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, 26 April 2011


I was a week behind with my Civil War Quilt homework!!  So spent yesterday catching up....

I wasn't all that happy with my centre pinwheel.

So.... I made another block. The blue stripe
is printed slightly off which makes
my piece look crooked, but it IS
This time I used a new trick when joining
the two rows... read more below....

An easy block - really had to dig
through my scraps to find
enough blues!
O.K. so what is the new trick I have learned?

Elmer's Washable School Glue!  Now, many of you might already know about using this glue for patchwork, but I only recently came across this idea when reading about a new method for attaching binding to quilts.  I can hear a few groans out there, but hey!! anything that makes sewing easier is fine with me!!   I used the glue method on the binding of a little Easter Basket I made last week and just loved how it worked!  So, when I was joining the two rows together to make the second version of the White House block, I used the glue where my pin went through both pieces at the centre point of the pinwheel (I call this the stab method).  I just put a dot of glue around the pin, then hot ironed (then removed the pin).  It worked so well!!! I didn't have the problem of holding on to the pin as I was sewing, which made it so much easier.   If you want to know more about the stab method, click on "Rodale's Perfect Piecing" below in the Labels box.

Another hint when making the White House block -  I followed American Homestead's advice HERE which made the construction of the block much easier.  If using this method, it is much easier to sew the square to the rectangle like this....

Sew from the upper left corner down to the bottom right corner with
the rectangle placed as shown.
If you try to sew from the bottom right corner you will end up with an untidy corner.  This corner eventually becomes the centre of your pinwheel.

So now my homework is done!!  Now to get back to the Chubby Chicks quilt - I have the backing and binding fabric, just need to piece the backing and get the pinning done!!

Easter Basket
(you can find the tutorial HERE)

Our 5 day long weekend is over tonight, back to school tomorrow :-)  and suddenly the week is almost over!!  then another long weekend for Labour Day.  More sewing days ahead!!

Happy Sewing!!


  1. The blocks look great! I love the basket too.

  2. Your blocks are wonderful! You may not like the first block that much but I really like the colors. Your Easter basket is adorable.

  3. Your White House blocks are very impressive! The stripes are just perfect. My own version does not have stripes as there was "nothing" in my stash that would work...:o)
    Our quilt history study group has a big bus trip next week and I will be on the lookout for more workable stripes. This Civil War Quilt project has shown me where my stash weaknesses are...
    Your Easter basket is so sweet!

  4. I wish ALL homework was as good as ThAt!
    A+...I think! :)

  5. I love the striped fabrics in both of your White House blocks. Thanks, too, for the tips.

  6. The white House block is really lovely - I especially like your second one. I've never used glue as a pin before so that's something new I'll have to try.

  7. Helen - Your blocks are great!! Thanks for the glue trick!! There is also a water soluble glue out there called Glue-Baste-It with teeny tiny syringes which keeps the glue in teeny tiny places!! I love it!! And your basket is darling!! Kris

  8. I love the fabrics that you used for the Civil War blocks!