Free Shipping on All U.S. Orders!

My Cart

Taxes and discounts calculated in checkout.

This order will earn you 0 POINTS in Sewciety Rewards

Order Subtotal
$ 0.00
Total Savings
$ 0.00



Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019
by April Henry

Featherweight 221 222 Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat June 2019 - McCall, Idaho

LORI HOLT RETREAT FLASHBACK From June 3rd through June 7th, 2019 when we were in McCall, Idaho for one of our highlighted events - the Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat!


Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat

This 5-day, 4-Night event was incredibly memorable - surrounded by nearly 50 Featherweight fans and quilters, the Featherweight camaraderie was exhilarating with non-stop learning! The week included Featherweight History, an all-day Novice Featherweight Maintenance Workshop, some Advanced Featherweight Maintenance concepts along with day after day of one-on-one personal Featherweight assistance and exploration. Sprinkle in a fun pop-up quilt shop, trunk show, various local prizes collected from McCall, Idaho merchants, inspirational stories, laughter, snacks (and more snacks!), an apron exchange, swag bags of goodies and fabric, and so many quilty friendships made, you will understand why this blog post recap is as long as it is. Of course, Lori Holt being our guest teacher, she brought us all her Farm Girl Vintage treats and inspiration - it was a fabulous retreat!

There was always something wonderful happening in the room, so if you were a retreat guest and have some more fun photos to add to the photo recap and commentary below, we would love to share them with other Featherweight & Lori Holt fans... feel free to email them to us through our direct email found on the contact us page here.

Monday - Registration, Meet & Greet, Getting to the Know the Machines & Featherweight History:

Before we opened the doors we could hear the joyful excitement from the ladies outside the room, waiting in anticipation for the retreat to begin.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

In this photo, Colleen, Jeannie and Tammy are all smiles as the doors were opened to direct guests for check-in. 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Carmon making introductions and instructions as the Retreat begins!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

For the first activity, everyone made their own block design board. You can, too, following Lori Holt's design board blog tutorial or video tutorial!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Can you spot the Featherweight outside?

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Ruthie came along, too, and was very excited to get set up to sew!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

After the design board activity, Carmon, Christian and Burl went around the room meeting everyone and learning about the machines before the Maintenance Workshop on Tuesday. Monday evening was also the History lesson time when Christian gave a walk-through of the Featherweight Timeline as well as a show-n-tell of some of the very scarce Featherweight badged machines.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Shawn getting to know Mr. Toda (who came along with his wife, Tammy) while he helps with some maintenance troubleshooting before the big day on Tuesday.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Burl assessing Stephanie's machine

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Carmon discussing Featherweights with Caroline and her husband, Mark.

Monday night before the Featherweight History Lesson, Ruthie helped Chris (Wendy's husband) set up the hors d'oeuvres - Farm Girl Vintage style, of course.

Tuesday - Featherweight Maintenance Workshop, Meet Lori Holt & Trunk Show:

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Shawn, getting started on Foot Controller Adjustments


Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Burl working with Susan and Sandi

Janet getting her machine all ready for a good oiling and greasing.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Carmon assisting Linda with her machine

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019
Sheila M. servicing her Singer 222K Free-Arm Featherweight. Someone has been sewing quite a bit lately -- look at all that lint! :)

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019
Penni working with Ingrid; Donna & Stephannie (mother / daughter) getting ready for more Featherweight maintenance.

Liz and Jen joined in on the fun as pupils at their first Featherweight Shop Maintenance Workshop!

Time for lunch!  (oh wait... maybe it's time for Limoncello cake dessert!)

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019
Burl assessing the presser bar on Darcia's pretty pink Featherweight machine with Tammy looking on. The hole for the presser foot thumb screw had stripped out and so a replacement presser bar was needed for the screw to go in properly and securely.

 Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2016

 Shawn assisting Penni

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2016

As many of you know, at our workshops where Ruthie is present, she selects one case to do her case refurbishing process.  This is the case she chose.... BEFORE....

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2016

... and AFTER!

You can do this process, too, following along with her video tutorial here.  If your case needs a new case handle, we carry several case handle styles here, and case clasps (aka: latch) here.  Although, the clasps sell out quickly, be sure to sign up for the in-stock notification and you can be alerted as soon as we have more available again.

After maintenance, is it time for ice cream?  Psssst... check out Sheila's machine mat!  It's all the selvedge edges of the Lori Holt fabric she's used.... pretty creative!

Look at this handsome bunch!  This would be most of our Featherweight technical staff -- from left to right:  Shawn, Christian, Carmon, Chris, and Burl

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019
Original Farm Girl Vintage Quilt

Introducing Lori Holt... and all her Farm Girl Vintage quilts!  After the Maintenance Workshop, Lori arrived and gave us all a walk-through of her Farm Girl Vintage patterns. 

Her trunk show was so exciting to see in person! Lori's quilts are just as adorable as shown in the books and photos online, but seeing them in person - so fabulous!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat - McCall, Idaho 2019

Farm Girl Vintage 2 - Pattern Book Click here to learn more!

Farm Girl Vintage Sampler Quilt 2 by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet

This is Lori's Autumn Love pattern

Farm Girl Vintage Sampler Quilt by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet

Farm Girl Vintage Sampler Quilt by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet

Bake Sale 2 Quilt - Pattern by Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet

Farm Girl Vintage Quilt - Pattern by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet

Some of the other guests showed their finished quilts as well!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019

This was Debbie C.'s first quilt retreat!  She came over from Montana and it was such a delight to see her completed Vintage Christmas quilt! 

Lori Holt's Cozy Christmas line of fabric for Riley Blake Designs is truly some of the best Christmas fabric ever - cutest prints, colors, novelty... the epitome of vintage Christmas!  Snag some now if you haven't already, because it's already getting harder and harder to find.  We just might have a small number of Vintage Christmas quilt kits left from last Christmas if you want to make the same complete quilt like Debbie did above.

Farm Sweet Farm Quilt Kit by Lori Holt of Bee in Bonnet

This particular quilt is rather special.  The quilt pattern (also by Lori Holt) is called Farm Sweet Farm and was a featured Sewalong on the Lori Holt blog earlier this year.  What makes this quilt so special is that it was Janet's very first Lori Holt quilt and it was made during her major health recovery this past winter.  She pieced much of it on the Singer Featherweight 222 she purchased from us last Christmas, so to see her accomplishment in person and enjoy the fruits of her labor with this sew-n-show was incredibly sentimental for all of us.

P.S.  The Farm Sweet Farm quilt kits are nearly all sold out, but I think we might have one or two left here.  If the kits happen to be all sold out by the time you read this and yet you still want to make this quilt as well, you can order just the sew simple shape templates here and follow along with Lori's blog sew along here.

Wednesday - Lori Holt Inspiration, Tractor & Apron Blocks:

During our third day of the Featherweight Maintenance and Lori Holt Retreat, we were able to dig into the new Tractor and Apron blocks with Lori Holt. If you have been following along with our Sew Along (Farm Girl Vintage) you will understand how excited we were to essentially get this preview and head-start to the new companion blocks coming out in the Farm Girl Vintage 2 block this fall!

Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019

Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019

These patterns were so much fun with the "happy" colored fabric and the adorable Farm Girl Vintage prints. Plus, to have Lori Holt facilitating us all in real life was surreal!

Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019

Here is our Ruthie with her Apron Block. She put the pedal to the metal so-to-speak and got right down to Farm Girl Vintage sewing business, and her blocks turned out beautifully! Great job, Ruthie!

Sharon was incredibly witty and such a fun guest to interact with in person after having so many lovely conversations on the phone. This was her very first Lori Holt experience, having never sewn her block designs before. Sharon was incredibly inspired having grown up on a farm herself -- we thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story!

Look at Sheila's cute Tractor Block

Here's Ruthie, getting started on her Tractor Block!

April was just getting set up to sew on her Jade-ite green specially painted Featherweight 222.

Tammy finished her tractor block, too -- so cute! She visited us all the way from Maryland and just so happens to be a return Featherweight Shop Retreat guest! We first met her at the Missouri Star Quilt Company Featherweight Retreat in June of 2016. Such a sweetheart!

Ruthie and her daddy (Carmon)

Donna made her apron block out of the free "Huckleberry" printed fabric gift we all received from the local quilt shop, Huckleberry Patches. To tie that all in with Idaho and our state being known for the unique berry, Carmon brought some of our personally-picked, family huckleberries from home to give everyone an actual taste! That was a fun but rare treat, especially for those from out of state who had never had the opportunity to try one before. Huckleberries are labor intensive to pick and quite the commodity.  Pickers never share their picking spot and hoarding is common.  While it may have a smaller size and shape appearance to a blueberry, it is nothing like it in flavor.
(Read more about huckleberries here.)

Lea with her cute apron block.

Terri and Shannon sat near the room entrance, and so each day we were able to see their pretty painted Featherweights.  Shannon had a new one to show each day!  Teresa, Susan and Pam in the next row up.

Denise showing her little Farm Girl Vintage Spool Pin Dresden Plate.  Each guest received one in their Featherweight Shop retreat goody bag.

Farm Girl Vintage Dresden Spool Pin Plate for the Singer Featherweight 221 222 Sewing Machine
We have since made these available as a kit to purchase, so you can make one for your machine!  Each piece is diecut and ready to sew together and features Lori Holt fabric.
Isn't Darcia's machine so cute all displayed with her Farm Girl Vintage goodies? This little mug was one we got from Lori as a gift.

Here she is with her friend Tammy, sewing their pretty apron blocks, too!

Caroline and Lori with all the darling dresses Caroline had brought for sew-n-tell.


Sandi was our vintage pink girl... Her entire set-up was adorable and even made a pink tractor (photograph below)!  Patsi, Darlene and Myra in the background.


Ruthie helping Pattye with some stitch troubleshooting on her white Featherweight. Notice the sweet dog at Pattye's side? That was "Boo", who was her constant companion and kept a watchful eye on Pattye's whereabouts.

Penni E. eagerly sewing her pink and navy Farm Girl Vintage Apron block.

Carmon's dad had a 1952 8N Ford Tractor that he restored to showroom condition, so Ruthie and April made their blocks to match his tractor.

This is Deb & Denise -- friends who joined us from Ohio. They were the first guests we ran into the day before the event started... it was so wonderful to meet them!
Colleen & Jackie in the rows behind them and Sally & Maria, in the back, seen over Denise's left shoulder.

Cutely made for the "snack table"

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019
Liz (or was it Jen?  They are twins, so it's easy to mix them up!) put her 6-inch tractor block inside the Barn with Silo pattern from the Farm Girl Vintage pattern book.  What a perfect setting!
This is Michelle along with our Wendy - isn't her little apron block so cute with the apple cottage and gingham prints?

Above: Liz & Jen; Below: Marianne & Janalyn
These girls can sew quilts faster than you can imagine!

When someone finished a block, each person announced their accomplishment by ringing the cowbell for sew-n-tell.

Lori always has clever ideas for display yet functional use. Look how she repurposed an old child's mixer and the Farm Girl Vintage magnetic pin dish. How cute and adorable is that!?

Ruthie's finished blocks

This was April's vantage point, showing Wendy and Ruthie sewing together.

Carmon was asked to do a demonstration of the Zymol cleaning and polishing process.  He is a maximizer and enjoys making these Featherweights look so pretty and shiny as well as giving them a protective wax to preserve their finish.

Tips for the process: 

  • don't let the cleaner dry
  • always use a fresh little rag
  • work in small areas and work fast
  • If it dries too fast, you'll have to go over it again to eliminate any hazing.

    For a full video tutorial, click here.

Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019

Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019

Pam, Jackie, Cynthia, Patsi, Teresa (shown in photo below), Darlene, Donna, Tammy, Jeannie and Myra gathered around Carmon for a machine cleaning, waxing & polishing tutorial.  Darlene's machine got the demonstration!

Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019 

Sally learning from Lori with Debbie pinning up her newly made tractor block.

What happens when you're the youngest and cutest little seamstress at a retreat and you sew cute blocks? You get captured in a lot of photos!

Lea made an Allis Chalmers orange tractor! Or is that a Kubota?  Patsi laying out pieces and sewing her next block in the row behind. 

Thursday - More Lori Holt Inspiration & Teaching, Flower Blocks & Learning to Crochet:

Those tulips! 🌷  Lori captured the shape perfectly with this new design! 
(The Henry family is particularly fond of the flower for its historical significance in the Reformation.)

Everyone was as busy as a bee, focusing on the Flower blocks Lori gave us, followed by the memorable Apron Exchange. This day really was about having fun and enjoying the craft. We learned about crochet, inspiration and more... It was such a special time of sharing so many sewing and Featherweight stories - many of them inspiring and some of them hilarious!

Some of the best memories of the day - the Apron Exchange! Aren't Lea's and Patsi's aprons adorable?

Ingrid and Penni were picked to be partners for their apron exchange and it just so happened to be that they sat right next to each other. That made it especially charming for these two!

Maria & Pam exchange adorable half aprons... look at the pockets on the apron Maria made Pam - such cute Farm Girl Vintage block detail!

Pattye & Myra chuckling over the little denim jean half apron - isn't that so charming and certainly Farm Girl!
Janet and Linda exchanging their cute aprons, too.  Janet received one with adorable scallops and color-blocking and Linda received one from a sentimental, farm and work shirt.

Cheryl and April -- the ruffles are just April's style!

Liz and Cynthia - aren't they cute? They look like they're ready to make up some fresh homemade Huckleberry pies!

Marianne and Donna exchanging aprons, with Lori sweetly looking on in the background. Marianne is Janalyn's sister and was the quiet, always ready, contented helper behind the scenes... her kind assistance certainly did not go unnoticed!

Stephanie from Oklahoma exchanged aprons with Ruthie and the one she gave was bona fide vintage! It was gingham and had smocking and was ooohed and ahhhed by all. Ruthie felt privileged to receive it and as much as she has been collecting and studying vintage apparel, it was the perfect gift for her!


Wendy and Melanie exchanging very cute ruffly aprons!


Tammy and Stephannie exchanging aprons.

Sally & Tammy trading aprons

Jen was so funny! This thread catcher was supposed to have gussets but instead it became a puppet...? She was hilarious!

Debbie's flower blocks turned out perfect!

Of course, Ruthie brought her pale pink Featherweight to the Workshop to sew... However, the highlight of her week was learning to crochet with Lori, followed by the personal neighborly instruction from Ingrid. It can be a challenge to broaden our crafty toolbox to learn new skills or sharpen new ones, but with Lori Holt's happy color Chunky Thread, Ruthie and so many others caught the crochet bug. Like quilting, crocheting is a quiet pastime skill that can pass down through generations.


Ingrid helping Ruthie as she learns to apply the crocheting steps

How apropos for Tammy T. to bring her "Bee" blocks to a Bee In My Bonnet and associated Lori Holt Retreat!

Daddy giving Ruthie's machine a quick fix after a thread jam.
(If your machine has thread caught behind the bobbin case base, this video tutorial will show you how to fix your machine, too.)


The one unique feature of our Featherweight Maintenance Retreats is the ability to break out into smaller groups or sometimes even one-on-one to teach certain aspects and areas of the machine. On this afternoon, Frank, Ingrid and Darlene were learning from Carmon about the tension unit and how to disassemble, assess, troubleshoot, clean, polish and reassemble the parts. Click here for a tutorial showing how to disassemble and reassemble the tension unit.

Pam, April and Patsi watching the disassembly and reassembly as well. Myra grabbing a quick picture with her phone camera. 

Having a smooth thread path is very important, free from lint, burrs, oil, etc. The tension unit is one area that can be important to assess for proper stitch formation. Click here for a polishing tutorial.

This one took some muscle! The tension unit needed properly aligned. This tutorial will walk you through alignment of the +/- indicator ring.


When the rest of our staff went home after the first day of the Workshop, Frank T. (a fellow guest) became the resident assistant! He was so helpful and eager to walk others through the process of learning about their Featherweights as well.  Here he is helping Darlene with her light socket.

Darlene needed to address some electrical issues with her machine. We loved her catch-all dishes!


Late Thursday, Carmon was asked to service Lori's pretty red painted Featherweight. Most of the ladies were busy sewing and learning new things so it was the perfect quiet time for him to take the afternoon, going over each and every little area.


Carmon showing Lori all that he was able to do to get her machine in tip top running shape! You can see the final and pretty little stitch sample below:

Singer Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat, McCall, Idaho 2019


Thursday night supper at The Mill with the Todas!  To listen to their history and amazing life stories were a highlight of our week to just relax and enjoy #featherweightfellowship together. 



Friday - Lori Holt and her Vintage Inspired Pin Cushions, Final Featherweight Assessments & Saying Goodbye:

Our final day at the Featherweight Maintenance and Lori Holt retreat was wonderful because we had the joy of one last Lori Holt instructive time (before we said our final good-byes) when she showed us all how to make a pin-cushion from vintage collectibles. Donna H. was so sweet and brought some extra milk glass dishes to share.

Penni, Maria & Sharon learning how to assemble the pin cushion.

Sheila began piecing a postage stamp block for her pin cushion.
The loaf of bread pin cushion is such a clever way to use scraps! Here's a link to Lori's instagram where she describes how she sews the loaf.

Ruthie and Sheila, showing their adorable pin cushions. Ruthie used an antique porcelain sugar bowl and Sheila had a small milk glass compote - both perfect examples for our last day's project.

Myra had an antique ashtray that was a small metal cart... we thought that was a very creative way of repurposing into a pin cushion, and it turned out so cute!

And once Ruthie was finished with her pin cushion, it was back to crochet again.

Melanie's pink and yellow apron block was such a sweet way to coordinate from Lori Holt's Sew Cherry fabric collection.

Caroline was a dear-heart and gave Ruthie this little dolly dress she had made!

Caroline M. made these for her doll collection using Farm Girl Vintage & Lori Holt fabric... aren't they so sweet?!

Lori Holt and our dear Featherweight friend, Sheila

What a perfect end to a wonderful retreat, and we could not have asked for a better group of ladies! Thank you so much to Lori Holt for bringing us so many unique & fun, quilty patterns over the years. We felt so blessed to have a small glimpse of what's coming out in the next few weeks and months!

Janet H. provided this photo after she set everything up in her room on the last day. This was just a small taste of everything each guest received during the week of the Featherweight Maintenance and Lori Holt Retreat.

Notice the quilted Mini Featherweight Wall-hanging setting in front of the Featherweight Shop black gift bag in the photo above?  That was a special kit item we debuted at the Workshop for each guest, which featured Farm Girl Vintage fabric and Featherweight precut diecuts.  We've now made similar Mini Featherweight 1-Block Wall-hanging quilt kits available in the shop -- all with Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage fabric!

Click here to order


This photo speaks volumes... just by looking, you can tell that this room was all abuzz! Nearly 50 Featherweights in one room and it was spectacular!



Our Final Farewell and a McCall, Idaho Icon

Growing up in, around, or even as a returning guest to McCall, Idaho, Ice Cream Alley is the place to go for a big scoop of yummy ice cream. Ruthie was wanting to go before we left town, but it was soooooo cold! Nevertheless, it would probably be awhile before we would be back for a "mountain-sized scoop", so despite the 46 degree late spring weather, we stood in line and ordered. Her giant scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream was the sweet end to the week!

PHOTO CREDIT:  Thank you, Sheila, for sharing so many of your photos with us so we could share with others and better capture all the special moments.  You were so sweet to be our event historian!