Vintage Machine Obsession

I couldn’t help myself.    I found another machine at a price I couldn’t pass up.  This one is a Japanese made version of the Singer 128 which is the 3/4 scale version of the 127.    I had to change the belt and replace the bobbin winding tire and rebuild the tension disc assembly and oil it and it is running like new.


I finished all the piecing on the snowball quilt (all on the treadle machine) and started to quilt it


I use thread on a large cone with a cone stand like this

cone stand

But it always seems to want to jump out of the thread guide on top of the machine.   The machine was not really designed for the thread to be up above it that much so I put a safety-pin over the spool pin on top of the machine and run the thread through it and it keep the thread in line better.


I put the singer presser bar back in this machine so I could use the walking foot for the straight line quilting.  It is sort of hard to see the quilting in the picture


here it is so far


The backing is  off white with a blue grey design


once the ditch quilting is finished I’ll free motion in the snowballs.

I am still working on the applique top and Teddy is helping.   I can hardly wait to hand quilt it!


Happy Quilting



33 thoughts on “Vintage Machine Obsession

  1. Cheri Dawn says:

    Those vintage machines are a slippery slope! Such great machines, reasonably priced usually, and in such variety. Enjoy your new acquisition!

  2. JanineMarie says:

    Yup, you’re hooked! I like your safety pin idea. I use an empty bobbin, and that works well, too. Not sure I’m happy about the competition in sewing machine acquisition in my “territory.” Ha, ha!

  3. Sara says:

    Nice! It’s a sickness! But a great one! 🙂

  4. Nancy says:

    Oh boy – you and Bonnie Hunter! She loves her vintage machines also and has a few dozen? it seems. Hi to Teddy! His ears are down and they are usually up.

  5. terryknott says:

    Wow! Impressive that you are able to rebuild and replace the items needed for the machine to purrrrrform! That machine must be so happy to be in use again!

  6. Tim, I collect vintage machines, too. So, I understand your not being able to resist buying this lovely machine.

  7. adaisygarden says:

    I love old vintage machines like the one you bought! How did you learn how to fix them? I’ve wanted to purchase one many times but I don’t know how to fix them nor how much it would cost to take them to a sewing machine “mechanic”. My Dad has the same sewing machine he bought in 1967, and it’s the one he uses the most. He’s an upholsterer and has a terrific mechanic that comes to his shop and fixes the machines, but Dad lives about 4 hrs away. That 1967 machine runs fabric through as if it were butter, and it flys!! – I love to use it when I go visit.

    • timquilts says:

      I learned to fix them just by taking them apart and seeing how they work. Ever since I was a kid I loved taking things apart to see how they worked. these old machines are really simple, I had to read a repair manual to fix a Singer 600 (from the 60’s) the decorative stitch cam stack was a bit tricky……but I can usually figure it out by just looking at it for a while. Newer machine with all that computer stuff are way beyond me.

  8. It also seems like you’ve got much more room under an older machine to roll up your quilt for quilting – I always seem to be fighting with the space under my modern machine. I use the term modern loosely as I’ve had it for 30 years and it was second hand when I bought it!

  9. Wow, Tim! It is a good thing you are so handy and know how to get these old beauties running again! I sure wish the newer machines were as user friendly. With all the computer components, they are not. I love my little Singer featherweight! Have not tried quilting on it, but may some day. I have a walking foot for it. May have to give it a go when my Bernina is being temperamental. 😳 Teddy is looking very fluffy! Did he have a bath? 😊

  10. Rose in Vt says:

    Wonderful to see the latest machine acquisition. Do you replace the electrical cord before plugging it in? I have a few old machines and one has round prongs so I can’t plug it in. Haven’t found that style of adapter yet…But they are fun to play with! I had no idea you could get walking feet for them, not to mention making up a free motion foot. I’m seeing new possibilities in their future for use…I’d really enjoy having them be more than decorative and fun to play with.

    • timquilts says:

      the really old ones sometimes have a lot of cracks in the cords and need to be replaced. I am not the best electrician but I can usually do a simple rewire , the old odd sized connections present a challenge so the easiest is to just change out to a new motor and avoid all that

  11. Barbara Rasch says:

    Like the machines that you purchase.I found two Wilcox and Gibbs that see. I always go back to the ones I’m more familiar with. your lucky to have found such beauties. Hello to Teddy. He certainly does a lot of quilt sitting.

  12. Barbara Rasch says:

    Correction. that sew

  13. Susan Steele says:

    Well, I tried to warn you! Youre quickly finding out a great secret…those old machines are such sweet engineering that anyone who appreciates well-made machinery cannot walk away! Ever those Japanese clones are great (some..not all of the companies had high specs…but they far outweigh the later Chinese ones I got a sweet 1914 128 at the local church thrift..the old cloth wiring was rough so I have converted it to a handcrank (something you might enjoy as you can take it out into the garden to piece! I take it to quilt meets and camping as well….or even to trade shows to use in motels at night, or when visiting relatives etc…for any trip it is grand and compact) There are times I really prefer machine quiting…for example something that will get hard, everyday use…..and for the more delicate or decorative I like hand quilting.Here’s my liitle Singer 128 La Vincendora (we name them by the decals):
    Susan in VA

  14. Susan Steele says:


  15. iluv2create says:

    Wow, thank you. I thought I was the sick one. Last summer, we drove 80 miles round-trip for a real piece of junk, but hubby still assures me that it is salvable. At last count it was 18 and counting. Not all vintage, but machines none the less. Our oldest is a 1902 White that needs a belt, but is a beautiful piece of furniture.

  16. Ginney Camden says:

    I see a third home purchase in your future to accommodate your collection of antique machines. I like the idea of the safety pin.

  17. Jeanette says:

    Watch yourself, you might get hooked like Bonnie Hunter. She buys a machine a week and has them all over…..

  18. Hi Tim the older blue one is a Montgomery Ward and they are not bad machines, the Deluxe is a great work horse and so is the Singer 201-2.
    My 201-2 was given to me and she is the best…I use it daily. love your blog and thank you for posting so many great pics on your work.

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks……I have the manual for the Montgomery Ward machine…….It is pretty rusted on the underside and seized up…..and the cord is worn through…….but I do plan to take it apart and try to get it running


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