About Sewing With Treadles

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. 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

Foundation Pieced Crazy Quilt Block

First one finished.


Final Demo of the Year

Today I’m at the my final demo of the year. I am privileged to set up at the New Richmond Heritage Center in The Parlor of The Farmhouse. I have four hand cranks with me and we’ll be working on Foundation pieced crazy quilt blocks.

I’ll be here for 11 to 5 pm if you’d like to join me. There are many fun things to do including stage coach rides and other things geared for the whole family.

Set Up at the Moon Lake Threshing Bee Once Again

Moon Lake Threshing Bee textile building

Even though I don’t get much time to sew at home i really enjoy my weekends to demonstrate my treadles and hand cranks. This is the 33rd Annual Moon Lake Threshing Bee and I’m excited to be part of it. 
Over the years I’ve been demonstrating here it has grown and improved. First year I was in an old chicken coop with dirt floors. After that they built a large barn building for me and the rug loom demonstrator. The following year they put a concrete floor in for us. 

I’m privileged to be a part of it!

Set up in the textile building

My view as I sit and sew on my 1880’s Domestic treadle.

Spinner with me

50th Anniversary of Pioneer Village Museum!

This evening I’ll be packing up the car for my yearly visit to the Pioneer Village Museum Heritage Days weekend in Barron, Wisconsin. This year is the 50th anniversary of the museum. If you’re in the area, join me. It is a wonderful place and this weekend there will be many demonstrations and living history to enjoy. Check out the website at https://www.barroncountymuseum.com/heritage-days.

How to Make a Guitar Amp Cover

Well, my eldest son turned 23 last month and for his birthday he wanted me to make him an amplifier cover for his new guitar amp. I was skeptical but at the same time thought, “How hard can it be?” Once he began giving me his specifications I thought, “Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into?” He wanted it quilted and he wanted an outside pocket as well as some sort of inner protective barrier (he suggested cardboard but I had a better idea). I took careful measurements of his amp.

I purchased some navy blue duck cloth (or canvas). For an inner liner I used plana dark green sheet (the elastic had worn out), cotton batting and “midnight” double fold bias tape to finish off the bottom edge as well as the handle hole.

The first thing I did was to take my measurements and make the front, back and top of the cover one complete piece. I had measured each side of the amp, so I just added my measurements together. I would have 3 main pieces, the two sides and the one big piece for the front, back and top. Then I added 3/4 inch seam allowance around the sides as well as the large piece. I began by cutting out the inside fabric (sheet). I then cut the canvas to match, and finally cut the cotton batting the same size.

I pinned the 3 pieces together and quilted them with diagonal straight line quilting 1.5 inches apart with matching thread (navy blue). I used my 1880’s Domestic treadle for all sewing and quilting as it can handle very thick layers. My next step was to make the handle hole at the center of the top. First I sewed a straight line on each side of the big piece to mark exactly where the top was and did my measurements from those lines for sake of precision.


You can see the chalk lines from the quilting and the measurement for the lines defining the top of the amp cover. I had initially thought “midnight” binding would be black, but it was not. Pinned the binding on and applied.

My son wanted some kind of protective barrier on the inside front and back of the cover. I thought quilting template might work better than cardboard. I didn’t want to use something that might deteriorate if moist. However, the only pieces of quilting template I could find were not big enough for the measurements of the front and back of the amp. I did some searching on the internet and found  “2 Thick Flexible Lightweight 25x23x1/16 Translucent Polyethylene Plastic Stencil Template Sheet” on Amazon. I liked that it was thicker and I could cut each piece down to fit.

Before sewing the sides on, I cut two pockets to slide the plastic into. I used the measurements for the front and back but only went up about 2/3 of the total height of the piece, finished the top of each pocket piece (rolled 1/4 inch down twice and stitched) and pinned each pocket into place on the insides of the large quilted piece. I wanted the plastic to be removable so the cover could be washed if needed.

My son wanted a pocket on one side of the cover to carry the amp cable in. I wasn’t sure about it due to all the thicknesses. But I thought I’d try. I cut a piece of inside fabric and then the canvas to match (6.5 x 10.5 inches). I stitched them together almost all the way around. Trimmed the corners, then turned them right side out and tucked in the open (unsewn) part. Pinned it on and sewed it twice for stability. I did some extra sewing along the top of each side for strength.


Next, I pinned one side in place, wrong sides out. To do this, I matched the top corners of the sides with the horizontal lines I had sewn in to mark the top, pinned each. Then I pinned the sides, matching the bottoms. I stitched the side piece in place, carefully pivoting and easing at the corners so I wouldn’t get any puckers. Stitched again to strengthen the seam. Clip corners. Repeat the process on the second side. (Sorry I don’t have more pictures, I didn’t think of posting this until finished.)

I trimmed down the seams to within 1/4 inch and used double fold bias tape and sewed it over the seams so the cotton batting wouldn’t get fuzzies on the amp and it would look nicer. I trimmed up the bottom  to make it even and sewed the double fold bias tape to finish the bottom. I then machine washed it to get rid of the chalk lines and let it air dry. I cut each plastic piece to fit and tucked them inside each front and back pocket. amp-cover-3

Here is a short video of the outside and another short one of the inside.

Now to take it to the son’s and see if it fits well and he likes it 🙂



Perfect fit and he thinks it “cool.” YAY!

Curve it Up – Block 7 – Log Cabin

Check out this old block with a new twist!


If you can believe what is on the internet (ever) then you might know that the log cabin quilt dates back further than the pioneer days in the United States.  Supposedly, similar designs were found…

Source: Curve it Up – Block 7 – Log Cabin