New Home Sewing Machine

Another sewing machine project today.    This New Home Machine was in pretty good shape but it needed a good cleaning.


Old sewing machines are often in a lot better shape than they look.   Old machines need oil frequently but the oil they had at the time was not the same as the sewing machine oil we use today.    The old oil dried up and became almost like varnish.     An old machine often has a coating of that oil all over it… becomes yellow and gunky and oddly enough that gunky coating of oil does a pretty good job of protecting the decals and if you are careful it can be cleaned off to reveal the beauty under the gunk.

I start by taking it apart a bit to make clean up easier here are a few pictures (click to enlarge)

The internal parts of the machine I clean with WD-40 …..WD 40 is NOT oil…..but it does remove the old dried up oil.    If you read the manual for a 100-year-old machine they recommend using Kerosene to clean off dried oil.  I find the WD-40 works just fine…..then after cleaning I wipe it all off and then oil the machine using sewing machine oil.  I spray a bunch of WD-40 on the crud on the underside and the unpainted parts and let it sit for a while then scrub with a tooth-brush and extra fine steel wool.      The decals are a different story, I don’t want to risk scrubbing them off so I use sewing machine oil and rub it in over and over with a cloth.  That takes off the dried oil without too much abrasion.  After that I wipe down the head with some mild soap to remove any excess oil and then give it a buff with a soft cloth.

Here is the result….the before is on the right

new home

See how the decals on the head have come back…before I started the decals by the bobbin winder (on the right) were almost totally covered.

DSCN9545 DSCN9547 DSCN9546

It is sewing and looking great!

Teddy had to take a look


After he said it was good I pit it in the treadle


I’ll give it a try tonight with some piecing for the next quilt.

Happy Quilting



57 thoughts on “New Home Sewing Machine

  1. Anne Kasten says:

    What a beautify. That you are doing this is so inspiring— along with your AMAZING work!
    Thanks so much for sharing Tim.

  2. Barb Isaak says:

    That is beautiful.

  3. Jaydee Price says:

    She is just beautiful that is for sure. Nice work.

  4. Karen Monteith says:

    That is a beautiful machine Tim.

  5. huggybears says:

    Love to see you working on a oldie with such great care-awesome results ! As a teaser only from me-Now I know why you had to buy the house next door 😀 To have more extra space for all these treasures !Keep them coming to work for your wonderful quilts Tim ! And Teddy gets new smells and interesting objects to observe and take care of.Happy stichting along-always. Marga

  6. Sara says:

    Wow, that is a great looking machine!

  7. Sandra B says:

    Love the look of this sewing machine….so, just how many sewing machines do you have now?? I am not keeping track, but it seems like you are adding more to the inventory every week!! What a great collection you are amassing! Thanks for sharing them with us, as well as all the tips for restoring….
    I have mentioned it before, but I have an old Franklin treadle machine, and your posts are inspiring me to try to get it going….that may be my summer project! Will let you know if I am able to make it operational….
    Hello to Teddy!

  8. averyclaire says:

    Thanks SO much for this info! I was given an OLD machine similar to this one and didn’t have the foggiest idea how to go about cleaning it. It is missing the “sewing foot” and probably needs some repairs. I will have to look into that after I clean it!! Thanks again! Love what you have done with all those old machines and cabinets. I love the quilting you have done on these old machines as well. Bravo!!!

  9. phyllisiniowa says:

    Beautiful New Home with lovely decals. One of my New Home treadle cabinets is a twiggy — has New Home applied to the front panel in twig letters. The drawer pulls are crossed twigs. Enjoy using your new machine.

  10. Barbara Rasch says:

    The New Home machine is awesome. I watched your video on you machine quilting. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You make everything you do so easy. Thanks again for all your information.

  11. katechiconi says:

    Another beauty. Such a shame they don’t decorate modern machines so beautifully or indeed make them so easy to care for and restore.

  12. Eileen Thompson says:

    I have that same machine. It is a beautiful machine. My problem is that the bobbin holder seems to be too long for the bobbin. It won’t hold it in. How do I go about fixing that problem? All the parts appear to be original but something is wrong. I do have the original manual.

    • timquilts says:

      The bobbin for this one is longer than the bobbins for my others ……I will have to look for a few more since I just have the one…..but it is definitely longer and the singer bobbins will not fit in the winder ( I could wind the bobbins on another machine and that would work…….

    • timquilts says:

      so anyway I suspect you have a singer bobbin and that is why it doesnt fit

      • Eileen Thompson says:

        Thanks for the info. I will also look for a new bobbin. I really want to get this treadle machine working.

      • timquilts says:

        it will be worth the effort……I did a quick search on-line and didnt find any but they are still out there …..I’ll let you know if I find any

  13. Rhonda says:

    Just beautiful. Wouldn’t it be nice if today’s machines were decorated like the old ones?

  14. Maureen Jackson says:

    Such a pretty machine! It looks like it will take quite a bit of rolled quilt under the arm.

    • timquilts says:

      It should….it is actually a lot smaller than my big singers 27, 127, 66, and 201 and Free #5 and Wheeler and Wilson W9 but still more space than most modern machines

  15. Pam G says:

    What a find! This machine is beautiful. Can’t wait to hear how it sews.

    • timquilts says:

      It is doing a good job….nice stitches ……I need to get a few needles…it takes an odd size and I only have the one that came with it which is pretty dull!

  16. Catherine L McIntee says:

    We had a lot in common today. I spent all afternoon reviving a 1960 Spartan. It was filthy and desparetly needed oiling. Got it stitching pretty good, but it sometimes delays in beginning to stitch. Not sure about what to do about that. I did not attempt to take the motor apart but bet it could use some lubrication (not oil). I also use WD 40 for cleaning, and am glad to learn I’m on the right track. The decals on your machine today are exquisite.

    • timquilts says:

      sometimes those old motors do need a bit of grease ( I am always afraid to work on the motor itself but it is usually that it needs grease or new brushes …..they arent all that complex but until I get them plugged back in I always think I might have messed them up

  17. Kristen says:

    That is just lovely, Tim — charming. It’s a new dimension to the Singer company for me; when I think of Singer I think of all the gorgeous buildings they built, here in New York and in Europe, with beautiful ornamentation. The best I can think of is in St. Petersburg, pre-Russian revolution, of course; fantastic Art Modern architecture and decoration. The Singer building one block down Broadway from where I live now is also very Art Deco and lovely. And they were building the buildings while decorating their machines beautifully too.

    • Donna Tyra says:

      That’s a beautiful machine, very nice. Hey, how many do you have?

    • timquilts says:

      Singer was the biggest…..but this machine was made by new home (it is in a singer treadle) new home was bought out in the 20’s by the Free Sewing Machine Company (later Free Westinghouse) and later bought out by Janome which is a big company now …….

  18. Phyllis MacKenzie says:

    What a beautiful machine. The decals are priceless.

  19. Jackie Baumhauer says:

    Love your new machine. The decals are fantastic!
    Just curious …did you have trouble treadling in the beginning?

    • timquilts says:

      It took a few days of piecing to get the feel for it and be able to really get good speed control and stopping and starting ….it is second nature now….sort of like driving…..I only use my right foot….lots of people use 2 feet but I can control it better with just one

  20. WOW! She is a beauty! You did a great job restoring her to her old gorgeous self!!

  21. Betty Harden says:

    Absolutely gorgeous machine and Teddy. I have a New Home treadle but it is not fancy like this one. I want it, you did such a beautiful job on it. I love your posts and look forward to them.

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks. This one is my first New Home. It seem to be a good design, I got some sewing done on it and it makes a nice stitch ….I will need to fins some new needles ….standard size wont fit and the one I have is pretty dull

  22. Jane says:

    That is beautiful. It looks as if you did a really good job there. I wonder why they used to make things looking so lovely with beautiful designs all over, whereas today’s machines look boring and clinical.

    • timquilts says:

      I think it was the times ……ornate and fancy was the thing at the time….and many of these machines were in people living room (parlor) and they were really pretty costly based on the income levels at the time a 60 dollar machine was a really big investment … they had to look special so they could be showed off

  23. Rose in Vt says:

    Oh boy, I was going to do some machine quilting today, but now you’ve got me inspired to pull out my treadle and take a look at it…:) I’ve never sewn on it, and love the idea of free motion quilting.

  24. Becky in VA says:

    What a beauty! So glad you saved this machine!!!


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