Crazy Sewing Machine Lady

fancy Minnesota A cabinet

I guess it’s happened – I’ve turned into a sewing machine collector. No one needs more than one sewing machine, but I just obtained my fifth. I’ve wanted a treadle machine since I started quilting a few years ago, and when I came across this beauty on Chicago’s Craigslist, I couldn’t resist.

Minnesota A sewing machine

She stitches! Came with one bobbin wound with ancient thread. No belt yet (I ordered one this morning) so I used the hand wheel. I’ve also ordered 2 additional bobbins, and some 100-year-old unused needles on eBay. I threaded the shuttle myself after reading up on it online. It’s a Davis, Long.

There were lots of dropped stitches and thread nests in the back, but as I adjusted the tension disc and whatever the screwpost thing on top is (foot pressure?) it got better. The machine was very well oiled before it was stored however many years ago. It moves pretty smoothly.

Minnesota A

Officially this is a Channukah present from Theo. I’m a lucky gal.



Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

14 thoughts on “Crazy Sewing Machine Lady”

  1. =v= Crazy Sewing Machine Cat Lady! I’m reminded of the old advertising jingle for my Mom’s chewing gum: “Double your flavor / Double your fun.”

  2. This is identical to a machine I inherited from my grandmother. I am trying to figure out how much it’s worth. I have to sell it because I move a lot I don’t want it to get damaged. Any ideas?

  3. The machine itself isn’t worth much. Minnesota A’s sell for $25-$50. If you have a cabinet like this one, however, you could probably get $150 to $200 for it. I paid $200 for the cabinet and machine together. If you’re selling a cabinet like this let me know – I’d buy it!

  4. I have a cabinet just like this one identical in fact it’s in wonderful condition however it doesn’t have the machine I’d like to sell it if anyone is interested

  5. Hey Todd:
    May be interested in your sewing machine table if it’s still available. How long have your had it, & what state are you in (I’m in MS), & what’s your price? Also, what’s the distance between the attaching hinge-studs on rear of base plate?

  6. Todd,
    Did you sell the sewing machine cabinet you mentioned?
    Some one else enquired and asked what state you were in. Any chance you are in Maryland and still have the cabinet?
    Thanks! Anneke

  7. Hi from Alabama! I have a cabinet like this! The sewing machine has been removed but still has the pedal and gears. I have been trying to find out more about the cabinet.

  8. I just saw this blog and I have one just like it too. It belonged to my to my great grandmother in Pennsylvania with an original, Minnesota Treadle in it. My grandmother took the treadle out. And just used it for furniture. And it came to me and now I have a singer 201 in it. I love how beautiful. And detailed it is. I’m trying to find more out about them, too. And would be interested in buying if anyone is also selling.

  9. Interesting to read about it. I inherited Model A Minnesota D1128189 from Gramcrackers!!!! That was her nickname when I was a kid. We are antique collectors and researching the past. Just went through the drawers. Found the original instructions along with all of the parts. The cabinet is the absolutely beautiful. Pretty neat. My husband states I need to get the machine going to darn his socks and of course…..flat Midwestern reply…..In your dreams!!!!! P.s. Also found my grandpas army private strip from WWI in one of the drawers. We have all of his letters that he wrote to Gramcrackers. Plus his WWI helmet. Yes I am one lucky gal to have some much family history I can “touch”!!!!

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