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

Monday, December 22, 2008




I DID promise to post some pics of my decorations but have simply ran out of time. The quilt in the photograph is one I designed and made way back in the very early 90's. Not a terribly good photograph but it is still part of my decorations. It hangs in the loungeroom and for want of a better title is called "Knight Christmas" :) I've added more quilting in the background since the pic was taken and it DOES hang a lot better! LOL Port is almost packed, Megs has been deposited at the cattery (the owner is a real softie with cats so perhaps he won't want to come home to us!) and we fly out of Cairns at around 11am, I think, and arrive in Newcastle at 5.30pm their time. It's going to be very special to spend Christmas with Matt in his home - he even said he'd buy a Christmas tree! :) Unfortunately Kirsten has to work so won't get to see her again this year. Until I post again (we arrive home on 8th January) I hope everyone has a relaxed time and also hope Santa is kind to you all! Love and best wishes,

Jan xxx
PS. Have to add that here in Queensland a suitcase is often called a port. LOL I wasn't just packing a bottle of port to take with me! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I didn't realise it had been so long since I'd written!!! Time sure has gone by so quickly. With Christmas preparations and also all those Christmas celebratory lunches etc to go to I have been rather busy. I might say it took me a good week to get all the decorations put out and the tree up. I'd spent quite a number of hours getting our old tree all in place and ready for the decorations when Ross came home from work and said we had better go buy a new one as it was looking a bit "tired"!!! I said NOTHING! :) I DO like the tree we have now though...would love to have a real one but they're not easy to find where we live. It is an enormous job to sort everything out and also pack everything away to leave empty spaces for my Christmas collections. I'm almost embarrassed to say that there are ALMOST too many of them all! You could never say I am minimalistic in my decorations! I will take photographs of it all and post them tomorrow. For now I have my yearly tree decorations for Kirsten and Matthew, along with my yearly pillow as well, to show you.
Also, three tree decoration I designed to give away as a lucky door prize at our sewing group (joined with the R&C sewing group in Mossman). I also made an extra 2008 pillow plus some of my Christmas patterns. Cindy from Mossman won the prize and I think she was happy. The three decorationsall have 2008 embroidered on the back and if you remember the stocking I designed for Handmade you will recognise the fabric AND design which I repeated for the 2008 pillow. K&M's ornaments (below) have the same whimsical tree (done with my Pfaff needle felting machine) on the front with their name and year embroidered on the back in the colour to match the gusset.
I feather stitched down the centre of the gusset in green and
added an old gold colonial knot every so often.
Matt's comment was "rad Mum, you outdone yourself this year" - I was pleased!
I'm about to start thinking about what clothes to take for our trip to Newcastle - have to make three skirts this afternoon! Only simple straight ones so won't take me long. I haven't used my overlocker for ages so hope it still works!!!
Until next time, Happy Stitching,


Sunday, November 23, 2008


The other three projects from the "Woodland Blooms" range of fabrics from Moda. LOVELY fabrics - a polished cotton feel to them and, as always with Moda, great to work with. I really liked the green background floral fabric to start with but ended up preferring the blue background! :) Unusual for me as I just love green. ALSO out of the ordinary for me to use bright pink too but it just seemed the best colour to bind both the bag and the tablerunner. I went mad with the ric-rac again but just love it as an accent. I called the bag on the left "Carrington" - don't ask me why! And the bag on the right is "Flamingo" - mainly for the bright pink binding. The tablerunner (Flowers with Power) is quite a long one - it sort of grew! 14in. x 48in. (35cm x 116cm). The photograph doesn't seem to do it justice...it's very bright and cheery and would even look good along the bottom of a single bed I would think. It's been fun and now I'm working on Christmas things in between doing all the instructions for these recent projects - the one part of designing I DON'T enjoy! :)

Terribly, terribly hot here today...not sure, exactly what the temperature is but would have to be around 35-36C I would think. These past few days have been very enervating when the heat hits all of a sudden. Think I'll go and have my third cool shower of the day when I've posted here - cools you down for a little while. It's times like this I'd love a pool in the backyard!

Until next time, happy stitching, stay well and safe, Cheers,


Monday, November 17, 2008


Apologies for being late....the date had just got away from me!!! I'm happy to announce that Cheryl won first prize so will be posting that out to her shortly. I decided to give a second and third prize as well and Kim won second prize of a small swag of felt hearts. It's the one at the top of the pic. If you email me your address Kim I'll get yours into the mail too. Third prize was won by Jules and if you email me Jules, to let me know what sorts of things you like to sew, I will send you two of my patterns. Anything from quilts, bags, tablerunners, placemats and also Christmas things too! Email me and give me some thoughts. I'll do another lucky draw early next year so watch this space! :)

I had a lovely weekend, starting with an art opening of just wonderful watercolours by a very talented local artist, started my Christmas shopping on Saturday morning and went to a champagne and chocolate make-up and other goodies Nutrimetics party on Sunday morning. Finished the day by sewing some more projects AND watching the first disc of Series 7 of THE Gilmore Girls. LOL One of my alltime favourite TV shows and I spoiled myself while shopping and bought the series 7 pack on special!

Off now to paint some of my buttons from my new range and then some more sewing! Happy stitching and Stay Safe,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The first bag pictured is "Sassy 60's". It's from the "Woodland Blooms" range of fabrics from Moda. I've got three more designs in this range half made so - watch this space! :) The other projects are all from the "Recess" range, also from Moda and I just loved them! To me they had a feel of the 50's and 60's, hence a lot of the names. The bag with the great, green commercial handles is "Top of the Pops"; the little round bag along with the needlecase and scissor holder is "Stitching Dilly Trio" - "dilly bag" comes from my youth and perhaps a distinctly Australian word...Mum would always call things that. The orange bag (and I just LOVE this fabric) is " Both Sides Now" - I need to take a pic of the other side as it's a different fabric and the gusset has both fabrics as well. Last, but not least are the two wallets/purses/pouches to be whatever the owner would want them to be - "Blast from the Past". They would be useful for putting any of your current, hand sewing projects in, handkerchiefs, anything special etc etc - I feel. Hope you like them all. Seems like a lot but been working on them all, in tandem, for probably a couple of weeks now. I tend to do that sometimes if I've been inspired by a particular range of fabric and I do all the cutting, then any handwork, then the machining, back to more handwork then back to any machining and so-on. Work for me! I have a tablerunner just waiting on the binding, another bag, also waiting for a binding choice and then ANOTHER bag at the cutting process in the Woodlands Bloom range so busting to get them done too. LOL THEN, I have to do all the instructions...the part of designing that I like the least! I find it a real headache at times and agonise over making sure I've explained myself in an easy way. Off tomorrow to my monthly Tablelands Regional Gallery voluntary duty and will enjoy the new exhibit. WONDERFUL paintings by a very talented artist - we attended the opening last Friday night and, if I were a millionaire, would have purchased quite a number of paintings! Talk again soon, happy stitching and stay safe,


Sunday, November 2, 2008


Erin, from New Hampshire is my wonderful angel! The parcel arrived last Wednesday as I was just about to leave for Mossman for my monthly bag workshops. Needless to say my departure was delayed a little! :) Erin was SO good to me and opening the box was like Christmas come early. My lovely Alphabet Annie, fat 1/4's of fabric, the wonderful bag that is almost hidden in the pic by all the other special, thoughful gifts. And then there is the fabric box, the snowglobes, GENUINE maple syrup! (Ross can't wait to try that! lol), yummy chocolate buds (that I demolished almost straight away), and the Willow Tree "Friendship" angel that now sits beside me here at the PC and last but by no means least - a special treat for Megs! I might add, Erin, that he just RUNS when I shake the packet now so they've been a great hit! :) Megs says thanks...and he's a great talker so you can imagine! I love the Bohin needles too, thanks Erin - they're my favourite needle to use. Erin was rather sneaky in that she made contact with me and we've exchanged quite a few emails and, silly me! It never occured to me that she might be my secret angel until she posted her hint of the package ready to send on her blog. http://www.godoodlesnquilt.blogspot.com/ Go visit Erin's Hannies Annies site too! http://www.hanniesannies.com/ THANKYOU again Erin, you spoiled me way too much but I'm glad you did! LOL A big thankyou to Helen from Hugs and Kisses too for organising the Stitchers Angel Swap - I'll make bets that it's been a huge success.
Now I'll have to get back to normal and enjoy my gifts as I work....Alphabet Annie will live with my other fabric dolls so hope they don't get up to any tricks together! Until next time, happy stitching. I've just completed quite a few projects using the new Moda, Recess range so will post pics as soon as I can. It's been fun! Bye for now,

Monday, October 20, 2008


I had a great time designing and making this bag. LOVE the Amy butler fabric and it really makes me think of the 1970's, hence the name. The handles are from Studio Mio, a great company, based in Sydney, who import the most interesting handles and other "hardware" for bagmaking.

Love the new buttons from Beutron too and used them to hold the pleat in the gusset closed. I'm on a real roll with bags lately! Have another 6 or so designed with fabric choices made and just waiting for me to get to them. That's in between everything I'm planning on doing! A cold and miserable day here in "sunny" North Queensland but Megs is still sitting beside me here on the window sill. Not many birds for him to "eye-off" though! LOL

Until next time, happy stitching, Cheers,

Thursday, October 16, 2008


My friend Sue in England and myself have challenged each other to make one of these. We both post on a wonderful forum and also visit
Lisa's blog. Lisa had made this beautiful crazy patch pin cushion and Sue and I decided to "have a go" too. It's ages since I've done any crazy patch and it took me a while to get my brain back into gear with all the embellishing. I'm afraid I went a bit overboard and, in my rush, as I always do! Made the circle too large for the jam jar lid I had chosen plus, didn't take into account the area where the embellishing would get lost when completed! So typical of me but I had such fun doing it I've promised myself to take the time and do more crazy patch. It will mean taking time out from my designing etc but "feel the need"!!!! Here's Lisa's link to her wonderful blog - have a good look at everything she does, it's just beautiful!


If you want to see more pics of my pin cushion here's the link to my flickR page....they're in with other things so just click through until you find them.

Tomorrow is my day with my "Artistic Licence" girls so I'm looking forward to that. We're planning our next exhibit and this one is going to be in the new Regional Gallery so we're really going "upmarket"! Not until 2010 so got plenty of time. It's another interesting concept and I'll tell you all more when we finalise the details.

Until next time, happy stitching and stay safe,


Monday, October 13, 2008


The last of the big "O" books for this year. More for next year! :) Wendy loves bright colours so I did the cover with this lovely bright orange wool felt I had. I've used pansies (for friendship) as the theme on all the covers and this time, needlefelted the cover with my lovely Pfaff Embellisher. I used wool tops (the pansy, dupion silk (the purple on the left), wool thread (the curly bit) and mummi silk (the little red spots). I hand stitched the detail on the pansy and leaf as I thought machine stitching might get lost in the felt. Also handstitched the running stitch detail as well. Added beads and used iron-on buckram (spelling?) to stiffen the cover.
Judy's page is the brown one with silk ribbon embroidery and lace. Mine is the crazy patch styled one with the old painting printed from the PC; hand made, rolled ribon roses with 1cm wide ribbon; lace medallion; old buttons; beads and a gold charm. Moreen's page is a beautifully embroidered stitchery design with a lovely little lace butterfly. Other pages were stitcheries, crazy patch and Wendy's Mum Carole stitched an exquisite stork on japanese printed fabric - single thread silk buttonholed around the outline. We will be giving it to Wendy tomorrow so hope she likes it! :)

I spent most of the weekend working on a new bag design AND finishing my Angel Swap gift so that's all ready to post to reach my recipient before the end of the month. It's been fun and I'm checking the mail each day for mine! :)

Until next time, happy stitching,


Friday, October 10, 2008

My Angel Swap Gifts

Just a little hint of what I'm sending. My angel lives quite a way away from me in a land where quite beautiful flowers grow! :) It's been such fun designing the third part of the gift. The other two I designed a while back and one was even featured in one of the magazines. Many, many thanks to Helen from Hugs and Kisses in organising the Angel Swap, I'm sure she's very pleased with the response she received and if you want to see more pics and news go to Helen's blog by clicking on the Angel Swap icon here on my blog. Another weekend is on the horizon...we're planning on going to Ravenshoe (a little town about a 45min drive from here) as they're having their annual Torimba (Festival of the Forest) street parade and festivites. Ravenshoe was a very busy timber town for many years but now with forest preservation the timber industry has ceased. The timber display each year has a plethora of magnificant carved and turned pieces that are well worth viewing. Looking forward to it! :) Hope everyone else has a great weekend, Cheers,

Monday, October 6, 2008


My angel and Christmas tree collections from a couple of years back. The lights pic isn't such a good one but will give an idea - this was the 2006 display. Ross has added more since. We would like to have more lights up on the peak of the house but it's rather high and he's a little bit height challenged! :) Our house is what is called a "Queenslander" - built for the hot weather and all timber. This house would have been built in the 1930's I think and, as you can see in the pics, the interior walls are what is called tongue and groove. Terrible to clean when the mould comes in in the wet season! We may not do all the Christmas thing this year as we're going to Newcastle to have Christmas at Matt's. Will all depend on how I'm feeling closer to Christmas! Would love to hear what everyone else does for Christmas? Cheers,

Sunday, October 5, 2008


It's called "Under the Mistletoe" in the magazine (Handmade Volume 26 No 2) but I had named it "A Christmas Kiss". I will be giving it away as a Christmas gift - the draw will take place on Nov 20th. All you have to do is email me at ozjan51@hotmail.com and you will go into the draw!!! I'm a true "Christmasaholic" and won't tell you how many big plastic crates I have, full of Christmas stuff! It's a major job as I pack away most things that are around the place to bring out all my Christmas "collections" - Reindeers, Snowmen, Santas, Angels, my Christmas pillows along with lots of other things. I've always loved snow globes too and have found them difficult to find here in Australia but I've managed to find two I think so that's my NEW collection! :) Think I have some pics here on the PC from Christmas one year so will find them and give you a look. Ross (who used to be the original "Bah humbug" of Christmas) has become rather enthused with Christmas lights and he really does a great job each year. I often have a giggle at me with my snowmen etc as they're a little bit out of place, I guess, with our hot summer Christmases but I'm afraid that Santa in sandals and board shorts just DOESN'T fit the bill!
Looking forward to hearing from you all, Cheers,

Friday, October 3, 2008


Spoken Wishes - a quilt I've been working on for some time now. A bit spasmodic I must admit! :) The pics are the colourway I've been working on and a couple of my sewing friends have worked it in two other colourways. One is the traditional country colours of red, blue, mustard, green etc and looks lovely! That particular quilt is finished and has an applique border. The other one is worked with rather "pretty" colours and is a smaller quilt as I've designed it to be completed in two sizes. Mine and the pretty one have large floral borders so the applique will not be needed.

My plan has been for Spoken Wishes to be a book but not sure how to approach it yet. Whether to self publish or submit it to a publisher. A real quandry! The book will cover both fusible and needleturn applique along with embroidery as well as some piecing techniques. Feel it will suit beginners through to advanced readership. Have to finish them all of course!

Megs being a typical feline just HAD to walk and then sit on it when I had it layed out to choose borders etc. The small piece sitting on top is a block from a charity quilt out sewing group completed. A rather pretty completed quilt that we found in one of the magazines.

It's a rather miserable day in sunny Queensland today - overcast and drizzly rain. So unseasonable but think global weather is haywire too! Ross and I are off to Port Douglas tomorrow to "look only" at a Darcy Doyle exhibit there. Darcy Doyle is a well known Australian artist and the exhibit is the last set of paintings he completed before his death. I'm sure we won't be able to buy any as they will be rather expensive! Nice to see though. Mossman, where the R&C girls shop is, is only a short drive from Port Douglas so will visit them as well. Hopefully the weather will be much nicer tomorrow as the Port has become a great tourist place with lots to see and do. Hopefully will get some great pics to show. Have a great weekend everyone,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Issue of Handmade

My copy of Handmade arrived in the mail yesterday. Volume 26 No 2. Rustic Gatherings; Holly Penny Rug (although I had called it Rustic Seasons!) and Under the Mistletoe (my name - A Christmas Kiss). A Christmas Kiss is one of my older designs (discontinued from my catalogue of patterns)having it's last "hurrah" but the other two were specifically designed for the magazine. The magazine changes my titles sometimes and that's fine! :) It's a really nice issue with lots of nice things to make. A nice appliqued tree skirt; the cutist reindeer teddy bear who just makes you smile; Jordon who is a lovely teddy bear, a great table runner and a lovely painted wooden Santa are just a few among the over 45 projects to make.

It's now the 1st October so that has to mean that it's only around 85 days until Christmas!
WOW! Where has the year gone? I'm sure it's not just because I'm knocking on old age, it as to be the busy lifestyles we live now surely?
We're going to Newcastle for Christmas to our son, who is in the airforce and stationed at Williamtown airbase. He's living in a townhouse off base now and has nagged since he moved for us to go to him for Christmas - so we are! :) He's a bit of a "bah humbug" about Christmas decorations etc so I'm going to have to take my own I think! Maybe he'll succumb to a small tree so we can hang the ornaments I have made each year for he and Kirsten at least? Which reminds me!!! I'm going to have to think of what theme I'm doing for them this year! Will have to get my thinking cap on...any ideas gratefully received! :) Until next time, Happy Stitching,

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another New Bag

I called this one "Bamboo Bling" - Sometimes finding a name for a design is harder than designing it! :) I seem to always want to go for alliteration but it doesn't always work that way. For the girls on the forum this is the design that didn't quite work the way I intended it to BUT happy with the end result! Actually need to re-photograph because it looks a bit lopsided but it's not...just the way I stuffed the tissue paper in to give it shape! LOL The handles came first and were the inspiration for the design.

Today is another beautiful spring day here in FNQ so thought I'd add a pic of part of our garden. It's a section of our "rainforest" corner in the backyard. Everything is coming to life now that it's warming up and Ross is complaining because he has to mow the lawn more often! Megs has changed his little sleeping hidy places and he's often outside in the garden during the day rather than curled up on Kirsten's bed! Now I'm of to bake a cake for friends coming for morning coffee and then working on the next cover for the big '0' birthday book! Cheers,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sewing Group's Big "0" Birthdays

We've had a few big '0' birthdays this year in our sewing group. Rather than get bogged down in a large quilt we decided to each do a "page" for each person and make them up into a book. These pics are Judy's book....Judy is the loveliest of women and she was 60 last month. It's her house that we generally meet at and it's just beautiful! She's on acreage and has the most beautiful garden and, as we sit out on the back patio we often see lots of native birds - especially Kookaburras and even the odd wallaby or two! She's on the edge of a creek and bushland so it's understandable. I think I've got some pics of her garden somewhere so will post if I can. Top pic on the left is the cover....I used velvet flowers and touches of embroidery. Next is Carole's page...Carole does the most beautiful single thread, silk embroidery. She's buttonholed around pansies cut from fabric and embroidered the leaves. Next down is Moreen's page...inspired by a card sent to her she has used lace motifs for flowers along with delicate beads and sequins along with textured threads. Bottom is my page with a "sort of" crazy patch feel. The print is from a postcard - can't think of the artist but it's printed onto the fabric you can put through your printer. The guipure motif is an old one from my collection and I added embroidery and beads. Hopefully the book will be a treasured memory.

M'ladys Passion "Extras"

I decided to give two free designs to the M'ladys Passion subscribers. M'ladys Comfort Amore is a small pillow and M'ladys Butoir is a doorstop (based on the applique design for Month 3) which was great fun to play with. The design could also be made as a cushion if the idea of a doorstop doesn't appeal. I just love the fabric and also designed a bag to go with it all. M'ladys Passion represents the applique bag for Month 2. One of the fabrics we ordered with the outside border in mind is just beautiful BUT didn't suit when it came to the final border. The girls at R&C had three bolts of it so I'm designing a retro bag to promote the fabric. Busting to get in an sew it along with all the other bags I've got in mind. Still more Kaffe Fasset fabric and just got a set of three Heather Bailey fabrics (that JUST cry out to be in a bag) from Col and Marg at Seriously Crazy. Not enough hours in the day! And oday is a beautiful day too! Should be out in the sunshine - Ross is off at bowls and I'm trying to catch-up on things here on the PC. Three sets of instructions for the magazines - have a look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozjan/sets/72157607548432129/ Just a few of what I've sent over the past few months. Hope your day is as beautiful as it is here, Cheers,

Friday, September 26, 2008

MORE Bags!

These two bags I made a little while back. R&C Fabrics had the African one in and just had to do something with it! :) It's quite big - I used Fast2Fuse in it and boy I don't enjoy using it!!!! It works well but you DO have to specifically design for it as it's quite stiff and hard to work with. The second bag is from the Chateaux Rococo range of fabrics....I got rather carried away with the range and did two bags, a tablerunner, three cushions and have designed two doorstops with it but haven't made them yet. Got the fabric from Seriously Crazy - a shop that stocks and sells a lot of my designs. They travel around in a big red bus and visit places that don't get the chance to see fabrics etc....out western Queensland and other areas too. They're a great couple, Colin and Margaret. They provide a great service to people in the outback. The bus is well set-up for them to live in and Col has designed great cabinets that hold the fabric and threads and other lovely things that make it easy for them to set-up and then pack away. Would be a great life I think! Just received a lovely parcel from them today with some great retro fabrics and other things too so I'm off on a designing spree again! Have been designing and making so many bags lately I feel like a true bag lady.... Mind you, have lots of other things designed and half made too - must get into them!

Well, hope everyone has a great weekend, I know what I'll be doing! :) Until next time, take care,

Jan xxx

"His" favourite "corner" :)

This would have to be Meg's favourite "possie"!! He has quite a number of them but he does love to curl up on Kirsten's bed and have a snooze. He's now our puss since she moved to Melbourne and I must admit he's well and truly crept into our hearts. Even Ross, who was so adamant that she couldn't have a cat, looks for him as soon as he gets home from work. Needless to say, Ross is the only person whose lap Megs will sit on but I'm the one he curls ups with when it's winter and it's bedtime! Cats are such curious animals...I've always been more of a dog person than a cat but wouldn't trade Megs for the world! His proper name in Ginger Megs after the old cartoon but in a typically Australian way we shortened it to just Megs or Puss he's often called too.

My Favourite Corners

I thought I'd show you some pics of my favourite corners in the house. Here are two, I'll take more pics one day. The one on the left is in my sewing studio. Well, I call it my sewing studio but really it's more a storage area as I mostly handsew and do that in the loungeroom and my sewing machine is on the front verandah.

Some of my cloth doll collection made by myself and my friends. Other special things on the wall also a mixture of my designs and gifts from friends. The three black/silver boxes contain lots of lovely braids, ribbons and other lovely things. The special memorabilia cushion at the back was a gift from Joyce...a very, very special lady.

The other pic is one of the corners in the lounge room. My "shabby chic" area! :) The cute "Weeds" basket was a gift from a good friend. I have all these different little areas in our home as I just love everything! Country, shabby chic, African inspired things etc etc. I sometimes try to "minimalise" but it never works!!!!