About Me

I had my first quilt class in 2001 by a very dear friend and neighbor here in northwestern Wisconsin. She used a treadle sewing machine and I was intrigued with sewing without electricity. For Mother’s Day that year I received my first treadle sewing machine. I so thoroughly enjoyed sewing on it that I promptly sold my electric machine at a yard sale that summer and have never regretted it.

Since then I have gotten into collecting and using these wonderful pieces of history. It is very enjoyable to find one and learn all about when it was made and about the company that made it. Each manufacturer is unique and it is fun to get to know each machine and its quirks.ย 

I find using these “people powered” sewing machines very relaxing and I am in total control of the speed at which it goes – fast or slow. I am able to piece the top and quilt it myself all on my hand cranks/treadles. Its fun and easy.

I also demonstrate each summer at a number of local museum events to educate people about the old sewing machines and encourage them to use them if they have them – be it hidden in a garage or attic.

I have four children, well teens now, and I home schooled each until high school. I have raised milk goats and various other farm animals until my teens went to high school, then we sold all the farm animals. Now we have a number of exotic pets inside. I also enjoy crocheting and knitting, but quilting is my favorite. I love my husband and we strive to live our lives to glorify the LORD Jesus Christ.

Lisa Inlow


11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Lisa, been looking everywhere for an image of a White VS1 Treadle and I notice you have one! I have just acquired the machine only and was wondering what the treadle should look like, I have quite a number of later Whites but clearly the treadle bases on these are somewhat different.

    I particularly notice that the stitch length adjuster that sticks out on the front left from under the machine, I realize that the treadle must have some way of accommodating this.

    If you are able to forward to me a photo of the treadle base I’d really appreciate it, can’t seem to find a picture of one anywhere on the web.

    Thanks Dominic

  2. HI Lisa
    So glad to have found your blog! I have been contemplating buying a treadle sewing machine for some time with the goal of one day learning how to quilt on it. I have not used a sewing machine in many years but do remember it being stressful for me. As a perfectionist If I made a mistake I would redo it all over again and I could never keep the speed under control hence … mistakes! With age I have become more patient (thank goodness) and thus am inspired to try my hand at quilting.

    I like how you mention: “I find using these โ€œpeople poweredโ€ sewing machines very relaxing and I am in total control of the speed at which it goes โ€“ fast or slow. I am able to piece the top and quilt it myself all on my hand cranks/treadles. Its fun and easy.” Right there, I am re-inspired to go for it! I have always had a great admiration for those who could quilt and on a treadle machine ….. even better! I would love to learn! So, here are my questions:

    1. Should I learn to sew/quilt on a treadle or hand crank?
    2. What model and year would you recommend to a beginner?
    3. Do you have any other advice for a “newbie?

    Thanks so much!

    • I am excited that you found my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I didn’t really enjoy sewing on an electric machine and until introduced to a treadle I didn’t do it much. Once I learned to treadle I was looking for things to sew. For me it was that feeling that I never knew exactly how fast or slow the thing would go when I pushed on that electric pedal.

      1) If you can only have one machine, it should be a treadle because you can do more on it. You can’t really free-motion quilt on a hand-crank machine because you do need to hands. The treadle can do everything. However, if you can have multiple machines and can obtain a hand-crank I would say yes because it is so much fun piecing or machine appliqueing on it.

      2) For a beginner I would recommend a Singer. Age doesn’t really matter but it would probably be easiest if you got a hold of a round bobbin machine that has side clamping feet (no back clamper – you would know by the screw on the foot in the back instead of the left side). A Singer is the machine that has easily obtainable bobbins, needles and feet and is the machine that the modern-day low shank darning foot will fit.

      3) Once you get your treadle practice treadling on blank sheets of paper at first to make sure you can consistently treadle the machine forward because many of them only go forward and get a snarl if you go the wrong way. The other thing is to relax because it really is fun! Being a perfectionist myself I can tell you that those little mistakes are what make the item unique. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hope I answered all your questions.
      Happy treadling

      • Paula, I also think if you as a “newbie” could find a Singer VS (vibrating shuttle/long bobbin/ bullet shuttle) machine you would do fine. That is what I did all my learning on ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Lisa, I am so glad you stopped by my place for a visit!!!!! The treadle machine I have is my sweet Grandma’s and it has a place of honor in our livingroom. It is in wonderful working order but I have not put the new belt on yet. My quilting/piecing is done on various electrified machines, saving the treadle for display only. I do hope you stop by again!!!!!! Hugs………………….

  4. Lisa,
    I’m so glad I found your blog. I have a 1910 Singer 66 Red Eye treadle that I have owned for about 20 years but am really just getting into using. It is, unfortunately a back clamp style. Do you know of a source for a free-motion/ mending foot for a back clamp? I would love to try free-motion quilting on the treadle. Thanks for any help.
    Amissville, VA

    PS I, too, am a Christian. My Etsy shop (items not made on the treadle…yet) https://www.etsy.com/shop/HarvestHomeStudio

  5. Hi Lisa, Aloha, from Kauai! Straight up…I’m not one much for sewing. My inherited Barbies all sported the latest fashions in Kleenex and Rubber Bands! While my Boyfriend was offloading items no longer of use at the Landfill, I stumbled upon an old looking sewing machine. From what little a gathered…it’s a Hand Crank, Wrought Iron with some of the paint detail still in place. It’s rusty and heavy, but it still seems to work. Liberty is it’s name,there is a 76 underneath and a C, but I don’t know who made it…I’ve seen similar ones in galleries and on You Tube, but not the exact one. I’m hoping your expertise on the subject, might clear up the confusion! I’ve got pictures, I’d love to send you. Sorry for bombarding you! God Bless, Nalani

    • If you can send a picture I might be able to help more. According to my encyclopedia it could have been made by the Davis Sewing Machine Company or the National Sewing Machine Company. I might be able to narrow it down with a picture ๐Ÿ™‚

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