Do you know what a cranky is??? I have to admit that I was not familiar with that term before The Best of the Valley Quilt Show last Sunday.
I have SEEN them, but I had no idea what to call them...
What am I talking about you ask???
A cranky is what collectors call a pre-electricity vintage hand crank sewing machine like this one.
I LOVE vintage sewing machines. I have a featherweight, a treadle, and a few toy sewing machines too. I have always wanted a non-electric machine that I could actually use if we ever went off-grid (a future goal). I am not coordinated enough to move the treadle pedal with my foot and sew a straight line though.
At the show we met vendors Ginger and Mike of SewCranky and their wonderful working antique machines.
There were several brands and models. We saw the familiar American brand Singer, a few British brands, and even a few German machines. (These machines were all imported from the UK)
Back in the days before in-home electricity, these portable hand crank machines were more affordable and more common than big bulky treadles for rural people. I imagine that the cost of transportation for a big, heavy cast iron treadle influenced this fact.
The crankies were remarkably EASY to use. My hubby Jerry and I tried them all out. I had no problem sewing a straight stitch as I cranked away. That was a pleasant surprise.
the little hamster wheel in my head was turning...
All I could think about was how practical one of these little machines could be. No more power outages ending a sewing session... or a glamping excursion in a tent. I could really enjoy demonstrating its use at a primitive rendezvous re-enactment (another adventure I hope to enjoy someday). Heck, I could enjoy sewing with one of these little babies anywhere.
Willpower kicked in long enough to allow me to finish viewing all the wonderful quilts and vendors; and to go have a bite to eat and say goodbye to our friends.
Before I knew it my hubby offered to take me back to get one. Our 23rd wedding anniversary is coming up in a few months and he didn't want me to let this opportunity go. I might not see one again. We headed back to the show after lunch.
As we struggled to find a parking space a few blocks away from the actual show (it was that busy) my heart was fluttering. We almost did not get a machine because they had just about sold out in the short span of time it took to eat and say our goodbyes...
Somehow, this machine was right there waiting for me upon my arrival.
I had fallen in love with it earlier. It's a German machine by Frister and Rossman that was made in the early 1920s. Notice the unique decorations. After the opening of King Tut's Tomb, the world was enamored with all things Egyptian.
The quilt show was great fun. You can see pictures of a few of my favorite quilts HERE. I saw a few old friend's quilts and met one of my longtime quilting heroes, Nancy Rink. I cut my quilting teeth on her patchwork patterns back in the day. She is just as friendly in person as she is in film.
So goes my cranky adventure. I plan to break it in this weekend.
Do YOU have any old treasures you love?