Sunday, 28 April 2013

Vintage sewing machine


The weather here is finally turning spring like. It feels like the winter has lasted forever. Just so nice to have sunshine!

I've been moaning a lot about my little sewing sewing machine which doesn't sew very well. Well you'll never guess what ... I was talking about it at work and one of the other teachers at school said she had a machine in her loft that a friend gave to her. She was emigrating to /australia and it was too heavy to take. My friend at school has had it in her loft ever since.

So here it is!Heavy wasn't the word. My goodness it weighed a tonne! I opened the case and although it smells a bit musty it looked beautiful (can a sewing machine be beautiful?). It has the original manual too. When I opened the little bit on the side, inside was loads of little bits.
There are threads in there too. 
So I threaded it up and put a piece of material underneath and it sews like a dream! I am soooooo happy! There are a couple of issues though and one is quite major. Firstly, there is no reverse, so I can't secure the stitching. I really don't know what to do about that. Secondly, after about 15 minutes, the machine starts stitching all by itself! I have to turn it off and wait  or so minutes and then just do a few short bursts. Something is obviously overheating. I need to find someone who can fix it. Just don't know who!

On to the black and white quilt. I've had some lovely advice, especially from Helen. I'm going to unpick some bits and see if I can fix it. 

I've also started a baby quilt. Pics of that to follow. 

Have a great day.


Saturday, 20 April 2013



So carrying on from my last post where I showed you my strips and mistakes, I then sewed all of my strips together.

Now, I am pretty chuffed with it. but you can see in the top right hand side that the pattern has gone wrong!

Gutted! I had followed my plan to the letter (or so I thought).

This probably looks like a load of scribbled rubbish to you but meant everything to me!!

So the question was, what to do next considering it really isn't any good? Do I carry on and make it into a quilt so at least I've had a go at the complete process of quilt making OR maybe unpick the lot and try something different.

What do you think?


Monday, 15 April 2013

Making progress


Carrying straight on from my last post about finding black and white squares.

I have decided to just put them in strips and made myself a plan (well it's legible to me anyway!)

So I set about it ... deep breaths.

I happily started sewing my squares together and the strips started forming.

In the photo above, I have joined strips in pairs. I had to do a lot of unpicking in order to match some of the squares up.

So far, so good. I changed the thread on my machine and it is now working lovely.

Fingers crossed that the part goes as well.

So that's me for today. Happy quilting.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Look what I found!

I was rummaging around in my material draw and I came across all these black and white squares. I have absolutely no idea where they came from. They were all cut in 4.5" squares too and I have no recollection of doing that either!

There are 9 different fabrics altogether, so I've matched them together and I have about 10 of each. So I made a sketch and I'm going to make my first quilt!

I'm going to take it easy and just do strips. Really really nervous but watch this space!


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Ipad pillow

So here is my attempt at an Ipad pillow and I am really really pleased with it. Considering I only started sewing in the last couple of months I think I'm doing pretty well!

I've been oogling at lots and lots of quilts on the net and am desperate to make one. I've found myself a quilt group to go to. The next group is next Thursday so I'll let you know how that goes.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sympathy needed

Hi everyone,

I guess you're wondering about the title. Well, I happily got up this morning, went to step into the shower and my back gave way! I can't stand up straight and have been stuck in bed not able to get comfortable at all. I've had as many painkillers as I can but it's not touching it. Anyway...let's move on .....

and talk about my new love for sewing. I just love, love, LOVE it. I want to sew all the time. I have a beginners sewing machine but am desperate for a better one. This one is ok, but is VERY basic. The thread is always breaking. I spend more time rethreading the needle than I actually do sewing. 

I swapped some of my card making crafty bits that I haven't used in ages for some scraps of materials. Here is a nine patch cushion that I have made.

I have now put the right size cushion pad inside so it's looking a little more plumper than it does in the picture.

Despite the amount of time it took, because of the machine, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of making it. 

Not bad for a first attempt I think. Can't wait to start my next project now. Decisions, decisions!

Hope you like it too


Thursday, 4 April 2013



I am desperate to start making a quilt. I absolutely love patchwork and I can look at handmade quilts all day long.

Unfortunately, I just don't have the money to buy any material just yet (sob sob). I found a crafty swap site on facebook where you can swap things you no longer need for things you would like. I was lucky and managed to get quite a bit of fabric pieces. I don't have enough nice pieces for a quilt, but I have been able to make little things. I'm currently making some coasters so I'll show you pictures of those when they are finished. At least this will keep me going until I can afford some luscious fabric.

I looked around for some local classes and there is only one and they wanted £79 for a 6 week course! Not going to happen, so I've trawled youtube kept loads and loads of tutorials and I'm going to teach myself. Brave step I know but I really want to do it.


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Victoria Sponge

Hi everyone,

I treated myself the other week to a new cookery book and bought this one from Sainsburys...

Not on;y was Jo a winner of The Great British Bake Off, she also only lives about 5 miles from me!

I don't know about you but I love a good old plain Victoria Spong. I made mine using the recipe from this book, which you can read in a moment. I happily followed the recipe and this was the result ...
I used jam and buttercream to fill and top the cake and it was absolutely delicious!
You can visit Jo's blog here

So here is the recipe:

Serves 8

200g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
200g margarine, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

4tbsp strawberry jam
2tbsp caster sugar

You will need 2 x 20cm sandwich tins

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Butter and line the base of each cake tin with a disc of buttered baking parchment.

Tip all of the cake ingredients into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and beat for 2 minutes until smooth. If you don't have a free-standing machine you can use an electric hand held mixer.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tineand spread level using a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden, well risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and carefully turn the cakes out of the tins, peel off the parchment and leave to cool on wire racks.

Place one of the cold cakes on a serving plate, right side up, and spread with jam (and buttercream if using). Top with the second cake and sprinkle caster sugar to serve.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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