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!

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Disappearing 9 patch - oh dear, where to begin!! I decided to have a go at quilting this one with a new thread purchased at a craft show last year. It was 12wt, very thick! Not a good idea!! I also decided to have a go at quilting a "sort of flower" - it appears that I can only do a three petal flower!! Anyway.... the thread kept breaking, shredding and generally I had a terrible time with it which eventually mucked up the tension on my machine (which you have already heard about!). There are starts and stops all over this quilt, something I usually don't do (I like to start in one corner and finish at the other, no stops, joins or anything!!!)

I finished the quilting with my smaller Brother machine which had no trouble with the thread but I might add that I did move up to a much larger needle (100/16).
So.... lessons learnt on this project -

1. Thread this thick (12wt) really needs the big eye needle
2. You have to quilt quite slowly with this thread too - something I don't like to do - I usually go like mad!
3. In the end, it is after all "just a quilt" and now that I look at it (and I am using it) I really don't notice all those yucky bits!!

O.K. now to backtrack just a bit.....

Brights Baby Quilt # 2 .....you may recall that I reported that there was a lesson in this one too!! Well, when attaching the binding I decided to try something different!

Many of you who read my blog will know that I usually do the binding on children's quilts totally by machine using a 4" width of cut binding, well that's O.K...... I did that but decided that I would really like the binding to be wider on the front of the quilt as well as the back .... now, how to achieve that? -- without losing any of the border width? I always do a line of tacking all the way around my quilt prior to attaching the binding and then trim the quilt batting and backing even with the quilt top.... this time I decided to leave a 1/4" of batting and backing extending past the quilt top. Now, this is fine if I had only remembered about it when I was folding and turning for my mitered corners. Instead of taking the fold right up to the top of the quilt wadding/backing, I folded and turned at the quilt front top edge (force of habit!) which unfortunately made turning over to the back a real headache!!! Took me ages of looking at the darn thing before I realised what I had done --- now, as there are only four corners to a quilt, I decided that it would have to stay this way and see what happens! I washed the finished quilt and dried it in the dryer and now it has nice "rounded" corners - quite acceptable and actually they really suit the quilt!

This is a rough sample I made today, to show you what I mean!

Corners after washing and drying - looks o.k. now!

So, that's the catch up news!

Our internet came back "up to speed" on Thursday, but I've been down with a cold for a few days, that's why I'm a tad late getting this post done!

The flannel Peter Rabbit quilt is just about finished (photo soon) .... I'm just hand sewing the corners down now (binding once again done all by machine).

Looks like we might be getting some rain tomorrow..... how lovely--- a cool, damp day .... just perfect to stay home and SEW!

Happy Sewing!


  1. Love your sense of humor on lessons learned. I think we are all overly critical of our own work but find others love receiving such wonderful gifts. The rounded corners look good. I commend you for machine quilting...I just get too frustrated with that part of it.

  2. Thank you so much Helen for my beautiful siggy's.Were waiting for me on my return from Perth.
    Your quilting looks fine as does your corners of the baby quilt.
    We did a workshop on free motion quilting only a few weeks ago. The one thing the tutor stressed about was the use of a TOP STITCH needle.does have a larger eye and works beautifully.
    Happy Stitching.

  3. http://sonnetofthemoon.blogspot.com/2009/01/bento-box-quilt-step-1.html
    This is where I got the Bento Box from, so easy!
    Your corners look great as does your quilting, even though you suffered doing it! oh how we live and learn eh...

  4. Helen - the problems you are having with the thread are mostly to blame on the size of the needle. I use King Tut a lot for quilting and you have to use a bigger eyed needle as Maria said. Usually I find a #90/14 works best - bigger holes though and the thread does sit on top of your fabric, so will stand out more. Keep trying and good luck!

  5. Thanks Erilyn (I tried to email a reply to you but you are no-reply)

    I've left you a comment on your blog. I eventually moved up to a 100/16 needle and finished the quilting on my older machine. I think if I use this thread again, I will use my MIL's old singer - they can tackle anything!!