Sewing machine reviews pt 2, Elna Grasshopper

Sewing machine reviews pt 2, Elna Grasshopper

Last Christmas my dad turned up with this little beauty. She was made in 1947 and still purrs away today. I use her all the time as she makes a gorgeous straight stitch and has a tiny free arm. And looks so handsome too 😉

She is operated with a fold out bar which you push with your knee, rather than a pedal. It takes a little getting used to but it’s pretty cool. At least it never wanders off like pedals do.

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It comes in an at green metal case, making it look like something used in WW2! The case folds open to provide a work table around the machine, which is very handy.

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To wind a bobbin you place the empty bobbin on the pin at the side and the machine “knows” you are winding a bobbin and automatically turns off the needle. That is something that wasn’t incorporated back into machines again until fairly recently and is very snazzy!

She’s a beautiful old lady and I would highly recommend getting one if you ever see one for sale. It still stitches as beautifully as the day it was made!

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Cheekyhandmades Bloganniversary!

Cheekyhandmades Bloganniversary!

Ok ok I’m a month late but all the same, let’s celebrate.

Cheekyhandmades has been around for 4 years. In these four years it’s gone from a tiny spark of a dream to a grown up company. From trailing my makes around local craft fairs in the beginning to where I am now has been a long but interesting and fun journey.

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Cheekyhandmades now is much much more than I ever could have hoped for. I teach a lot of sewing classes, both in small groups and private classes. I make bespoke quilts for people (they are in my etsy.com/shop/handmadebycheeky shop). I service and repair a lot of sewing machines and make people smile when I put their trusty steed back on the road ;-). I even still sometimes to fairs. I am about to build a studio in the back garden as I’ve outgrown my current workspace.

It’s been a great four years. I’ve met hundreds of fantastic people and some of them have become great friends. I’ve taught a lot and learnt even more. I’ve loved every minute of it.

Here’s to many many more years!

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Bespoke heirloom quilts, finished and delivered!

Bespoke heirloom quilts, finished and delivered!

These gorgeous quilts were delivered to their new owners, the twins Emmeline and Benedict, today. Mum was so happy with them she actually cried!

Order your own unique quilts here in my etsy shop: shop

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Happy quilting

Happy quilting

Mainly a picture post. I’m working hard trying to finish two quilts for a set of twins. Have just finished the first one and due to quilt and bind the second one tomorrow.

All done on my trusty Husqvarna 875q which is back from the repair shop again. Hurrah!

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My granny’s scissors…

My granny’s scissors…

I inherited these from my paternal grandmother. Now I don’t even remember her ever doing any embroidery of knitting, it was always crosswords… But they are obviously well used and sharpened many many times as you can see.

Glad to be using them still!

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Crowd funding Studio update

Crowd funding Studio update

My crowd funding campaign to help me realise the dream of building a new studio came to an end about 6 weeks ago. I’ve been extremely busy with work, studying and also in my personal life so I’ve not had much time to blog.

Even though I did not entirely reach my goal I did just about raise enough to go ahead with the build. I am using a lovely local chap who has vision and ideas and talent, and coupled with his extremely green ideas on up-cycling we are aiming to build a very unique space.

I had two enormous Eucalyptus trees at the end of my garden which had to come down before the build could even be considered. They were each over 70 feet tall and growing bigger daily. They were very beautiful and it was pretty heartbreaking to take them down but they are not indiginous to this country and they grow like weeds. Once I had been told they could reach 200 or more feet when adult I knew I could not keep them. So a couple of weeks ago 5 guys came down and spent the best part of two days taking them down. It was pretty spectacular!

IMG_5095Within an hour I had more light in my flat and now they are gone my garden seems twice the size and is one huge suntrap!
We are slowly clearing the shrubs and then taking down the old sheds, in readiness for the work to begin in earnest in a few weeks time. Andrew who will be building it for me is hoping to be done by the end of August which is brilliant timing, as a new school year can then be seen in in a new studio!

It will be a good 4m x 5.5m which is about 3 times the space I have now, and I won’t be sharing it with a sofa and tv (I currently teach in the living room!), it will all be dedicated sewing space. I will have a ironing and cutting station and a huge central table for students to work at. I will have lots of yummy storage. I will have a cute burner to keep us toasty in the winter. I can’t wait!!

Obviously the picture above is just a cool picture, it wouldn’t actually be a very practical studio for me to work in, but I do like how it reflects the upcycled and found element that we are certainly aiming for. So far we have reclaimed french doors, two huge windows, we are using rafters and wood from the existing shed as well as having been donated a ton of beautiful oak veneered MDF by a local furniture maker. If you have anything we could use (2×4″, insulation materials, good quality shiplarch for cladding, please get in touch!)

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cheeky handmades