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  • Ryan Redford

Sew Fun - Toy Sewing Machines

Updated: Feb 15

The first exhibit at the Missouri Quilt Museum was placed outdoor - The World's Largest Spool of Thread! The very next exhibit was one of our largest to date---> Toy Sewing Machines!


Dakota & Delbert at his house in Mountain View Missouri, April 2019


In September of 2018 Ryan, Dakota and the boys traveled to Mountain View Missouri and met Delbert Godsey. He had been collecting toy machines with his sweet wife for more than 30 years. He was over 90 years old and was ready to pass his collection of more than 500 machines on to a younger generation that would love and appreciate it. The Redford family was the perfect fit! They were thrilled with the opportunity to showcase this fantastic collection and Delbert was just as delighted to see his hard work and passion for collecting be displayed and shared with thousands.


Some of you may have met Delbert. He spent years refurbishing Featherweights and selling them in pristine condition! He was a master. He often sold them at Quilt Week in Paducah. Here is a sweet video of him celebrating his 91st birthday!



Not long after meeting Delbert, the Redfords discovered Toy Stitchers International - an organization of avid toy sewing machine collectors! And for the cherry... their bi-annual convention was going to be in Kansas City in just 3 weeks! Talk about great timing!


There were so many classes and information about taking care of the machines, getting them running again (yes, they all are capable of sewing!) and cataloging them. The cataloging was incredibly helpful! We were in a new endeavor and had so much to learn. Convention was a great jump start for this grand adventure!


Part of the collection from Delbert


Their first experience at convention was nothing short of phenomenol. Not only did they learn so much about this new hobby, but also made incredible friendships. Soon I will do a post about Lloyd Askew and our deep love and gratitude that blossomed from our Toy Stitchers collection. Also Gary, Lynn, Faye, Glenda, Margie - ohhh I could go on and on! More posts to come!



Sewing Machines and Chocolate- I can't say no!


Anyway, if you are interested in collecting or just want to learn more about Toy Sewing machines, you should join their Facebook page! And then maybe you can become a member and join us at our next convention in Austin, TX Fall 2024.



Part of the collection previewed at Convention 2022


Bob Hughes and Delbert Godsey in the newly reopened Toy Sewing Machine exhibit July 2021



When this small idea of a museum began, we had no idea how quickly it would consume us and become what we love today, the Missouri Quilt Museum. The machines, the quilts, their stories! We didn't realize that we would fall in love with our donors and their memories of each artifact. We didn't realize that grown men would shed tears as they connect to a fabric or a machine - taking them back to the good ole days.


Thousands of little girls owned machines just like the ones we display in the museum. Many of them made doll clothes or doll quilts on them. Many of them continue to make doll clothes and doll quilts now- for their grand daughters! What a cool bunch of history, nestled on the lower level of the museum, just waiting for the next guest to feel the love and connection of their childhood.


Unfortunately, we lost our sweet Delbert nearly a year ago (. We miss his quick whit and incredible kindness. He traveled to the museum a couple of times to see his machines on display and was so proud to have them here! Thank you for leaving your legacy in our hands, Delbert.

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