The Old Sewing Machine

History of the Quilt

Objectives

Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library

STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, THE OLD SEWING MACHINE, BY THE CHURCHLAND EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUB FOR THE HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989

The Old Sewing Machine

The sewing machine was one of the home appliances that has become one of the most popular. Sewing machines are also widely used in clothing manufacturing and in other industries.

Most sewing machines utilize a two thread stitch, called the lockstitch, that requires two separate sources of thread. The main spool is located on the top of the machine on a spool pin. The thread from the spool is threaded through a mechanism that keeps it under tension. The thread then passes through a take-up lever and finally through the sewing machine needle, whose eye is near its point. The take-up lever moves up and down to unwind thread from the spool and provides tension or slack as needed.

The second spool is a small metal, later plastic, one called \ the bobbin. The bobbin is placed in a bobbin housing located in a chamber in the base of the machine just below the needle. The end of the thread is brought to the surface, through a hole in the plate covering the chamber. In sewing, the material to be sewn, is placed on this plate, through which protrudes a serrated part called a feed dog. The feed dog advances the fabric after each needle stroke, the distance depending on the stitch length selected.

The sewing machine was developed in the 19th century, chiefly by American inventors. Walter Hunt developed the eye-pointed needle and the lock-stitch in about 18)2, but he never patented his invention. Elias Howe also invented a lockstitching machine, which he patented in 1846. However, the machine patented by Isaac Singer in 1851 was the real fore runner of modern machines. It had a straight vertical needle and a presser foot and used a treadle for power. In the same year Allen B. Wilson invented the rotating bobbin hook, and in 1854 he devised the gripper mechanism now used for moving the fabric.

The quilt square, an early model of the treadle machine, was embroidered by Pennie McKoy Williams for the Churchland Extension Homemakers Club.

Written by: Pennie McKoy Williams, President

Churchland Extension Homemakers Club

Quilt Square: Row 7, Number 39

Embroidery by. Pennie Williams

Churchland Extension Homemakers Club