My Birthday Present!!

At Thanksgiving Hubby and the kids surprised me with an early birthday present.  You might remember awhile ago I was at the thrift store and saw this treadle sewing machine.  It was back in August that I saw it.  Hubby was with me.  You can read about it here.


I had loved the machine but it was $250 which was a lot for me to spend.


I didn’t get the machine but thought about it for a LONG time after.  I mentioned something to Kelli about it a couple days later when I saw her.  Well unknown to me, Kelli called Hubby and then called all the other kids and they decided to go together and buy me the machine.  The kids chipped in a normal birthday amount and Hubby paid the rest.

Well on Thanksgiving they knew most of us would be together and they surprised me with it early!

Kayla was an awesome help with it!!  She knows more about treadles than I do as she worked at Living History Farm one summer and she has a treadle of her own.  The belt wasn’t tight enough so she explained to Hubby how to fix it and the two of them did.

Franklin-10Next it was time for me to figure out how to run it.


Like most beginners, I spent lots of time going backwards.


Here Kayla is helping by describing the foot motion.


Oh, it stitches wonderfully!!


Kayla was so helpful!!


Kalissa took a video of me trying…. The video is kind of funny!!

Look…I did it!!!


Next up all the kids wanted to try to it out!  Kelli was first.  Here she is showing off her mess of knots.


Kelli just couldn’t get it to go!!  She was so frustrated.  We did our best to cheer her on!!

She never did get it!!  I’ll get her to try another day…and yes, this is how our family acts when we’re all together!!

The other kids tried….Buck did it with Carver on his lap on the first try!  Check them out in the picture below.

Kayla’s husband Spencer did it right away too!!

Kalissa was our photographer through all of this so she was the last to try.  She was really priding herself on being able to do this as she’s the non-sewer in the bunch.  I think she took it as a personal challenge to get it when Kelli couldn’t ….a little sibling rivalry still happens around here….what can I say??

So Kalissa sat down and…..Franklin-11

She did it on the first try!!

I was impressed!

We had a great time.  The machine works wonderfully and is in my living room now.  It’s a Franklin machine and has a BEAUTIFUL cabinet.  It was likely a bit more expensive than we should have paid but I love it!!

…and speaking of surprises…Kayla’s husband Spencer bought her a Featherweight for an anniversary present.  It was their 5 year anniversary….time flies!  Anyway, the machine didn’t work right.  UGH.  She ended up bringing it up on Thanksgiving and by comparing her machine to mine, I was able to figure out what was wrong.  I told Spencer and he fixed it.

We really had a sewing machine filled Thanksgiving!!

I have LOTS of goals for 2018 but one is to piece a small quilt on this.  It won’t be big or complicated but I’m going to do it….even if I don’t get it done until the very end of the year.  I have a pretty hefty goal list…four quilts from the String Fling book, a quilt on my treadle and to finish the block of the month quilt.  I can do it.

Speaking of goals.  I know someone is going to ask about my birthday blocks you all sent me.  Kelli is coming home for a sewing weekend and we’re tackling that then.  Kelli had wanted to make the top for me but she doesn’t have the improv mojo so we decided to do it together.  More on that next week I’m sure.

I adore my machine and am so thankful that I have a great family who is willing to share my interests with me…even if it has to turn into a friendly competition!!  On my list of birthday gifts ever, this one rocks…but I did love the dishwasher I got years ago too!!  Sometimes practicality isn’t bad either.

29 thoughts on “My Birthday Present!!”

  1. This reminds me of the day my family had a blood pressure contest. One kid wanted me to check his blood pressure and the contest was on. We had to check 16 blood pressures to see who had the best reading. Family fun!?!

  2. I’m a December baby too and my early gift was the upgrade to EQ8. Haven’t taken the time to really learn it, yet, but I’ll get there. Nova Montgomery’s site and The Featherweight Shop are good resources for Featherweights.

  3. Oh so fun! That brings back so many memories. My mother and grandma sewed only on those until I received my first electric Singer for Christmas before high school. My cousins and I were always allowed to play with them, threaded or not, and we loved learning how to treadle! I really need to refurbish one of them. Your videos are precious! Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a special gift! What a beautiful machine and cabinet! What a great day with your family! Happy birthday…whenever it is! Treadle on…

  5. What fun and a family that is so supportive. Our family competition one time was comparing length and width of noses, even using calipers. The family still brings it up! Have a fun time learning to work the treadle. Enjoyed seeing your whole family coming together.

  6. What a perfect Birthday surprise from your sweet family! This was such a fun post – I’m so tickled for you. I just received a treadle too and I haven’t a clue how to use it yet. How fun that the kids made it into a friendly competition. That happens here too. It just brings me so much joy to spend time with our adult kids and it’s fun to see that it’s the same for you. Those photos are priceless.

  7. Love this! The treadle is beautiful and love that it came from your family! I have several treadles but haven’t learned yet. One of my goals for next year is to learn and make something on one of them. Can’t wait to see more blog posts on your progress!

  8. What a wonderful surprise! Lucky you that they all helped to get you the machine, the cabinet is a beauty. I have a treadle from my Great Grandmother, who lived along the Car River and smoked cigars! I cherish it and even taught myself to use it. I still love to open it up and treadle, thinking of her and what she accomplished to make with it by lamp light. Enjoyed seeing your family also trying out your new toy, Enjoy it.

  9. What a fun day!! I have a Singer Red Eye treadle that I have never used. You’ve inspired me to try it out. Maybe during the holidays when my three daughters are here, we can re-enact your Thanksgiving Day shenanigans!! Enjoy your “new to you” treadle.

  10. Happy birthday! Today was my dad’s birthday too. The treadle machine is beautiful. How fun that your kids all gave it a try too.

  11. Have fun with your new machine. I learned to sew on one. My grade school had treadles, we were not allowed to use the electric machines until we practiced on the treadles. Brings back memories.

  12. My family is far away, so don’t get alot of those “kids together” kind of time. Was fun to watch you all interact and have fun with the machine. I have a treadle and haven’t played with it in years. Maybe that will be my goal for the new year coming up. Anyway, gorgeous machine, have fun with it!

  13. What a wonderful present! The machine and cabinet are beautiful. I have an old Singer I bought from a moving neighbor a couple of years ago. I would like to redo the cabinet (the veneer is off in several places) and see if I can get it up and working. You’ll be sewing a large quilt on yours in no time, I’m sure!!

  14. You’ll love your treadle machine, and if will work when the power goes out! My sister and I learned to sew on a treadle, making doll clothes when we were in elementary school. It’s safer for kids than an electric machine. It can be Carver’s first sewing machine experience.

  15. What a lovely and thoughtful birthday present! I learned to sew on a treadle; the high school only had treadles, so you know how long ago that was! We all had to make a smock for our Home Ec sewing class and I always wondered why the teacher picked such a project for freshman girls, ha. Once I learned at school, my Mom had a treadle, so I made items of clothing for myself here and there during my high school years, and on up through young adulthood and marriage. I was really thrilled when I got a second-hand black Singer portable! Enjoy your lovely Treadle; I sometimes think I would like to have one again, then I could sew even if the electricity was out!

  16. Happy (late) Birthday! What an awesome gift. If you will persevere, you will have a blast on this machine. Haven’t heard of a Franklin before so I will have to keep an eye out for one too. I have 3 treadles – a White, a Richmond and a Rotocilla and love sewing on all of them. My Richmond is in a Parlor Cabinet like yours! That is a beautiful machine. Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations on your treadle machine, Jo!
    I have a Franklin treadle machine that had belonged to my husband’s great aunt, I think. It doesn’t work now, and probably needs some parts…I need to take a look and see if I can figure out what it needs, and then try to find a parts source…it is a beautiful machine, and I would love to make a quilt on it.
    Have fun with your Franklin!

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