Bonding with Betty

I love my Singer 201-2. She pieces beautifully and her thread tension is wonderful. She’s nice and quiet too! The only things I wish she had is a knee lift and a wide foot pedal but I love her all the same.

Singer 201-2

We bonded last night working on 4 patch units. I did about 200 of them (needed 192 for Easy Street).

I had to tape some envelopes behind her so my pieces didn’t fall between the sewing cabinet and the wall. They become impossible to retrieve down there! I need to find some prettier paper to tape behind Betty.


My little seams spin so nicely! If you’ve never pressed your 4-patch units with a little spun middle like that you should give it a try. Bonnie has a little tutorial on how it is done.  It presses out nice and flat.


I love when your pieced units come out the exact size you’re looking for.


I have a bin full of four patches that need pressing now. That’ll be some TV work tonight after I sew some border units for Orca Bay.

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The corgis are doing their usual antics. Bernie is on the left there showing just how hungry she is all the time and the photo on the right shows my little log dogs being lazy.


  1. Easy Square Jr. is one of my very favorite rulers after my Creative Grids 6.5 x 12.5. I am just a little jealous that you can make 4-patches with no trimming. I would be scared beyond description and would have to sew larger strips so I could trim down. I know about adjusting the needle position on my Janome to get an accurate 1/4 inch seam but I still have no trust in it.

    • Not all of mine are perfect – but I’m hoping at least 80% of them are good. I made a few extras for any really wonky ones. I sew with a scant 1/4 on Betty and use Aurifil thread to reduce the bulk in the seam. I think my pressing is the only thing that might mess me up. I’m not great at pressing fabrics.

  2. Betty is beautiful! Oh how I want a Singer 201-2!

    I’m using the June Tailor Shape-Cut ruler for all my cutting – the strips and two-patches. I’ve had to adjust my 1/4″ seam, even with using 50wt Superior Thread. I’m hoping it will still save me time in the end đŸ™‚ Not sure if others are doing this, but I am also nesting the two color strips right side together while cutting the two patches to sew into the four-patch squares. This puts them all ready to chain piece at the machine without having to match edges or anything.

    I learned a cool pressing tip a few months back that I never considered before – while pressing I now weigh down the seams (with a ruler and a book on top) until they cool. It takes more time, but it “sets” the seams and causes less wonkiness and more accuracy in the finished block. Have you tried this before?

    • I’ve never tried that pressing technique but it sounds like a good one to use with blocks like these! I may have to try it.

  3. Funny that you wish your 201-2 had a knee lift and a wide foot pedal… What you really want is a Singer 1200-1. It’s a Professional electric model made for tailors/seamstresses that comes in a table with a wide pedal and knee lifter. I picked up 2 on Ebay recently and the seller was nice enough to dismantle and ship the table. It’s a great machine for piecing. Keep your eyes open for one.

  4. Forgot to mention the most important point… The 1200-1 is really a 201-2 with knee lifter and wide pedal. The feed dogs drop in the same manner as the 201-2. Here’s a link to my Flickr page showing my machine:

    • Ah ok – I know I’ve seen ones with a kneelift before. Mine just doesn’t have that option I don’t think. I haven’t really looked at it to see if it could be modified.


  1. […] have two vintage Singers that I sew on – a Singer 201-2 and a Singer 221K (Featherweight). I kept having issues where my seams were not consistent when […]