Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Category Archives: Treadle

A Treadle Project



Scrappy Trips was completely made on my treadle machine “Miss Florence Jane“. Everything from piecing the blocks, assembling the quilt top, piecing the quilt backing, the quilting itself, piecing the binding and attaching the binding – both front and back to the quilt was done on the treadle. The only thing I didn’t do on the treadle was stitch the label down. I did that by hand.

I used Scrappy Trips, a Bonnie Hunter pattern for the blocks, and then set them as one big trip.

The quilt tops was started April 4, 2013 and I finished the top January 11, 2014.  I started the quilting on January 10, 2015 and put the last stitch in the label on January 15, 2015.

The washed quilt measures 68″ x 90″.  I used Hobb’s Heirloom Natural Cotton Batting. I used a khaki colored thread on the top and a white thread in the bobbin.  The binding is red with a gold flange. I used Susie’s Magic Binding.  The backing was pieced from two 60″ wide lengths of this Kansas City Chiefs fabric which came from Mom.



I’ll link this finish up to:

Magic Binding



I love Susie’s Magic Binding. But getting it (or suspect any binding) onto this quilt is an exercise in coordination and strength.  The quilt is  70″ x 90″ and rather heavy. Trying to keep it from getting hung up on the sewing table while treadling and keeping an even seam width is trying.  I’ve got a little across the short edge stitched to the quilt plus one long side.  But I couldn’t resist seeing how the binding is going to look after I get it stitched down. Perhaps I’ll get the rest of the way around the quilt tomorrow.


What’s On My Design Wall



The plan was to work on the red, white and black Rail Fence. I was going to trim the blocks and Sydney would assemble the quilt top.  The Bobbin Winder fiasco threw that plan off, and then Sydney said the quilt didn’t have a deadline, but she had another that did. Her teacher’s child has been in the hospital and she wanted to give her a quilt.

I’m not positive how it came about, but my husband asked me if I had any partially completed tops Sydney could finish for this quilt. I looked through my UFOs and pulled swap blocks. Between my husband and Sydney they decided the 7 purple blocks and 14 log cabin blocks could be put together into a quilt.  These blocks had been given to me by another quilter who didn’t think she would get around to making anything with them.  I had them on my Quilts In Progress list as two quilts.  They make an awesome quilt together and I get to cross 2 UFOs off my list!

The quilt finishes at about 47″ x 58″. Soft and Bright batting. Yellow thread in the bobbin and top. Quilted in a wavy crosshatch.

Also “completed” this week is Scrappy Trips which I made on my grandmother’s treadle machine.



I know how I want to quilt it, I just have to decide on a backing fabric and decide if I want to attempt to quilt it on the treadle.

Up next — trimming the rail fence blocks for Sydney’s next visit and figuring out how I’m going to quilt Deadline III.


To see what others are working on, checked out the links over at Patchwork Times.

Fixed the Bobbin Winder



About 6 years ago my husband bought me a Singer Genie at a garage sale. It has been my backup machine and on occasion, my traveling machine. This is the machine I’ve been teaching Sydney to sew on.  In December we won one on e-bay and did a local pickup.  The machine was in great shape, but the bobbin winder wasn’t working perfectly. None the less, we gave it to Sydney for Christmas thinking we’d get the winder fixed eventually.

I also have a Singer Red Eye 66 Treadle which was my great-grandmother’s.  I got it working last April and even wound a bobbin on it but the treadle winder is not reliable — yet. Sydney & I have been winding bobbins on my Genie until I get our respective winders fixed.

So, last night I was piecing my Scrappy Trips with the intention of finishing it before I went to bed.  About 11 o’clock I ran out of bobbin thread for the treadle.  I went to wind a bobbin on my Genie and it wouldn’t work.  I attempted to get the cover off the machine and failed.  Looked on line to see if I could get a SideWinder Bobbin Winder at Walmart  – I could, but I would ultimately need 2  – one for me and one for Sydney and the winder at WM doesn’t wind bobbins for my big machine. I threw my hands up and went to bed.

This morning, I found the three screws which were preventing me from removing the case. I decided the rubber ring was my problem. Called the local repair place.  They have them in stock and it’s same ring for the treadle. I’ll take 3.

Came home, put the ring on my machine and it didn’t work.  Lots of muttering going on. Got on line searched several vintage machine lists. Finally found where I could buy and download the Singer Service Manual for the Genie.  It didn’t help.  Finally decided to add more oil.  Eureka!  The spindle spins.

So, we pulled out the second Genie.  Pulled the case, swapped the ring and adjusted the bobbin stop and it’s working now.

I’m not ready to tackle the treadle winder, but  I’ve got a bobbin full of thread so I should be able to get the quilt top finished!

Scrappy Trips Progress



After putting Deadline IV into the wash, I pulled out Scrappy Trips, my treadle project. I needed to finish up about a dozen blocks.  Now that I have I’m ready to sew them into a top. Earlier tonight I re-arranged blocks until I got them organized, but I think I want to swap the 4th block on the 3rd row with the 5th block on the 4th row before I sew the top right quarter together.

This is #9 on my Tops to Complete list.


I Wound a Bobbin!


As long as I’ve been sewing why would I get excited about winding a bobbin?

Because I wound it on my treadle machine.

True, I still had to fiddle with it a bit, but nowhere near to the extent I did the last time I attempted to wind a bobbin on this machine.  It’s still not perfect — I’m having trouble with the arm that moves back and forth across the bobbin.  I’m not sure what’s causing that.  Oh — and I cheated.  I ran the thread through the eye of the take-up bar.

I don’t have enough hands to keep the thread in the hook on the left of the machine, in the two hooks on the bobbin winder itself and hold the screwdriver to loosen the screw on the mechanism moving the arm on the winder.  The best news is the clutch didn’t slip.

She Sews!


The last two evenings I’ve spent getting my hands dirty getting Miss Florence Jane up and running.  Tonight I decided to wind a bobbin.  That was a 4 or 5 hour job.


See that round part circled in the middle of the picture?  That is part of the bobbin winder.  Before I could wind a bobbin I needed to repair the winder.  I thought I retained how the parts went together, but my memory is faulty, adding at least a couple of hours to the project.

I found this website which has a lot of information.  Enough that I could put the machine back together.  It’s still not right — I was only able to wind 1/2 of a bobbin, but it was enough to get me started.  There is still a squeak I haven’t been able to get rid of, but the most annoying thing is the clutch keeps slipping.  No wonder Momma wouldn’t let me release the clutch on her old sewing machine.  Now that it’s been released it slips.

I’ve made an adjustment, so we’ll see how well it takes the next time I sit to treadle.  I think I’ll use my office chair instead of the old dining chair.  My office chair sits higher.

Oh, the block?  It’s Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Trips. The fabric is from a Connecting Threads strip set – I can’t remember which one, except there are lots of different fabric lines in it.

Getting to Know Miss Florence Jane


This evening I’ve been getting to know Miss Florence Jane. I also mentioned her on the e-mail list TreadleOn — lots of great information there!  Anyway, it was suggested that I look closer at her serial #.  So, a bright light and magnifying glass were brought out.  That’s not a “C”, but a badly struck “G”.  Miss Florence Jane is 96!

I bought a belt and oil today. Finally got the belt on, but at first it was slipping.  So, I oiled her.   For the most part she treadles well.  I made a video which you can see HERE of me treadling with no thread.

However, the minute I thread her forget it. The belt slips.  That video is HERE.  I think it’s because the top thread tension is too tight — but even if it is, it makes a nice stitch (when hand cranked).

Top Thread

Top Thread

Bobbin Thread

Bobbin Thread

So, I guess I have more research to do before I start piecing.

Miss Florence Jane Has Arrived

Miss Florence Jane, named after my great-grandmother, was brought into my sewing room today.  The first two pictures are from a few years ago, sitting in my brother’s house.  It’s taken me nearly three years to make room for her in my sewing area.


Last night we took her out of the cabinet so we could easily transport the machine and cabinet in my truck.  Turns out with the back seat folded down we could leave the cabinet up right.

Once we got her into the house today the first thing I did was remove the motor.  The wiring is badly cracked and I’m looking forward to treadling on her.



I think that may have been the easy part.

Then I pulled out the manual – it’s from May 1916 – to figure out how to thread the machine.


It’s probably not the first thing I should have done, but I managed to pull the needle out and it ‘felt funny’, so I wanted to see how it was supposed to go into the machine.  Flat side of the needle to the right.  I don’t remember that from when I last sewed on this machine.  But then again it has been 32 years.

Anyway, before it goes back in the cabinet I need to clean it up a bit.


It’s a bit gunky underneath, and I’m sure she could use a bit of oil.

The cabinet top is rough – Potted Plant Disease.  The decals are all worn off.  But that’s because she was used!  No telling what was made on this machine when she was young, but in her later life my momma made clothes for her mother and our family each summer.  My guess is she was only used the 3 to 6 weeks we visited my grandmother each summer.

Mary — she’s wearing the spool doily you made me.


Now to order a belt, clean her up and get her back in the cabinet so I can sew on her.

Singer Treadle Machine

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This Singer Treadle machine was my great-grandmother’s. I remember my mother sewing on it during our visits to my grandmother and great-grandparents in California. When I was older, I even sewed on it out in the laundry room.

After my grandmother and great-grandmother passed away, my parents brought it to Kansas City. The summer after my high school graduation it was setup in the basement and my mother and I made my college wardrobe — she sewing on the modern sewing machine — a Kenmore Diamond Jubilee which was then 20 years old — and I on this treadle machine. Given where it was located in the basement, I can’t promise that we had the motor hooked up.

The treadle machine made the move with my mom 7 or 8 years ago. It’s been sitting in the dinning room and used as a buffet and/or plant stand. Sometime this summer, as soon as I can figure out where to put it and how to get it home, this machine is going to come home with me.

My nephew, who is 7, was amazed when I opened it up. He had no idea it was a sewing machine. I wanted to get a look at it to see what condition it’s in. The hand wheel moves the needle up and down with no issues. The treadle moves smoothly — but it doesn’t turn the hand wheel. There is no way I’m going to plug the motor in until it’s been checked out and possibly the cord replaced. I’m sure the belt needs replacing as well. Looking in the pictures, I see the “break” is where the staple is, so perhaps it’s not it as bad of a condition as I thought.

Now I’m off to find treadle resources because I really would like to piece a quilt on this machine.
In the drawer is the manual. I didn’t think to take a picture of it. It says it’s a Singer (obviously) Sewing Machine No.66. The copyright on the manual is 1915. The motor says it was patented May 22, 1971 1917 by Hamilton-Beach Mfg Co.