I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 59, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 20. I enjoy embroidery and applique and prefer to machine piece and quilt my projects. I love my vintage Singer sewing machines especially my Featherweight 222K. My love of sewing I believe comes from my Grandmother - I still have the drawings she made for me to embroider on tea towels many many years ago!

Slideshow & Gallery (click to go to Picasa album)


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas sewing

Working my way around the little cars.  I have already finished the ditch quilting down all of the rows and around the white box with the cars, now I'm doing the free-motion quilting around each car.

It's slow going, three down with nine to go!

Happy sewing,

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Farmyard Friends

the new and improved label

of course I added a book!

The Farm Quilt has been delivered!  I’m so happy to finally have the quilt finished and delivered… now on to some Christmas sewing :-)      

Cheers from Helen

Monday, 3 November 2014


I was NOT happy with the label I did for the Farm Quilt but I was hurrying it as I thought we were gifting the quilt over the weekend.  As it turned out, we did not do that and I was able to print another label and allow it to set overnight.  I washed it today and then prepped it the way I prefer to do a label.

This is the first version of the label, as you can see.... It was very blurry and faded - I did not leave it long enough before rinsing it.  
Here is the new one! It was left overnight to set and then washed today.  I trimmed it to size and added some borders.

I then cut a piece of Weaveline fusible interfacing the same size and with fusible side facing right side of label, I pin it in place (do not iron!).  Sew all the way around , do not leave a gap.
Trim the edges and corners and cut a slit in the Weaveline for turning right sides out.
Flip it right sides out, poke the corners as square as possible, finger press it all and position in place on the quilt ... NOW  it can be ironed down.  The fusible interfacing will hold it down to make it so much easier to hand sew in place.  I will be doing that tonight.

We will be gifting the quilt tomorrow.

Cheers from Helen

Thursday, 30 October 2014


The Farm Quilt is all ready for its label and some finishing hand stitching.....  here are the binding steps for using a wide binding.........

sew the binding to the front of the quilt - I'm using the walking foot as the seam width which
is about a 1/4" 

I like to use the markings on the needle plate when attaching binding - as my walking foot gives me a 1/4" seam, I use that line marked on the plate to know where to stop and backstitch before turning the corner.  You can just see the quilt top corner peeking out, when that gets up to that line I stop and backstitch and then turn and stitch off the quilt.....  if you were using a wider seam width, you would just put a piece of painters tape or similar to mark your stopping point.  I find this the most accurate method for knowing where to stop and backstitch.

stop with needle down when the corner of the quilt top reaches that 1/4 line (to match the
seam width) 
backstitch first and then stitch off to the edge
fold back as per usual and continue stitching all the way around the quilt

I cut the binding at 4", this allows for a larger width binding on the back of the quilt (I'm using double fold binding not single fold) -once I've stitched all the way around the quilt,  to finish off the binding I use a scrap of the binding to measure the overlap for joining the two ends together.......

Use a scrap of the binding to measure the overlap

join on the diagonal

Once the binding is stitched to the quilt front, I then take everything over to the ironing board......  I press the binding away from the quilt top.....

Back on the ironing board, press the binding back away from the quilt top.

Turn the binding over to the back of the quilt - I like to use
the Jumbo Wonder Clips to hold everything in place - see the
nice mitre in the corner!  if you have trimmed your quilt top
to a perfect 90 degrees and attached the binding as above, this mitre
just forms itself!

stitching down the back of the binding - yes on my machine! this
quilt is for a little baby so I want the binding to be hard wearing for all those
washes it will get!  I use my walking foot and a longer stitch
length.  Yes, the stitches will show on the front of the quilt - they form
another row of quilting in your last border ... this method works for
plain borders but probably wouldn't suit a pieced or applique border.

I will take some photos of the finished binding today, I'm up to attaching the quilt label and hand stitching those mitres down.

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Wide Binding - cut 4"

Ironing the fold - I lay the strip across the width of the board ... Not the length.  This stops any wave forming when you press.

I quilted around the box - blue painters tape!  I have quilted in the ditch on all of the seams first .... now I'm up to the binding!

Cheers from Helen

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Today we are experiencing extremely hot weather..... AGAIN!  although there is at least a slight breeze today.  I'm staying in my sewing room, fan on, and I am adding the borders to the mini farm quilt.... think I will call this one "Hobby Farm"...

This is how I measure for borders....  I cut my strip, lay it down the centre
of the quilt top, pat it down without stretching, then cut off each end square with
the quilt sides.  

cutting off the end

and the other end

Pinning the strip to the side of the quilt - I'm pinning left to right as I am
sewing this project on my Featherweight and using the seam guide.  Lots
of pins! 

Here we are at the machine

As I have Pellon on the back of the embroidered blocks, I have reduced
the foot pressure on my machine, this helps with any "creeping" of
the border fabric.
Sorry for blurry pic (using my phone!) but for the ladies who
sew on a FW, this is what I mean by reducing the foot pressure.
There are around 5 or 6 threads of the screw showing whereas during
normal sewing on my machine there are usually only 2 or 3 threads
Here I am adding the last borders

Now on to the next and final border!

It is now 6:30pm and I've sat on this Post all day!!!  I am now up to the quilting which I'm doing on my Brother PQ1500 machine as I had it all set up ready!  I will post a photo later of the quilting.

Happy Sewing,
Cheers from Helen!