Tuesday, 28 September 2010

pattern: hovel, sweet hovel

sometimes, while reading other people’s beautiful blogs, and seeing glimpses of their lovely homes, i start to feel that my housekeeping abilities are abnormally appalling. i am simply not one of those people who can keep my house consistently clean and tidy. i go through bursts of industrious organisation, and determined washing-of-all-the-things, but it’s never been something i’ve been able to maintain for any length of time, and my house always seems to descend into a state of cheerful chaos before long.

i’m sure i can’t be alone in this, so i have designed a simple little pattern for the domestically challenged among us…

the pattern is free, and you can find the chart here

you can sit on the couch and stitch it up, instead of doing the vacuuming!

hope you like it!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

pattern: woodland sampler

here is the latest pattern from penelope waits: the woodland sampler!

i wanted to create a sampler that wasn’t quite so pink as the last one, and that incorporated animals as well as botanicals. this is the result!

it’s not a traditional sampler, in that it doesn’t have a place for the date and the stitcher’s name. i thought it might be nice to keep this one as simple as possible, what with all the busy little creatures scampering across it!

as ever, you can purchase the pattern from my etsy shop if you have taken a fancy to it.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

pattern: crafty like a fox

i’ve got a new pattern to show you! it’s designed especially for crafty folk like us…

i’ll be hanging mine near my sewing table, with all my other crafty things.

it’s a really easy pattern, and only has two different colours in it, so it would be a great starter pattern for a beginner.

i think it would also be a lovely present from one crafty person to another.

if you’d like to stitch it up, you can find the pattern at my etsy shop.

stay crafty!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

in print

today, as i drank my first cup of tea of the morning, the doorbell rang, and a lovely fed-ex lady delivered a very exciting parcel…

inside i found two copies of italian magazine casa chic’s cross stitch special.
now, receiving this magazine would be treat enough in itself, because it contains some genuinely gorgeous embroidery projects, but what made it super-mega-specially great was the fact that i’m featured in it!

i did an interview with a lovely journalist a couple of months ago, and now that interview, a biography, and one of my patterns (the “you’re sweet” card) have been published!

over three pages, no less!

i am honoured to be included in such a wonderful publication, and tickled pink to have my little pattern appreciated in other parts of the world.

Monday, 14 June 2010

pattern: tea and scandal

here’s a project that’s very close to my heart.
as many of you know, i collect teacups. i adore my collection - it’s full of intricate designs, beautiful colours, and delicate patterns, and it’s been the inspiration for my latest embroidery pattern:

“they retired to their tea and scandal, according to their ancient custom”
- william congreve

i’ve chosen to hang the individual teacups in their own little hoops, but they would also look very cute in little frames, or used to make a set of greeting cards.

this is my favourite of my designs so far! if you like it too, you can buy a copy of it from my etsy shop.

bottoms up!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

pattern: springtime sampler

i am so excited to be making this post - i have been working on the pattern for a sampler for ages, and it’s finally ready to share!

i love samplers. when i’m working on one, i feel part of an ancient tradition. i can picture myself as a character out of a jane austen novel, or an arthurian courtier.

with this pattern, i wanted to draw on traditional motifs, while creating something fresh and a little different.

like the bunnies, and the squirrels, the pattern for this sampler is available in my etsy shop.

i hope you like it!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

pattern: nice buns

what’s this? another new pattern? i am on some kind of roll!
i made this pattern quite a while ago, but i got carried away with the squirrels and it sat on the back-burner for a bit.

i am a big fan of puns. jokes that make other people roll their eyes make me chortle and grin.
so i’m afraid i just couldn’t help myself here!

if you like the pattern, you can get your hands on a copy at my etsy shop. it could be a fun message to give to someone you admire, or something to hang above the bathroom mirror as a reminder that your own buns are pretty nice too (yes, they are!).

Thursday, 20 May 2010

pattern: nuts about you

the pattern for this cute cross stitch is now available for purchase from my etsy shop!
i love the little squirrels so much, and i had the best time designing and stitching them up for you!
woodland creatures are kind of my favourites. i made friends with heaps of squirrels when my partner an i went to england a while ago. this little chap was one of them:

by ‘made friends’ i mean that i shrieked “skirril!” and ran after it whenever i saw one… but i don’t think they held it against me…

maybe after designing a pattern in honour of all the squirrels that i have loved (and chased), they’ll forgive me for loving them too much!
i really hope you’ll like this pattern. i spent ages getting it just right, and i can attest to the fact that it is fun and easy to stitch.

if you want a copy, head over to my etsy shop

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

oma's quilt, all finished

i’ve been doing a lot of embroidery lately, but that doesn’t mean i have abandoned quilting!
i finally finished my oma’s quilt on sunday, and i must say, i’m very pleased with it.

i used this great hourglass block tutorial from allison at cluck cluck sew. it was clear and easy to follow, with lots of pictures (which i like in a tutorial).

now i just have to give it to her - that’s the best bit!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


as a nerd and a bookworm, i need a big bookbag in which to lug many tomes to and from uni. i’m happy to say that i’ve finished my 2010 bookbag, and i love it!

the hexies are paper-pieced, the bag itself is freestyle quilted, and the handles are hand stitched.
the lining is made of a few of the fabrics that i used to make hexagons.

i love paper piecing, because it’s pretty much the only time that i bother with fussy-cutting, the results of which i always love!

this project was inspired by this beautiful bag by modern acorn, and since it resembles her design quite closely, i won’t be writing a pattern for this one. you should join me in encouraging her to write a pattern that we can buy!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

love bird

i hope you’ve had (or are having!) a lovely valentine’s day.
i made my honey a love bird, using molly chicken’s tutorial. it was easy to follow and i think the result is very sweet:

she has named him rupert.

Monday, 8 February 2010

a quilt for sara-jane

my sajee finally has her own quilt, and she has our friend lilito thank for it. lili posted a photo of a cushion she was making using string blocks, and i thought it looked kind of great, so i had a go at it myself. it got kind of addictive, and this was the result:

i used heaps of scraps, and some carefully selected fat quarters, and i think it came together pretty well:

the backing is quite simple, to contrast with the super busy top

and the blue contrasts nicely with the oranges and yellows

but most importantly, it gets the tiny dog’s tick of approval:

p.s. if you want to have a try at a string quilt yourself, here are a couple of tutorials:

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

tutorial: ikea frame to badge board

the other day, my gf and i went to ikea to pick up a few bits and pieces for the house. we got some cool stuff, most of it practical (plates, curtains, etc), but some less practical and more pretty. like this frame, which we both thought was super cool:

it’s pretty large (59 x 85cm), and we weren’t quite sure what to do with it - we just knew we liked it! on monday i had a brain wave, and turned the frame into a badge board:

here’s how i did it:
1. removed the glass and backing and set them aside, then used some E.S.P. to prepare the plastic surface to take paint.
2. added an undercoat to help cover the black.
3. used two coats of pretty rose-pink paint (a sample pot from the hardware store was more than enough), to make the frame the colour i wanted.
4. took the backing for the frame and used it as a template to cut out a piece of fabric that went with the pinkness of the frame, making sure i left about 1.5 inches overhang for securing it in place.
5. cut two ovals of thick soft quilt batting (i used leftovers from old quilting projects - this was good for using those bits up!), this time with no overhang.
6. laid the fabric down face down on my table, centered the two layers of batting on top of it, then centered the frame backing over this.
7. used small map pins to secure the fabric in place. these were inserted on an angle so they would be secure and wouldn’t poke through to the other side (this is also why i didn’t just use a staple gun). the fabric was pulled firmly but not stretched outrageously tight.
8. i took the whole backing-batting-fabric piece, and placed it in the frame, completing the project.

it’s now hanging on the wall in our room, looking after our many, many, many badges for us, and allowing us to admire them even when we’re not wearing them! hurray!
this project was suuuuper easy, and i think the result is quite awesome - i hope you do too!

p.s. you won’t need the glass that’s left over at the end of this project, so you should either store it carefully for if you ever want to turn your badge board back into a frame, or recycle it.