Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Amongst her suitcase she had managed to tuck in some wonderful designer fabrics by Kristen Doran. Many of you may already be familiar with her work, Kristen is one of our designer treasures here in Australia.
The fact that she had bought fabric amused me since she had not sewn on a sewing machine since High School. Something about the designs had captivated her imagination and she just had to have them. For many years I was the only sister of three who was excited by looking and playing with fabrics, and yet here she was pulling out lengths left right and centre gooing and gahhing at each one.
We sent our hubbies away for the day to do boys stuff and we started the day with keen anticipation and genuine excitement. The day gave me a rare opportunity to just sew for the fun of it. Normally I work on a new pattern design so I usually fuss a lot measuring and remeasuring and taking notes down as I work. But this day was different. I felt liberated and a bit of a rebel as I cut, sewed and cut some more. We had no patterns, only brief sketches of what we wanted to make. And yet we were very proud of our efforts.
In a single day with a chatty 3 year old playing at our feet we managed to make 3 notebook covers, a purse and two cushions.
Here's some pictures of the notebooks for you.
The back is just a gorgeous as the front, don't you think?
Although I think the pace became a bit too much for my non sewing sister at times and she eventually crept away to the sanctuary of the kitchen to prepare the roast dinner for that evening.
This arrangement suited me perfectly as I continued to wizz along on the machine.
Here's the purse.
When my two daughters arrived home from school they too were keen to get in on the act and another small purse was made by my 15 year old for Miss Three. There was much heated discussion at times as piles of off cuts were "bagzed" for future projects.
I'm pleased to say that my creative spurge continued a few days later and a journal cover emerged for my eldest.
I love the detail strip we added to the inside with the little birdies peeking out.
And to her delight a small bag for my youngest also emerged.
Thankfully there were a few birds left over otherwise we could have had a mutiny on our hands.
I hope Kristen Doran would approve of our sewing day. We have her wonderfully inspiring fabrics to thank for it. There are two more cushions to come. Hopefully my sister will help me out with sharing those with you too. I think they have found pride of place on her bed.
If you haven't already discovered Kristen Doran designer fabrics then do yourself a favour and visit her blog and online shop.
Maybe I should design a range of patterns like these so everyone can enjoy them?
Let me know what you think.
Until next time happy stitching and fabric hunting.
PS My sister has just sent through pics of her Owl Cushions.
Here they are for you.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Recently I launched a brand new block of the month quilt project called Cottages in Common.
Here's a picture of it for you.
If you would love to create this quilt for yourself then keep reading.
I have just launched a competition on the Stitching Cow blog to help get the word out about this block of the month quilt project.
The good news is that you could win a membership to my online class for this beautiful quilt.
Imagine what you could learn from watching over my shoulder as I make this quilt.
Click here for more details.
All you need to do is include the graphic and link as shown below on your blog. Then email me your blog address to enter the competition. The winner will be announced 24th December 2008.
Just in time for Christmas!
Here's the graphic for you, you also have my permission to use the picture of the quilt as shown above. The image already has the link embedded so all you need to do is copy and paste it into your blog and hey presso you could become the lucky winner. Imagine how much fun you could have creating this treasured quilt yourself. Hours of pure sewing bliss could be yours.
Here's the graphic for you.
Here is the link embedded in the text as well for you.
Click here to discover more details about this beautiful quilt
Don't forget to send me the link to your blog to go in the running for this competition.
Simply leave a comment together with your blog address or email me via this blog.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Celebrate Halloween this year with Witchy Poo, a new witch doll pattern.
I found myself with a free afternoon last weekend. Hubby took the kids on an outing and the eldest daughter was visiting friends. When I looked around and discovered that the house was quiet and I was alone I knew a rare occasion had presented itself!
Of course there was heaps of the usual housework to get done but the thought of doing all that did nothing to lift my spirit. I soon concocted a plan to create a new design for Halloween and before long Witchy Poo had been sketched and I was up ending the fabric cupboard looking for the perfect fabrics. (I knew it wouldn't stay orderly for long!)
The good news is that I had her all sewn up within a few short hours. It's amazing how much sewing and creating you can get done when you are not interrupted. Once her long black hair was in place and her hat was firmly on her head, I sat her on the kitchen dresser for inspection when the kids arrived home.
As they returned home they discovered her one by one and expressed their approval. There were a few giggles at her big nose and trusty broomstick. My original design had included a cat although I had run out of steam that afternoon and decided not to make her. The kids on the other hand were not happy with my decision and so the next morning, to their delight, the little white cat appeared.
My new Witch doll pattern is one of 4 new Halloween designs currently showcased on the Stitching Cow website.
Click here for more information about my witch doll pattern
I have also added a cute little Trick or Treat bag with a friendly appliquéd ghost which is very quick and easy to make. Here's a photo for you.
Click here if you would like more information about my Trick or Treat bag
I had a wonderful afternoon of sewing and the housework was still there waiting for me the next day.
I was so inspired that I have started to sketch some ideas for Christmas.
Hope you like my new Halloween patterns.
Check out the other new designs including a new Halloween Redwork pattern and a cute little felt purse decorated with a spider and cobwebs.
You can see them all on the Stitching Cow home page
Happy Halloween sewing!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
When I find myself on a creative roll things seem to go everywhere and before long I have piles of fabric, pens, pencils, pieces of paper and threads scattered all around the house (I discover them in the most unlikely) places). I wonder at times how hubby puts up with me, but thankfully he never seems to mind and mutters every now and again with a cheeky smile"whatever make you happy!"
I was starting to think I had a bit of a problem.
Then a very special friend of mine invited me in to her creative space just recently.
We were at a barbecue together and the conversation turned to patchwork and quilting. Before long we were bouncing ideas off one another and discussing quilting projects. She beckoned me to walk across the road to her house so that she could share a quilt in the making. The visit from me was unexpected and before she opened the door she hesitated with a smile and laughed "don't mind the mess will you?"
As I entered I indeed smiled. Not at the mess but at the creativeness that was happening in every direction I looked. It was wonderful. There was half finished projects, bundles of fabric spilling over from every flat surface, pattern pages scattered, amazing books lining the book case and beyond, and in the middle of it all was her sewing machine.
I enjoyed every minute of being in her special space. And I am very thankful she shared it with me in the state it was in. It made me feel much more normal.
Which brings me to my fabric cupboard. I knew things were starting to get a little out of hand when I started to struggle closing the front door. It was also getting tricky to open. A bit like the dreaded Tupperware cupboard where things seem to topple out as if trying to escape.
And so I took matters in hand and spent some time folding stacking and folding some more until finally some sort of order was achieved.
The challenge is to see how long it stays in this state for. My guess is not very long but at least I have these picture to prove it was tidy once upon a time!
I came across these yummy embroidery threads just recently and had to have them.
They are so beautiful that I am not sure how I am ever going to bring myself to you them.
They currently take pride of place in their little box on top of my cupboard.
Hope I have inspired you to sort out your own fabric stash.
It's not all that bad really.
It's a wonderful opportunity to rediscover fabrics you forgot you had.
Or is that just a problem I have?
Feel free to add a comment and let me know what state your fabrics are in.
Until next time.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Robyn Ahern, the Editor of Patchwork and Stitching contacted me a few months back and kindly invited me to design a project for the Spring Special. I eagerly accepted her invitation and knew straight away that a project with some hand embroidered flowers was in order.
I started to think about some possible projects and then I got an idea.
Since moving house 12 months ago I have been unable to locate a jewelry warp that my mother bought for me years and years ago. I'm sure I have it somewhere, but for now it remains hidden. No doubt it is lurking in a suitcase or in a pocket of one of my traveling bags. But despite my best efforts I cannot put my hand on it. After looking endlessly I decided it was probably easier to make something similar myself. Hence the design for my very own Jewellery Wrap for Patchwork and Stitching emerged.
I dived into my fabric cupboard (always a pleasurable experience!) and resurfaced with some pretty floral fabrics just perfect for Spring. I also fond some beautiful timber buttons in a nearby shop which are engraved with little flowers. Before long a new Jewellery Wrap was created.
It includes pockets a bracelet holder and a zipped section for smaller items.
It rolls up and is secured with a ribbon.
Here's a picture for you:
Seems Robyn must have been pleased with my design.
It features as part of the Editor's letter.
I feel very privileged to be apart of this fabulous magazine and I now have a Jewellery wrap for when I next journey somewhere. It was a win win for me.
Look out for the magazine it contains lots of projects and great tips as well as an article about some beautiful gardens on show. I even found one in Tassie not far from me...goodie.
As the weather warms it's the perfect time to visit some inspirational gardens for some ideas.
Oh to have more hours in the day!
For more information about this magazine and how you can subscribe, simply click on the Patchwork and Stitching graphic included down the right hand side of my blog.
Or check out more of my embroidery patterns by clicking the link here
Until next time.
Happy stitching and happy gardening too!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The conversation continued to reveal that she had been invited to the home of a lifetime sewer who had recently moved into a retirement village. The lady's daughter was sorting through her stash of sewing belongings and had opened it up to fellow sewers in the hope that she could sell some of the excess fabrics and bits and pieces her mother had collected over the years.
You can image our excitement as we approached the house. Our minds a whirl of the possibilities of what lay inside.
We were greeted at the door by the daughter who welcomed us in and immediately put the kettle and tempted us with cake filled with yummy lemon butter. This day just kept getting better and better!
The room was filled with neatly folded piles of fabric an d boxes of lace and trims. We hardly knew where to start and as we filled our mouths with cake we surveyed the scene in front of us in ore.
Before long we were head down rummaging around uncovering treasures that only a fellow sewer could understand. The daughter (who did not have the same love of all things fabric and threads) was a bit amused at our squeals of delight. I think she felt almost embarrassed at the amount her mother had collected over the years and we were quick to reassure her that it was completely normal.
Two and a half hours later we waddled down the drive way giggling to ourselves and discussing the future projects and possibilities that lay waiting in our bags of fabric and trims.
Here's a few pictures of the unusual old trims I discovered.
I also uncovered a pile of Cupie doll faces in the bottom of a dollmaking box.
Aren't they amazing?
Our little adventure was very memorable. I couldn't help but think about the time when someone has the huge job of sorting through my lifetime of collecting.
I hope our "sewing lady" is glad to think her stash lives on in the homes of fellow sewers. And hopefully that is how it will be with all my sewing treasures. My only hope is that I live to be 150 so that I can keep making all the hundreds of projects that live on it my mind. And even then I know my stash will not have diminished. Maybe I should be resided to the fact that I am safe keeping treasures for some other kindred spirit to discover many years from now.
Until next time happy collecting!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I've even made the front cover!
The team at Homespun have done it yet again with a wonderful magazine packed with inspiring projects from leading Australian designers such as Leanne Beasley of Leanne's House, Lynette Anderson of Lynette Anderson designs and Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly. To be amongst such amazing talent is such a privilege.
If you haven't grabbed a copy of Homespun Magazine you are really missing out on a treat. There are so many projects that I would like to sew that I don't know where to start.
Here's a picture of the cover so that you can look out for it.
And here is my new Miss Daisy Bunny project up close.
Miss Daisy certainly looks at home in the lovely cane chair the Homespun team managed to find for her. She looks very relaxed in the garden amongst the lavender doesn't she?
My two daughters are already arguing over who gets to have Miss daisy when she returns home to us. My youngest is determined she should life in her bedroom since the last project I made was a writing journal for my eldest. (Keep your eyes out for that project appearing soon in Country Threads).
We are very lucky to have such wonderful, professional and always inspiring craft magazines at our fingertips here in Australia. My storage pantry is over flowing with them because I cannot bring myself to part with a single one.
This August issue is definitely no exception, although it will take pride of place on my coffee table for a few weeks before going to the pantry. That way I can ponder over the projects and articles a little more.
Until next time, happy stitching!
Inspiration for the design came from a circular street in Hobart, Tasmania called Arthur's Circus. It is a unique street made up of quaint Whalers cottages from a bygone era. The cottages have now been lovingly restored and captivated my heart when I first discovered them. If ever you travel to Tasmania, Australia be sure to visit this "must see" street. The cottages are tiny and are almost identical, but "oh so cute". The street can be found in Battery Point.
Each of the cottages I have depicted have been hand appliquéd around an exquisite garden common. The cottages themselves have their own cute little gardens and accompanying Bluebirds.
I have chosen to colourwash paint the gardens as well which gives a more realistic feel to the gardens. This involves applying colour to the fabric before hand embroidering. It's a technique that I really enjoy and love sharing with people. It allows your creativity to shine through and most people are amazed at how easy the technique is to master.
This block of the month pattern is made up of 12 patterns that are fully illustrated and include handy hints throughout to make your sewing journey hassle free. I have spent many hours on each of these patterns to ensure they offer sewers friendly, easy to follow, step by step instructions.
If you have been looking for a block of the month pattern that is unique and offers something different then here it is.
Sit back and enjoy this presentation I have put together for you. Please be patient while the program takes a few moments to load. For best results wait until the program is fully loaded and then select to view in full screen. To close the program select the ESC button on your computer.
Hope you enjoy!
|Make a Smilebox scrapbook|
I enjoyed sewing every minute of this original quilt and I know you will too.In fact I almost didn't want it to come to an end!
Thankfully another design idea has popped into my head so I had better start sketching.
For more information about this block of the month pattern visit the Stitching Cow website
by clicking here
Pattern are available in e-format and can be downloaded to your computer today!
Until next time happy stitching!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
After working on my new block of the month patterns all week, it was lovely to do some sewing for a change. My work area is like a conservatory with lots of glassed windows and I enjoyed soaking up the winter sun as I stitched to my heart's content.
It was also wonderful seeking out my fabrics.
Visiting the local patchwork and quilting shops is always a treat and my recent visit was no exception. Here's a few of the treasures I found.
When I arrived home with my new purchases I felt just like an excited school girl.
As I made myself a cuppa and pondered over the possibilities in front of me I decided to antique some of my fabrics.
I thought I would share the process with you.
Here's my trusty companion. As you can see it is well used. I prefer to use Parisian essence for dyeing my fabrics. It gives a warm brown tone. A solution of tea can also be used although this will give a yellow/brown effect.
Wet your fabrics first so that they take up the dye evenly. Make up the solution by adding a few cups of boiling water and a cap full of Parisian essence.
Here's my fabrics soaking, every now and again give them a stir.
Here they are drying on my old timber clothes horse.
I guess you're wondering by now what I have designed for Country Threads Magazine. Truth is I shouldn't really tell you until the magazine is released, in November. Although I don't think it would do any harm if I gave you a glimpse.
Here's a closeup, as usual I have included some panels of hand embroidery.
I also raided my hubby's leather making tin and found some leather cord, it matched perfectly with
some buttons out of my button jar.
And so another design is finished. You'll have to grab a copy of Australian Country Threads Magazine (November issue) to see more.
Until next time happy creating!
Little Green Cottage
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Little Green Cottage represents timeless and beautiful patterns designed by Lenna Green.It is with pleasure that I am able to showcase some of these original designs here for you to enjoy.
You'll be enchanted as you discover some of my most popular patterns. Take a few moments to experience this photo presentation created especially for you.The program will take a few moments to load. Please be patient, the short wait will be well worth it.
For best results view in full screen, select Esc to close program.
|Make a Smilebox scrapbook|
Click here for more patterns by Little Green Cottage
Warmly Lenna Green