Play Time

I have become fixated on getting the Free Treadle machine to cooperate with me for Free Motion Quilting. (not to worry, I am not abandoning hand quilting 🙂   but it never hurts to try new things)

If you remember the issue was the presser bar…..which doesn’t fit a standard foot. And they don’t make a darning/free motion foot with this attachment.  They attach like this:


Here is how a most “modern” feet attach:


The solution I tried is changing out the presser bar with one from a Singer 127 machine.  It would have been great if it worked…..but there were problems.     The Singer presser bar is smaller in diameter so it made for a wobbly foot.   When the back and forth the needle can hit the foot and break.  I did however spend some time playing with it while the singer presser bar was in it.   I set the stitch length to zero to keep the feed dogs from pulling too much (they can’t be dropped and I don’t have a cover for them) and  used a quilting foot.  I got pretty decent results (the opening in the quilting foot is big enough so the needle wont hit it).

Here are a few pictures of my playing.   (click pictures to enlarge)

I was just sort of doodling so there is no real design to any of it.

I did put the old presser bar back in so I could do some piecing.  I am nearly finished with the snowball top and want to do all of the piecing on the treadle machine.

DSCN8869 (2)

I bought an antique singer 127 machine that is due for delivery Monday, after I get it cleaned up and oiled and adjusted I might try to put that in the treadle cabinet, I’ll keep you posted on that.

Teddy says Hi


Happy Quilting


17 thoughts on “Play Time

  1. Hi Tim,
    Try using no presser foot but put your quilt in a hoop. I seem to remember that was in some old instruction manual I saw once. and Tape an index card over the feed dogs.

  2. Jean Ottosen says:

    Tim, your “doodling” looks better than my best effort machine quilting! Good luck with figuring out your new-to-you sewing machine! 🙂

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks…..It has been a lot of fun……It is also pretty fun to take the machine apart and put it back together……could never do that with a modern machine with all the electronics

  3. Kate says:

    Yep, tape a card over the feed dogs, or maybe a piece of template plastic might last longer. Glad to see your post, realized last night I hadn’t seen anything for awhile.

  4. Carolyn says:

    I wonder if a spring needle would fit your machine? No presser foot required. I’m sure they’re still available somewhere! Can’t remember where I got mine.

  5. Melba Lacey says:

    One of my friends gave me a Domestic treadle sewing machine. Haven’t had time to play with it yet, but we’ll be home mid-February and I can get my sewing room organized. So excited.

  6. JanineMarie says:

    There are some wonderful people online that could be excellent resources for information and parts. One person that comes to mind is Anne Kusilek. She also goes by Damascus Annie. She runs a treadle quilters facebook page and has connections to people who are really experienced in solving problems such as yours. You are probably aware of the Treadle On website. Your FMQ already looks great! I use a Singer 115 treadle for quilting and love it–it uses readily available feet and is a joy to maintain.

    • timquilts says:

      I am going to try the singer 127 next time, will keep the Free for piecing ( I did order a spring needle to try and I’ll post about that when I get it) …..I think the singer will work well……I am also looking at a few other machines on line ……could be addicting

    • radquitemad says:

      First time I’ve heard of Treadle On, so I went to explore and hoo-boy it’s everything I knew I didn’t know about treadle sewing machines. Thanks for the mention!

  7. Rose in Vt says:

    I thought the treadle cabinet came with a machine in it? Are you planning on swapping them back and forth when the ‘new’ one comes in? Keep us posted Tim, you’re giving us lots of ideas for our old machines! Also thinking of rearranging my living room so the treadle
    is more accessible instead of a repository for ‘stuff.’

  8. Kristal says:

    I saw a video on youtube where someone bent a paper clip and made a foot for a machine like this. Seemed to work pretty good.


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