All the things I love to see and do. Fabric, Threads and other lovely things.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I must apologise for being so remiss in posting!!!  My only excuse is "life" and all that it entails.  We've had such a busy/worrying/exciting time over the past 6 months or so.  Health problems with both of us plus our parents; a car accident (a write-off) AND Ross retiring and the purchase of a new home!  Happy to say that both parents and Ross and I are now well; we have a "new" second-hand car AND a lovely new home which we hope to move into in a couple of weeks!  My sewing has been my saving grace I have to say. 

Not the best of photographs - this is my "Let it Snow" banner/swag in the current issue of Handmade Magazine.  I know it's always "strange" that we, in Australia, never see snow but have snowmen as part of our Christmas decorations.   :)  Somehow the trend of putting Santa in shorts/singlet and thongs doesn't ring true for me!  

Thought I'd show you our new home.....photograph taken before completion but gives you an idea of what it's like.  We're so excited about moving in and turning it into "ours".  Even though we didn't build it, it's just perfect for us and easy for me to move around in.  

These are some old photographs (from 2008) of my Christmas decorations at the house in Atherton.  Most of all of this stuff has been in storage since we moved because the rental houses have never been big enough for it all! Hopefully that will change this year.  Mind you!!!  I HAVE collected quite a bit more since then! lol  The reason I'm showing these photographs is that I've entered a competition on Bronwyn Haye's Red Brolly blog for Christmas Collections.  I'm adding a button here on the blog (if I can do it right!) for you to have a look and also to VOTE for me please!  :)  Gosh!!  I've tried to add the button but it won't let me so, go to Bronwyn's blog http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/ and click on her button. I'll try to fix this!!! :)

I WILL try my best to be more regular with my posts in the future.  Only a month until Christmas Day!  *gulp*  Hope everyone's plans are coming along well, Cheers,

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I know.....it's been a long time but I HAVE been busy!  Ü  Thought I would show you some of the things I've been working on recently.  Gatton Quilters are having an exhibition at the Regional Gallery of some of our art quilts and they will be on display for the month of June.  Robyn Ginn is opening the exhibit on the 8th June I think it is.  Robyn is an old friend and, of course, is very well known for her absolutely beautiful applique quilts.  

I've just completed the work on a reef embroidery and just have to finish it off to be ready to hang now.  I've only got some close-ups at this stage.  It's been a while in my head as my daughter Kirsten designed her graduation dress way back in 2000 I think it was.  It's taken all this time for her to let me cut into it. The overlay was silk georgette and my friend Sandra helped me hand dye it (or SHOULD I say that I helped Sandra!) from a very dark blue at the bottom through the colours of the sea to a light aqua at the top.  Kirsten wanted an underwater theme to the dress as well an asymmetric hem that formed into a small train.  It had a low back with rouleau draped across it.  I beaded these and add some small shells.  She looked beautiful on the night!

I wanted to keep that draped look and have it hang below the embroidery.  It's going to be a challenge to finish it off.  

Part of the background on the the left of this closest pic is a piece of tanned barramundi skin.  Really easy to work with and adds to the piece I think!

Will show you a pic when I get it ready for hanging.  I thoroughly enjoy working on my reef embroideries and don't try to actually replicate a reef rather than stitch my "fantasy" of it.

This next piece I'm showing you all is what our art quilt group is working on this year.  We've called it "Fragments" and once we've picked a photograph we blow it up to A3 size.  It then gets cut into strips approximately 2in wide. The aim is for each person to reproduce the strip to the exact dimensions, using whatever techniques we choose.  I was lucky???? enough to get the portion with the most work in it of course! lol  I used all sorts of techniques and used some silk rods I had for the piece of driftwood and painted it with some dye to get to the right colour.  My strip for next time is going to be a real challenge!  Wait until you see it.  Ü

I've also been working on quite a few projects for the magazine but can't show them of course.  It's all keeping me busy which is how I like it.  Until next time which I hope won't be as long!  Until then, bye for now.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Well, what do you know!!!  It's only 6 sleeps until Christmas!!!  Where has the year gone is what is on everyone's lips I think!  Thought I'd tell you today about some of the textile art postcards I've been making through the year.  No, I won't bore you with them all but will show you just a few.  The textile art group as part of Gatton Quilters had a postcard challenge with us using a theme for each month to create our postcards.  It's been such a fun and challenging thing to do all year.  We (GQ) are having an exhibit at the Lockyer Valley Regional Gallery next June and we will display the collections there as part of the exhibit. 

Front and back of the "Fashion" theme.  I chose to create a "robe" to be the High Priestess Robe.  I then made-up a totally fictional story about a tribe etc.  Click on any of the pics to bring them up larger.

Another of the robe series...this one is the "Snow Queen Robe" in reply to the "Winter" theme.  There are two other robes and a mask that belong to the set and perhaps I'll show these at a later date.  I was inspired to create the robes by Inga Hunter who has created the most amazing robe pieces...just stunning. 

This last one's theme was "Weaving"....I used unusual "threads" that I purchased from The Thread Studio ( www.thethreadstudio.com ) Overdyed Sari Ribbon and spun silk bits from Nepal along with some charms and a shisha mirror.  It all had and Indian feel to me so I named it "Sari Sunset".

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Season and is looking forward to a great 2012!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Actually it's still spring but you wouldn't guess it!  We've had a week or so of 30C+ temperatures!  The aircon has taken a beating! Ü  I thought it was time to update my blog a little as it's quite some time since I posted.

I've been busy designing and completing quite a few new projects for Handmade as well as myself AND for the new blog I have with my friend Cath.  I have a button here on the blog for it so make sure you go visit. 

"Cherry Fudge" is one of my new bags.  Fairly quick and easy to complete but quite stylish I feel.  Would look good in any fabric you may choose and just match the trim and buckle to your choice.

"Dreamtime" is another one.  My bag features one of the many aboriginal prints available now but would look great in any choice of fabric.  Binding the side seams on the outside is a feature, as well as the larger than large button.

"Elegance" is the third of five new bags.  It has a shaped top and features a large felt flower which is included in the instructions.  Once again would look good in any fabric choice.

"Orient Express" isn't all handmade hexagons! LOL  It's a wonderful authentic Japanese fabric printed with hexagons.  I have stitched around all the hexagons on the front and back of the bag as well as the clutch with a Sashiko thread to match. Would work well as a knitting bag with the clutch as a needle holder.

"Tokyo Tote" also is made from authentic Japanese fabrics - the hexagons as well as the "ribbon" design. A classical bag with an interestingly shaped flap.  Like all of my designs it would work in any fabric choice.  The knotted shoulder strap can be adjusted to suit the individual.

All of my bag patterns retail for $15AUD plus postage.  Direct deposit works well for payment if ordering OR through Paypal which is secure for overseas orders.

I had the urge to create a "right out there" apron, collected the fabrics and the result is "Retro Kitchen"

I used four different fabrics - three large print designs from the Kaffe Fassett range and a colour match of a tone-on-tone fabric.  Great fun to choose the fabrics and make!

Same price as the bags - $15AUD plus postage with the usual payment arrangements. 

For once I haven't designed any new Christmas designs....working on the cover spread for Handmade's Christmas in July issue in January after the floods drained me I think! 

There are two small projects in the current issue of Handmade which I had made last year.  I do have plans for my traditional Christmas pillow as well as tree ornaments for Kirsten and Matthew.  Will post pics when I complete them! LOL

I will be back before Christmas!  Until then, happy stitching,

Jan x

Monday, July 25, 2011


I've just added a button for the new blog with Cath.  She is such a clever person!  She has designed the button so help us along and add it to your blog too please?  We're busily preparing our first posting...lots of things to give you plus some of our patterns for sale as well.  I've also been working on some new projects for the magazines and "busting" to get to some new bags I've designed as well.  This is just a quick post to let you know about the button but will be back with some more soon!!  Until next time, happy stitching and stay safe,


Friday, July 15, 2011


Lots of beading and embroidery are in this piece.  I finished it about 18 months ago for a special exhibition at the gallery in Atherton.  Each year the combined churches held a week of art.  As well as the exhibition to a theme (always from the bible) the committee also arranged for tutors in the arts to teach workshops of all kinds and also special presentation at the church with both art and faith involved.  Sadly, the last exhibition was the final one as the driving force (the anglican minister) was moving away to fresh encounters.  The theme was "showing your light" but not sure now what book of the bible it came from.  I had been "toying" with the idea of intense tonal embroidery and beadwork for a while so the theme just fell in my lap!  Not sure if I have shown the pic before of a book cover I completed for a friend with the same idea, only smaller, in white.  If you go back a bit you will be able to find it I think. 

Along with a new friend, Cath, we have created a new blog with lots of interesting things to write about and also free patterns etc so, go to  http://jancathsbitsbobs.blogspot.com/ and have a look!  Only baby steps at the moment but we're working on making it exciting for everyone.  I'm busy designing a stitchery BOM for the new blog as well as more projects for Handmade AND myself!  :)  Until we meet again, happy stitching, love,


Monday, July 4, 2011


Velvet & Lace is one of two projects featured in the current issue of Handmade.  I made it a while back and thoroughly enjoyed creating it.  I hand painted the lace and was lucky to find the random dyed velvet in a dress fabric shop.  Would love to say I had hand dyed it too but won't!  :)  The tassle is handmade too, using three full skeins of silk thread.  Very sumptuous and fitting, I felt to match the bag.  I finished off the bag with a small amount of lace and embroidery on the back as well.  Interesting beading is along the top edge.  Hard to explain without a diagram - using approx. 3mm diameter beads with smaller seed beads in a "sort of" fly stitch manner.  A really nice finish for any edge actually.  More to show you in a new post tomorrow!  Happy stitching!

Jan xxx