Tag Archives: Japanese clone

Weekend Hodge Podge ~ April 2014

Welcome to my corner of blogland… today I have lots to share! 

So I am calling it a Hodge Podge… I have a bloggy friend who follows someone that does this on Wednesdays… answers misc. questions for fun and to share more of herself with her bloggy friends… so I am gonna do my version this weekend!

What are you passionate about?

Currently I am hand quilting ~ my major passion IS hand quilting right now! I am making my honey a quilt that will be a queen throw size… very large! lol

You can see a snippet of what I am currently working on by viewing my blog on it’s own page instead of in a reader!  My blog header changes every month or so with a pic of what I am working on featured somewhere on it 🙂

Here is block #10 on my count down…

I am now about 3/4 done with this block!  WhOOP!!!

I am also passionate about vintage sewing machines and own 3

not one Singer in the bunch either 🙂  You can see 2 of my vintage machines in my header… sweet Fiona and reliable Francis… I recently added a zig zagger Japanese class 15 clone I named Nelly to my little group of machines… I only sew to repair things or to piece/bind quilts.. so these machines do all I need!  Check out my post on how easy vintage is to care for by yourself HERE!

Prefer a modern machine??? Check out the Janome I am selling on Ebay here

gently used and ready to go!

What is your favorite form of social media?

I like facebook best.  You can find me on Patchwork Friends (my own fb quilty friends group) here to request entry as it is closed to quilty folks only… both machine and hand quilting happens there and no advertising or sharing sales stuff… currently doing a QAL:

for which I have these 6 spool blocks done…

I am also a member of other quilt groups on facebook and have chosen to make my facebook page a quilty place to be… so many of my previous fb friends have slowly gone away to make room for current and more appropriate friends to fit the no political stuff policy I am adopting for facebook 🙂

My fave place is a place just for hand quilters called Celebrate Hand Quilting group.  You can request entry here… and Caron or Janet will grant you access if you are a quilty person and this sounds like something you would like go for it because the eye candy and knowledge shared there for hand quilting techniques is nothing short of AMAZING!

I Pinterest for remembering ideas and keep a running page each year of ideas…. here is 2014’s page 🙂

I don’t tweet, or instagram or anything else… I am almost 50 so I feel pretty hip as I am 🙂 HA!

So that was only 2 questions… but I hope this gives you a better feel of who I am… would love to hear any questions you have for me!  I can answer them in next weekends Hodge Podge… and I haven’t even shown you the back yard yet!!!!  So subscribe if you haven’t and come back to visit!

I blog about twice a week usually and cover all aspects of quilting, home reno, beautiful outdoor shots I take from my own back yard, funny moments in our lives, and whatever I need written down to remember… my blog is an ongoing scrapbook of sorts for me!  Hope you enjoy the ride with me!

In closing I have an icon I made below with my motto for 2014!  Read more about what it means here.

Linking this post to Confessions of a Fabric Addict Whoop! Here 🙂
Wish Adam a Happy Birthday by going to where I linked at SEWjo Saturday with Kim Here!
Check out Kathy’s quilt ready for binding at Slow Sunday Stitching!  Here 🙂


Vintage Sewing Machine Care

What is the most important things to caring for a vintage sewing machine in working order???

Love it… Sew on it… Oil it 🙂

(See my cute nieces and nephew?? lol)

This bottle should have enough oil for a pile of machines for years to come.  You will probably replace it because it is old before you will use it all… so buy a smaller size if you can find it!  But use only Singer machine oil or similar quality oil in your machines.  It is their life blood!

If you are in the “market” for a new vintage machine… here are some questions to ask yourself…

Do you want straight stitch or do you NEED zig zag?  I use straight stitch and reverse as my mainstays for piecing quilts and repairing clothing for my kids… My main machine lowers the feed dogs easily and can darn like a champ!  Too bad I am not into FMQ! lol

Do you want Singer or something more trendy?  All pre 1960’s machines MOSTly have all metal parts… so it is necessary to keep them oiled and to use them instead of looking and petting only 🙂  IF they are in running condition… however I have found the Japanese clone machines from the early 1950’s fun and useful AND trendy!

Japanese clones came about from a loophole in the patenting of sewing machines in the US.  Thus for a few years Japan via the Toyota and Koyo plants produced a lot of machines that were then put together in the US and given a motor here as well.  Each one was branded by the company that “sponsored” it… thus lots of names… such as Universal, Wizard, Morse, Nelco, and many many others… I saw one on Craigslist called a “La Salle” 🙂  Fun machines with outside motor… cool paint jobs and indestructible stitches with bobbins that never miss a stitch when cared for.

Singer at this time had the portable featherweight machine as women started being more portable with their sewing… and in the 50’s opened a plant in Anderson, South Carolina (previously all Singers were made in Elizabeth, NJ I think) and started producing the 301A…. this machine was just a few pounds heavier but did all the featherweight did PLUS has a screw to disengage the feed dogs!  It comes with plenty of attachments available and is a great machine to have in your stash…

If you buy a vintage straight stitch only machine … you will find minimal issues if you sew on it and oil it scant but regular depending on how much you sew… the machine will tell you when it is ready for a drink… just don’t over feed it please 🙂

If you buy a vintage zig zag machine … have a repairman grease and oil it for you the first time… save some money by cleaning it up before it sees the repair person too!!!  This will give you time to get to know your machine… then after it has been serviced… enjoy and ONLY oil your machine… grease is only necessary around metal gears inside the machine.  They don’t need a repairman for regular oiling… it is possible and if you are the tiniest bit handy (I am not handy and I can do it!) to keep your machine oiled yourself once serviced 🙂

Not sure what to do?  Look and maybe try to test drive a few that are in running condition… a good machine is quiet (if the belt is noisy that is an easy fix) and peaceful to listen to as you sew.  Or if you find one at the thrift store consult your local vintage repairman for assistance in deciding on a purchase… most vintage machines don’t stay around long…

For a vintage machine in restored running shape in a cabinet or table expect to pay $150 up for a Japanese clone or $300 and up for a Singer from this or earlier era.

If accessories are available for a machine you are interested in you want the accessories too.. you should expect to get a manual describing care (oiling points diagram, threading diagrams, bobbin case care and threading diagram) for your specific machine but for the Japanese clones this information is only available online.  They all work basically the same… easy to find parts for to if more bobbins/case/race is needed.

So now… do you wanna sew vintage???

Hope this post has informed you and helped you decide if vintage is right for you and if it is what is your style?  Do you want a desk to open or a cabinet/case to be portable?

Do you prefer modern.. if so why?  I get needing an embroidery machine or serger… but all else we can use what has already been made that will last my lifetime or longer to use to create with.

Love to know how you piece n patch!

If you prefer not to leave a public question please feel free to ask me and my honey anything via email listed in my signature 🙂

I have a surprise for you!

Welcome 🙂

With all we have been up to lately rehabbing sewing machines and such we found ourselves craigslisting and thrift shopping for older sewing machines that needed help!  We have seemed to be on a roll and my honey so enjoys it… and I reap the rewards of his labor! lol

Anyway, while thrifting locally we bought this beautiful zig zag machine that has 13 decorative stitches… for less than $13.00!!!  $12.78 with tax! lol  For my honey to fix and then sell for seed money to start a side business and expand his new hobby.  Ha!

I fell in love with her… the more research I did, the more I liked her… then he sewed on her.. it was LOVE!  For both my honey (as he lovingly repaired her unoiled parts and frozen gears and figured out her broken bobbin) and also I realized THIS machine would be my Janome replacement!

He and I decided Nelly would be her name… after her brand name Nelco. 

Nelly is a light seafoam green and white and is cast iron.

Nelly’s cast iron body was made in Japan… she is a “Japanese Clone”.  Then she was shipped to the US for branding and assembly.  For Nelly that meant St. Louis, Missouri!  And she is extra special with all her added features so they called this model a “Centennial Series”.

I love that Nelly is a Japanese import like my Fiona (she is featured on my blog header :).

My Fiona ~ Showin’ off her new spool doilies my bestie made for her!

These machines were all made in the early 1950’s when there was a loophole in sewing machine patenting.  Most of the machines made in Japan during this time are straight stitch machines… a few zig zags and even fewer like her with extra metal cams built in for the buttonholes and other decorative stitches!

So now I just gotta clean up the Janome and take posing pics to sell her so we have money for my honey to buy machines to SELL! lol  Anyone want a great deal on a Janome 8077 sewing machine?  lol

Hope you have enjoyed meeting Nelly… she is still getting cleaned up… as you can see in this pic…

Used to raise and lower the feed dogs on Nelly!

But I couldn’t wait to share!  I will only have 3 machines… I can’t use more than that! lol

Have a great rest of your week!