A BOMB and a Meet and Greet with Mildred

If you are crumbing along…and working ahead like me…you might feel like a BOMB went off in your sewing area….Does yours look anything like mine?!?!


Little scraps and bits are EVERYWHERE!!  I am full of strings and snippets.  It is crazy.  Oh…and did you see Mildred there?

A funny little happenstance came about this week.  If you didn’t know, I am trying to sew two crumb quilts at once.  I am trying to keep up with using my recycled fabrics for the sample crumb along blocks and quilt….PLUS I am trying to make some Civil War reproduction type blocks.  I was driving myself CRAZY.  I would sew a few and then clean up one set of scraps…then drag out the other scraps and work on that.

Sunday I told my husband I need another machine…nothing fancy just another machine.  I decided if I found something decent used I just might pick one up.  He of course just rolled his eyes and said ya…I decided to drop the sewing machine thing.  I could tell by the tone of his voice he thought I was being goofy, and after thinking about it, I decided another sewing machine was a bit excessive for me.

Monday rolls around and I was doing errands and stopped at the local Goodwill.  I was on the hunt for an orange or cheddarish color shirt to do with my crumbs.  I loved the yellow in the last quilt and wanted that color again….no luck.  I figured as long as I was there, I would just look around….and there I found Mildred…the Singer sewing machine in the picture.


I tested her a bit in the store and $30 later she was MINE!  If I remember right, it looks similar to the one my sister sewed on in the early 70’s.  With a bit of oil and full bobbin she is working like a charm. She is busy working on the Civil War fabrics and my Bernina is working on the shirt scraps.

I named her Mildred after an old lady I knew from my younger days.  My dad grew up on a farm near her.  She eventually became his first teacher.  The district hired her because she could speak both English and Swedish.  In our area that was necessary because there were so many kids that mostly spoke Swedish including my dad.    Years and years later, honestly about 48 years later, when I was in fourth grade,  we had a substitute teacher.  She was an older lady with gray hair and a calico dress.  She dressed old and had very sturdy serviceable shoes.  She walked up to me and in front of everyone, she pulled my cheek and said, “Oh you must be Carl’s (my dad) girl.”  I didn’t know who she was at the time.  She had moved to a neighboring town and taught there.  She just happened to be substitute teaching at my school that day.  I was confused at how she would know me.

I went home and told the story to my parents.  My dad laughed and told a story about how she took a ruler and slapped his fingers when he was in 1st grade.  Apparently Dad had taken a scissor and was cutting up his reading flash cards.  That scared me and I hoped she wouldn’t be our substitute again.  She wasn’t.

Later I got to know Mildred.   She was a nice lady.  She was always neat, clean and tidy.  She did wonderful work.  She continued to dress in a serviceable manner.  The Singer is the same.  She stitches neat and tidy.  She does wonderful work and she is completely serviceable…no real frills….

Mildred the person died years ago…Mildred the sewing machine has been busy….


See how the red constant is POPPING…oh I love the flying geese…more stars are in the process.  I am starting to think this project is taking on a mind of it’s own and just might become a full size quilt.  I told someone in an email that these little crumb blocks are like potato chips….you can’t just eat one and you’re probably going to end up eating the whole bag!!

If you just happened on my blog, I am hosting a Crumb Along…you can find out more information here.  If you’re crumbing along with me don’t forget to check back and see everyone’s progress.  You can check Flickr too.

18 thoughts on “A BOMB and a Meet and Greet with Mildred”

  1. Your sewing area looks a lot like mine right now. I think it helps with creativity though to see all those fabrics scattered around and ready to get used. Awesome looking crumb blocks! I can’t wait to get started today. FINALLY!

  2. My DH just walked by and saw the picture of your sewing space and told me I must be doing things right because mine looks like yours. I had a machine like that and loved it. By the way, you can’t have too many machines! Blocks look great. Romonia, Casey, IA

  3. I have a Mildred at my house too… except that is the name of my dishwasher! That is too funny. I knew a Mildred when I was younger that lived down our street but I just named my dishwasher Mildred so she would have a name! She really helps me out a lot! Love reading your blog but have yet to start on my crumbs…

  4. I love your way of making two crumb quilts with two sewing machines, clever ;-)
    Sure Mildred will be of great help, it is the kind of faithful fellow !
    Love its color.

  5. What a fun story and name for your new sewing buddy. I am sure you will be creating together for some time. Those old Singers are just the best.
    Crumb piecing is messy, isn’t it? Love the constant red in your blocks. It makes so much sense to do that, but I never thought of it!

  6. Lucky you! What a great find – and you can keep your sanity for $30, TOTALLY WORTH IT! I am loving those civil war blocks… Very much my happy color range!

  7. I am a sewing machine nut!!!!!!! We owned a vac & sew store in California years ago & I learned alot about alot of machines – I became a tech! I collect sewing machines even now. My favorite old girls are my black Singer machines. You know the ones….they don’t even have a reverse stitch on them. Don’t get me wrong I adore my Baby Lock Espire, my Kenmore, my brother, my Featherweight II………A girl can never have too many machines. Welcome home Mildred!

  8. I really enjoyed reading and looking at your blog today, at first looking for Mildred, I thought I was looking for a dog or cat, when I didn’t see one in the photo I thought hmmm…funny My sewing area also looks like yours, love being so busy! I have 3 machines set up in my room, 1 for my sewing, 1 for free motion quilting and 1 for when my daughter comes by to sew, she is a newbie and I have her working on string blocks that she will make into potholders for Xmas. love all your blocks by the way.

  9. Oh I loved your little story!!!! Such a warm story……I’m just getting into quilting as I’m a Mixed Media ARTist and have recently been inspired by a fabric book a fellow ARTist created……I clicked on a link from Craft Gossip and I’m so glad I did……I LOVE your quilt in the process!!!! and the bomb that went off at your sewing area!!! LOL You can see you definately have a passion for it!!!! Thank you for sharing that little story!! Hope you have a very blessed day!!

  10. My sewing space is a carbon copy of yours! Creativity isn’t neat and tidy. LOVE those crumb blocks – I can understand their allure. And I love that you took Mildred home with you – there is something about an older machine that just speaks to me.

  11. I have three sewing machines and all were made before 1960: a featherweight, a Spartan (a solid little black machine made by Singer), and a Piedmont (peach coloured Hudson’s Bay Store brand made by White). “How many sewing machines do ya need?” my brother once asked me with eyebrows raised. “Three for right now,” I said and added, “How many guns do you own?” Point made!

  12. I use two sewing machines. It is really helpful at times so I am not constantly changing thread colors when switching projects. Works great. One is mine I bought in 1986 and the other used to be my mother-in-law’s and now it is mine.


  13. Looks just like Mom’s old machine, only her’s was tanish gold where Mildred is blue. Those are solid machines. When Mom wanted to get me a machine for high school graduation, I asked for one like her’s and they found a similar model and had it refurbished. Still a great machine we just got out again over the summer because there are three sewing in our sewing room now. Solid, sturdy, simple and ready to work!

  14. Pingback: What I’m working on…and Meet Betty… — Jo's Country Junction

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