Antique or vintage sewing machines are very popular among today’s quilters and sewers. The earliest sewing machines, whether they were treadle, hand crank or even the early electric versions seem to capture our hearts.
Ask any quilter if she has an antique sewing machine and her answer will be one of two responses, either “Yes!” or “I wish I did,” followed by a sigh. Not only do many quilters own a vintage machine, but they use them! Singer featherweights show up at almost every quilting retreat or event held these days. They are small, portable, reliable and sew like a dream! If you haven’t seen one in person, below is a photo of the classic featherweight model.
Why do we love them?
Well, there are many reasons. Perhaps the greatest reason is that they make us feel connected to the past and the history of our craft. Vintage sewing machines, like old block patterns and antique quilts, remind us that our favorite pastime has been shared by quilters from many generations before us. These beautiful old machines remind us that we are a part of something that started long before us and will continue on into the future.
Another reason we are fascinated with vintage sewing machines is that they bring to mind good memories.
Our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other family members sewed on them. These same women were the ones that taught us how to sew, possibly on one of these machines. Good memories are always fun to incorporate into our stitches and if we don’t have a vintage machine to sew on, perhaps we can add a vintage machine motif to our quilted project.
Vintage sewing machine patterns
These designs are easy to find for any method of quilting. From paper piecing to appliqué, or simple pieced blocks, there are patterns available that represent this beloved motif. Several current fabric lines even feature vintage machine and sewing notions!
How many patterns have you seen that have a vintage machine in the photo of the quilt? They make wonderful props and remind us of our connection to the past and each other.
These vintage machines are simply fun! They look cute on a tea towel, a machine cover or a quilt. Just like other sewing motifs such as scissors, thimbles and thread, we are naturally drawn to items that represent the hobby we enjoy. And let’s be honest, the vintage machines are so much cuter than modern computerized machines. They are also can be much more easily recognizable than today’s versions.
Do you have a vintage machine?
Do you use it to sew on or just for decoration? What type of machine is it and what year was it made? If you would be willing to share your information in the responses it could be fun to see who is sewing on these old beauties. If you don’t have one, perhaps you will be inspired to use one of these patterns in a future project.