I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 59, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 21. 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!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Block of the Month that is!   Pat Sloan has a new BOM called "Vacation Time".  I am using the same fabrics that I used for Delightful Stars quilt along as I didn't finish off the remaining blocks to be sewn for that one.  The blocks from Vacation Time will fit it nicely and I should get some sort of quilt top out of it all by the end of the BOM.  I will just keep sewing the BOM until I have enough for the quilt top.  Other blocks can become cushions or something.

I'm sewing these blocks on my Featherweight 222K.  By using the seam guide and the Perkins Dry Goods Perfect Piecing Guide, I can set a scant 1/4" seam and all of the units come out the correct size.

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen

Sunday, 8 February 2015

On the high seas ....,,

Although the weather is still hot and sticky I felt like some sewing today... So the ceiling fan is on full blast and I'm back working on the machine appliqué!

I purchased a wide open toe foot and it is so much better than the other foot I've been using.  I can now see very clearly where I'm stitching.

February is a busy birthday month in our family - I have just finished making the gifts for our little Maisy and Amos ....

Posting this from my iPhone so photos out of order :-(.   Chalkboard Roll for Maisy and appliqué tee-shirt for Amos.  

I used a different method for the mitred corners of the chalkboard roll - if you check out my Facebook I have linked to it but from my phone it's a bit tricky!

I will add to this post later and put up a proper link.

Back to the machine ......

Cheers from Helen 

Thursday, 8 January 2015


I am having a go at Machine Appliqué.  Using my Brother Quilters Edition Innov-is 200.  So far ... so good!  I'm really enjoying this technique (I honestly did not think I would!). 

This project is another quilt for little Amos.  The pattern is "By Air, By Rail, By Sea" by Heathers Designs found HERE.  I have the "By Sea" row all ironed on ready to stitch and so far I have finished one boat.  This pattern was a bit too fiddly for hand blanket stitch and although I badly need a new hand sewing project, I decided to have a play with machine blanket stitch and I must say I am loving it!

I am using Sulky 30wt in the needle and Bottom Line 60wt in the bobbin and I am very pleased with the effect.  The blanket stitch I am using is one that fills the space nicely.  I have ironed on some Pellon 630 to the back of the work and I like the way it softens the appliqué.

To educate myself about this method I read everything I could and watched hours of youtube videos.  I then did a practice piece and found which settings I liked.  It's all about "knowing" how the stitch is formed on YOUR machine, so I did many many rows to understand my blanket stitch.

One hint I picked up and now I cannot recall whether it was a video or a blog post but it was about pulling the threads to the back of your work and then weaving all the threads through some stitches - use a Magic Needle !  you know... those "self threading" hand sewing needles!!!  well I have to tell you, these things are indeed MAGIC!  I will now keep the packet close by all of my machines - they will be great when pulling the quilting thread to the back of the quilt and I can even see me keeping one in my hand sewing bag..... for those times when I keep sewing when I know I should stop because I'm running out of thread!  these needles are so easy to "pop" the thread into and then finish off stitching.  I found an article HERE which explains more about these needles.

So I have started the New Year off with a new project and a new technique.... not a bad start :-)

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen

Wednesday, 31 December 2014


and there goes 2014..........


Wishing you good health and happiness in 2015

Cheers from Helen

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Monday, 22 December 2014


Our wedding day - 22nd December, 1984

30 years !  how did that happen?   Many of you have seen this photo before (like last years wedding anniversary post) but here it is again!

We had a wonderful wedding day, our ceremony was held on what was Customs Wharf here in Brisbane.  The wharf is all gone but I believe the sandstone wall remains.  Following the ceremony we took our guests on a four hour cruise on the Brisbane river.  On board we had a pianist who played the best music.  My sister and sister-in-law did the wedding cake - the best cake you ever tasted!!  My mum made the outfits for my nieces and nephew and my outfit was store bought about two weeks before the wedding!

Fred and I moved to Papua New Guinea about two weeks after the wedding.  We lived there 1985 - 1988 and then moved to American Samoa.  We came back to live in Brisbane in 1992 and in 1994 we had our baby boy Matthew.

I am collecting our Christmas Ham from the local butcher today, so our Anniversary dinner will be cold ham and salad..... and loving it!

Our beautiful wedding cake

with Mum and Dad
Tennis group welcome in American Samoa
Tea Boys - at work in Papua New Guinea
Street market in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea