Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stella Part 1: The Unveiling

NOTE:  Today is the last day for the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop giveaway.  I will choose the winner tomorrow after work. 

So if you read this post, you will know that I spent part of my vacation this summer at my sister's carefully packing my grandmother's treadle sewing machine to ship it 3000 miles from Seattle to Florida.  I've decided to call her Stella.  A fitting name, I think, since that was my grandmother's name - her original owner.  And Stella Singer sounds pretty sweet.  It has a kind of old - timey charm, don't you think?

I hope you will find this post interesting.  I was actually kind of thrilled to remove Stella from her cardboard prison.  She has, after all, been given free reign up til now.  But she needed to be protected on her long journey.  Lots of hazards for a single girl traveling alone on a cross-country trip.

I'm sure that my sister thought thinks I am crazy, wanting to transport Stella such a distance, but she was a wonderful sport about the whole ordeal, and with her gift for research and her aptitude for all things spacial, came up with the perfect plan.  I didn't take very good photos of the packing, so I'm going to be very detailed in the un-packing.

First, there is the box.  It's a Home Depot medium shipping box cut to size.

Lots and lots of foam insulation in this box.  We used 1 inch construction foam for most of our packing material.  My sis is great with the hacksaw cutting the pieces to just the right size. 

And some styrofoam insulation.  Lynda cut it to fit perfectly.  See?  I told you she's really, really good at this stuff.  Doesn't it look tidy?

And underneath all the insulation is some polyester quilt batting.  Neither one of us use this stuff any more. 

And some high density upholstery foam - with a Target shopping bag thrown in for good measure.  The Target bag is holding the foam around the wheel, while the other miscellaneous bag is holding the foam around the machine.

And so it begins.  I pulled out the packing materials one by one.

And created quite a mess.

Until I got her alone in the box.

There she is, still shrouded in her most protective layers.

Lots of protective foam around her sensitive parts.

And a special piece of foam to protect the spindle.

And now she's just left with her "cast" as my friend called it.

Two layers of foam underneath her to protect her bottom.  Yup, she's pretty dirty.  But she's been sitting unused for at least 30 years and sitting in my sister's garage for 3 years.  I'd probably be dirty too.

We cut special holes in the foam so her gears wouldn't break.

There she is - free of all her restraints.  Now she's off to the doctor.

I was totally excited when he gave me the estimate:

$58 for the cleaning, including the outside.  (While you should never use WD-40 inside a sewing machine, apparently its a great cleaner for the cast iron outside.  Who knew?)

$6.95 for her new belt (a very inexpensive fashion accessory, I believe!)

$.95 for the rubber piece on the bobbin winder.

For a grand total of $66 plus tax.

Far less expensive than I thought she'd be.

Unfortunately, with WH unable to help me put the cabinet back together, it may be November before I get her all assembled.  But I've made a great start, and I'll be content with that.

For now.


  1. Great deal! I am still looking for one.

  2. Packing professionals! Your loving care brought your grandmother's machine to you and I'm guessing it cost a lot more to ship her than to get her in shape for all the wonderful projects you'll be doing together.

  3. lovely! and worth all the packing efforts for sure

  4. Nice machine and well worth shipping that distance. It is nice you have something of your grandmother`s. I adore those old Singer`s. You can "feel" the perfect straight stitch as she sews. I collect them and use them. I can`t wait to see the cabinet!

  5. How wonderful that Stella is in good hands with someone to appreciate her!

  6. I loved your step-by-step journey of Stella. She's beautiful! :O)

  7. Yeah! It will be fun to see her in her new home.


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