Handmade patchwork cushions | @SuzyHomemakerUK

Some time in my dim and distant past, I remember having a vintage Singer sewing machine.

Me. A tomboy, used to climbing trees. I didn’t have the slightest idea about using a sewing machine and had zero interest in learning.

I was also far too young to appreciate the beauty of such a fabulous piece, although now I wish I had. The vintage Singer is long gone, but she sure was pretty, huh?

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Blogs and Pinterest are jam-packed with “easy-sew” tutorials from curtains to cushions, and each one totally making want to give it a go. Forget everything else that needed doing around here or the fact that I was clueless, I needed a sewing machine.

And I needed one NOW!

As luck would have it, Hobbycraft was having a sale. While a very patient Beloved waited, bored to tears (it’s just as well he loves me!) the very helpful Kirsty at Tamworth demonstrated my machine of choice – the Singer Promise 1408.

Singer Promise 1408 sewing machine

I was all set.

Raring to go.

And then a week went by…

…and I’d yet to take my new toy out of the box.

My newfound confidence had quickly evaporated. How did I thread it? What did all those knobs and levers do?

Singer Mark II became an object of fear, something akin to a cornered animal ready to pounce. I avoided eye contact. I didn’t dare engage it in combat.  What if I did something wrong? What if I broke it?


Cutting Board and Rotary Cutter | @SuzyHomemakerUK

Then along came Sue.

Phew for Sue!

Sue runs The Sewing Patch tucked away at the back of our local garden centre and together with her partner Steve, this miracle worker helped me tame my beast.

I signed up for the Total Beginner’s class, in which I was to sew a patchwork cushion cover. Because I was the only pupil (likely due to it being early January and the rest of the world still recovering from Christmas), Sue was able to tailor the project around me.

Whilst searching for inspiration, Pinterest very kindly presented me with this. My thanks to Lara over at Birds & Trees for sharing her fabulous handiwork.

Patchwork Cushions by Lara at Birds & Trees

Six hours, the concentration headache from hell and one broken sewing machine later, I was the proud owner of my very first machine-sewed creation.

Handmade patchwork cushions | @SuzyHomemakerUK

“You broke your machine? In the first lesson?!”

Um yes.

Although it really wasn’t my fault! The bobbin casing fell apart in my hands, which turned out to be a mechanical fault, so Hobbycraft gave me a replacement (go Hobbycraft!).

Glutton for punishment, I was so happy with my first creation that I signed up to make another cushion the following week.

Handmade patchwork cushions | @SuzyHomemakerUK

In hindsight, that may have been a tad ambitious. Let’s just say that every single one of those tiny little strips and circles are individual pieces of material.  We spent 90 minutes just cutting out fabric before I even touched the sewing machine!

Handmade patchwork cushions | @SuzyHomemakerUK

No. Really.

Forget headache, my head was about to explode with this one. But despite the pain, it was invaluable experience. I had actually learned to sew.

Armed with my new found mojo, I started tackling projects at OneandSeventy. I shortened two pairs of curtains AND made a cushion to match the new curtains in the Guest Room. Right there, nestled between the black and white cushions that I also made.

*blows fingers*

Oh yes.

I rock!

I’ll be honest, the projects didn’t always go entirely according to plan (Translation: my measuring and cutting leaves a lot to be desired!) but everything came out ok. My creations are what I like to call imperfectly perfect. A bit like me.

Bring on those tutorials!

What about you? Do you sew? Are you a seasoned pro, or a scaredy cat like me? Drop a comment below to let me know.

A hui hou,

@SuzyHomemakerUK Signature - The World of Suzy Homemaker: www.suzyhomemakeruk

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