Back to the manual - in all my searching (I seriously looked everywhere), I came across my sewing machine manual. I'm sure I haven't seen it for 25 years. I brought it upstairs, just in case. Wouldn't you know it, first line that I'm trying to sew the machine binds. Oh bother. Well, I got out the manual and some machine oil and gave it the first proper oiling it has ever had. We'd oiled it before, but this time I got all the right spots. Closed up the machine and bingo, it ran like a charm. Things went well, but I still had to almost pull the fabric through. And of course I can't pull evenly. As it happens I was taking a break and thumbing through the manual and what to my wondering eyes did behold - a part that can move up and down to control the speed of the feeding bits. Guess what - it worked! My machine has not run this well as far as I can remember. I'm playing around with the foot thing too and trying it out at a different angle. Who knows, maybe I'll start to like sewing :-)
The colours didn't turn out right in the photo as I just used my tablet and it is not very bright in here. I'm really happy with how my first attempt turned out. I like the piping(again, fabric I already had), and the backing works well too. I'm happy :-) I guess looking through 1000s of ebay entries, not to mention 3 big fabric stores was worth it. I've cut out the 2nd cushion and a tablecloth. Once those are done I'll do a cushion for the chair (these ones are for the sofa) and two small ones for the dining chairs.
I'm going to be sew busy these next few days ;-)
In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.