Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My First Sewing Machine

      Everyday Mom would fill a quart jar with fresh milk and put it in an old rusty baby stroller and John and I would push it over to the Coffers. Sue would invite us inside their cabin to rest a while and always had something interesting for us to see. Mr. Coffer used to spend his evenings whittling tiny toys for us from various things. He made the cutest tiny baskets from peach stones, tiny little yokes for John's toy cows and many other things. Some days we would watch as they set their printing press for another page of the book "Horse Hair in my Soup" they were printing that chronicled their journey across America.
     After we had rested a bit we would start back home, during the spring and summer we would gather flowers along the road to present to Mom once we got home, she always loved the wild roses saying that they make the entire house smell sweet and fresh, there were larkspurs and bluebonnets, and if nothing else there was always the option of a dandelion bouquet.
     One day when we got there, Sue showed me a treadle sewing machine they had found somewhere and asked me if I would like to have it for my own. She wrote a note to Mom about it, handed it to me, and we headed for home. There was no dawdling along the way this time as we ran until we were out of breath and then walked the rest of the way.
     When we arrived home Mom read the note and told me that John and Sue wanted to give me the sewing machine as a thank-you for supplying them with milk everyday. And once Daddy has time we can go pick it up.
     I could hardly wait until Daddy came home to tell him the news. He listened as I excitedly told him all about it and sensing my eagerness offered to hitch Jim to the spring wagon and go fetch it right away.
     The following days were spent learning how to sew. Mom let me go through her fabric scraps and cut pieces to make nine patches. I made stacks and stacks of them, which were then eventually sewn together to make a quilt that is now being used by our children.

      I still use the sewing machine too. What started out as the most exciting thing ever for a little six year old girl, is still my first choice to use whenever I want to sew anything. I suppose it always will.


  1. What a treasure that machine is, not just for its age, but for such lovely memories too. The quilt is beautiful.

  2. I love that your children still use the quilt and you still use the machine. I learned to sew on my grandmothers treadle machine and although it was supposed to be mine when she passed. There is a not so nice story of a stepmother who sold it so she could take a trip. Water under the bridge because nothing can be done about it, but I do still miss that machine.

  3. I love it! WHAT do I love?
    Love the story!
    Love the beautiful quilt!
    Love the beautiful sewing machine!

  4. A beautiful machine.
    I do all my quilting and piecing by hand, but other sewing I use a 1929 hand driven Singer machine.I love the fact that we can still get spare parts for them. You're so lucky still to have yours

  5. Lovely story!
    I have my husband's great aunt's treadle machine as well. I use it currently for an entry table, and it has pride of place as you come in our home. I've refinished it, and it gleams.

  6. Sweet memories of that sewing machine. It certainly is in fine shape.
    I have my mother's old treadle machine but it never gets used. Unlike my mom I didn't take to sewing at all.

  7. What a wonderful memory. I love those old treadle machines, and I'm sure that you felt quite a sense of accomplishment when you finished a project on one. What a great gift you received - one of the blessings of service.

    Did, Mr. Coffer finish his book? It would be a great book to read.

    1. Thought the same thing!! I googled him and he has a website and Horse Hair in my Soup is an ebook! Can't wait to read it, johncoffer.com

  8. For years and years I used a treadle machine. Unfortunately, although I had assumed I would inherit it, it went to somebody else. They don't have a lot of bells and whistles, but they are steady and dependable. I wish I could find another one!


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