A few weeks ago, someone on the homeschool Yahoo message board posted that she was selling a Singer treadle sewing machine. I had responded that I would be interested in possibly purchasing it, but someone beat me to the punch. I was a little disappointed, but didn't think too much of it. However, a week later she e-mailed me telling me that the first responder went silent and the offer of the machine now went to me.
I drove to her home the next day and came home with my new $35 purchase.
The seller did tell me about a few problems with the machine. There was a screw missing on the metal cover to the left and it looked like it took a special screw. (I found the missing screw in on of the drawers.) The thread take up spring had been broken by one of her children. (I just pushed the spring back around to it's original position and nothing is broken on it.) The needle is broken. (I'm still not sure how it is broken because it is smooth, fits in its slot correctly and seems to sew just fine.) The leather treadle belt is off and a different black belt is on the machine, which may need to be changed out. (Once again, it seems to be just fine the way it is.) And electric light attached to the back had some exposed wires on the inside of the plug itself. (I'm not sure if this light is original with the machine, but I haven't plugged it in and really am not that interested in using it.)
So, all these "problems" with the sewing machine were really not problems at all. I found a free instruction manual for the Singer machine made a couple years after mine, so I was able to get everything oiled and ready for sewing. It took a few days of just practicing and getting the feel of my feet moving the treadle to get the machine sewing in the right direction. I then was able to sew together some blocks from a swap a year or so ago. Then I basted it and quilted.
After the quilting was complete, I sewed the binding onto the quilt, also with the treadle. I now have a finished doll quilt and a little pillow, which I made with two extra blocks. Abigail now owns these for her baby dolls.
I'm thrilled with my "new" machine. The stitches are perfectly even and sew so smoothly. It's also quite fun to sit and treadle. A friend on QATW helped me find out information about my machine. It is a Red Eye Singer treadle model 44 made in April 1901 in New Jersey. So, we are soon coming up on this girl's 111th birthday!