I first discovered Singer Featherweights while teaching in the S.E. United States (Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama). I'd seen just one on the Today Show back in the 1970's in a segment on setting in sleeves--I can't even imagine a morning news show covering such a topic these days! I didn't see one until someone brought one to my classes in the 1980's. A friend paid $15 for one at a yard sale, had it serviced, and mailed it to me in the late 1980's. Despite the fact that it was merely packed loose, surrounded by polystyrene peanuts, it arrived safely. We joked that the heavy coating of nicotine held it together. (Seriously, anyone shipping a machine needs to learn to do so correctly--layers of bubble wrap, double boxing, and more.)
Since during my childhood the piece of equipment I used most often was this, I decided I could learn to maintain a sewing machine.
A couple of years ago, after months of searching, I purchased a 1919 (Redhead) Singer 66 treadle.
The next acquisition was this 99, the "little sister" to the 66. I converted it to hand crank, and take it with me when I'm piecing where electrical outlets are at a premium. It too has "fiddly" tension.
Then last summer, after thinking about it for several months, a Treadle-On member sold me an extra Necchi so I could use it for things like buttonholes (haven't tried that yet), blind hems, etc. as well as quiltmaking. I dearly love this machine, as well as the fact that it fits in both my treadle tables.
I'm very grateful to the very helpful members on the sewing lists I belong to who have helped me get my machines working and who are available if I have surprise problems with them. Almost every brand of vintage and antique sewing machine has a group of supporters who share information and help each other with their machines. While I don't think I have any working machines that are true antiques (over 100 years old), I'm on lists with people who regularly use theirs.
In my own quilting arena, I'm trying to finish up some more quilts; that list in my sidebar is the smallest it's been at year's end in a long time!
The quilt below, Flight Lessons, is only 24" square and has been waiting for binding for several years. I'm happy to say it's finally complete. I used the Necchi and variegated thread to give the binding an attractive finish--I knew it wouldn't get done if I had to hand stitch it!
This little quilt later became a donation to raise money for my church's African mission project. (The mission used the funds to buy their first truck to haul produce to market--as well as other things, I'm sure.)