Thursday 3 February 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 367 - A Break From Quilting

It has been a busy fortnight of zero quilting.  The kitchen has turned into a marmalade factory because it is that time of year again, the month and a half when Seville oranges are on sale, and when I haven't been busy cooking I have been cleaning up a machine.

This smart Singer 99K belongs to my neighbour Jenny.  It has been up in her loft for years, and her son fetched it down a couple of weeks ago.  It belonged to her mother, and hasn't been used for decades.

I checked the serial number and found that it was manufactured in 1935.

When I lifted the machine to look underneath it I found the original manual hidden in the base.  Luckily the machine hadn't been oiled before it was put away, otherwise oil would have dripped down on the manual and ruined it.

With the manual was an interesting looking gadget called the Singercraft Guide.  I have never come across one of these before.  

It has a blade at the end, the thickness of a razor blade.

The only instructions with the attachment were for fitting in a blade, which must be well nigh impossible to replace these days.  There were no clues as to what it was used for, but checking online I found that it is an ingenious little device used for making rugs.

Perhaps that explains why the machine was so incredibly dusty.

The bobbin winder was absolutely caked with fibres...

... but once I had finished cleaning I was delighted to see that the dust hadn't been hiding any rust.

It was the same story under the needle plate...

... but once I got into all the nooks and crannies I could see everything was going to move perfectly.

The only repair I had to do was a bit of shammy leather tied around the finger on the handcrank, because the original covering, which was probably leather, had worn away so that when the wheel was being turned metal was knocking against metal. 

Once all the cleaning and the repair was done, I gave the machine a generous oiling, and also cleaned the body of the machine with a little dab of oil on cotton wool.

The it was time to test the stitch.  As I expected, perfect!  These old 99Ks make a lovely stitch.


Here goes for Week 367:-

Many thanks to Gail for linking up last time with her Fall Mystery Quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.


If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The 
first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.


  1. That is a fun find and interesting that you could get it to work after all this time!

  2. What a lovely little machine. The carpet making video with the new, strange tool was fascinating. Would be fun to make your own bath mats! Although it looks quite time consuming - then again so is quilting LOL! Cheers Muv xx

    1. Hello Kerry, it turns out that my neighbour Jenny used to make mats with the gadget. She seemed so surprised to see it. She must have forgotten that she had stashed it under the machine.
      Well, I was all set for a day quilting today, and we ended up having big dramas with a tree blowing into the electricity cables over the road from us...

    2. Glad is all well after the dreaded windy weather! We lost a big pine tree, and currently back in the land of the living with a generator running outside while we wait for the electricity to be fixed when a transformer went up the road. It was like a scene from Tornado with sparks flying across the road in the dark!
      Well any questions re mats, and you can always ask your neighbour! :D

    3. Oh wow, dramatic! I'm going to do a blog post about our fun and games. Haven't had so much excitement for years.

    4. Oh that would be a great post. Muv's Shenanigans in the Face of Adversity! LOL!
      Electricity men came to fix yesterday - they were the underground crew not the up the pole guys. So they reported it. Again. We are now properly fixed as of today! I'm surprised the phone lines weren't taken out as I was watching the telegraph pole outside swaying to what I think was some Bill Haley and his Comets number!

    5. What a panto! Were lucky it was all fixed by the following afternoon. Time flies -it's a week ago already and feels like last year. I must get round to telling the whole story...

  3. You were very kind to service the machine for your neighbor and how wonderful it works after all these years! Is she going to use it? Happy stitching!

    1. Hello Gretchen, The machine is now back with Jenny, and her daughter is really keen to start using it! I think she is quite thrilled at the thought of using her grandmother's machine.

  4. Hi Muv, it sounds like you had a great week, even if it didn't involve FMQ! I can just imagine the smell in the house of all that marmalade... it's still very much on my bucket list of things to do! As is taking out my new featherweight machine for a spin. One day...take care.

    1. Hello Andrée, Just think of all the marmalade you can make when you retire! I'll let you in on all my tips and tricks.

  5. Wow, what a nifty little tool! I love when you feature vintage machines. I'm looking for videos on how to correct a problem I'm having with my 99k. The thread keeps wrapping around the bobbin under the needle plate so that I end up with two threads coming out of the hole in the needle plate. So frustrating!



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