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!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017



I've been posting on Facebook about the latest quilt I'm working on....  "Peek-a-Boo Bunnies" from Quiltmaker March/April '17.....

Block # 1

The layout in the magazine is a little different.  I'm doing the block frames (sashing) using the Partial Piecing method.  I think it gives the block a quirky look.  I'm also doing my Bunnies in bright fabrics whereas the pattern in the book is in pinks and greys and they use wool.  This will make a good baby quilt if needed.

So anyway, I've been asked about the Partial Piecing method so I've taken some photos today as I added the frame around the second Block.......

My blocks are 9" square before adding the frame.  My strip width for the frame pieces is 2-1/2".  The math for partial piecing is block size plus width of sashing less 1/2" for seam allowances.  So all of my strips are cut at 11" X 2-1/2"
Place first strip along one side, there will be
an overlap of the width of your sashing less 1/2"

Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance, stopping about 3" from
the bottom of the block
Working anti-clockwise, add the next strip.
The green piece was my first strip, then working right to left (anti-clockwise)
add the next strip.  Sew along the whole strip using 1/4" seam allowance
Add third strip
So my dark green is 1st, blue spot is 2nd and now the green spot.

Now add fourth strip once again stitching
along the whole strip with a 1/4" seam allowance- you can see the first strip is folded back at this point.

Now complete the stitching on the first strip.

One completed block
Block # 2

The thing I like best about partial piecing is that all of the strips are cut the same length.  So no left and right strips and no top and bottom strips at different lengths.

There are four blocks in the quilt so I have two more to hand stitch and build.  Then to decide how big to grow it :-)  

In other sewing news, I made a large Retreat Bag last night.  The Retreat Bag is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags.  I have the small size and use it daily for my hand sewing but it needed a wash and as I'm carrying quite a few projects at the moment the large size will be perfect...
As you can see.... the LARGE is much bigger than the small :-)

It certainly fits lots of projects and I love how the frame opens wide

Side on view.  

The only trouble I had with this bag is that I had run out of the fusible interfacing I usually use.  I found an old piece way back in my cupboard and used it.  Sadly it did not adhere very well but I persevered and got the bag made.  Next one I make I will use the better interfacing and fleece and also a longer zip as even though I used the suggested length for the bag, I would like just an inch or more to hang over each side - makes it easier to grab to open and close.  

Although Brisbane has had some horrible weather lately - very very hot and humid..... we are getting back to more normal days now and hopefully in a month or so we will start to cool down ready for our Winter.  Sewing has been quite difficult in the hot and humid conditions so I'm looking forward to days when I can stay sewing from morning to night !

I'm still having trouble with my left hand (the fractured one) so I haven't been playing on my Sweet Sixteen since the first time.  My hand still gets sore and tingles and can get quite hot in the area around the fracture.  I'm wearing a pull on supportive brace when I sew now.

Happy Sewing!
Cheers from Helen


  1. Cute Peek a Boo Bunny 🐰.. pleased you managed to get the bag made , looks great.
    Sorry to read you are still having trouble with your hand...sew annoying for you.

  2. What a fun quilt to work on! You made that bag in one night? Looks like a keeper. Will have to check out the pattern! Thanks for the link!

  3. The Peek-a-boo Bunny quilt is so cute and I love the colors you picked. Thanks for sharing the link to the pattern. I think I am going to make one!