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, 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!

Friday, 24 October 2014


and the Three Bears Sleeping Bag!   Pattern by Flossieteacakes     This was such a fun item to make!

Our little Bridget (Great-niece, 6 years old) pinned the pattern on her Pinterest Board some time ago and I mentioned that I already had the pattern!  So then I was asked if I would make one for Ruby, the cute little rabbit - measurements were emailed over to me and then I forgot all about it!

I was planning on meeting with my sister (Bridget's grandma) last Wednesday so thought I should get this made and delivered.....  

Sleeping Bag for Ruby

Luckily I had a pile of four patch blocks made as Leaders and Enders so they became the sleeping bag quilt top.

nice fit! - I made the Papa Bear size!

"are you looking at me?"  ....... love the look on Ruby's face!

I'm so glad I did get it finished and delivered as Bridget was sleeping over at her Grandma's that night and of course, so was Ruby!  so the sleeping bag was very well received.

The pattern is well written with pieces you join together after downloading.  I followed the pattern all the way but when I make another one (which I'm sure I will) I will cut the binding wider.  The pattern uses single fold binding which is good for a small project like this one but I would cut it around 2" wide (pattern uses 1-3/8")  and once attached with a walking foot width seam, the fold over will be easier to work with.  I missed about one inch of the pillow fabric when I attached the binding so in future I would make that piece just a little bigger and baste it in place first and then trim off the excess.  I was able to slip stitch that missed bit and I'm sure Ruby didn't notice!  This is what happens when you sew late at night!

As usual, I included a book with the gift.....

I did all of the sewing, including the quilting and binding, on my Featherweight 222K.  I love using this machine!  It sews and quilts beautifully.......
quilting on my Singer Featherweight 222K

So, if you are looking for something cute and easy to make for a little one in your family, I can honestly say that you can whip this one up in one evening!!

In other sewing news, I am making another Farm Quilt but instead of the usual one with 12 embroidered animals and 13 four patch blocks, I'm making a Mini Farm Quilt.......

If you are new to my Blog, click on the words Farm Quilt in the labels below this post and you can see the other Farm Quilts I have made.  This pattern is a great "go to" one when you want some hand sewing to do or a quilt for a new baby.  The original pattern was by Ella and Skysie Designs but I am not sure if it is still available.  I've had it for many years. (I've just googled it in and it appears you can still buy this pattern through Mallee Quilts)

My Delightful Stars quilt is at a standstill.   I might get back to it soon depending on how hot the weather gets - we are forecast to have 38 degrees C on Tuesday :-(     Sewing during our Summer is not enjoyable but I do still manage to get some things done!   Christmas is coming too so I had better get a move on with the things I want to make for the family.  

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen

Thursday, 16 October 2014


My Singer Featherweight 222K with my 1960's Handychest

I'm using it to store everything that goes with my FW

Lots of room for everything!

Love these little trays - the lid clips shut to hold everything inside!

It's great to have a place for everything!

My beautifully bound FW Manual fits nicely in one front tray

My zippered pouch that I use if I am taking my FW away from home,
I keep the few essentials in this like spare bobbins, screwdriver etc

We recently had house guests...... look what they bought me!   they do know me well ...   a Singer Handychest!   This one is from the 1960's so it goes beautifully with my Singer Featherweight 222K from 1957.

The chest had everything in it from the 1960's, including the full box of cotton reels still wrapped in their cellophane!  I've put all of the stuff away and I'm now using the Handychest for all the things that go with my Featherweight.  

Time to sew!

Cheers from Helen

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Featherweight sewing....and loving it!

The Featherweight Portable Thread Stand arrived from April 1930's Sewing Shop, it 's great!  Makes sewing with cross wound thread so much easier and filling a bobbin works perfectly with this stand - I used to hold the thread up high coming off the spool to wind a bobbin, now the stand does that for me!

I am making more Market Bags still using up the lovely vintage sheets and curtains.

Beautiful day here, will head off to the gym soon and then have an afternoon coffee for a change!  I have the feelers traced on to the butterflies, ready to stitch today.

Cheers from Helen