But the real find was this AMAZING sewing machine!!!! It's an Elna Air Electronic SU machine. The reviews I have found online are excellent ("you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands," "I doubt any sewer who has one will part with it. they just don't make them like that anymore," "I like how it is lightweight and portable, yet it is all metal and sturdy") and they go for about $375 on ebay. The Elna name is still around (bought by Janome) but the original Switzerland company that made the older machines is gone.
The machine has the capability to do lots of decorative stitches, but you have to have these small black discs called "cams." My machine only had one and they go for at least $5 a piece on eBay. I am not going to try and buy a whole bunch online (you might as well as buy a new machine rather than constantly dropping $30-$50 for 6-10 cams) but will keep my eye out for deals.
When I spotted the machine - I soon discovered that the foot pedal was nowhere to be seen. The lady running the sale helped me look for it but soon gave up. I was desperate to find it - and I combed through that trashed room until I found it!!! Victory! This is what it looks like - not a typical sewing machine foot pedal at all:
I haven't played with it too much because the lady said she would send me the manual and I have not received it yet (if she doesn't send it soon, I can buy a PDF version online for about $7). I also know that it needs to be cleaned/oiled - which will have to wait. But I am so thrilled to satisfy my small longing for a new machine by instead getting a sweet little 1954 Swiss made gem! I bought this machine plus a large (used) rotary mat, a trash bag full of fabric (more on that tomorrow), a brand new bag of cotton batting, a vintage puzzle ball, a brand new wooden lap quilting frame, and a shoebox full of new sewing notions all for only $20. This was an AMAZING deal!