figured I could at least set them out to look at to enjoy that way but I don't enjoy looking at 301s, 401s, 500s other than maybe 1.but I DO love sewing on those machines- they're fun(401 and 500) and such beautiful stitches (301)and the featherweights are cute and I've been using 1 of mine pretty regularly for quilting bees/sew-ins and may take one with me to retreat next month though I'd like to take a 301 with me to try out.

    Rodney I dont have a super duper great paying job but it does pay pretty well - the problem is that the overtime hasn't been letting up and it's a stressful shift and the job itself has become very stressful with people I work with - not a good work environment. I keep hoping things will change but right now I feel trapped and frustrated - it's either quit and have zero income/zero health insurance/lots of free time or keep working and have income/health insurance/not much time. If the job went to no callout by hiring 4 more people perhaps then things would be different.

    part of the problem was inheriting what my mom bought and feeling some kind of attachment to it though she only sewed on them enough to test them out and some still didnt' work after she had my dad fiddle with them (already found out one he rewired still didn't have good wiring - the place sold him the wrong wire- but this shop fixed that for me.

    I just hate to pile machines in the closet or stuck in the room/cabinet getting dusty and going to ruin. I had this thought the other day when doing the major cleaning the college kids I hired finally cleared space to the 2 treadles I had bought early on...I had loved the New Home on site and it wasn't one the person I bought it from was really into(she was big-time treadle fanatic so it had been maintenanced but not pristine) anyways I happily lifted the cover then saw it was rusty and dusty and felt icky - and it had been stored inside and I keep the temperature pretty good in the house esp working shift and needing all the help I can get with sleep(can't sleep hot) so it got me to thinking how the other machines may not be fairing well in the closet or stuck in bedrooms. sigh...

    I'm not talking drastic and the number may not even go down much but I was just thinking how I have so many 301s that are great machines (one of my favorite for ease of use and beautiful stitch but not for decorating I guess is the best way to put it - at least not to me- though I am kinda starting to like the 2 tone ones when I previously hated their looks) and how I have at least 2 401s and at least 2 500s and also at least 1 each of 403 and 503 - and I think the 3's are the same as the built in stitch models if I use cams. my mom also had 2 328ks I think is the model (kinda enjoyed sewing on one of them when Id id my initial 'let's try to test them all and make notes' a little over a year ago...I had a 99 and she found one with the same decals..I had bought a 201 that the person selling said was using more oil than he thought it s hould be using but didn't have time at the time to fiddle with it -s aid it sewed and I could just add oil if I was ok with that- it ended up being decoration as I got busy back then with my parents coming down for my dad's chemo and all and that's when my nice 8 hr evening shift ended and we went to 12 hr rotating shifts so I started being tired most of my time off. since my renewed interest I've bought another 201 from someone and I KNOW that one and the 15-91 I bought both work and are in good or even great shape - I want to use them and think they'll just need some oil and the basic stuff and be ready to go. all the 301s will need going over- I fiddled with the one my mom found in a cabinet but it's still 'stiff' sewing. not sure how the others are- I know 2 were sewing fine - one great and the other 'pretty good' about 10 yrs ago when I got them and was sewing on them more regularly.

    I guess I'm just wondering if it's bad for them to sit unused (I don't want anything damaged and would rather it went somewhere where someone would get pleasure from it and keep it' healthy' than to sit and rust inside the house) and if I would someday need parts from an extra to keep one I love working. Otherwise having more than 1 of the 301s and such doesn't really bother me per se - right now I have the space. but I'm thinking it might make sense to trade some at this shop(or sell the 2 friends a 301 if they're willing to help me test them out and make sure we all end up with something working well) then use the money (or trade) towards maintenance on my top machine picks at the moment, cabinets, or towards something else that catches my interest (like the federation jones handcrank the shop is holding for me) those I could sit on a shelf and admire forever..and even dust LOL!

    I wish some of you lived near me- Rodney you need to move to Houston! what I really need I think is like a housekepper/dogwalker for my machines I've come to realize in the past few months that with my time being so taken up with work and trying to get healthy that I need to pay for some stuff to keep my house in order- a dog walk for my day shifts has helped as well as deciding to have someone come in and clean/keep up with the house(right now the college kids plan on this job but they're been on vacation with family then return to college but they plan to finish up the organization here and she'll probably clean until she goes back then help me find someone else to do it. I don't know anyone to do the machines for me though- the shop isn't far away but it's not close either and the one who does the major repairs is the woman's hubby who only does them now when he's free(he works full-time at something else but was spending every saturday in the shop doing repairs but now he's been taking off more and she has someone else she sends them to a lot of times depending on what needs doing to them). i wouldn't worry about mine so much if they had someone tending to them leaving me free to play with them as I find time

    anyways just my ongoing thoughts and as you've said it's better a machine or anything brings joy and pleasure - if not to me then to someone else. a couple fo friends kept pressuring me initially to sell some and kept telling people I had machines and I got snappy finally telling them I didnt' want to sell anything and they were shocked..but really I hadn't even had time to pull any out and plug them in at the time (that's when stuff was really crowded in the house with my mom's furniture piled in etc) and these friends happen to not work at least not outside the home so I guess they just dont understand what being tired and called in to work all the time means. it added to the pressure..and hearing one refer to me as a 'hoarder' really ticked me off - I dont think I hoard- I think I start off interestedin something and keep that interest but get attached and then overwhelmed and frustrated when I realize I can't keep up with the interst or devote time to the interest. I've always loved old stuff - that whole period of time - and would live in a museum probably if I could! I've been putting my cabinets where I think I want them and finally enjoying what i have- I rehomed a bunch of instruments and am debating getting rid of the better quality instruments(gave the others away and the guy was happy as could be and has been using them and I think shared one with someone else who wanted it) and am starting to eyeball all the fabric I have and sorting through ufos...just way past due in doing and even now I've had to hire help to get it done.

    hopefully the job situation will change for the better but for right now works' attitude is 'there's the gate' and 'if they were unhappy they would have quit already' I have almost 25 yrs in this place and i'm the only income - shoot if I could meet a decent man who did nothing but not spend money, take care of dogs, fix sewing machines, do housework and massage feet I'd snatch him up LOL!
    quilt938 is offline  
    Old 06-23-2015, 08:12 AM
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    ((((Susanna)))) your last comment has me rolling on the floor.

    " ... if I could meet a decent man who did nothing but not spend money, take care of dogs, fix sewing machines, do housework and massage feet I'd snatch him up LOL! ... "

    I hate to break it to you, but I see some fantasy words in that statement - Don't hold your breath, but if he does appear, I'll race you to him! LOL

    I worked at a 1,200+ inmate facility in California years ago. Your shifts sound like what I had to endure. I am so sorry you are going through this stressful time.

    Enjoy your pups when you have time. My "boys" get me through the days!

    Last edited by Caroline94535; 06-23-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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    Old 06-23-2015, 08:30 AM
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    to bad you are so far away....I am (75) retired and testing out the machines sounds fun...right now I am house sitting for 8 weeks at a house with a longarm, an embroidery machine, my 301, and a fantastic air conditioner. Just finished wrapping most of my friends fabric stash on comic boards to fit the shelving her husband has built and will install when they return.....so, see, I could test drive all those babies.
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    Old 06-23-2015, 09:04 AM
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    Suzanna, Caroline if you find that man ... ask if he has a single brother for me here in Wisconsin. I also like to fish.

    Suzanna, I just retired a couple of months ago, best choice I made. I will have to watch what I spend but not to have the stress from work is wonderful.

    Sunlite ... I think you may have a nitch in the quilting/sewing world.
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