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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We've both been busy with designing new projects and keeping up with the wonderful response from everyone to our new blog.  Thanks to all of you for your kind wishes and your fabulous response to our patterns etc.  We've come up with some new ones for you this posting so, hope your "nimble fingers" are itching for more!!!

Cath has been busy and has completed the bag featuring the Raggedy stitchery from last post.

 This is the front version and below is the back.  Isn't it a roomy and useful bag?
We're still trying to sort out the pdf business so, just for now email Cath ( for the pattern please. 

Our guest crafter this post is Jenny Reynolds of  Jenny calls Charters Towers, Far North Queensland her home.
We asked her how she got started on her delightful road to “Elefantz” and she replied, thus “My husband was a motor mechanic with wrist problems after a youthful motor bike accident, so he retrained at University to become a high school teacher. His first teaching position was a 6-month stint in Armidale, NSW, in 2005. We were living in Wagga at the time and weren’t sure what would happen after the 6 months in Armidale so we had a monster garage sale and put what was left in storage. We moved to Armidale with only as much stuff as we could fit in our Commodore, plus our two kids!  The only housing option we had was a small cabin at the local caravan park – middle of winter in Armidale is ICY!! – between chipping ice off the inside walls of the cabin and waiting till mid-morning for the taps to thaw so we could have showers, I continued to homeschool our kids. We met up with a local homeschool family and one of the teenage daughters showed me her patchwork items. I was so hungry for something to do with my hands, as life in the caravan park was quite lonely after my lessons with the kids were done and my husband was off teaching each day, so she encouraged me to take home some of her craft magazines and have a go. That was September 2005, and I have not looked back!”  Jenny’s story sounds so familiar doesn’t it?

What do you create? We asked and her reply was simple.  “I focus mainly on stitchery and applique, and then incorporate them into projects. Twice a year I design a quilt using my signature Shabby Roses designs, and I think they express the real heart of my style.”

Jenny’s best tip rings true to most of us we feel - “Trust yourself to change what someone else has designed. When I first began this craft I would make projects exactly like the photo in the magazine – same colours and if I could find them I would even use the same fabric. One day in 2008 I thought to myself, “Why are you remaking someone else’s designs? Why don’t you think outside the box and trust your own colour combinations and tweak things?” So I did. After that it was only a matter of months before I began designing my own projects from scratch – the results really surprised me, but I learnt a lesson about looking inside me and being brave enough to put it on paper and then into fabric and thread. I believe we all have an individual creative voice – we just need to let it out.”

“Lemon Tart” is Jenny’s favourite recipe; she tells us it is an Elefantz favourite.  Email Jan and she will send you the recipe.

When Jenny is not designing for “Elefantz” her favourite pastime is "Riding pillion on my husband’s motorbikes! We travel far and wide on the bikes, seeing places I never imagined visiting. It’s been the most amazing thing for us now that the kids are finishing schooling and have jobs and lives of their own. Every weekend we’re off somewhere, and as my hubby is a teacher we also do longer trips each school term break. It’s the perfect balance to my normal weekly ‘inside life’ of design and sewing.

Jenny replied “No idea. Life is an open door to so many possibilities and I want to explore them all. I’m pretty sure I’ll still have a bike helmet in one hand and a needle and thread in the other, though!” to our question of what she will be doing in 10 years time.

We asked Jenny who her favourite designer is and she replied very promptly; “I don’t have one as such. I love designers who are quirky and always changing – women like Anna Maria Horner and Sarah Fielke – plus others who speak to that olde world girl in me, such as Caroline Zoob and Jane Brocket. I am also inspired by Rachel Ashwell’s soft and carefree style.
Above all I look at Creation because God’s hand painted canvas of Earth inspires me more than anyone and anything.”

You can also keep up with Jenny’s creativity by following her on


Here's a free tutorial to create the cutest flower on the block from Cath.
Circle Flowers......
These cute flowers are very easy to make and you can use them for decoration on a multitude of things.
I learnt how to make this flower years ago at a class. I have just adapted it to what I think is a really easy flower to make.
Thread a needle with good quality sewing thread. Take a petal and fold it in half with the wrong sides together. Sew a row of running stitch around the raw semi circle edge. Gather it in as tight as you can, secure, but do not cut the thread. Take your next petal and repeat the procedure, using the same needle and thread. Continue until you have sewn all five petals together. Secure them into a circle. Cut the thread.
Take a button large enough to cover the hole in the middle of the flower. Cut a piece of pellon large enough to cover the top of the button. Next you cut a circle of dark fabric large enough to cover the button, with enough fabric to cover over onto the back of the button. You cover the button by sewing a row of gathering stitches around the circle, pulling in a little, then place the pellon circle and button inside the circle. Pull the gathering thread tight and secure the fabric over the button.
Place the button on top of the hole in the middle of the flower and neatly sew the outer edge of the covered button to the petals.
You now have a cute flower that you can attach to your doll as a hair clip, you can wear it as a brooch, you can embellish bags etc with one as well......
Jan's free pattern for this post is a folksy little Christmas Tree that can be used for anything you might like.

  Email Jan  for the pattern.  Here it is stitched and buttons added.  I made it into a Christmas pillow to add to my collection.

Cath also has a free Raggedy Stitchery for you. 
Same story - Right click on pic; Save to your hard drive and print as usual.  They're just the cutest little pair aren't they?
We will showcase some patterns for you before we show you the Teddy BOM for the mid-month free BOM.
Jan's patterns for this month are a mixture - a bag, a pair of pouches and something for you to prepare for Christmas.  Jan is a self-confessed "Christmasaholic" so expect MORE Christmas surprises in the posts to come!
Candy Spots is a FUN bag that suits the young as well as the "Young-at-Heart".  Roomy inside and has elasticized pockets all the way round on the outside.  Looks great in the bright and breezy fabrics for the sample but would also look stunning in a more elegant choice of fabrics too.
Christmas Pockets have a dual role....wonderful little hangers for the wall to fill with holly, mistletoe or even a little Christmas Teddy OR to hold a very special gift for someone; thus being a double gift for the recipient.

Jan's "Country Chookz" Banner...just one of a large range of banners/swags.  These have been very popular as the patterns can also be turned into a quilt if you choose.

All patterns are $12.00 AUD (P&H Incl) each for a paper pattern or $8 AUD for an ePattern.

 Jan's special for this posting is "Blast from the Past" - two handy pouches for whatever you choose.  Both pouches feature Jan's love of ric-rac and buttons.
Epattern only for $5.00 AUD

Cath's showcase features a brand new release this post.

Here is the "sneak peek" at Cath's brand new "Raggedy Twins"...pattern will be available next post!

T Cup Raggedies...... These cute little Raggedies are very easy to make. Face painting instructions are included in the pattern. Plus as a bonus you get to keep that favourite cup and saucer that may have a chip or crack in it. They can also be used as a pin cushion.
Paper pattern....... $12 AUD including postage.
E Pattern.....$7

Raggedy Cushion........ Very easy to make and has the cutest Raggedy stitchery.
Paper pattern....... $12 AUD including postage.
E Pattern.....$7

Stitching Tote: This is a fantastic way to store your Cottage garden threads, as they are cut to size when you purchase them. The tote has pockets to store your bits and pieces in, plus there is a section to hold your scissors & your thimble. The tote also has a needle book and a pincushion.
Paper pattern....... $12 AUD including postage.
E Pattern.....$7

Cath's Special for this post is "Charli Anne"   Charli Anne is one of the smallest Raggedies I have designed and my favourite. Included in the pattern is the instructions to crochet her hair. Face painting details are also included. She is a little sweetie and you will love making her....
E Pattern....... $5

NOW....the Teddy BOM!!

Right click on the pic; save to your hard drive and print as usual.  You can also email Cath ( for the instructions.  Hopefully we will have the pdf thing sorted soon!  :) 
Until next post we hope you keep stitching and we are so pleased with the response to our blog.  We have 76 followers now!  Yay! 

OOPS!!!!  Nearly forgot!!  Our lucky reader who commented is BUTTERFLY!!!  You have won a free pattern from Jan - it's her PANSY 'A' PLENTY BAG!  Email Jan to give her your email address and she will send you your free ePattern!

Happy Stitching Everyone,