My Sewing Legacy - New Home Ruby Sewing Machine

This week's sewing machine story is one of my own.  You can still email me your story.  About a month ago my husband asked me if there were any sewing machines in my family.  I knew of only one.  None on my dad's side but I knew there was one on my mom's side.  I wasn't even sure who had it.  I had came to the decision that if it was ever available it would be mine.  I'd find a way to bring it home.  About two weeks later I got a text from my cousin.  She had my great grandma's sewing machine and would I like to have it.  I jumped at it, this was the machine I never thought I would get.  It's in rough shape, it lived in my uncle's garage in a trash bag for who knows  how long and had sewn a lot before that.  It hadn't made a stitch since my great-grandma died, possibly before I don't know when she gave up sewing, in 1967.  She's still in rough shape, I'll probably fix the wood up but nothing will be done to the machine itself.  The paint that is gone is the result of my great grandmother's sewing.  Those chips bring me closer to her, my grandmother, and my mother.  Let me introduce you to Eva.



This machine is a Ruby made by New Home.  The machine dates to 1916.  Based on what I know of family history if this machine was bought new it was bought at the company store.  That's right, my great grandfather was a coal miner.  There would have been three kids in the family at that point.  My great aunt Getty, my grandma and her twin brother Marion.  There would be two more boys added to the family after the sewing machine was purchased.  They weren't a well off family by any means, coal mining wasn't a get rich job.  My grandmother didn't even graduate high school, she only made it through 8th grade.

This machine was used a lot!  There are places where there is no longer paint.  I can't even begin to imagine the amount of thread that has passed through the guides or the fabric that went across the bed.  She sewed for herself and her own family.  She also sewed for others, my great grandfather passed in 1933 she was a widow for 34 years.  Her youngest child at that time was 10 and her oldest at home was my grandma, she was 22.  My grandma didn't get married until 1940.  She had over twenty grandchildren and great grandchildren by the time of her death.

Where great grandma's had wore the paint away.

Bed medallion where the paint wore away from the fabric 
This machine and all those chips set in motion so much of my life.  My great grandmother taught my grandmother how to sew but more importantly she instilled a love of sewing.  That love of sewing was passed along to my mom.  My mom spent a large chunk of her adult life sewing for a living.  Both my grandma and mom passed along not only the skill of sewing but the love of it to me.  I might have been a little reluctant to accept that I do love to sew but it was still there.

Some of the wood on the cabinet is all but gone, it will have to be replaced at some point.  My husband describes the sound she makes as "She's about to throw a rod."  But she makes some of the prettiest stitches out of all of our machines.



There aren't words to describe how happy I am to be the caretaker of this machine.  I haven't made anything on it yet.  It took a little bit to figure where she would live.  Our living room is where the treadle machines live and it already had 6 machines.  With a little creativity hubby got it worked in so she can be used.

Here's proof that she works.  Taking her first stitches in 2015, almost 50 years after my great grandmother died.





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About Melissa Shields

Mel is a 30 something year old quilter, attempting to balance her old school roots with today's trends. When not sewing or shopping for a new sewing machine Mel enjoys reading, reality TV, and Nascar.

1 comments:

  1. She's beautiful!! How nice to be able to use a sewing machine that so many members of your family used so long ago.

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