Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sewing Machines from the Past

Advertisement from County Capital
In the Stafford County (Kansas) Museum permanent Quilt Exhibit, there are both hand sewn and machine sewn quilts, and part of the collection is a display of sewing machines. I was thrilled when I discovered a New Home machine--actually, two of them--in the exhibit!

From Isaac's journal, I know that he borrowed a sewing machine from friends to do some sewing for himself, but I do not know specifically what sewing he did.  Nor do I know what brand of machine he borrowed.  However, I do know from the County Capital newspaper ad shown at left that Gray & Co. in St. John sold New Home machines.

I had not realized from the newspaper advertisement what beautiful machines these were, but the ad is detailed enough to identify it as being the same model as the two in the exhibit.  They are lovely, with the beautiful trim on the wooden drawers, the name "New Home" in the metalwork of the pedal and both sides, and the intricate painting of the machine itself.

New Home Sewing Machine

There is also a Singer machine in the collection, ornamented with particularly beautiful and colorful painted designs.  

Because of the style and popular light wood of the 1950s and 1960s, another machine in the exhibit appears to me to come from the mid-1900s.  I am sure it was regarded as very modern and tasteful in its time, but the ornate older machines seemed to me to be the 'stars of the show' in the exhibit!

It is a wonderful collection to honor the many women through the years who salvaged scraps of fabric to transform into beautiful quilts, or bought fabrics to make a specific design as a family heirloom, some sewing their quilts by hand and others using machines like the ones on exhibit.  Many of the quilts in the collection were made by women who gathered with friends to quilt as a fundraising effort, raising money for various causes and beautifying the homes of whoever was fortunate enough to go home with the quilt.  The exhibit is worth the visit!

Remember, you can click on the images to enlarge.

(If you missed the 2 blogs preceding this week's blog, you may want to scroll down to enjoy the pictures of the beautiful quilts and the interesting stories about the quilts' creations.  Next week I will post the final blog in this quilting series, so if you have a story to share or a picture of an heirloom  family quilt be sure to send it to me soon.)

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