October 30, 2010

Vintage Long-Arm Quilting Machine

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I sold this machine in 2017 and am unable to answer any questions about it.

The most common question is about the variable speed function.  This was added by a previous owner, and I know nothing about how to install it.

I am the oh-so-tickled owner of a Singer long-arm quilting machine and table!  The patent date on the machine says 1896 though she could have been made up until about 1930, though I can't find exact info on this.  A variable speed motor has been added to make her electric and to control how fast she sews, and this is a great feature.  She does not have a regulated stitch function, but she can make fairly even stitches even without it.

There is a stylus that points down to a printed pantograph on the table below, and up until now (2015), I have not used this feature and exclusively free motion quilt.

This machine gives me the capability of finishing quilts that I make, and when I get good enough (read...have enough courage), I can quilt other people's quilts as a side business.  Yeah!  I did some practicing the first week I had her and then said, forget this, I'd rather practice on a real quilt  and quilted a quilt for a baby shower.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it to show you!

ETA:  2015  I use Mrs.Singer for all quilts larger than baby which I do on my home machine.  She is suited for an allover meandering stitch and an organic semi-wavy line stitch.  I learned the hard way that she stitches best right to left, as stitching left to right is like going backwards for her, and she gets dizzy and messes up big time.  

I bought Mrs.Singer off Craigslist in 2010 with the intention of building a quilting business with her.

You can see she is L O N G.  Too long for the house, so she occupies the old school room in the shop which is now the exercise room.  It's perfect with lots of natural light and space.  I still do the sewing part in the house because I can multi-task around the house easier and be available to my family when I am physically there.  Amazing how that works.

The two pictures below are for my own record of how to thread the machine and how the belts go.  The oiling diagram can be found here.

Linking to:


Connie Kresin Campbell said...

This must have been the setup that I saw a while ago! I only have ab out 3 1/2 inches of quilting room....is that about what you have?

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

@ Connie - Mrs.Singer has about 9" of quilting room when beginning a quilt, and this gets to about 6-7" at the end of a large quilt.

Unknown said...


I have the same long arm set up you have and would like for information on how it was made variable speed. I have search the internet and your blog was the first site I found with anything like our lovelies. I received mine from my MIL and I don't know if she actually used it. Any assistance woudl be greatly appreciated.

Unknown said...


I have a long arm just like the one you own. Can you explain how you made it variable speed. I received mine from my MIL and would love to have any assistance you are willing to offer.


Happy Quilter said...

Hello - I have a setup that is almost identical to this that I need to sell. It quilts perfectly and the machine & table are in great shape. Would you be able to give an estimate of what a ballpark asking price or value would be please?


Val's Quilting Studio said...

Very creative set up...thanks for sharing at Tuesday Archives!!

Crystal_235 said...

My husband found an antique long arm it works for 100$ but we don't have room for it. How much are they worth

Unknown said...

I found one for 500

Kathy said...

Hi, wondering if you can take a picture of the bobbin and which way you thread it.
I have the same machine and I am having tension problems.
Thanks Kathy