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,


  1. LOVE coconut ice! yum! ;-)
    think that buttons can make a project - particularly a knitted garment - and although they can sometimes be quite expensive, are worth it esp. if need only one or a two buttons getting a NICE (handmade!) can really make it stand out.
    Like the Christmas themed projects, I'm starting to plan these now while I've still got time!
    We've switched to autumn and are moving to cosy knits - lots of gloves and scarves - yum!
    Happy stitching!
    Sue xx

  2. Thanks so much for the garden stitcheries. Teddy #2 is so cute. We have the first taste of fall here. I don't look forward to the cold of winter.