The Herd

What do you call a group of sewing machines?
A herd.
If you are a quilt addict, you may develop a love of sewing machines, and accidentally end up with a herd!

It's like any other addiction I suppose. It started with just one sewing machine ... a basic Janome with no frills, purchased in 1990 for $300.  I took my first quilting classes with that machine and sewed the guts right out of it. It is still kicking around here somewhere, but it has been retired.
Ny nephew helping me to clean my Brother 1500

Then I realized that I really liked quilting and I needed a real work horse for machine quilting. So I bought machine #2 - a Brother 1500 that supposedly sews 1,500 stitches per minute. It has been such a fantastic machine and I love it. If it ever dies, I will immediately replace it with one that is exactly the same.

Janome Jem Platinum

One Christmas Santa brought me machine #3 which is a lightweight portable machine called a Janome Jem Platinum. This is a great machine to take to classes. It is also the only machine I own that does a zigzag stitch, so I use this one for sewing batting scraps together, and anything else requiring a zigzag (like making fabric bowls).
1901 Singer Treadle

Then I started to covet a "people powered" treadle machine and purchased machine #4 - an amazing 1901 Singer. I love this machine and it is set up in my dining room. I have a scrappy project that I only work on with this machine whenever I get the urge to treadle, which is usually in the winter.

White Featherweight
Just after I bought the treadle machine, a wonderful friend surprised me with machine #5 - a beautiful collector's white featherweight 221K, which I love but don't want to sew on it too much for fear of wearing it out. It is so cute and makes a perfect stitch even though it is over 50 years old. I call her Sweet Baby Jayne (after my sister who is the same age).

Blue White
Then I met a lovely blue machine while I was taking care of my brother when he was sick.  After my brother's death I bought machine #6 - that pretty "Blue White" machine. This machine is a very heavy industrial machine and I can barely lift it - it's 100% metal parts (nothing plastic in this baby!) It purrs like a kitten when it sews and makes a perfect stitch. But also the foot pedal gets a little hot when I run it too long.

Then an old singer found it's way to me... I've never mentioned it before on my blog because I was embarrassed that I adopted machine #7.
I started to wonder if I might have some sort of "problem"! But really this is a beautiful piece of furniture and it's in my dining room. I haven't had much time to get the machine working well yet. In addition to being a pretty machine, it's a lovely piece of furniture (being modelled by my Granddog Max). 

Twin 301 Singers
Then in 2014 I was given two 301 Singer Sisters (I call them Lucy and Ethel) by a generous blog reader. She wasn't sure they were working machines, but I spent quite a bit of time cleaning, adjusting and working on them (owner's manual). One machine is a bit reluctant to wind bobbins, but they both sew perfectly now. They are herd members #8 and #9.

I was given machine #10 by a colleague/nurse/friend that needed it out of her basement. So we moved it from her basement to mine! The irons are a mess, but I am still hoping to be able to revive that old gal (photo to come).

Machine #11 is called Frieda. She was only $25 but is a mess of a machine. I wanted to convert her to a hand crank, but it's not possible without massive reconstruction. I'm hoping to be able to get her to treadle one day. Her decals are so pretty.

I found machine #12 in a thrift shop. Charity is a black 1952 Singer Featherweight 221K. She is a cousin of Sweet Baby Jane machine #5. It's not politically correct to have a favourite machine (which would be like having a favourite child) but if I did have one, this would be it!

In 2015 I attended a TOGA event to learn more about vintage machine restoration. It was mind blowing, and I don't even know how it happened but I accidentally brought home two more "fixer-uppers". Here is the trunk of my car with machine # 11, #13 and #14.
Perhaps I have to admit that I may have a teeny tiny bit of a "problem"!

Machine #15 is my Domestic Goddess and was acquired in December 2015.  As well as making a lovely stitch, her claim to fame is her beautiful face plate. She is a free standing machine in a very beat up cabinet.

Singer Sue
In June 2017 a work friend of mine texted me that her parents had found a machine for me. How does that even happen that people I have never met know my fondness for vintage machines and want to help me rescue them?! This is machine #16 and is a Singer 15-91 made in 1936. Her name is Singer Sue and she needs a bit of work to be functional. I have hopes of turning her into a hand crank.

Elsie 221
Meet Elsie, a Singer 221K Featherweight machine that was gifted to me. She was born in 1951 which is Singer's Centennial year so she has a special badge.  She joins the herd as machine #17. I know I already said that machine #12 was my favourite, but now that Elsie has joined us, she might be my new favourite machine since she sews so perfectly.

How many sewing machines does one quilter need?
Well, you only need 1, but you sure can enjoy a herd which can grow to include as many machines as your budget and storage space will allow!