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, 27 August 2015


I have started the quilting on the Farm Quilt.  If I plan to do some Free Motion Quilting on a project I always stitch in the ditch first, usually down most row seams.  As I had planned to try some FMQ around the farm animals, I started the ditch quilting on my Featherweight.  I had purchased the Stitch in the Ditch special foot and tried that but after a lot of help from April Henry from April 1930's Sewing Shop, I now understand how this foot works and will probably keep it for under stitching on bags and dressmaking.  It has a flange that sits in the ditch of your seam but the actual stitching lands just a hair to the left of the ditch.   Results vary using this foot.  A thicker seam allowance results in more of a ditch allowing the flange to sit in there well and the stitching lands closer to the ditch.  I like my "ditch" quilting to be well in the ditch.
Low Shank Stitch in the Ditch Foot

So after a few goes with the SITD foot, I switched to my Walking Foot for my Featherweight.  I love using this foot for straight line and channel quilting.  I had not used it for stitching in the ditch before.  Now I should add here right now that I own multiple sewing machines and one of them is my Brother PQ1500 which I use for most of my quilting - walking foot and free motion.  The walking foot for the Brother machine looks like this....   you can see right up the centre of the foot, up to the needle so you can really see where you are quilting "in the ditch".   The walking foot for my Featherweight does not have such a clear view of the needle and I found it difficult to stitch in the ditch accurately.  Now this could just be me because I'm so spoilt having the big Brother machine but anyway I eventually switched over to the Brother to finish the quilting.  I'm almost done!   I finished up the ditch quilting and now I'm doing some straight lines down each side of the seam, walking foot width.  I have not decided if I will do anything close to the animal embroidery as yet.

Brother PQ1500 walking foot
This sewing machine is straight stitch only.

Note the reminder on top of the machine -  last time I did
Free Motion Quilting I was having dramas and only
right at the end when I was almost finished I noticed
that one of the thread guides had been missed!
That won't be happening again!

So as you can see, it's all about trial and error.........  I love all of my sewing machines and I try and give each one a chore on a regular basis so each one gets some use and maintenance.  My Featherweight 222K is a great piecing machine (and very handy to take away from home for sewing as it's so small) and I love it for straight line, channel and free motion quilting on a small project. I have said this before.... I think it's the best Free Motion Quilting I have ever done.  I love the special foot that April sells for this purpose, it is the best foot I have ever used.    It's a great top stitching machine too.  My big Brother machine is great for all quilting especially Stitch in the Ditch and Free Motion.  So it's okay with me that my Featherweight won't be used for stitching in the ditch, she has plenty to keep her busy!

If you are new to my Blog and you're wondering how many machines I have... two treadles, one 201K knee shift, one 222K featherweight, one 99K hand crank, one Brother quilters edition and the Brother PQ1500.  and an overlocker!

A rainy cool day today (thank heavens! those hot days were a bit of a shock!!).  Tomorrow I will hopefully finish off the quilting and get the binding on!

Happy Sewing and Cheers from Helen


  1. It's nice that you can share the chores with your children. ;-) I don't want to count the machines that I have. lol

    1. Yes, they get upset if you ignore them :-) Just had the day out with my stitching friends but will get back to the quilting tonight when the footy is on tele!