Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Best Vintage Machine for Free Motion Quilting


If you want to try free motion quilting on a vintage machine you need a Singer 15.  There were many minor variations over the years, for example, different stitch length levers, and on some the feed dogs drop.  My treadle is a basic Singer 15K (K just means it was manufactured in Scotland, in the factory at Kilbowie).  Singer 15s are easily recognisable by the tension discs, which are on the faceplate at the back. 




The bobbin is held in the bobbin case directly below the needleplate.  This is the central bobbin mechanism, and it is this method of stitch formation which allows the movement of the work necessary for free motion quilting.

Many other manufacturers made machines based on Singer 15s, in particular in Japan after the Second World War.  These machines are equally suitable for free motion work.



For a good look at this type of machine, you may want to watch the video with the threading instructions.

So if you have a treadle or electric Singer 15, or another manufacturer's copy, and want to have a go at free motion quilting, give it a try!

8 comments:

  1. Dear Lizzie,

    I recently bought an 15k portable and after spending a few days getting rid of the damp, musty smell, I finally got around to using it this afternoon. Well, the online diagram for threading the upper thread was close to useless, especially with my poor eyesight. However, your video really did make a difference, especially the close-up still photos'. I was close to giving up until another day before I watched your video, but after watching several times, I finally managed to get it sorted out and now she's sewing beautifully. Thank you, your video is much appreciated.

    Allie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Allie!

    My husband and I make the videos together, and are always so pleased to hear back from people who have been sorting out old machines.

    Love,
    Muv

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found your blog via a link from quiltingboard.com. I am picking up a treadle next week and am excited that I can quilt on it. Now, I am quilting and piecing on Singer 301s, just love them. I just love your videos and pictures- a real treat. And listening to you is even more a treat- I am from Buffalo, NY on the edge of Lake Erie. Hope to learn from you and take my vintage use/knowledge up a few notches. THANK YOU!
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. Hello Linda,

      Lovely to hear from you!

      I hope all goes well with your treadle and that you have it up and running soon. Sewing on a treadle is a real pleasure.

      Love,
      Muv

      Delete
  4. Hello Lizzie/Muv/*Insert other!
    I have a lovely Singer 201 treadle which I lovingly restored after being inspired by your videos,thank you! She is now my pride and joy! I gave my old electric industrial away on freecycle soon after discovering treadling. Now, I am searching for a 15 (or clone) and have been for many months (friends/ebay/gumtree), but with no joy. I have tried free motion on the 201,practicing 'til my hands almost fell off, but it still isn't as good as I'd like. Can you offer any tips while I wait for a lovely 15 to turn up please?
    Love E

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello E,

    A 15 will turn up sooner or later. I had been waiting for a nice 15K hand machine for about three years, not really looking, when I found mine in a charity shop.

    I have never done any free motion work on the 201K. If you read this guide this might explain why you have been having a bit of difficulty.

    http://www.ebay.com/gds/Free-Motion-Quilting-with-Vintage-Singer-Sewing-Machine-/10000000003585145/g.html

    What I have found helpful is having a table behind the treadle so there is no chance of the work weighing down behind the machine or bumping into the wall. Also, I haven't worked on large pieces. All the practice pieces I am doing are fat quarter sized or a bit bigger.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck with your search,

    Love,
    Muv

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  6. Greetings Lizzie,

    How to know what kind of treadle my sewingmachine have? The name is Ruby but the metal plate decorations near the tension metal looks exactly the same as the pictures above.. The needle used has number 13 on it.. But I really have no idea what this all meant.. I just want to search for manual but idk what type of sewingmachine Ruby is..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Airi,

      There's no way I can tell from your description. Look at this page and see if you can find it.

      http://needlebar.org/cm/thumbnails.php?search=Ruby&submit=search&album=search&title=on&newer_than=&caption=on&older_than=&keywords=on&type=AND

      Love, Muv

      Delete

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