And the winner is Tammi Godfrey of Wasilla the fastest treadle in the west, officially crowned by Jess Tubbs of J and H Sewing and Vacuum.
Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of a treadle sewing machine race, according to reliable sources the only one in existence may be right here on the Kenai Peninsula. Treadle racing was the innovation of Jess Tubbs of J&H Sewing & Vacuum in Soldotna nine years ago who says he could be the world’s fastest treadle racer of record and for that reason he doesn’t compete in the local annual event, “A treadle sewing machine was my toy growing up and I really don’t have any competition, but my goal was to sponsor a unique event as part of the Quilting on the Kenai show that would be fun and create an interest and understanding of the treadle machine,” explained Tubbs. Tubbs supplies the machines for contestants, one of which is believed to be the only commercial grade treadle machine outside of a museum. Tubbs also donates the prize for the winner which was a brand new Pfaff sewing machine.
Treadle racing contestants give it their all during annual treadle race at Cook Inlet Academy.
Qualifying heats were run with everyone being eligible to compete, the heat winners were then matched against one another in a sudden treadle elimination until the final fastest treadler was left sewing. Each racer had a handler or holder for their chair and in the end when the thread settled it was a visitor from Wasilla, Tammi Godfrey, who was proclaimed the new Treadle Queen and fastest stitch in the west, “I’ve never sewn on a treadle before, I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I just went for it. I did come down just for the show this weekend and I promise to be back to defend my title next year,” said Godfrey. According to Jess Tubbs, Godfrey just might have some tougher competition next year, “We have a few local celebrities who are interested in getting involved next year and putting a challenge out there, so anyone interested in learning how to sew on a treadle or training for the event can come by J & H Sewing & Vacuum anytime during business hours,” said Tubbs. For more information call Jess at 262-6363, or go to www.sewnvac.com
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