I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 61, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 23. 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!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

TULIPS

 

Such a beautiful Siggy Block arrived this week - thank you so much Mieke!  Love your tulip!

We are getting a lot of rain here - coming off Cyclone Debbie.  Although we needed rain, this is just too much!

Schools are closed, many businesses also shut. 

So my motto for today- stay home, stay dry and sew on (although we did go out for coffee!)

Cheers from Helen

 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

PARTIAL PIECING

Hello!

I've been posting on Facebook about the latest quilt I'm working on....  "Peek-a-Boo Bunnies" from Quiltmaker March/April '17.....

Block # 1

The layout in the magazine is a little different.  I'm doing the block frames (sashing) using the Partial Piecing method.  I think it gives the block a quirky look.  I'm also doing my Bunnies in bright fabrics whereas the pattern in the book is in pinks and greys and they use wool.  This will make a good baby quilt if needed.

So anyway, I've been asked about the Partial Piecing method so I've taken some photos today as I added the frame around the second Block.......

My blocks are 9" square before adding the frame.  My strip width for the frame pieces is 2-1/2".  The math for partial piecing is block size plus width of sashing less 1/2" for seam allowances.  So all of my strips are cut at 11" X 2-1/2"
Place first strip along one side, there will be
an overlap of the width of your sashing less 1/2"


Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance, stopping about 3" from
the bottom of the block
Working anti-clockwise, add the next strip.
The green piece was my first strip, then working right to left (anti-clockwise)
add the next strip.  Sew along the whole strip using 1/4" seam allowance
Add third strip
So my dark green is 1st, blue spot is 2nd and now the green spot.

Now add fourth strip once again stitching
along the whole strip with a 1/4" seam allowance- you can see the first strip is folded back at this point.

Now complete the stitching on the first strip.


One completed block
Block # 2

The thing I like best about partial piecing is that all of the strips are cut the same length.  So no left and right strips and no top and bottom strips at different lengths.

There are four blocks in the quilt so I have two more to hand stitch and build.  Then to decide how big to grow it :-)  

In other sewing news, I made a large Retreat Bag last night.  The Retreat Bag is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags.  I have the small size and use it daily for my hand sewing but it needed a wash and as I'm carrying quite a few projects at the moment the large size will be perfect...
As you can see.... the LARGE is much bigger than the small :-)

It certainly fits lots of projects and I love how the frame opens wide

Side on view.  

The only trouble I had with this bag is that I had run out of the fusible interfacing I usually use.  I found an old piece way back in my cupboard and used it.  Sadly it did not adhere very well but I persevered and got the bag made.  Next one I make I will use the better interfacing and fleece and also a longer zip as even though I used the suggested length for the bag, I would like just an inch or more to hang over each side - makes it easier to grab to open and close.  

Although Brisbane has had some horrible weather lately - very very hot and humid..... we are getting back to more normal days now and hopefully in a month or so we will start to cool down ready for our Winter.  Sewing has been quite difficult in the hot and humid conditions so I'm looking forward to days when I can stay sewing from morning to night !

I'm still having trouble with my left hand (the fractured one) so I haven't been playing on my Sweet Sixteen since the first time.  My hand still gets sore and tingles and can get quite hot in the area around the fracture.  I'm wearing a pull on supportive brace when I sew now.

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen









Thursday, 9 February 2017

SIGGIES, BIRTHDAYS AND BUNNIES

  
Thank you Martina and Ulrike!  Lovely Siggy Blocks to add to my collection. 

Our ridiculously warm and humid weather continues but I've managed a little sewing. 
 
I'm getting my Easter shirts done - long sleeve this year as Easter falls later in April. 

Birthday package on its way to Maisy and Amos today- 
 

 

This weekend we are going to an Antiques and Collectibles Fair- I wonder what treasures I will find this time?

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen

Saturday, 4 February 2017

SWEET SIXTEEN SEWING AT LAST!

I FINALLY HAD A PLAY ON MY SWEET SIXTEEN!
LOVE IT!

Although I've had my Sweet Sixteen since mid October, I haven't had a play on it as I had fractured my left hand just before the machine was delivered.  I did a very small project to start off with as I still need to be careful with my hand.  This is the front pocket for the Reading pillow.........

READING PILLOW - BIRTHDAY GIFT
CHALKBOARD ROLL FOR THE BIRTHDAY GIRL'S LITTLE BROTHER

Reading Pillows are a quick and easy project..... perfect for little readers.  The Chalkboard Roll is one of my "go to" presents for toddlers and pre-schoolers.  I have linked to a version similar to the one I make.  I don't add the chalk pocket.


EASTER SEWING - A TEE SHIRT OF COURSE!

As I need some hand sewing I have started my Easter gifts.  This little rabbit is just so cute and worked up very quickly.  

Brisbane continues to suffer terribly hot and humid weather so not a great deal of sewing to report I'm afraid.  Hoping things cool down in a few weeks but it looks like most of February will be hot.

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen

Friday, 6 January 2017

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE


My first finish for 2017🙂

A birthday gift for February.  This cute little turtle was a quick and easy one to do and I happen to have a book in my stash to suit!

Lovely sewing weather - rainy and quite pleasant temperatures as opposed to last week which was just horrible!

I'm working on my ODIBAG car quilt today ..



I need to buy another colour for sashing - and I think I will do black cornerstones between the sashing.

Happy Sewing !
Cheers from Helen



Friday, 30 December 2016

I'M A FARMGIRL

Hello!

I received the book Farm Girl Vintage from my lovely friend Erica for my birthday this year.  I have been collecting fabrics and this week I have started making the blocks.


Block # 1 -  Apron Strings

I thought I had made this block incorrectly but when I looked at other blocks on Facebook I found they all looked like mine!  in the book the block looks a little different and I have figured out why.  I will make another one of these and see how that one comes out.

I found the perfect box to hold my blocks

A cute little kookaburra box to house my completed blocks.

My 222k is perfect for these little pieces

Block # 2 - Autumn Star


Block # 3 Baby Chick

I love this block - I did the Chick's legs on my cute little Essex miniature sewing machine.  It only does chain stitch so I traced the legs on the back of my patchwork block and stitched on the lines.  The chain stitch is then on the front of my block.  This is the first time I have tried this method and I'm pretty happy with the results.  Bit loopy here and there but I think it adds to the charm of the block.


Essex Miniature Sewing Machine


Holly from next door is helping me

I'm looking after Holly at the moment and this is the first time in all these years that she has come into my sewing room.  I think she's lonely plus there has been a lovely breeze coming through the door.  The overhead fan is also on!


My friends will have a laugh at this one...... Baking Day !   never happens in my kitchen!!!


Block # 4 Baking Day


I'm thoroughly enjoying the process making these blocks.  Yes they are small pieces (some teeny tiny ones) but I like to challenge myself with different techniques and methods.  I'm not rushing this project, I have all year if I want to take that long!


Block # 5 Butter Churn
Christmas was very pleasant.  We had a cool day for a change (it's usually scorching hot and humid) with some rain showers.  Lovely!  I'm now the proud owner of a Dyson Stick Vacuum cleaner...... and I'm not afraid to use it :-)    It's a great little cleaner - perfect for our home and lifestyle!  Some would say that it's not an exciting Christmas gift......  well I think it's perfect!  I needed a lighter vacuum cleaner and this one is just right! it's very powerful too!



I've had a pleasant few days in my sewing room this week and apart from the Farm Girl blocks I have also made another Majestic Mountain block....
Majestic mountain block - made with recycled cotton shirts

I really must get this one done ! - By Air, By Rail, By Sea.
I'm up to the By Air row
Machine blanket stitch on my Brother Quilters Edition

I did a bit more on the By Air, By Rail, By Sea quilt - two clouds to be exact!   I'm making this one for my brother to gift to his grandson (my great-nephew Amos)  .... I really must get a move on!  I've been making this for over a year now!
Pavlova!  what more can I say? :-)
My sister makes the best desserts!

Cheers from Helen