Sometimes you get distracted

I had great intentions of getting my tree decorated today.   I got the tree set up and the lights are on but I didn’t get the decorations on it yet.


I decided to use a smaller tree this year….this one is 7 feet but I have really high ceilings so I put it up on a table.

A Singer sewing machine is the reason I didn’t get more decorating done.  A Singer 31-15 arrived today.    I know it was in really bad shape but it got even worse in delivery.  The balance wheel/hand wheel broke in delivery.

It is missing its needle plate and feed dogs, now has a broken hand wheel, it is VERY rusty and I love it!

It was made as an industrial machine so it is heavy (55 pounds) and huge!    There is 10.5 inches between the needle and the column, by comparison my favorite Singer 15 is 7 1/2 inches ….when I get it cleaned up and functioning it will be great for quilting….all that space in the harp will be a real luxury.
So I spent some time working on getting the first layers of rust and gunk off of it.

I have a lot of cleaning to do yet but I have ordered the parts I need to fix it up.  It will be a while before they arrive but I am excited about it.   Now that I have the machine I can work on getting a top made for a treadle base to fit it.    It will need a much larger opening than a standard Singer machine.  I’ll take a picture soon of a full sized Singer 15 next to this one so you can see how large it is.

Teddy is really not that impressed with it….but he is always ready to pose.


Next time pictures of the finished tree 🙂

Happy Quilting

26 thoughts on “Sometimes you get distracted

  1. Mary says:

    I don’t have any blogs that come to my email everyday. Just yours. I just love that somebody else loves quilting, gardening, and old sewing machines. Someone else who looks at a rusty, broken, old sewing machine and sees the potential and can’t wait to start working on it.

    Best wishes for the Season.


  2. lyn j says:

    I love your blog, but it is Teddy who always brings a smile to my😄

  3. Deb says:

    So will you paint the base where the rust was once you remove it? And what kind of paint if you do paint? I received my mom’s old New Home Janome machine which has been in the attic for many years ..I didn’t even know she still had it! Sadly to say the old beauty needs some TLC to work again.

    • timquilts says:

      when I first got to work on I had every intention of painting it ( I haven’t done any machine painting before so I would need to research what paint to use) but the more i thought about it the more I am leaning toward leaving it alone…….I’ll remove all the rust and grime …and then wax it ……I think the wear is part of the history of the machine and I don’t want to take it away and make it look new …at least that is my plan today….I could change my mind before I get done 😉

  4. Barbara Rasch says:

    It will be interesting to see this new machine completed. Your tree looks beautiful,even without the ornaments. As usual Teddy will be you “star”.
    He is so cute.

  5. ME says:

    Love those patchwork valences.Gives me ideas…

    • timquilts says:

      thank you! I made them with an old quilt top that was not good enough to quilt…..I think I might make a different set to change out and have a different color for different seasons ….really easy to make

  6. June says:

    Hope you have a great holiday season! And THANK YOU for posting videos with explanations as you are sewing. Your last video solved my problem with FMQing on my Redeye 66. I was totally frustrated with not being able to get it to draw the bobbin thread up. It is a back clamper, but I got the side clamping attachment and an FMQ foot. It was just not working until you said to thread through the eye of the thread regulator rather than under it and that you didn’t even have to change the stitch length to 0. I could hardly wait to get home from my Thanksgiving trip to try it. Tried it this morning and Bingo! Works like a charm! Your knowledge of machines is invaluable!

  7. says:

    Hey Tim! I need to purchase replacement parts for the 100 yr old singer I recently bought. Where do you get parts for your machines? Karen in Ohio

    Sent from my iPhone


  8. Laurie says:

    My daughter has this same machine. She restored her’s too. The machine came on a table with what looks like a treadle base. I’ll ask her to send me a picture if you would like to see an original set up. It’s a powerful machine!

    • timquilts says:

      Yes they are powerful…….i have seen them in several different set ups…….many had knee lifts for the presser foot……and some had huge motors! I’ll do mine in a simple treadle …….the size is the important part to me….not the power

  9. Marianne says:

    So happy you have a 31-15! You are going to love how it sews and all of that extra room. It is so quiet in a treadle! You probably know this from your research, but there is a specific darning plate that fits a 31-15 and is reasonably priced. If find that you need any additional parts, I have an adopted 31-15 that is totally dead (like three months of kersosene bath, with heat, juggling, mallet pounding – without a hint of movement.) In her last gasp, she asked me to donate/transplant her parts where possible so that she can live on….

    What treadle setup do you have in mind?

    I love Teddy to pieces! He looks so thoughtful and intelligent. After studying his handsome face, I can finally detect the 12.5% Schnauzer in my Hazel’s occasionally thoughtful looks, usually just before the 25% Husky takes over and she does something regrettable.

    Thank you so much for being so generous and giving. I have learned so much from you.

    • timquilts says:

      I have to work out a treadle for this one……I have not been able to locate an industrial set of Irons so I think I will try to do some modifications to a standard set I have and see how it goes…..I think Ill make a top with an off the shelf (from the home store) piece of counter top.

      Teddy does have a very thoughtful expression frequently……and it really makes me wonder what he is thinking about…….
      Hael sounds like great mix of fun!

      • Marianne says:

        “…work out a treadle for this one” sets my tinkering treadle mind ablaze! What fun! I never had the imagination to even consider that, but now I see a few possibilities based on what you’ve already done.

        There are also the White sit-straight full height irons (not the short, as I mistakenly got initially) that will accomodate the industrials, but not quite as comfortable to use for me except with my shorter Davis industrial.

        I just saw two center braces on ebay that claim to be industrial, but I think one is actually just a domestic. If you were thinking in that direction, I have an industrial pedal from my deceased 31-15 that looks intact for a donation/transplant (sadly, only the pedal and sides are salvagable), but you would still need a pitman and wheel assembly. I have heard of people successfully using a domestic wheel, but don’t know details. I suspect you would really need the wider brace and pedal but might modify the rest from a domestic.

        If you lived closer, I could give you an extra set of indy irons I have.

        I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

      • timquilts says:

        I have been looking for pats on eBay…have a lot of ideas but have not decided yet how to proceed. I think I’ll wait until I have the machine running

  10. CD Thayer says:

    I don’t know why a typical home-use treadle stand wouldn’t work for great your 31-15 machine. And the smaller flywheel (12” vs 16”) can be an advantage to speed control. I just recently put together an industrial stand and a house-hold flywheel to operate my Singer 16-41, and although I just recently got the 16-41 and haven’t ever ran it on a treadle with a larger flywheel, I like the control that I have. I had to lengthen the pitman rod. I call the stand my “Frankentreadle” because I threw it together without doing any cosmetic improvements. It looks pretty rough, but to see how I modified the pitman rod, I have photos of it at:

    BTW: The blank darning needle plate for the Singer 31-15 is part #12422 (fits and is mounted on my Singer 96-40). The only hole in it is the needle hole. Photo at:

    CD in Oklahoma

    • timquilts says:

      yes i am sure a household stand will work……but really not wide enough….when the machine is lined up with the flywheel on the right the machine is too far over to the left to sit down (the machine base hits the leg) so I will need to do some modifying….or find a wider base.

      • CD Thayer says:

        The wider and taller Singer Industrial Treadle stands are nice, but harder to come by than the typical home-use treadle. To adapt a home-use stand, you might try riser blocks between the stand and the wooden top (full-length strip on the right, and two short strips on the left) to elevate the machine up to where it will clear the stand. Risers will also increase knee space under the top, and elevate the sewing work a little in the process. I’ve thought about putting 4-6” risers on one of my all-purpose Singer home-use treadles (the top is from an electric cabinet) to get my work up closer to my eyes and to keep me from stooping over quite so far, but I haven’t done it yet.

        CD in Oklahoma


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