Friday, 30 January 2015

Patchwork Notebook Covers


Been having a go at covering note books.  Had some left over fabric from the patchwork baby quilt.  It was fun to do.

Played with my new Singer Embroidery foot on the Featherweight trying to learn free motion quilting.  The small notebook is a Liberty print with the flowers picked out with orange thread, its not perfect by a long way but as I quilted with the machine, the easier it became.  I found that if I turned the fabric too quickly, it skipped stitches so steady away was the way to go making sure that the stitches had caught before setting off.  It finished off with some vintage bias binding which was a perfect match.


Monday, 19 January 2015

Singer 221 Featherweight Free Motion Quilting/Embroidery Foot Simanco 121094


Been on a bit of a spending spree to cheer myself up.  This icy weather is making me anxious despite having grips on my boots when dog walking.  Roll on Spring.

I have always admired anyone that could do free motion embroidery on a sewing machine.  Did have a go once on my "modern" (1980's Toyota machine) which can drop the feed dogs.  It was disaster, despite having the correct foot, I just couldn't control the stitching, was totally defeated so gave up never to try again until now.

When browsing Ebay for Singer attachments, found this reproduction feed dog cover for my Featherweight at a price of £23 which seems a lot for such a tiny thing until you see the cost of an original Singer part, the last one I saw on internet was £90, eye watering!  Only ever seen the odd one for sale so very rare.

All I needed to go with it was an Embroidery foot, Singer made a special "hopping" for the Featherweight 221 (Simanco 121094).  Again, a fairly rare item but they do come up now and again.  Missed one on Ebay for £14.99 got sidetracked and forgot about the listing (doh).  Did find one but ended up paying twice the price, hey ho.  It arrived in the post, again such a dinky little thing.

Put them on the machine, set the stitch length at zero.  Made a little quilt sandwich and jumped in with both feet and wrote my name!  Wow, so easy to control, the featherweight sews steady away, no zooming out of control.  A joy to use.

Here is the first ever attempt which I don't think it too bad for a total beginner, can read the words (well almost all of them).

Will have to look at UTube for the quilting techniques and patterns but awesome, so chuffed.

I had borrowed this plastic Singer foot off my stitchery friend Sarah, again another embroidery foot but much later date, its huge compared with the the other foot but seeing its a low shank foot, tried it on my machine, it worked fine so this is a suitable alternative which would be cheaper to buy.

Off to practice



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Drum Carder Cover


My very good friend Julie asked if I could make a cover for her drum carder to keep it dust free when its not in use.  Yes, I said without really knowing what a drum carder was.

If you are wondering, this vicious thing is a drum carder.  It looks like a medieval implement of torture. You have to keep your fingers away from the spikes they are not nice.  It is used to card wool to prepare it for spinning into yarn.

We went to look for fabric.  I wasn't sure quite how I was going to make the cover but seeing the oil cloth thought that this robust fabric would be just the ticket.  

Had to make a template so I turned the machine on its side, drew round it with a marker pen onto some paper marking the highest curve, then folded the paper into half and cut out the curve so both sides would match.  My Singer 201 made light work of this tough fabric.  Just used my usual quarter inch foot when sewing back of the fabric.  But when top stitching used a roller foot which worked a treat, it stopped the foot sticking to the plastic coating on the fabric.

Here it is, she picked this gorgeous fabric, isn't it yummy, just love the colours.

Made a very simple zipped bag with the left over fabric to keep the rest of her carding tools in.

This is the roller foot in action.  Glad I finally found a use for it.


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Featherweight 221 - Patchwork Baby Quilt


Happy New Year, hope you all had a good time.  We had a quiet festive break at our cottage but luckily our village pub opened a week before Xmas after being shut for months and months.  The new owners did really well to get it fit to open in just a few days, they worked really hard.  So a warm welcome to all the village from them.  It was great to catch up with fellow residents, the pub is really the heart of the village.

I had another baby quilt to make for my neice Zoe who`s baby is due next month.  As she didn`t want to know if its a boy or girl, I had to do a neutral colour scheme, found this range of fabric on Ebay with sweet rabbits and hares.  They came in handy fat quarter packs which made it much simpler to get the contrasting and matching fabrics.

The quilt was a joy to make up on the Featherweight 221.  Haven`t used the 221 for quite a while, been using the Singer 201 as it's faster and more powerful so ideal for making the tote bags with all those layers to sew through.  I had forgotten how steady the 221 is which make it much more accurate when you want to do just one more stitch, the 201 doesn't like sewing slow.  They both stitch beautifully.  As usual I did hand quilt, just love the finish it gives.

Here is the 221 next to the 201 so that you can compare the sizes, the 221 is so cute.  The 201 is made of cast iron so it weighs a ton.

Anyway, got side tracked, back to the finished quilt.  Ta daaa