Sew Karen-ly Created...

If you have arrived here via a link (such as to a tutorial) click on "Sew Karen-ly Created" to return to the latest blog post. I invite you to my website to see a gallery of quilts and patterns available for purchase. Shown here is "To Be Where You Belong", presented to Sir Paul McCartney on his visit to Nova Scotia in 2009.
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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Puzzle Boxes

Hubby surprised me this weekend with the very unexpected gift of an oak puzzle box. We had seen this box in an antique store recently and I resisted buying it. He went back later and got it as he knows how much I enjoy such things. (Pretty romantic, huh? ♥)
These cleverly designed boxes were made to hold attachments for Singer treadle sewing machines. John M. Griest was awarded the patent for a "folding box" in 1889 - the date seen on every box - while working for the Singer Manufacturing Co. Mr. Greist later went on to form his own company (while changing the spelling of his last name). These are the machine attachments I used while growing up. I still love the sound this buttonholer makes: I always looked forward to using it.
The oak puzzle boxes feature beautiful workmanship, with dove-tailed joints and hidden hinges, rolling out flat to allow easy access to the attachments.
The inside of the box is covered with a green flocked fabric. There are a few pieces missing from this one, but all the binders are there.

I have my great-grandmother Christina Patterson's treadle machine and the puzzle box of attachments which came with it. It is shown on the right in this picture; the lining is purple, perhaps indicating a different year of manufacture.
I love the craftsmanship which went into these boxes, as it indicates how valued the sewing machine was in the household.


  1. What a lovely find, and a lovely thing for your dear husband to do for you. I keep looking for a treadle. One day I will find one that is still in good shape that I can afford.

  2. How absolutely wonderland.I have a Singer treadle in Rockway but haven't seen a box. What a find. Kudos to hubby.
    mfs in ny

  3. How nice! Very romantic! I am not familiar with these boxes. Thanks for the info. I was given a Singer treadle but it didnt have one of these included. My treadle belonged to my paternal great-aunt who is now 92. I will have to ask her about it.

  4. How lucky are you, to have two puzzle boxes! My grandmother's Singer treadle from 1925 is still in my possession, it was bought to make clothes for my mother and her baby brother - and while it has accessories, I don't ever remember it having a lovely puzzle box.

  5. How sweet of your hubby! I got to see one of these boxes early this past summer when we did our Featherweight day. We had lots of interresting show and tell. Gail M.

  6. We found one of these in an antique store shortly after I bought my Featherweight. Wonderful piece of history -- still trying to figure out how to use all these attachments -- but love the box and the engineering.

  7. Wow - I wish the "barbie case" for my Bernina was this beautiful. Congrats on a lovely gift!