The rhythm of the Treadle Sewing Machine and Mothers hands feeding the material under the foot had this six year old girl completely spell bound.
I would sit beside her for hours and watch the needle go up and down. My job was to hold the Tomato Pin Cushion to receive the pins that steadily were pulled from the material before it went through the foot.
Starting with Needle and Thread and scraps of material, I hand stitched doll clothes until finally I was long legged enough to reach the Foot Pedal of the old Singer Treadle. And so began a life time of Needlework, an appreciation for the Art of Sewing and Collecting Sewing Stuff. I still occasionally sew on a Treadle...often sew on a 1950 Century Edtion Featherweight...and mostly sew on a Janome Memory Craft 6600 Quilters Dream Machine.
Here's a bit of NEEDLE History...
- The first sewing needles were made from bone and were used to sew animal hides together. The oldest known bone sewing needle was one found in what is now southwestern France and has been estimated to be over 25,000 years old.
- The knowledge of needle making was also used to make fish hooks in England. The country became well known for high quality fish hooks as well as sewing needles in the middle of the 17th century.
- Metal needles were handcrafted before the industrial age. The process began with cutting wire long enough to make two needles. Then points were ground on either end of the wire, the wire was flattened in the middle and eyes punched out. The needles were then separated. This operation is still followed today, but machines now do the work instead of people.
Oliver Wendell Holmes