by Arizona Lagousakos, who blogs about her sewing, knitting, and crafting at The Craftivist -- look there, too, for pictures of the gorgeous "greenery" quilt she's been sewing on this long-bed!
Love it, hate it, or something in between? I love this machine. It has all metal parts and most parts are still easy to find online if something should break (though that's not likely unless one abuses the machine).
When and where did you buy this sewing machine, and how much did you pay for it? I bought it at an estate sale for $25 in October 2008. These machines, in the condition I bought it in, easily sell for $200 or more on eBay, so I got a great deal. A briefcase full of attachments also came with the machine (zig zagger, buttonholer, lots of feet, a few other items) -- there's a photo of them on my blog, here.
When was it manufactured? Singer 301s were manufactured in the late 1940s and 1950s. They are very tough machines and have excellent stitch quality. In addition to sewing, you can also do embroidery and quilting with it (including free-motion quilting).
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. I mostly use my 301 for quilting (both for piecing and quilting), but I have also used it for garment sewing. I have a Viking 936 serger and a Viking Diamond, so when I sew garments I tend to use those since they don't require an attachment in order to change the type of stitch used.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? Overall, I absolutely love this machine. The only negative thing about it is that if you want to zig zag or do any other stitch besides a straight stitch you must use an attachment. I don't like taking time to put on an attachment for zig zagging; that's why I tend to use my Viking machines if I am sewing a garment. However, I talked to a woman who is a costumer and she urged me to get to know and use the Singer 301 buttonholer. She says it makes the most beautiful buttonholes she has ever seen. I haven't taken the time to do that yet, but I will since there's nothing like a well constructed buttonhole!
Even though I already have a Singer 301-A, if I ever saw another one at a reasonable price I'd buy it, too. I highly recommend them!