Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Spring in our area of the world has definately been and nearly gone.  Warm, warm days but, sadly, a lot of bushfires surrounding us and the skies have been full of smoke.  We could certainly do with a little rain.  I see that the east coast of the USA are having floods so, no matter where you live in the world, mother nature is giving us a hard time! 

On to good things Ü.  We have the third block in the Pretty Posies BOM for you as well as a lovely little stitchery from Cath.  Our usual showcase of patterns as well.  Cath also apologises for not giving the painting instructions for her cute faces this post but will have it ready for the next one.

Cath is feeling very much "under the weather" this week with a bad dose of the flu and as we're both very busy ladies we have made the decision to post once a month (around the 15th of each month) rather than each fortnight.  We're disappointed to have to do this but it's the only way we can do everything that we have to.  We're sure you all will understand. 

This post our Guest Crafter is ME!  Ü  Felt a little strange asking myself the questions LOL but here we go.

I live in a small village called Forest Hill which is just off the Warrego Highway between Brisbane and Toowoomba, in the wonderful state of Queensland.  Mum taught me to embroider when I was about 8 and to crochet when I was around 13.  They were what I did for many years.  I took a patchwork/quilting course in 1983.  That was when “the rot” set-in!  This became my passion and still is although I have stretched out into other areas as well.  The designing started around about 1992 when I was teaching regularly and felt it wasn’t right to teach other people’s designs/patterns etc.  It was in 1998 when I released my first pattern and in 1999 had my first project published in Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  

What do I create?...  Anything that needs a needle and thread.  Lots of projects utilising appliqué and embroidery mostly but some piecing as well.  That’s what I mainly do for the magazines but I also adore crazy patch, creative embroidery and handmade artist books when time allows me.  If you would like to see what else I do, go visit

A tip I might like to share? …  I’m probably preaching to the converted BUT, always try to, at least, stitch on something for 20 minutes (or more) each day.  It will amaze you how much you get done if you do!  Also, because I’m a hand stitching girl, if you are ever hand stitching with a sewing thread ALWAYS thread the needle and then cut.  A shortish length is necessary to stop knots and twisting. 

 My favourite recipe?  I'm not a great cook and probably have way too many favourite recipes but I thought I would with you my favourite flower?  I tend to change from Pansies to Wisteria depending on which one I see first! LOL  We visited my husband's aunt last weekend and she's a great gardener as well as being a florist.  Her wisteria vine was out in flower and I just had to take a photograph.

Because we have lived in government or rental homes all of our married life and because of Ross's job (lots of transfers!) we've been able to plant one so I'm desperately waiting for him to retire (well not TOO soon! lol) so we can plant one.

Your favourite pastime other than crafting?  Music and reading would have to be my answer.  I also love going to the theatre whenever I can and whilst I love flowers etc I'm not a gardener but certainly appreciate everything Ross does in the garden.  Thank goodness he has a green thumb!

What do you see yourself doing in ten years time?    Hopefully exactly what I’m doing now but I’ll be 71 so maybe I might have slowed down a bit! Ü

Who is your favourite designer?  Has to be Australian Bronwyn Hayes – just love what Bronwyn does and have a large collection of her patterns to stitch when I retire! LOL She is very creative and also very sharing.  American, I love what Sue Spargo designs - her marrying of fabric, felted wool and embroidery embellishing is just stunning.

Pretty Posies BOM

Email Jan for the pattern and instructions Ü

Here is Cath's free stitchery...two cute little raggedy angels.

Cath's showcase patterns for this post are

Annie and Kitty
This is a cute prim pattern of a baby Annie and her Kitty. Both are wearing nappies. They are very easy to make and you won't want to stop at making only one set.

$12 Hard copy... includes postage.
$7 E Pattern......

Little Raggedie & Mini Quilt 
This cute little Raggedy comes with her mini quilt. There is a cute little stitchery of her in the centre, appliqué hearts and some very easy strip piecing.
$12 Hard copy... includes postage.
$7 E Pattern.....

Raggedy Wall Hanging

This wall hanging has a large Annie head and a large Andy head on it. Easy patchwork and looks lovely done in any colour way. The appliqué is very easy and suitable for a beginner.
$12 Hard copy... includes postage.
$7 E Pattern......

Here we have 4 very cute Raggedy note papers. I have designed these myself and they are my special offering for this post. You will be sent a clean copy and then you can print off as many as you like.
$2 .....

Christmas and Bags are my showcase offerings for this post.

Country Carpet Bag

My interpretation of the "Mary Poppins" bag.  I used wool pieces for the bag and felted wool scraps for the applique.  The ladybird is one of my handmade wooden buttons but the bag would look fantastic made from tapestry fabric bits or even denim!  Velvet would look great too....I really need to make more!  Ü

$12.00 AUD OR
$7.00 AUD for an Epattern...

Holly Season Tablerunner

Just perfect for your Christmas decorating!

$12.00AUD OR
$7.00AUD for an Epattern ...


Classy bag with a zippered closure.  Perfect for a day out shopping.  Works well in any fabric choice.

$12.00AUD OR
$7.00AUD for an Epattern...

Felt Baubles

This post's special is my collection of felt baubles for your Christmas tree.  A quick and easy project and fun to make!

$5.00AUD for Epattern only.

There we go!  Hope you enjoy the patterns and the freebies and we'll be back around the 15th October.  I've just previewed the post and the font seems all higgeldy piggeldy and I'm not sure why! lol  Apologies for that but Happy stitching until then!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Spring has arrived in the valley and the days have been so beautiful!  Those of you in the northern hemisphere will be preparing for all the beautiful colours of autumn.  This time of year, for us, is full of quilt shows and spring flower festivals....lots of fun!!

Our Guest Crafter for this post is Nicki Tervo from Brisbane.  Many of you will have seen Nicki's ceramic buttons at lots of quilt and craft shows.  You can take a peek at her great range on
1.      web:
2.     blog:
3.     facebook: Nikki Tervo

Nikki also has a range of patterns under the Brandy Gully umbrella.  When asked how she got started Nikki replied; "A potter by trade, I then had an industrial accident so took up making buttons to trade for fabric as I had just taken up quilting as a hobby.  My Gran lent me some money so I could buy a kiln and it all went from there.  That was 16 years ago…… (suddenly I feel old)"  Don't we all Nikki!

'"Ceramic buttons are what I am best known for but I love designing small easy projects that can be finished easily by any level of crafter.  The patterns have buttons on most of them but not all of them.  They are a real cross section of patterns as I love to make different things myself" was Nikki's reply when we asked her what she created.

Nikki's tip to share with us?  "Never unpick your work as that is like unpicking your history.  No matter how bad you think it is or how much some one else’s is better, right now this is the best you can be and you will get to see yourself improve and have the proof to show others just starting out.  Always share your knowledge freely and happily."  Wise words!!

Nikki's favourite recipe is a yummy one!  Coconut Ice.  Makes 12 large bars.  Into a saucepan put 6 cups of sugar and 1 ½ cups of milk.  Bring it to the boil while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Boil for 5 minutes on low.  Add 2 ¼ cups of coconut, and boil for one minute more.  Take off the heat and beat with an electric beater until very thick and creamy and ‘wave type ridges’ form in the mix. Using a shallow 1” deep by 12” long and 6” wide tray, wet the inside of the tray with some water and then pour out the excess water but don’t dry the tray.  Pour half the mix (and it will till be hot as you have to have tray ready and work fast) into the tray and smooth across the bottom of the tray.  Then using a pink food colouring, colour the rest of the mix in the saucepan with your wooden spoon until all one even satisfactory colour (too much colouring makes it look odd, you need it to be a lovely pink not a bright hot pink)  Spread this mix over the top of the white mix in the tray and smooth out.  Then use a wet knife while the mix is still warm and cut the mix through.  Cut it into whatever sizes you choose,  Keep wetting the knife as you go.  Once all the cuts are in, then put in fridge until set and cold.  Flip out of tin and the knife cuts should allow you to break it into the pieces with ease.  This is a great lollie for school fetes etc.  (For those of you who live outside Australia a "lollie" is a sweet or confectionary Ü)

When not crafting Nikki loves to spend time in the rainforest, gardening, spending time with husband and family and definitely drinking cups of tea and eating sticky buns with friends!

We asked Nikki what she thinks she will be doing in 10 years time:  "Not sure at this stage.  Still sewing and as clay makes my soul sing, no doubt I will still be making buttons.  The kids will be at the age of having kids, so that brings in a whole lot of new adventures.  John wants to tour around Australia in a campervan so he is madly trying to design a sewing room that will ‘work’ so that I will travel with him.  LOL" 

Our final question to Nikki was does she have a favourite designer:  "Don’t really have one. I love to make lots of things and lots of quilts.  I love making dolls, but they usually do my head in.  LOL I love making useful things and I love making really complicated quilts as well as really easy ones.  So I guess I love every ones things but don’t ever stick to one set designer."  Thanks to Nikki for being our guest designer this post.

It's time for Cath's Teddy BOM this post and we're sure you will enjoy stitching him!

Cath's patterns for showcase are listed below.

My latest Pattern is the Raggedy Twins... They are very easy to make and look lovely sitting together on your shelf. They are small dolls, but cute. Full face painting instructions are in the pattern.

Hard copy $12... including postage.
e pattern $7

Beach Babe.

This Raggedy is fun to make. She is free standing and has bare feet. Also included in the pattern is her swim ring and her pull along duck. This doll can be made by a novice doll maker. A real cutie.

Hard copy $12... including postage.
e pattern $7

Lady Bug Annie.

Another small but cute Raggedy. This time she has her pet lady bug with her. Full face painting instructions are included. Easy to make and you won't want to stop at only making one.

Hard copy $12... including postage.
e pattern $7

Cath's Special
Annie & Chooky.

 This is one of my favourite patterns to make. Annie is once again free standing. This is easy to achieve and full instructions are in the pattern. Both dolls wear shoes. Annie is wearing toddler shoes and Chooky is wearing doll shoes. Chooky also has her favourite toy with her... a pull along chook.....

e pattern only...... $5

Teddie BOM #2

A note from Cath,
This is the second block of the Teddy Swag. You make it exactly the same way as the first one is made. So please e mail me for instructions to block one if you do not have them already.

Also e mail me for the instructions to stitch this Teddy. Please take note I will be away from Friday9th until Sunday the 18th.
If you have ever seen Cath's cute, cute, CUTE faces on her Raggedies you will love her free tutorial this posting.  Here 'tis!

Here are three cute and easy Raggedy faces to paint onto your dolls. Just enlarge them before you print them off to suit the size of the doll's head. Most printers have an enlarge button.
To trace the face onto the doll you need to trace around the head shape on your chosen fabric. Then place the page with the faces on it on the light box. Place your head fabric on top of this with the drawn side down facing the paper. You will be able to see the outline of the head through the fabric, because of the light. Line the head up with the face and then trace the facial features onto the fabric.
When you have done this, you will turn the fabric over and sew on the drawn line , making sure you have double fabric. When you cut out the doll and turn it the right way out, the facial features will be in place on the head.
Use a sharp lead pencil to trace with. A soft lead will work better. 4B is a good one. Make sure that the eyes are half way down the head, as this is where our eyes are on our faces. If you place the eyes higher than the halfway mark, you tend to get a face that isn't as cute looking. Stuff the doll really well as this makes it easier to paint the face on.
I will give painting instructions in our next post.

Jan's patterns for this post are another combination...

Christmas Messages
Be ready in time for Christmas!  Christmas Messages are quick and easy to finish and look great in your entryway or a great gift for family and friends.
Hard copy $12...(includes P&H)
e pattern  $7

Birdhouses & Beehives Banner
Another in my banner series.  This time an extra stitchery and small wall hanging. 
Hard Copy $12... (includes P&H)
e pattern $7

 Country Patch Bag
This has been a very popular bag and was also published in Country Threads magazine.  A great size for that day out and would work in any fabric choice and you could also make it with denim and even leave the applique off the front!

Hard copy $12..... (includes P&H)
e pattern $7

My special for this posting is my Friendship Tote.  A combination of stitcheries and lovely Aunt Grace fabrics.  The ruffles make it even prettier and the handles even have stitching on them too!  Looks good in any range of fabric though!

e pattern $5

My free stitcherie for this post is two for the price of one! Ü

Try the usual:  Right click; save to your hard drive and then print!  If that doesn't work, email me.  Ü  

Our lucky follower to comment for last post is Deb from Maine!  Email me Deb and I'll organise your prize!  Ü

We hope you have enjoyed your "read" and always let us know if there's anything special you would like us to write about.  One of our followers has asked for some info on what can be done with the  wonderful embellishing machines available now.  I'm working on a tutorial for that so keep your "eye" out for it!

Until next time......Happy Stitching,