Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meet 'Freckles', My Singer 301 Long Bed!

I don't usually name my sewing machines, but this one just had to be's why.

Today, I'm given the opportunity to tell you 'again' why we love 'junkin' (properly called, 'Goodwill Hunting') so much. Louie and I went to a few thrift stores yesterday. We found this 'treasure' at the Salvation Army 'As Is' store, where you buy things in whatever condition they are exchanges, no apologies. Most times, you get things very reasonable, but it usually requires some time on your part for cleaning, or fixing. I think with sewing machines, 'nursing them back' to working condition is such a rewarding feeling. I have rarely failed, and today was no exception, although I did have to sacrifice a few hours.

As I was walking through the store, I spotted this 'suitcase'. I knew right away from the shape and color of the case there was a sewing machine inside, although I wasn't sure exactly which model. I was not disappointed. As you can see, it was a Singer 301A Long Bed sewing machine. The 301 is what they call the 'Big Sister' to the Singer 221 Featherweight sewing machine. Both models have an aluminum body, which makes the machine very lightweight, easy to carry, and quite popular as a take along machine on quilting retreats. We adopted her for $29.99.

The case is in very good shape, considering it's age. I'm not really sure how old she is, but here is a little history about the 301.I REALLY wish I had taken 'before pictures, because I really did not know how much difference I would be making cosmetically. On the machine body, there were several 'spots' of rust. Louie brought me some of his Turtle Wax Polishing Compound, and I managed to get the rust off, but the paint was damaged enough that it left little 'freckles' (or, I could call them 'age spots, but I won't, that wouldn't be nice') in several different places. After the polishing compound, the finish was dull, so I used a kitchen appliance polish called Kitchen Magic to put the shine back on the finish. It still needed a little more shine, so I used a little furniture polish as well. It was looking pretty good after that! After 'Freckles' was looking pretty good again, and she was all oiled and moving freely again, (which also was a big job....) I threaded her and did a test sew. Oh, that girl can sew! Her stitches look perfect, and she didn't skip a beat.Here she is, back in her case. I bought a Singer Zig zag attachment for her off eBay today, just for fun, as she is strickly a straight stitch machine. Now I just need an old Singer oil can to snap in the clamp inside the case to make it all complete. Every time we run across one of these machines, I fall in love all over again. I become attached to it after it is all fixed up, I swear it is mine forever, then eventually, we will sell it. I have never run across a long bed before though. The others I have found were the short beds, and I'm not really sure what the reason for the difference in them was for.

Update: The short bed 301's were an 'in cabinet' model, where the long beds were a portable model.

Thanks for meeting 'Freckles', and for letting me tell you again, why I love 'Goodwill Hunting', but in this case, it was Salvation Army 'hunting'.

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 14:13


Hazel said...

Oh my ,what a fine ,it will be great for quilting .I had never heard of of this machine 'you can be sure I will be on the look out from now on LOL. You did great girl both with the labor and the fine .Happy hunting

Suzan said...

I also love "rescuing" older machines. Unfortunately, I don't ever get rid of any...I just keep collecting! You did a beautiful job with this one!!

Kristie said...

You always find the best things!!!! Lucky you!!!! It sure looks like a nice machine!

Amelia said...

Looks like you had quite a successful shopping/hunting expedition in finding that machine. Your work made it look like new - anyway from the pictures.

Have a great week...don't work too hard.


Bethany said...

What a find! I still regret the day I walked by a Singer Featherweight and didn't buy it. I showed it to a friend who fixes machines and he wanted 300 dollars for it after that.

So glad you rescued it.

Carla said...

You did great! The 301 is such a nice machine. It's been on my list of "would love to have if the price is right" machines. It looks so nice...your work paid off!

Cindy (aka Peony the House Elf) said...

What a wonderful find. It reminds me of my Mom's machine the one I learned to sew on. The only difference she didn't have the long bed. I know here machine is and always will be a workhorse.

Connie said...

That is one of the *best* finds ever!! Your new baby looks amazing--what a tremendous bargain that is!!! I'm envious--such a cool machine to own!

Alison-My Little Stitching Corner said...

What fun and what a wonderful find. Her stitches are lovely!!

Candace said...

On Bonnie's Quiltville blog recently she bought a toy one, and was saying that she always wanted a 301 and hadn't found one. What a find.


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