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!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Close up of blanket stitch
 Here is my "Seven Sisters" block for the Civil War quilt.  I have used a different star to that in the pattern, as I thought the original one looked just a little too "pointy" for me!!  I do not like doing applique on long points.  I had thought of using Needle-turn applique for this block, but I'm telling you..... these stars are SMALL.  So then I decided to try the method where you use a light piece of interfacing and stitch around the whole star shape with the interfacing and star fabric together.  Then you are supposed to turn the star "out" and stitch it onto the backing fabric.  Once again, these stars are TINY!  So in the end I just used my old favourite.... fusible applique and blanket stitch.  I'm happy with how it turned out.

If you look closely at my blanket stitch, you will see that I do not do the return centre arm at the points, I just do a lock stitch at the point and move up the next side and do the next arm.  I have found that this method looks much neater than trying to squeeze in the return arm at the point (too much thread for one tiny corner!)  I'm not saying that all of the points are perfect... far from it! .... but there is much less bulk at each corner and I think that looks neater.

Today is extremely hot!!!  I've been out to the shopping centre for a coffee (and to keep cool!) but now I'm back in my sewing room..... fan on full blast..... still tidying up and sorting and might even do some sewing!

Happy Sewing!!


  1. Love youre seven sisters blok, I also startet this Civil War Quilt.

  2. I never know how to do points, thanks for the pointer....now when you say lock stitch..do you just hit the lock button on your machine?

  3. great little stars...could use some of that warmth today

  4. The little stars are cute. I do my tips the same way....when I actually do handwork! Oh to be able to say "it is so hot today". It has warmed up to 40 degrees tho with some rain so our frozen snow is melting away. Just in time for the next storm.

  5. The Seven Sisters block looks great. Stay cool.

  6. beautifull little stars Helen,
    like your blog,and keep it cool

  7. I found that little tip about the points on a star found very useful.
    We could use a bit of your warmth here in Virginia today.

  8. Love the block. I appliqued 120 x 3 inch butterflies once by hand-it put me off for life!

  9. I like to add stars too... they just make a pattern sPaRkle...oopps. :) Well Done!