Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sewing Machines

A small but beautiful hand crank sewing machine

I've saved this post to share today. Last week, I went with two friends from the Monday night quilting class to Anaheim.

I've mentioned M&L Fabrics before, and of course we went there.

A person could get into trouble in here, if she didn't have a plan! I was basically purchasing background prints, so it was all good.

We did lunch too. But I was wanting to share about sewing machines.

Mr. Lloyd Askew

There is a man that has a love for them, and we went to see his featherweights in particular.
Meet Mr. Lloyd Askew. He loves sewing machines. He has repaired and rebuilt them for 20 years, and it started as a side job or hobby.

~ I was viewing history on these shelves ~

I thought I loved sewing machines...until I met him. This is what greeted us in his garage.

Lloyd servicing my friend Lety's machine.

For those of you who don't know, years ago in 1933 Singer Sewing Machine Company put out a wondreful little doll-like machine that was portable, lighter weight than most machines of the day. It was well built and had a true but simple straight stitch. It seemed to lose favor in the 1960's-70's when most seamstresses wanted the zigzag or other fancy stitches. I'm one of them, growing up I sewed mostly on a Kenmore. But, these little machines still hold a charm to us girls who love fabric. He has so much more than featherweights, though....

I told him I'd love to share his collection.

~ mother of pearl inlay ~

hand painted, not decals

a couple hand cranked machines...

He smiled and said sure!

I think he said this one was from 1858 ~

~what's not to love about these child's versions?

a child's machine~ The first time I ever saw an Elna, I was in my 20's. My friend Patty Bullock was sewing on it, and it was green like this mini one-!

His collection of machines literally would rival a museum...

"AMERICAN" ~ don't you love it?

Or this one, that's me!
American Girl, a child's machine. No bobbin, this one does a chain stitch ~

Oh, you know what else? He has them all sewing, in working order. I was amazed at the beauty of them.

While we were there, I was shopping, too. My birthday is Sunday, 7/17. This little one is older than I am (not by much, though!),

and thanks to my sweet Larry, it came home with me. *VBG*

Now, I guess I'd better go sew a bit!
Happy Quilting ~



  1. ohmygosh, how totally awesome is that?????? Not only that Lloyd has all of those machines (and in perfect working order, no less), but that you got to bring one home! YAY for you...and Happy Birthday! Hugs to Larry...what a sweetheart.

  2. What an amazing collection! I bet you were there for ages.

    Hope you have a great birthday. Your Larry is a star- that gift is perfect. Cant wait to see what you sew on it. Old machines were so decorative and pretty!

  3. What an awesome post...I loved seeing all of the machines...what a collection.

  4. oh those are amazing!!! I've been staring at the machines for over an hour!

  5. What a wonderful, special birthday present! I'm so happy for you, dear friend!

  6. What a grand display! Wish I could have been there to see them. Happy birthday, and congratulations on your new little 'stitcher'!

  7. Wow, what a fascinating place to visit (and shop)! Thanks for the virtual tour. Those machines are so pretty, and now you've got one of your own! What a great birthday gift. I bet she purrs like a happy kitten, doesn't she? Happy BD!!

  8. Loved, loved, loved your post! And Happy Birthday! What a wonderful birthday present your Larry gave you - I am sure you will enjoy it to the fullest! Now get to sewing!!!!!!

  9. What an interesting blog post. I'm so glad for you to have gotten a FW for yourself! You know, back in 1998 I wrote an article about Featherweight sewing machines. It appeared as a three page story in Fons & Porter's "Love of Quilting" magazine (when they still owned it.) Through my research for the article, I became so interested in FWs that I ended up buying one at an estate sale. In hindsight I think I paid too much for it, but I sure like it. Gosh, I wish I lived near you so you could take me to meet Mr. Askew. My machine isn't working right, and though I carefully followed steps to repair it myself - according to Nancy Srebro Johnson's book "Featherweight 221: The Perfect Portable" - I can't figure out how to fix it. Hey, happy birthday to you!

  10. What an amazing collection and an amazing man. Thanks for sharing it :) Happy Birthday to you!!

  11. What a super cool b-day present! The tour was really neat.

  12. Those old machines are works of art.

  13. WOW! Those machines are amazing! I enjoyed the pictures!

  14. Thank you for sharing that with us!What wonderful machines! I'm so glad you got one. (I have one too. I love it!)

  15. Wow! Don't know which I liked better, the fabric store or all those machines...great pictures.

    Congrats on your new 'baby' and Happy Birthday to you! Mine is 7/19...we both are Cancers. I knew you felt special to me, and now I know why.

  16. Happy Birthday Twin- we share 7/17! I also love old machines- esp treadles. Have many waiting for me to clean them up. Congratulations on your new Featherweight. May you have many years of happiness together.

  17. Wow, those are wonderful! I have never so many great machines. Most that buy Featherweights swear by them!

  18. Thanks you for sharing all those pictures of the wonderful machines! They are amazing!

  19. As the grateful owner of my Grandma's Featherweight, I must say I sure appreciate this post! It made my day. And although I love my husband 110%, I've developed a bit of a crush on Lloyd! ;-)

  20. Oh my - what a fun post today! Thanks a BUNCH! I don't know much about the old machines, but this was an eye opener! 8-))

  21. Amazing man and machines! Happy Birthday to you.

  22. Congratulations, Pokey! I love my beautiful, glossy 221... and her big cousin, the 301. :D Enjoy!!

  23. I saw these small metal Singer machines at the Russian Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A whole row of taylors humming along on those sturdy little machines. I had two outfits made there ($5 for each top and pants!)

  24. Congratulations on your new purchse. All I can say is wow on the machines and thanks for sharing them. I've never been in a quilt shop with that much fabric!

  25. Well, happy birthday to you!!!! Thank you for the virtual tour! How cool to see all those machines in one place AND in working order. Congrats on your "new" machine!

  26. What an amazing display of vintage machines. And what a wonderful birthday gift. I've been to M & L. It's right up the street from where my aunt lives.

  27. Happy Birthday!
    I absolutely love these vintage machines. Every time I tell myself I don't need another one, I discover I really want another one--right now I'd love to have a chain stitcher so I could do some redwork type embroidery for quilts--since I began one almost 15 years ago and have finished only one block by hand! Too many things calling my name!

  28. Happy Birthday! What an ideal gift, you lucky girl! I am just drooling over all those machines, how fun. He really should open a museum.

  29. WOW!!! Pokey, that is truly amazing. Those machines just sparkle...and to think that they all are in working order! Thank goodness for people like Lloyd Askew that keep all of these treasures alive for us! And how exciting that you got one of your very own! I bet you've gotten bitten by the bug now...do we see a collection in your future? :o)



    P.S. A very belated but heartfelt Happy Birthday to you! I hope it was wonderful and that the year ahead brings you nothing but love, peace, and joy!

  30. OH WOW!! What an impressive collection! I love Lloyd's passion for these beautiful machines! Thank you sharing these pictures, it's so neat to see so many preserved and in working condition, wow!

    Congratulations to you on bringing such a beauty home with you! Sweet, sweet Larry!!


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