I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 62, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 24. 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. I've recently started collecting Miniature Sewing Machines, three Essex and one Singer 20 and a Vulcan Countess. 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!

Friday, 19 January 2018

JANUARY


Happy New Year !

January is not really the month to get much sewing done...... our weather is usually awfully hot and humid.  This January has been a little surprising.  We did have some hot horrible days but just lately it's been quite pleasant.  My projects this month ........

READING PILLOW
GIFT FOR A FRIEND

I love making these Reading Pillows but somehow I got myself confused with the measurements for the pocket so this one only has a very shallow pocket.  A little book still fits so that's okay 😀

BY AIR BY RAIL BY SEA
YES! IT'S A FLIMSY!

I'm pushing myself to get the By Air ...... quilt finished.  I cannot believe this but I've been working on this machine applique project for three years!  YES! THREE YEARS!    I finished up all of the blanket stitch and now have it to the flimsy stage, just waiting for more of the backing fabric as I fell short when I went to layer the quilt.

ZOE ZEBRA QUILT IS PINNED AND I'VE FINISHED
THE DITCH QUILTING 

Although I enjoyed making this quilt, it really was meant for machine applique (I did it by hand) so I'm pleased to be up to the quilting stage now.  I've done the stitch in the ditch quilting so now it moves over to my Sweet Sixteen for the Free Motion Quilting.
HERE'S THE BACKING


THE TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC
 
My hand sewing project at the moment is The Teddy Bear's Picnic blocks .. pattern by the Red Boot Quilt Company .   It's a lovely project and I'm really enjoying it.  To keep the applique soft, I use the method where you cut away most of the fusible web from the centre of the shape (so on the head of the bear, it's only got the fusible web around the outside edges, I have cut away the middle area.... this makes it much easier to stitch through the eyes and nose.  Here is a tutorial by Pat Sloan.  I do this to the larger pieces but leave the smaller pieces intact.

Siggy Block

How lovely to still be receiving Siggy Block requests.  This one will be on its way to The Netherlands soon.  You can find the information about the Siggy exchange here.  I have been in the Exchange for many years now.  Today I was stitching in a coffee shop but sitting outside so I tried out my new battery powered fan from Aldi.... works a treat!

I sew my siggy blocks on my Singer 99K Hand Crank..... very peaceful and quiet using this machine.  It sews a beautiful stitch.  I like to give each of my vintage machines a project, this keeps them oiled and maintained on a regular basis.

SINGER HAND CRANK 99K

Cheers!
Helen





Thursday, 21 December 2017

WHAT A WONDERFUL YEAR..........








Hello!

Tomorrow is our 33rd Wedding Anniversary.....   we had the ceremony on Customs Wharf here in Brisbane and then went on a cruise on the Brisbane River for the reception.  I wore a two piece suit purchased off the rack and I can still see the look on the ladies face when she asked was the suit for a special occasion.... yes, I said "I'm getting married in three weeks!"  The only time I wore a real wedding outfit was for a Fancy Dress Ball, my mum made the most beautiful outfit !  Happy days! both the wedding and the fancy dress!

I purchased another Miniature Sewing Machine.... this time an electric Essex.
Just unpacked, haven't sewn with it as yet!

I can't wait to have a play with it.  This machine now rounds out my collection of Essex Miniatures.  I think this will be enough miniature machines.... I have three Essex, one Singer 20 and a Vulcan Countess.  All of these machines do a chain stitch which I use for reverse embroidery.

On the sewing front I've been busy too.....


Christmas tee shirts

New hand sewing project - Teddy Bear's Picnic
pattern by The Red Boots Quilt Company



Christmas Coasters

My first try at making a hand towel with a buttonhole!!

I used the vintage Buttonholer attachment on my Singer 222K Featherweight - what perfect button holes!!  I had such a lot of fun learning about this attachment.  It is so easy to use!

I've finished all of the hand sewing on my Zoe Zebra Quilt - haven't taken a pic as yet, here's the quilt when I prepped it.
Zoe Zebra





Here is a sampling of my 2017 sewing
















Wishing you all a
Very Merry Christmas
and a Healthy, Happy
New Year


Cheers from Helen
Happy Sewing!!


Monday, 30 October 2017

Dolly Quilts

Hello!

I’ve joined the Group Project KIN.  You can find out more info here .... 
https://www.facebook.com/projectkinaus/

I’m making Dolly Quilts- lots of fun, quick to sew and I’m using up some stash!








I have two more cut out ready to sew. 

The Organisation also has started a GoFundMe Christmas Appeal - 



I’m enjoying making the quilts, if you go to the linked Page you can see all the other beautiful items being made.  Perhaps you might like to join the Group or donate to the Christmas Appeal.  

No other sewing to show I’m afraid as I’ve been unwell for the past week with a virus ☹️ but on the mend now!

Cheers from Helen 
Happy Sewing!!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

COSY UP

MICROWAVE BOWL COSY

Hello!

A little Christmas sewing happening over the weekend, I'm making Microwave Bowl Cosies.

and I just love how quickly it goes together.

I'm making the rounded version as I like the look of it better than the square version.

CIRCULAR STITCHER

After I cut out the beginning squares (prior to cutting down to size) I do a couple of rounds of quilting on each half (each half is made up of one square of fabric paired with one piece of cotton wadding) - I'm using the Circular Stitcher on my 222k Featherweight to do this...... love that gadget!!  I do two rounds of quilting, that's enough for this project.  It will get more at the end.

As I'm using a purchased pattern I won't go into great detail as to the pattern and methods used but I can share my tips and tricks 😃

To make the bowl shape you do four pleats.  I like to use a very small stitch length for this.  I cut my rounded edges using the pattern and my rotary cutter  (after cutting the pleats) - nice smooth rounded edges.

I use my walking foot for the construction, it helps to keep it all together nicely - my seam allowance ends up being just a smidgen over 1/4".  Trim the seam allowance to 1/8" after stitching the pleats.  Do the same for the seam allowance after stitching each half of the Bowl Cosy together.   The only bit I leave at full seam allowance is where I have left the turn through opening - I also stitch off at each end of the turn through opening.

Here is a similar method to how I sew the turn through opening...  http://keyka.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/11/how-to-slip-stitch-a-seam-closed.html.

The only thing I add is that I stitch off to the outside edge at each end of the opening.  This keeps the 1/4" seam allowance in place when I turn the cosy right sides out.  The "opening" will press nice and flat and if I'm using a 1/8" seam allowance to top stitch then the opening will get closed with that topstitching.


So my turn through opening is in between the blue lines.  I stitch out on those two lines using a very small stitch length and I stitch between the two lines using a long stitch length.  Once I press the seams back after stitching, I remove those long stitches.

Once I turn it all right sides out I find giving the rounded "corners" a good press helps to set it in place ready for the final topstitching.  I topstitch using a little longer stitch length than I use for piecing.  I like to do the topstitching about 1/8" from edge.  The turn through opening will be closed with the top stitching.

The last bit of stitching is to quilt on the diagonal both ways from the centre of the curved corners.

You can see the diagonal quilting 

These are fun to sew.  I think the best way to do a bunch of these would be to prep a whole lot of them and then chain stitch.  I'm setting up two machines ... the 222K for the circular stitching and my Brother PQ1500 to do the rest of the stitching.  

Happy Sewing!!
Cheers from Helen




Sunday, 24 September 2017

NO COMMENT

Sorry everyone!  I had changed the settings some time ago and obviously had not re-instated Comments.   So if you have been trying to leave a Comment you would have had trouble.  Think I've fixed it now!

Cheers,
Helen




I BUILT A CHICKEN


I'm still working my way through the book Farm Girl Vintage (Lori Holt- Bee in my Bonnet).  Here's my Mama Hen block 🙂. Next up is page 45 Milking Day block.  



Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen