Featherweight Day!

My wife Liz and I are the District Directors of New Jersey Gold Wing Road Riders Association, an international motorcycling group whose motto is “Friends for Fun, Safety, and Knowledge”. A lot of our members are quilters, and when some of them from Chapter NJ-D asked if I would put on a “Featherweight Day” to go over maintenance procedures. I couldn’t resist, so it was on!

The event was planned for a Saturday afternoon, so it would follow the monthly gathering of NJ-D. Desi is a first responder, and was able to secure the use of her fire house. Liz and I assembled some cool “goody bags” that everyone there got to take home, with cool tools and supplies. One of our members, Judy, was invited to “try out” the Featherweight to see if she would like if before making a purchase. What she didn’t know is that we were conspiring against her and the machine she was working with was in fact her birthday present from Liz, Desi, and I! We even managed to keep it a secret from her husband Steve until the chapter gathering that morning. When he found out, he was all in and very excited. Sue, also a member of NJ-D, joined us with not one, but two Featherweights, and brought along a Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch machine for me to service (more on that in another post).

Interested in everything mechanical, Steve joined us at the fire house and was able to work on a spare machine we brought along. Judy had NO clue that she was working on her machine and kept on asking me if I was going to sell a machine (we brought four). Desi kept telling her “Oh, wait, see if you REALLY like one before you make that decision…”

Luckily (?) one of the machines that was at the event had very bad hook timing, so I got to demonstrate how to rectify that problem as Sue, Steve, Judy, and Liz looked on.
(L to R) Sue, Steve, and Judy work on cleaning the undersides of their machines.
Sue brought two Featherweights!
Desi, our co-conspirator and organizer of the day, brought two machines, including one that had belonged to her late mother in law.
My wife Liz got her machine up to standards as well! Liz is a 43 year veteran woodwind musical instrument repair technician, so she’s used to small parts and hand tools.
As anyone who has ever removed the needle plate from a Featherweight knows, there’s a right and wrong way to put it back on! Here I point out the secret to success…
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Desi for having the idea to do this, and for getting the use of the firehouse for the event!
Last, but certainly not least, the look on our Birthday Girl’s face when she asked me “So Bob, where do you suggest I go to look for a Featherweight?” and I responded with “You shouldn’t buy one, you should take the one you just serviced home… HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY!” I never saw mascara run that quick in my life… Desi sweetened the gift with a brand spankin new carry case and some accessories!

Liz and I plan on doing this again, but next time, for a wider audience. We have a lot of coordinating to do…

This was soooooo much fun!

4 thoughts on “Featherweight Day!

  1. Desi Smith

    I will remember this day for the rest of my life. Bob, you and Liz are incredibly talented. The depth of knowledge you shared, along with the patience you had working with us newbies, explaining the details in terms and methods we could use, was beyond anything I could have imagined. Your generosity in sharing your time, talents and gifts, speaks volumes of the people both you and Liz are. Wishing you so much success as a vintage sewing machine wizard. You give these gals new life, and we’re extremely appreciative.

    1. Bob Post author

      Desi, we all take our GWRRA “Friends for Fun, Safety, and Knowledge” pretty seriously, even well past motorcycling.What you gals have done to help the GWRRA Lady Riders is amazing. We’re going to miss you when you move!

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