Thursday, 15 March 2018

Winter Weather Makes - Clay Gift Tags and Patchwork Covered Notebooks


Well I have had quite a bit of time off work, first due to the 10+ inches of snow we had, then the gardens were far too wet to do anything with over the last week or so.

Had a little go with DAS Air Dried Clay making gift tags.

Got a bit carried away, made loads, it was very addictive.  Used my biscuit cutters (biscuits are off the menu for the considerable future due to my trews not fitting!) and the bottle was my rolling pin.

My stamps and inks for the messages.  Pressed pretty buttons and beads in the wet clay.

Then had a go with painting colour onto blanks with of all things, emulsion which were finished off with brush on glaze.

The pattern on the grey tag below was made with my thimble.

All wrapped up.

The next project was to use up some fat quarters of Moda fabric that I bought at the recent Quilt Show in Harrogate, couldn't resist them.

My sewing book is nearly full of patterns, measurements and ideas.  I have been planning on covering it for ages, finally got round to it.

Then made a couple of others just cos I could!

This last week has been machine quilting another one of Anita's unfinished quilts, so that has kept me out of mischief.


Monday, 26 February 2018

Sewing a Motorhome Awning on a Singer 201K


Mavis the Singer 201K had an outing as she is the machine housed in a nifty sewing table.  She had a challenge to do.

Please note this is not where I normally sew, we had put her in the garage so we had plenty of room.

She was sewing a Motohome Awning which was big and cumbersome.  The fabric (if you could call it fabric) is rubberised/vinyl stuff.  As the surface was on the slippy side, used a handy roller foot.  The only other time I have used this foot is when I made a cover for a wool carding machine with Oilcloth.

We were adding a beaded edge to the awning panels and making some alterations by adding fabric panels.  Used a size 16 needle and extra strong thread.

The machine coped with the tough fabric really well, not sure that I was so laid back.  The size of the panels caused problems, his nibs (aka Glock) had to lift the them and help guide them through the machine while I concentrated on keeping the seams straight.

I haven't used this machine for about year, she lives in the Summerhouse, when I first got her I put her in the conservatory where I sew but the heat of the summer sun melted the glue that holds the  oak veneer surface on the table and it lifted up so I had to move her.

I had forgotten how well she sewed, really good stitches.  Might have to rethink where I keep her so that I can use her more.  I am really lucky to have these wonderful vintage machines (Mavis was found on Freecyle)

My quilts will seem so easy after sewing this beast.


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Laura Ashley/Liberty Print Quilt


Quite a while ago I bought 2 packs of Laura Ashley fat quarters in one of their sales.  As usual it hung around my fabric cupboard until I decided what to do with it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quilting weight fabric, more like curtain fabric but I was determined to make a pretty quilt out of it.  Seeing that I  have not made many quilts with half square triangles, made a load up and had a play laying them out into patterns.  I eventually came up with this design.  Planning ahead is not my forte!

The heavier fabric was a bit of a pain, all the seams were pressed open to cut down on the bulk.

I used some Liberty Lawn fabric for the back which is the complete opposite to the heavy weight L Ashley fabric, its really fine.  This is the second quilt that I have backed with the Liberty, it feels so soft and silky so makes the quilt feel really cozy.  It's a bit tricky to get smooth when making up the quilt but using a good quality cotton wadding makes the Lawn sort of cling to it.  After laying the wadding on the fabric I flipped the layers over and smoothed out the Lawn then carefully turned it over, added the pieced top out, carefully smoothing it out, then tacked all the layers together.

I did quilt it on the Singer 222K, this was the tricky part not because the machine wasn't powerful enough to get through the layers, I was using the walking foot which sometimes got grounded where the thick seams joined together pushing the foot slightly off the straight line. It was finished with a narrow binding which picked out the green colour from the print fabric.

This quilt will not win any prices for accurate top quilting but its pretty.

Another unfinished project completed, that's nearly all of them.  Well perhaps, I might have a couple of more halfway done and what seems like a zillion planned in my head!


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Baby Quilt and a New Label Design


I think that this is my 10th baby quilt but starting to loose count.

The fabric is from Makower which I bought from Leven Crafts in Guisborough.  I had an appointment at the Guisborough Hospital and at first, I was peeved to have to travel 3 times further than my normal appointment at Northallerton.  Until my sister pointed out that there was a fabric shop we could visit.  So we made an outing of it, browsing the lovely fabric, then in the bistro opposite for morning  coffee with teacakes.  The extra bonus was there was no waiting time at the hospital I was seen as soon as we set foot through the door, yeah.

I didn't want to cut the farm animal fabric up too much so not to chop the animals in half used 6.5 inch squares, any smaller would have meant no whole piggies.

Dani's baby is due in March, she lives on a farm, the fabric design seemed to fit.

Instead of my normal heart shaped quilt label

I went off piste, using a Xmas tree ginger bread decoration as inspiration.

I just loved the shape of this little birdie, at Xmas I made a hanging for my front door but that got packed away with the decorations, I missed it so made another door hanging.  Unfortunately, my cottage interior is a little dark today so couldn't get usable photo of it hanging on the door.

As its snowing and being horrid today, I am catching up on my unfinished projects.  The quilt below breaks all my records.  It was hand pieced in the early 80's for my first house, it was a kit for a floor cushion which never actually became a cushion.  I used to use it as a table cloth for a little while, then it got put away in a cupboard when I moved into this house, and there it stayed until late last year.  I couldn't bring myself to chuck it out so made it up into a quilt for the sofa adding a border to front and back to make it a larger.  Luckily, I had some vintage unused quilting fabric from the 80s that Anita gave me which contrasts nicely.  The prints of the 80s and 90s were so ditsy, I still prefer them to today's fabrics.  Today's job was to sew the label on, its about 33/34 years start to finish!  Oh dear, better late than never

Sharon x

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Quilting on a Singer 222K Featherweight


Phew, all done and posted off for Anita.  Hope she likes it.  She pieced the top and I finished off by machine quilting it.

The funny thing is that I was concentrating on making sure that the machine quilting lines were as straight as possible, I was looking at seams and not the overall pattern.  It was only when I took it to my sewing group that the ladies spotted the owls!  Doh, I am a bit dim sometimes.

It was a 4ft square quilt so a bit of a squeeze at times under the 222K but the machine worked great.  Have laid down a challenge for myself, wonder what size quilt is actually too big for this dinky machine?

 Anita did a wonderful job, her points and corners are perfect.


PS  Phew, she like it.  Yeah

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Thread Stand for Singer Sewing Machine 221/222


Hope that you all had a lovely Christmas, it was very quiet here in the Button Box house, our local pub changed owners on 18th and was immediately shut until the end of January.  Apparently it is going to be refurbished and made into a Restaurant/pub.  We normally call in for a drink on Xmas day along with half the village, it is always nice to wish everyone the best, we really missed the occasion especially Buzz as he loves going to the pub with us although he is totally tea total.

Anyway, Sandi Claus was very good to me.  Look what he brought.  A thread stand for the Featherweights.  Yeah

Actually it was a gift from my super sister Sandi.

Its has been designed and manufactured by  It has was made so that you can use modern cross threaded bobbins on these machines.  The 221/222 were designed for vintage bobbins which pulled thread off from the side but bobbins on modern day machines the bobbins are laid on their side which pulls the thread from the end of the spool.  

I normally use, small vintage bobbins on my vintage machines with a spool spring and felt on the pin so the thread is pulled fairly smoothly.

But today am using a large vintage Sylko bobbin, which due to its size does pull off with a bit of jerk which effects the tension on the stitch.  

The thread stands works brilliantly with this large bobbin, no sign of any jerk so the stitches are loads better.  I have struggled a bit with this machine to get a good stitch, it's more powerful than the 221 so sets off with a bit of spurt which was jerking the thread.

So have spent the afternoon playing with my new gadget.

The lovely Anita (who gave me all the quilting equipment and fabric) found another of her work in progress quilt and asked me if I could finish it off for her by machine quilting it.  Great, an ideal opportunity to use the large bobbins on the machine along with the thread stand.  

These are my extra grippy Showa gardening gloves which I had originally bought to garden in but they are brilliant for doing machine quilting.  It feels weird wearing gloves in the house but oh my, so good for moving the quilt about on my small machine.  This quilt has lots of changes of direction.

My partner bought me a large charm pack by Moda which I will use to fix the Civil War quilt.  I keep having a peek and stroke of the fabric, its soo lovely.

Wishing you all a lovely stitchy New Year.


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas Patchwork Tree Decorations


I love making decorations for my tree adding new ones each year.  Have made these English Paper Piecing Pentagon ones before but this year added the mini pom pom trim and bells. The bells sound wonderful.

My sister and I went on a Redwork workshop at Drawn Threads, run by the lovely Sarah.  She showed us how to make this little flock of birds.

 I visited Mandy Shaw's stall at the Stitchshow at Harrogate and stocked up on thread and fabric. The thread and holder went in one of the pockets on my advent calendar.  Each day, whatever is in there, I try to use.  So had a practice doing some more Redwork using old embroidery transfer patterns that I had found when clearing my parents house.  They were with one that that was dated 1965.  So they are quite an age.

This little birdie was inspired by old glass tree decorations we had at home when I was a kid, none left now but this was the shape of them (well nearly).

There is definitely a bell theme this year, adding them to everything.  Bought these plain gift tags from Wilkinsons, added the red bell and holly leaves cut from felt with an eyelet to thread them onto the string.

The little pegs were another "me pressie" out of the Advent Calendar.