Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I can't believe that two weeks have gone by since the last post!!  I'm sure it's not because we're all getting older?  Mind you, I HAVE celebrated another birthday recently so maybe it is!  Ü  We're hoping that everyone is enjoying their stitching and eager for the next installment of the Pretty Posies BOM and the other freebies.

This posting our Guest Crafter is Joy Coey who lives in Brisbane, Queensland.  Joy's blog and web site is 

"I always wanted to try patchwork, especially after seeing a friends sampler quilt, I thought it was just beautiful. I finally had a try about 10 years ago when I thought I’d make a quilt for my daughter’s 18th birthday. I hand pieced the blocks and …… well it took MUCH longer than I’d anticipated lol. In the months ahead I managed to learn a bit more about patchwork through books and magazines and help from my friends, and my very first UFO (Tahlia’s “18th” quilt) waited patiently while I did. She finally got the quilt (finished on the machine) for her 23rd birthday!! Since then there’s been no stopping me – I just love my patchwork :-)!!" was Joy's answer to the eternal question of how she got started on her road to "obsession"!

When asked what she liked to create Joy replied with a smile; "I love to create all sorts of things, mostly useful items as I’m not one to have something tucked away in a cupboard. I like to be able to enjoy the things I’ve made – whether they’re bags or sewing kits or quilts. If they wear out … well I’ll have to make some more :-). Most of my quilts are made quilt-as-you-go, I find it so much easier, and I also love to work with pre-cut fabrics sometimes too (jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes etc), as seeing the variety of prints and colours that all go together so well never fail to put a smile on my face :-). Lately I’ve been making some different sorts of totes – my ‘Bucket of Buckets’ and ‘Honeybun Fun’ sets are so handy, and I’m really having fun with those. I’ve also got a new pattern out called ‘Doctor Bag’ – it’s just like the old fashioned Mary Poppins carpet bag and it’s just perfect for me as you can fit SO much in it lol!!!"

Joy's tip is something we should all live by "Not very original – but the old 'Measure twice, cut once' is my mantra J:-)"

The age old favourite of most families is a good fruit cake and Joy has shared her favourite recipe with us.


470G tin crushed pineapple – or (I prefer) a tin of traditional fruit salad
1 small packed mixed fruit
1 cup sugar
125g butter
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 eggs
1 cup Self Raising flour
1 cup plain flour

Line a deep 20cm round or square cake pan with glad-bake. Combine undrained, tinned fruit, mixed fruit, butter, mixed spice, sugar and bicarb soda in a saucepan. Stir over heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for about 3 or 4 minutes.. Allow to cool. When cold add eggs and sifted flours, mix well. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake in a slow oven (about 160 degrees) for about 1 hour or so. Cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean. Cover and leave in tin until cooled completely. Remove from tin leaving lining paper intact. Refrigerate in airtight container up to a week.

There must be something about crafters with husbands who are motorcycle fanatics!  Joy's reply when asked about other pastimes was; "A few years ago my dear husband decided to get his motorcycle license. At first I was horrified and swore I’d never get on the back of a motorbike. Eventually I could see how much he was enjoying it and really wanted to join him. We’ve never looked back, we’re having a fabulous time on the weekends when the weather is fine. We ride off on the motorbike to some country markets, or out for lunch – or even just for coffee, and we’re having a ball!! I really didn’t imagine I’d be doing that when I’m 50 but I’m so glad I am J."

Another reply that we can relate to! Ü  When we asked Joy what she hoped to be doing in 10 years time?  "Hopefully more of the same thing I’m doing now. I find a lot of relaxation in my stitching. Who knows – ten years from now I might even finish my hexagon quilt (that I’ve been working on since 2006) lol!!??!!"

"Simply too many to name J, our Australian designers are fabulous and I love them all – to pick just a few would be impossible lol!!" was her answer to who her favourite designer is.

Our thanks to Joy for letting us into a part of her life - make sure you visit her blog and web site.

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Cath has a "sneak peek" at a new pattern to be released on the next posting - They are just sooooo cute!!! 

Cath's patterns for showcase this posting are:

Lily & Lucas:

Lily & Lucas are two cute boy and girl bunnies. They each wear toddler shoes and look so cute. They are easy to make and have complete face painting instructions included in the pattern.

Hard Copy.... $12 AUD [postage is included]
E pattern.......$7 AUD

Wee Raggedy:

This is my smallest Raggedy doll I have designed. She is so quick and easy to make and using just scraps of fabric. She makes a lovely little doll for one of your dolls to hold onto......

Hard Copy.... $12 AUD [postage is included]
E pattern.......$7 AUD

Rilee & Moo Moo:
This cute Raggedy has her best friend with her.... Moo Moo the cow...... Both dolls are easy to make and have full face painting instructions included in the pattern.

Hard Copy.... $12 AUD [postage is included]
E pattern.......$7 AUD

Tom & Kitty:

Tom & Kitty are so easy to make and are so cute. A must have pattern for the cat lovers.
$5  Epattern only

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Here we have a free stitchery pattern from Cath.  Remember the usual story; right click on pic; save to hard drive and print.  Ü

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Jan's patterns for showcase are a mixture of a bag, an apron and a retro table runner.

Cairns Central

A beaut bag to take shopping.  A shoulder strap as well as an interesting handle make it suitable for everyone.  Make it with the wonderful Kaffe Fasset range of fabrics or a more traditional selection.  The shoulder strap is removable by the addition of "parrot" clips.

Hard Copy.... $12 AUD [postage is included]
E pattern.......$7

Food for the Soul
Country Apron

Pumpkins and Sunflowers provide "food for the soul" - pumpkins for our hunger and sunflowers to fill that need in our soul for beauty.  A useful apron as well as adding that country touch to your kitchen decor.

Hard Copy.... $12 AUD [postage is included]
E pattern.......$7

Flower Power

A table runner with a "retro" look and would work with any range of fabrics.  My love of ric-rac and buttons shows through with easy piecing in the centre and applique "flower power" at each end.

Hard Copy.... $12 AUD [postage is included]
E pattern.......$7

Country Garden Banner

One of my earliest banners but still extremely popular.  Typical country items - a cream can, birdhouse, watering can, pot of flowers and a fence!  Lots of dimensional flowers and buttons plus embroidery.

$5  Epattern only

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Jan's free stitchery pattern this post is another of her Stitchery Gift Cards.  This time a pot of flowers.  Email Jan if you would like the pattern and instructions. 

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Jan is providing the free tutorial this post.  It is her "Needle Notes" - a short tutorial on the use of needles when stitching.

Needle Notes with Jan Knight.

We use needles in our work all the time and most often we don’t give enough thought to what needle we use.  Just as a tradesman has different tools for different jobs, we too must use the right needle for the project.  Using the right needle makes the stitching much easier as well as protecting the thread from stress.  Stress of the thread will make it appear furry, thin out and eventually break when you don’t want it to!  Match the size needle (the smaller the number the thicker and higher the number the finer) to the thickness of thread you are wishing to stitch with and the fabric you are stitching on.  The thread should move freely through the eye and the needle should make a big enough hole in the fabric for the thread to pull through easily without stressing either the fabric or the thread. 

Listed below are some of the needles we use the most and their uses:


These come in a variety of sizes (generally ranging from #10 down to #3) and have a long eye, a reasonably fine shaft and a fine, sharp point but are thicker at the eye than at the point.  These needles are used for normal embroidery using a variety of embroidery threads.  Just make sure you match the eye/thickness to the number of embroidery floss strands or other thread.


Straw needles also come in a variety of sizes (generally ranging from #10 down to #1) and have a small eye and the whole needle is the same thickness for the total length.  Straws are also sometimes called Milliners and are just perfect for “bullion stitch” AND “colonial or french knots”.  These needles take all the difficulty out of both these stitches as you wrap the thread around the same thickness as you wish to pull through.  If you were to use a crewel needle you are trying to pull the thick part of the needle through the wraps which are around the finer part of the needle.  If you have ever had trouble with bullion stitch this is probably why!


These also come in a variety of sizes (generally ranging from #18 to #24) and have a large eye, a thicker shaft than crewels and a sharp point.  These needles are used for much heavier embroidery threads, silk ribbon embroidery and wool embroidery.

These needles listed above are only “the tip of the iceberg” in the needle world but I find they are the most common ones that I use for my stitching.

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OOOOPS!!!  Nearly forgot the Pretty Posies BOM!!!

Here it is!  Suffolk Puffs, buttons and embroidery.  Email Jan if you would like the pattern and instructions.

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 We hope we have given you lots of "food for thought" and don't forget to leave a comment to be in the draw!!!  Maree was the lucky winner for last post and she won a copy of Cath's Raggedy Twins.  Until next time, happy stitching and stay safe.


  1. So wonderful to see this new post! I skimmed it for now but will come back later when I have the time to relax and enjoy reading it. Thank you so much for your freebies! Hoping that after my daughter's wedding, I can start spending money on patterns and fabrics again! :-D I'm having withdrawal symptoms!!!

  2. Oh those wee raggedies are soooo adorable and I love the fabric and colours used for Flower Power. Great info on the needles too, thanks.

  3. Those raggedies are very cute and love your pot flower.

  4. Thank you Joy for guest posting....ten years from now, I too hope to be doing the same as I am now. Thank you Jan for the needle lesson... it does make stitching a lot easier if you use the right needle. Thank you Jan and Cath for the freebie patterns...just have to figure out how to print them....I'm going to have to get a lesson from DH...I've have a sick computer for over 2 weeks but DH has it running great right now...I'm happy to be back in blogland. Have a great week everyone!!

  5. another lovely blog post, I particularly appreciated the needle-lesson, would love to see some more of these to expand own knowledge as well as inspire to try something different.
    would LOVE to see a future blog post on needle-felting if poss! (you DO do requests!!) lol!
    hugs to both.
    Sue xx

  6. I love the faces on Cath's raggedies, and the wee ones are my favorites.
    Jan's designs are always lovely, and I especially like her signature hollyhocks. I look forward to every post from you two ladies !

  7. Thanks so much Cath and Jan for featuring me on your terrific blog!!! Love the freebie stitchery designs Cath ... your drawings are so cute :o). Thanks too for the info about the right needles to use, it's such a handy guide :o)!!
    Joy :o)