Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Liberty Lawn Scissor Keep


Poor Buzz had to have a tooth out on Monday and while he was knocked out had fatty lump removed from the inside of his back leg which left him with stitches.  So I am at home with him to make sure that he doesn't lick or nibble his stitches out.  I could put one of those big collar's on him but we once tried that, it frightened the life out of him.  He is being a good boy.  When I got him back from the vets after his op, they told me to only feed him light food so made him some scrambled eggs which he woofed down.  Ten mins later he was still starving, Buzz likes his food so had to give him more, this time softened kibble.  Only then would he settle, his mouth isn't bothering him at all, thank goodness.  He has to stay in until his stitches come out so he is following me about while I sew.

I went to the Stitchery Show at Harrogate a couple of weeks ago and bought two of pairs of pretty scissors for Xmas gifts.  So had a go at making a keep for them.

Made a paper pattern, it seemed the right size! BUT when made up! I got it soooo wrong.

Ooops, made a bigger pattern but again, when made up with fabric and wadding, the scissors fit in but a bit tight.

Bingo, my third attempt was the right size.  Changed the fabric to Liberty Lawn and used my Kam popper kit for the fastening.

Now I know what size to do, they take no time to make up.

Off to tidy up, my dining room table AKA "the cutting table" is a complete tip!


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Christmas Table Runner


Had a go at making a Christmas Table Runner using Lori Holts templates.

Turned out OK I think.

Its been a  month of dog sitting.  The lovely Kes the jack russell x corgi cross came for her holiday while her "dad" was away in Spain.  I still look after my nieces terrier Tina twice a week and my friend has had an operation so I am walking her Jack Russell every weekday morning.  So have been terrier refereeing!  The girls had to be watched at first until they made friends!  Back to normal now so a quieter weekend.

On Friday at one of my customers there was an extremely old cat wandering in the road, several people put it on the grass off the road but it kept wandering into the road.  At one point it sat on someones door step so I rang the bell to ask them to get their cat in so it didn't get run over, no not their cat.  I watched it for a while until it went behind a reversing car so had to quickly stop the car so it didn't run it over.  The cat was blind, possibly deaf, extremely thin, a bit moth eaten so I borrowed my customers cat box and caught it.  It was a canny old thing, we gave it a drink and some food, asked around no one knew where it lived so as it was cold and getting dark I took it up to a local vets who admitted it cos it had the runs as well.  I later heard from my customers friend that they had traced the owner who was extremely annoyed that I had taken the cat to the vets as it wasn't lost, yeah right, why was it going in circles!  Perhaps she would have preferred if I had let it be squashed on the road!  If she had had it microchipped the vets could have located her! Why she was letting a blind cat out at all is beyond me.  


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Vintage Suitcase Makeover


We had a lovely weekend at the Pickering War Weekend in the North Yorkshire Moors.  The weather was a bit dodgy but there were some dry spells.

There were lots of interesting vintage stalls, mainly 1940's clothes alongside some vintage treasures.

Couldn't resist this old slightly tatty small suitcase.

At first I thought it was made of fibre board stuff but looking more closely at the scuffs, could be really hard leather.  Cleaned with my saddle soap which got the grime off but it still looked faded and scuffed.  So working on the principle that I couldn't make it any worse, gave it a coat of Danish oil.  I know Danish oil is normally for wood but...

It worked, brought the colour up nicely and gave it a nice sheen. Turns out its a case made for the Post Office, no idea of its age.  I am guessing around 1930/40 but if you know better, please let me know.

Was going to line the inside with Liberty Fabric but decided to leave it well alone.  Filled it with fabric (now there is surprise).

The other suitcase is another find, its in really good condition so apart from a quick wipe over, nothing to do with that one apart from filling it with, yes, fabric!

They look great together.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Victorian Cased Scissors

Good afternoon

Its a lovely sunny afternoon in North Yorkshire, just been out on the horse through a country estate with wonderful views.  Sorry didn't take my camera, Jester can be a bit tricky so need my hands on the reins not holding cameras.

Its a while since I have blogged, naughty girl!  Been changing my work van just before we went on holiday so a bit hectic.

We had a day trip to  Edinburgh where I found a little antique shop just off the Royal Mile.  Couldn't resist this little case.  Think that I paid too much for it but its sooo cute.

What's inside?

Stock scissors and a Sterling Silver thimble which is the right size for me.  Yippee.

The scissors are really sharp but a bit of tight fit in the case, especially the band holding them which got me thinking. Don't think they are original to the case, along with the Thimble which is slightly too small for its holder.  Did a quick check on the makers mark on the thimble, its a H.G & S. which translate to Henry Griffiths & Son.  Its just marked Sterling Silver so unable to date it but its also got the words "The Spa" marked on it.  He moved to Leamington Spa in 1920 he made these thimbles around 1930.  The scissors have a France mark so highly unlikely they started out together.  I am sure that the case will be Victorian.

So had a quick hunt on Ebay to see if I could find some Victorian scissors and found this very distressed case with 2 pairs of scissors

The small ones were just the right fit for my little case, they fit perfectly.

While I was on, glued the double case back together using a scrap of fabric to support the hinge.

Its still a tatty but I like it.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Vintage Button Display


Had a long weekend away in the rain.  Gosh, did it rain!  We were supposed to come home on Monday so that I could ride the horse in the afternoon and go back to work on Tues morning.  We only got 6.5 miles away from Settle, driving through long shallow floods in the road. Then a bloke flagged us down asking for a lift back to his drowned car, so off we went in our motorhome.  He wasn't joking about his car being drowned, the car behind him was being bailed out as well.  He kept saying "you'll be ok in your diesel van"  yeah right!  We are going to take notice of someone who was daft enough to drive through without checking.  So on with my new wellies, I went for a paddle, only got a couple of strides in, it was just about at the top of my wellies about turn pronto.  We (this is the royal "we") had to back the motorhome up the road for a while until he (see I wasn't driving it) could get it turned round, these dales roads are narrow.  Luckily in the village we had just gone through there was a cracking little campsite so we stayed the night as going back to Settle wasn't an option as the shallow floods had turned into very deep floods.  I know that I had wanted rain for the gardens and lawns but not that much!

Luckily took some hand sewing with me, a Red Work pattern by Mandy Shaw I have had this pattern for a while and its dated 2004 so not on her website anymore but if you like it, she might still do the pattern if you ask nicely.

I had a small collection of vintage mother of pearl buttons so put them on it.  They are soo pretty, had to add a couple of modern buttons to make up the numbers.

Made an extra one for the lovely Sarah Oatley from Drawn Threads Drawn Threads  She has just moved into her new studio/shop in Darlington.  Looking forward to sewing circle in new surroundings.  She has been working so hard to get it up to scratch, it looks beautiful now.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Bloom Along Quilt


My sewing has been very neglected recently, my garden takes a lot of looking after in the summer and that's on top of my customers gardens.   But gardening 7 days a week makes Sharon a very unhappy girl!  So took a bit of a break from it this last weekend and did a bit of sewing.

First made a pressy for someone special.  Liked it sew much, made another 2 for good measure.

Heart shaped pin cushions with a handy scissor pocket.

Put some home grown lavender in the filling so they smell nice too.

Then I tackled the Lori Holt Bloom along quilt.  I have had the blocks done for ages but couldn't decide how I would do the borders.  Finally made up my mind after much dithering (which is not like me at all).  Put a border sash around each block so its slightly different to Lori's  (Bloom Along Quilt)

I loved doing the blocks for this quilt.  Its the first time I have really done applique on a grand scale.

Now all I have to do is put the quilt together then dither on how I am going to quilt it!

Feel better now I have some sewing under my belt.  Back to gardening today.  No peace for the wicked.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Fabric Sample Book Quilt


Haven't done much sewing recently, been busy with my gardening business, the weather has been kind to me until this week.  So seeing it rained on Wednesday had a date with my Singer 201K.

I was given a fabric sample book which I took apart and cut the fabric (upholstery) into squares.  Ended up with a considerable pile of squares.

The fabric was very good quality retailing at around £50 per metre.  Some of it was heavyweight fabric,  the linens had an open weave, a few frayed badly,  all of which is totally different to my normal cotton quilting fabric.  Made them up into 9 patch squares to make into a quilt.  I used a fake suede type fabric for the sashing which again was a fairly thick.  It was tricky to put together as some of the fabric squares moved around, especially the thick pile ones.  The Singer coped fairly well even when I added the fake suede sashing.  Added some wadding and cotton sprig backing.

Then the fun started, the 201K has hardened steel gears so is a very strong machine and boy, I needed that strength.

Please note that I do not recommend that you trying sewing stuff like this on a normal modern machine, especially if it has plastic  gears.  My other vintage Singer 327K wouldn't have been strong enough to sew this and that has metal gears.  So be really careful, I once broke an Elna by trying to sew a thick horse rug.

I used a walking foot and Size 16 needle (which was the thickest one I had), I still had to ease the fabric through the machine, it was really tough, some of the thick seams pushed the foot across so my quilting lines are far from straight. The quilt is heavy had to keep the weight on the table so that it didn't drag the quilt sideways through the machine.  It was the trickiest quilt I have ever done, glad I didn't make it larger.  Used the backing material to bind the edges.  Lucky the weather had cooled down as its an extremely warm quilt to have on your lap while sewing the binding on

So pleased with my heavyweight, not sure if I would make another one I was pushing my luck with my machine, I think this was the limit of what it could cope with

Oh, the fabric book had a really strong back cover on it so I made it into a patchwork design board by covering one side with wadding and finishing the edges with a matching bias binding which was glued on.

The back is a fake leather.


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Fabric Sample Book Cushions


The lovely Sarah from Drawn Threads gave me some fabric squares from a sample book, the type that you choose your sofa fabric from.  I had the idea to make some new cushions out of them. Managed to get 5.5 inch squares out of each one of the pieces of fabric which was handy as when I sewed them into a nine patch it was exactly the right size for my existing cushion pads.  Phew. Backed them with an off cut of fabric that I bought for £2.  Used the zips unpicked from my old cushion covers.

While in the cushion making mood, made some more using the leather I was given along with pieces from Sarah's free fabric box and upholstery fabric I was saving for a rainy day.  Covered some buttons for the middle with matching fabrics.

I like the idea of thrifty makes, gives me more pleasure than just buying new cushions.


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Quilts for Twins


My nephew Lee's wife is haviidentical so I made a couple cot quilts for them.

Used the same fabric but made them slightly different.  One has patchwork butterflies and the other cute bunnies.

As I had some fabric over, made a useful bag to put them in.  I was lucky to be given some leather from a local furniture company, the green was the perfect colour to match the green in the fabric, jammy or what.

Babies arrived safely one last night before midnight and the other early this morning so different birthday dates which will be nice for them when they grow up a bit.  They are both a decent size so should be home soon.


Update, babies doing well, identical girls.  They have called them May and June.  X

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Sylko & Trylko Cotton Display Drawers


I've been grounded at the moment not allowed to work as I have stitches in my face!  Oooh err, had to have a lesion removed which looks dramatic so I am telling everyone that I have had half a face lift and when I have saved up enough money will get the other side done!  Hee Hee.

Sooo to cheer myself up bought a Trylko cotton set of drawers off Ebay to go with my Sylko drawers.

The Trylko box was a bit chipped so spent yesterday trying to mix paint to match the purple paint, easier said that done.  Got as near as I could and touched up all the white chips which made it look tidier.

To give it a nice sheen polished it with some beeswax.  Not sure if the purple colour is original, I suspect not as its quite rough and there is no logo on the top but it goes well with the orange drawer front.

Its missing a handle so am on the search for a replacement.  Wondering if I could get a replacement 3D printed will have to explore this option.

So here is my trio of vintage drawers

Complete with contents

The lovely Anita sent me a present, a tin full of fab quilting threads which I have stored in my vintage sewing table which I rescued from Dad's garage.

Not sure if I will  be able to use all the reels of threads but will have years of pleasure just looking at them!


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Haberdashery Fabric Shop in Whitby


A little while ago we had a weekend at Whitby on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors.  Its a beautiful port town famous for its Whitby Jet Jewelery worn by Queen Victoria.  Also the inspiration for Bram Stokers Dracula.  When you look at its Gothic ruined Abbey you can see why.  Even on a bright Spring day it looks scary.

The close up photo of the Abbey was blurred (user error) but below is the church next door.

It was chucking it down when we arrived so we had a soggy walk into town from the  caravan site.  It was so wet I resorted to putting a coat on Buzz, he was not amused.

I did find a gem of a shop in a back street, being after hours it was closed, I pressed my nose against the window drooling over the lovely fabric.  Had to wait until Monday when I could go and shop.  Judith's shop has been open for 50 years!

 She had the best collection of fabrics, wall to wall displays.

 She kindly allowed me behind the counter so that I could take a photo.

It's not a huge shop but packed with goodies.  Well worth a visit.  She even has a holiday let above the shop, what better on your holiday having a fabric shop on the floor below!

And yes, I did buy some fabric, it would have been rude not to.

Her contact details are

Judiths Fabrics
Patchwork & Dress Fabrics
Established 50 Years
Closed All Day Wednesday (She was closed on the Sunday as well)

Judith Williamson
12-13 Brunswick Street
YO21 1RB
tel. 01947 603213


Monday, 25 April 2016

Singer 201 Faulty Knee Controller


Have been making a pair of baby quilts over the weekend.  Pieced the quilts on my Singer Featherweight, she is such a great machine to sew on but when it comes to machine quilting I change over to the Singer 201.

I have been having a bit of problem with the 201, the knee controller kept sticking on a bit and therefore the machine didn't stop when I wanted it to.  Tricky, so I put it away in disgrace after checking the mechanism and not finding anything obvious wrong with it.  Looked on Ebay I was lucky enough to find a complete system so I could have a proper go at fixing it.  Have been putting it off for a few weeks but after sewing the quilt this morning, enough was enough so out came the screwdriver.  Being Singer, I just needed one size.

The knee leaver fits in a hole on the side of the machine, the motor controller is under the black cover.

The knee lever goes into the round shaped bit and that revolves, which moves the linkage bit with the big screw, then that pulls on a plunger switch in the motor controller (hope that makes sense).   When you stop pushing the knee lever the plunger switch is supposed to go back in switching off the motor but on mine it was sticking slightly open.  Tried oiling the linkage but no joy (never put oil in the controller itself).

The next thing I did was try the new knee lever in case my old one was worn, no that wasn't it. So changing the parts was the next thing to try.  Scary or what.

To remove, take the screws out on the linkage. 

The turn the machine on its back, being careful to keep fingers out of the way cos its extremely heavy   There are 5 screws, the top two hold the linkage in place and the other three the controller.

The linkage and controller lift out together, the finger on the linkage fits onto a loop on the plunger switch.  I took the cover off the controller by removing 2 screws underneath.

Comparing the two controllers, I thought I had found what was wrong, the white controller is mine, the back pad (which is like a back stop for the plunger when its pulled out) was worn on the edge.  So I swapped the controllers over.

I compared the my linkage with the new one, exactly the same so I put the old one back on.  You have to link the two parts together, slide the back of the linkage into the hole in the base, keep the controller level when you drop them both into place, you have to jiggle it a bit.  Then put the 2 screws in on the linkage, then carefully turn the machine on its back and put the screws in underneath.  Just hold the controller in place while you locate the first screw hole in the base of the controller, then the others are easy to screw up.

Switched the machine back on, it was a little better but still stuck on a bit.  So had to repeat the whole process again and take them both out.  Swapped the linkage for the new one and put it back together again.Yippee, it works.  Should have tried the changing the linkage first then I wouldn't have had to change the controller, doh.  Still can't find whats wrong with the linkage, its exactly the same as the other one.

A useful thing to stop you loosing the screws is a magnetic pin tray, if you haven't got one, then a dish to put screws in is essential, trust me, screws are tricky little blighters who like to hide from you!

Above is the offending linkage.  Afterwards I thought of an easy fix if you haven't got new parts.  Just tie a piece of fabric around you leg and put the tip of the knee lever into it, then you take your leg off the lever, it will pull it back into the stop position, just don't forget you are tied to the machine hee hee.

Its best to switch off these old machines when you have stopped sewing.  I take out the knee lever as once I forgot to unplug the machine and left lever in place.  It dropped down and slightly switched the controller on which then got quite hot!  Luckily I found it in time before it went up in smoke.