I often fully agree that today’s society and population is the one who is greatly in love with the “throw away”. It’s broken…throw it away and get another. It’s dirty…throw it away! We too easily throw things away. If it’s new and shiny, that’s what get our attention. Bring out the bling and the wallets open to buy another. But what about the cool vintage finds that are still out there?
It seems that over the past few years there has been a sort-of revival of the love of vintage or antiques. Flea Markets, Farmer’s Markets, thrift shops, and Restores are often picked through looking for that treasured find. Sometimes there are the amazing little things that would make an appraiser on Antiques Roadshow swoon, and sometimes it’s just an old piece of junk in some’s eyes. But every now and then, you’ll find that special item that may be junk to others, but shines like gold to yours.
About a year ago we are walking around one of our local Habitat Restores in the area (a favorite place of mine actually) and after quickly shuffling through a few pieces of art for the walls, the husband shows me a neat little picture with Owls. I happen to be a big fan of Owls, as I matter of fact, my Woodbadge Patrol is the Owls, I have an Owl tattoo, and there are quite a few Owl items perched around the house. Back to the picture, to some it may have looked like an ugly piece of art, small in size, that no one wanted. I’ll admit the frame was quite boring. I figured I’d bring it home, re-frame it and it would be a cute knick knack piece for a whole $5. Little did I know until I brought it home that it’s a signed and numbered piece, in the original frame…worth a bit more than the $5 sale tag.
In the past month, I’ve added 2 more little treasured pieces to my collection of knick knacks. As you all know, I do have a love of sewing and quilting, and with that seems to come along a love of vintage sewing machines. Since moving to Maryland my collection has grown drastically. Upon arrival my only vintage machines were a Singer Featherweight and a 301A. Quite prized in themselves by many. Shortly after, the same Restore mentioned above had a Singer Treadle for $70 that the husband picked up for me on the way home one day. That $70 spend was well worth it when included was the puzzle box to hold all the accessory feet worth more than the price tag! Earlier this spring, a customer at the shop I work at was throwing away a Pfaff 30 (treadle) and a Singer 66 with cabinet. I happened to be there, and instead of watching them be carted off to the trash, they were carefully loaded in my car and transported home. While researching for parts for the Pfaff 30, I found a Pfaff 130 with all parts and original cabinet an hour away for $50…I brought that home next.
Then came last month. While surfing around on the internet one evening, I found a listing in Virginia for a Singer Featherweight for $200. I looked at the picture and knew I had to have it, it was a Centennial Edition. This was one of the machines on the Sewing Machine Bucket List I have in my mind. After verifying the serial #, age, and that it was indeed a Centennial, we agreed on $150 and the kids and I were off on a roadtrip to bring her home. She is in beautiful condition, only needs a slight tune up, and is ready to run again. However, the prize of all prizes came home this past weekend.
In what some would call a crazy idea, and I’ll admit it was out there, I flew to Nashville on Sept 1st to pick up the #2 machine on my bucket list, a Pfaff 130 with the decorative stitch attachment. This old gal came from a family estate, and no one wanted her, so for sale she went. I found her online through the Facebook Marketplace and the seller was more than generous to hold her for me until I could fly in. So on Sept 1st I woke up at 4:45 am, caught a flight out of Baltimore at 7:30, landed in Nashville, got a rental car, drove an hour to pick her up, packed safely away, spent a few hours back in Nashville, and flew home, finally arriving back at the house at 11pm. It was worth every second of travel, she is stunning, all original pieces, plus some. I cannot wait to take her in for a tune up and then let her sew me a quilt.
In case you may be wondering what my #1 machine is on the Sewing Machine Bucket List, it would be a Singer Featherweight Texas Centennial Edition. If you happen to find me one, send it my way. I’ll be forever thankful to add that final one into the studio.