Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hidden Treasures

The other day, I went on a treasure hunt in my Gramma's old desk.  I knew what I wanted, and I thought I knew exactly where it was.  I had seen it, had my hand on it, put it right back where I had found it... so I thought.  

See the problem was my sewing machine needed tending.  It needed brushed for lint and oiled badly.  I'm ashamed to say I honestly have no idea when last it was serviced.  It had developed a truly nerve wracking squeak on every downward thrust of the needle.  At full tilt, this became a mind numbing eekeekeekeekeekeek that could no longer be ignored.  

It took me ALL DAY to find what I thought I could go right to.  It turned out to be in the desk, but in a different drawer underneath a whole bunch of other goodies.  

These unassuming cases held what I thought was a fascinating find.  I have no idea if I can use this as an attachment on my much more modern sewing machine, but isn't it cool as hell??  

It's a very old buttonhole attachment, complete with a full assortment of templates.  

I also found the mother load of needles.  There are sewing machine needles, hand sewing needles, upholstery needles, quilting needles, tapestry needles, embroidery needles... if I ever buy another needle again in my life, I will be surprised.  Very VERY surprised.  But that's not all I found.  

I know that by making these pictures this large, it is going to throw off the blog's proportions, but I think this is awesome.  Check out the antique sewing machine needle.  How awesome would it be to stumble across the sewing machine itself some day?  I know that's not going to happen in my basement.  If I had a gorgeous antique sewing machine down there, I know I would know.  I also know that it is't in my grandparents' old workshop.  I think Gramma held on to this needle as a keepsake.  The shears sharpener, however, will be useful just as soon as I find my shears... For some reason I can't put my hand on them anymore in spite of having an awesome desk to store all my crafty stuff on, in, and under.

Another rather useless but interesting find:  a cigarette holder.  

And thread...  The wall do-hickey was given to me by a friend.  She didn't use it anymore and thought I might be able to.  Oh boy can I.  

More thread.  This little number has brackets on the back, so it can also be hung on the wall.  Some of these spools are wooden with 5 cents burned into the wood for a price tag and brand information etched in reverse relief.  O.o  I plan to keep the wooden spools for something or other.  I really have no plan at this point, but I think they're awesome and don't want to toss them.  

This tackle box looking sewing box was a gift from my Gramma, and not included here because it was a recent treasure find.  It is included here because it is also FULL of thread!  I may well have to buy more thread in my life, but it won't be for a long, long, long time.

This is the complete user's manual, not just the front page.  The staples are long gone, but every page is accounted for.  This and the needle I mentioned earlier are all that is left of this gorgeous machine, but maybe one day I'll stumble across one just like it in a thrift store or yard sale.  What happened over the years to "useful" and "beautiful" not going together anymore?  Everything of yesteryear (with some exceptions) was functional, attractive, and meant to last a lifetime.  Now things are not nearly so pretty, almost never so sturdy, and half the time not as useful as the commercials want us to believe.  *sigh*  It makes me sad.

But!.... the day was not completely wasted.    I found this!

It is the complete user's guide and quick reference flyer for my Gramma's machine.  Now all those weird bells and whistles I didn't know what to do with before can become nifty gizmos and settings to play with.

And finally....

I found what I had been looking for all along.  The danged sewing machine oil.  I had to take the housing off and oil parts I had never messed with before, but I finally got that squeak to go away, and the old girl is running like a dream again.  :-)   Now, I need to figure out if she's strong enough to embroider around a name tape, because my fingers are not feeling this job at all.  I have to put a name tape on one of B's t-shirts for work.  Wish me luck....


  1. what is that antique needle used for?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Or possibly the Cardinal the manual is for. I'd have to pull it back out to see if it's marked.


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