Wednesday, October 16, 2013

River Rat TOGA (Minnesota trip, part 3)

Wow!  Not only have I not finished posting about my trip, but, it's been almost 3 weeks since my last post.  It has been BUSY around here since I got home.  Sorry!

The reason we decided to vacation in Minnesota was so that I could attend the River Rat TOGA.  No, I didn't wear a bed sheet and get drunk.  This TOGA stands for Treadle On Gathering & Academy.  It was a get together of my treadle and hand crank group.

Cindy holding the new sign
On Wednesday morning, hubby started his 6 day/5 night solo backpacking trip while I drove 350 miles south to Lake City, MN.  A few of us arrived early and met up with Cindy, the lady who puts on this TOGA.  Yes, there are other TOGA's all over the country at different times of the year.  This was the 2nd TOGA that I have been able to attend.

At a TOGA, we play with machines...
just a few of the toy machines at the TOGA
repair machines....
Jeff, Bill and Rick checking out some machines
sew on machines...
Sheila working on some charity blocks
do some demonstrations.... (I did one on paper piecing)
Judy talking about how to work a 2 Spool machine
socialize and have a raffle.

I took 5 sewing machines to the TOGA.  One to sew on while I was in Minnesota, 2 machines to get worked on...
my Spartan now stitches nicely again
another machine to try to sell (nope, it didn't sell), and a Standard Treadle that I've been trying to get to the BSA camp for a while now, but, it had 'issues' and wouldn't stitch.
Rick & Jeff working on the Standard treadle
The treadle is now working it's way to the BSA camp, thanks to someone else who attend the TOGA, too. 

One of the ladies who also attended the TOGA is a professional quilter.  Instead of quilting on a long arm machine, she quilts on a treadle.  She does lovely free motion quilting.  She taught others how to free motion on a treadle during the TOGA.
Cindy learning how to free motion quilt

The way the TOGA's expenses get paid is thru the raffle at the end of the TOGA.  The raffle is one of the highlights of the TOGA.  Everyone brings items to donate for the raffle, and everyone buys tickets, too.  Here are some of the raffle items on the tables.
one of the raffle tables full of goodies

another table full of goodies

machines for the raffle

more raffle items, including a Maxine quilt

more raffle machines and some blocks
Raffle are FUN!  Here are a few of the items I came away with...
denim jacket with this on the back

treadle fabric and pillowcase

some of the blocks I came home with

bags, notions, vintage post cards & and an old catalog

toy treadle and thimble hanger

this is a treadle add in the old catalog

some books written by a collector from England
Oh yea, I found out that there is a drawback to the raffle.  You can't 'pass' on your turn when your name is called.  Nope you have to take something from the raffle items.  Guess what is left at the end of the raffle???  Sewing machines, and lots of them!  I was lucky, I only had to take one machine from the raffle. 

Now remember that I brought 5 sewing machines to the TOGA (one a full size treadle).  The treadle left with someone else for it's new home, but, I still had the other 4 machines I came with.  Well, I was given a cute toy machine...
this is the largest 'toy' machine I own. 
I was also given a Singer 66...
this will become a hand crank when I get time
and I bought another Singer 66...
this will also become a hand crank
Then I got a machine from the raffle...
Alden sewing machine, needs it's tension rebuilt
AND< I also brought home a machine that I am holding for someone until January...
Frister & Rossman hand crank I'm holding for someone else (Darn!)
That means I came home with 9 sewing machines in my car!  Oops!  Glad I have a large SUV.  Yes, hubby and all his gear still fit in the car.  Before hubby walked off for his hike, he said "no treadles"!  Well, I didn't bring home a treadle!  See, I can follow directions!

For those of you who think that I have a large collection of sewing machines, well.... we stopped by Cindy's storage unit to check out some of her machines.  Cindy is my 'parts' supplier.  She also has machines in her home and garage.  I took a pictures of Cindy's full RV size storage unit with a 20 foot loft in the back.
Cindy's storage unit, full of machines
See, that makes my collection seem tiny! 


  1. This looks like SO much fun! I loved seeing all of the vintage machines! Thanks for sharing photos of all of them!

  2. Unbelievable!!! And I can't even find space for one machine?

  3. Oh my! What fun you got to have! I absolutely loved seeing pictures that put a face to some of the names I see in the treadle on emails. And it looks like you came away with a lot of great goodies! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  4. loved your pictures. Several years SGI I was able to attend the River Rat Togs--Captain Dick wasbthete that year. I know you had a lot of fun!

  5. Looks like you had a grand time!

  6. I love TOGAs! I've only been to two also! I'm glad you got to go! That is why my husband won't let me go by myself, he's afraid of what I'll come home with, although he does tend to spoil me! LOL

  7. The TOGA sounds interesting! And fun! I can't believe all of the machines you have - so cool! ~Jeanne

  8. The RR TOGA was great! Lovely blog and great pics. Thanks for sharing.

  9. OH my goodness...SO MUCH FUN!
    I'm going to figure out a way to get myself there... this is my idea of heaven!!

  10. So glad you got to go! Looks like great fun. I'm hoping to get back to the NC TOGA in 2014.

  11. Yes! You were a good girl - compared to Cindy, Someone could open a store from her storage unit. (Even if the storage is a reasonable price - it mounts up, and there's a lot of money invested in storing those machines.)
    Nice to see you among the bloggers again. (Teaching paper piecing - atta Girl!)

  12. Great blog post about the TOGA! I'm so glad that the toy and the Redeye found a good home to go to. DamascusAnnie

  13. The old machines are just so pretty! Can you imagine free motion quilting on a treadle!

  14. Sorry my schedule meant I could not be at RR this year; I missed seeing everyone and the raffle. Maybe next year!

  15. Sorry my schedule meant I could not be at RR this year; I missed seeing everyone and the raffle. Maybe next year!

  16. Glad you had a good trip. But, all those machines? My goodness. Where will they end up?

  17. Awesome! Great to read about the TOGA. I've been to one in Michigan a few times, but would love to go to Cindy's River Rat one someday. Long drive from Canada though. Thanks for posting so we can enjoy it virtually!

  18. Awesome! Great to read about the TOGA. I've been to one in Michigan a few times, but would love to go to Cindy's River Rat one someday. Long drive from Canada though. Thanks for posting so we can enjoy it virtually!

  19. Wow - what a fun gathering!!! And those raffle items were pretty great - glad to see you got to bring home some of those goodies :*)


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