I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 63, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 25. 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 , one Singer 20. one Singer 40 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, 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


  1. The applique looks fantastic too. Yes, those needles are awesome for bringing those stitches out of sight and secure.

  2. Your machine does beautiful applique! A magic needle- that sounds too good be true!

  3. Help! What can I do to change it back?