Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Stitching through Time!

Well, May came...and went as just as quick. I've been stitching my way through the last few weeks, and making family birthday  presents and cards too. So here's a peek at what's been happening in my little hobby haven........
I told myself  (back in March) that this summer I would finish off most, hopefully all, of my incomplete projects. So I started with this......

...the patchwork blocks had been made about four years ago and were waiting to be stitched together. Yes, I know, I should have done it earlier. Well it's now complete. I used a flannelette sheet for my batting. I can almost hear the quilting purists alarmed at this, but I see it this way. When my grandmother (and hers before her) made quilts, they didn't have the vast array of "must haves" to complete their projects. They used what they had, and so did I! The backing is an Ikea quilt cover which I bought in the sale ( about three years ago) for £2.00.  The stitching isn't perfect, and neither am I, but it looks lovely and it goes on the bed in the spare room beautifully.
I had a lot of fabric left over from the duvet cover and made myself a pair of pj bottoms......

.....they look great with my red tee. I've made pj bottoms from quilt covers and sheets before. well I'm not going to pay the price they want in the shops for something that is so easy to make.
This is something which is for our eldest grandson.....

...  and his much loved football team, but that's all I can show of it at the moment. It's all complete, but when it's hanging in place you'll get a better picture.
I've also cut out a dress and another bunting, but this one is a different theme ( one for one of our grand daughters) One down, five to go!
When I look back, there hasn't been a time in my life that I haven't been sewing or knitting. These have always been  my two great passions.
I began like many others using my grandmother's old Singer treadle machine, and when I got my fist little machine it was one of these....

..given to me by an aunt. It was a chain stitch machine, it was fun, and it sewed crepe paper together wonderfully, we made all our decorations for Christmas.
As I grew up we had a Singer hand cranked machine. My dolly's dresses were lovely. I made so much ( with the help of my mum of course) and soon moved on to making little quilt covers and rag dolls.
This hand machine I used right up until I went to grammar school, and it was there I was first introduced to the electric sewing machine. It terrified me! I was so afraid that it would go crazy I always opted to use the Jones hand machines. The teacher soon sussed me out and I ended up on the electric one. It took a while, but I got used to it, in the end.
By the time we married in 1976, I was still using our old hand operated Singer. I shared it with my mum until March 1977, when my lovely hubby bought me an electric Singer 303 for my 21st birthday. It looked something like this....

...just a straight and zigzag stitch, no free arm. it was heavy, really heavy.  I was on cloud nine! My friends though I was mad wanting a sewing machine, "why don't you want a gold locket/bracelet, or go to Spain for a holiday?   Er, no thanks,  money was very tight and this was the perfect present for me.  I made, curtains, cushions, dresses, toys for family and friends .I made costumes for amateur productions, curtains and pelmets for friends moving into their new homes.
When the children came along  I made quilts, bumpers, bedding ,clothes, wall hangings, duvet covers, pillow cases, toys, presents for their friends when they were invited to birthday parties. All with the same sewing machine. Virtually everything was made and very little was bought. In fact it wasn't until 2005 that I bought a new one.
I'd got off the bus to go to work and I had to walk past a beautiful sewing shop. Something caught my eye, and it was this....a Toyota Quilt 50....

I went back to the shop in my lunch break and was there for the whole hour looking  and thinking and drooling!!
I had some money saved up and after much deliberation over 24 hours, I bought it. It's been  my work horse since then and I love it. I still kept my old 303 for a short while. When you think I'd had the 303 since March 1977 until May 2005 and it had only been serviced once in that time, and had never let me down it had been one amazing machine, but I couldn't part with it. In the end I donated it to a charity and they were very pleased with it.
I love this machine but I was now getting interested in even more stitches. In 2009 my lovely hubby bought me a 
Silver Viscount 9500E for my birthday....
it is a little beauty. But, between Christmas 2010 and May 2012, I didn't sew much due to the fact I'd had this dreadful fall on my knee. All my efforts were concentrated on getting fit and well and  to be able to carry on as before (hopefully) which I have done, thankfully.  So for the last six months, I have sewn as much as I have been able.  I have knitted and sewn for about 54 years out of 57, and hope that I can carry on doing so for many, many more. Along with many other things too!

1 comment:

  1. You are very talented Linda. Your quilt is lovely. I am determined to make a quilt too, I have cut out some material now all I need is to actually do something with the squares! I've had a sewing machine as long as I can remember too and I've made loads of things with it saving a fortune over the years. Material is now getting very expensive to buy though isn't it. I've started buying things in charity shops just for the material. I'm glad you're feeling fitter again and back to using the sewing machine. x