Did you win? And a little eye candy...

Thank you so much!
I feel so touched and encouraged in my designing after reading each of your comments on my giveaway. I really, truly wish I could send every one of you a Daisy Dance pattern.

Two winners have been selected randomly. Drum roll please....

Congratulations to Jeanette W and Kerry E !!

I love making small things that you can start and complete in a day! Loving cottage garden threads! Xx
I love the colours of the Cottage Garden Threads and this design brings them out beautifully. The threads are so easy to use and there isn't any wastage. The design of the needle keep is gorgeous and I will love the chance to make this if I win.
I will send you both an email shortly for your address.
~
Last month I was able to spend a day at the Australasian Quilt Convention in the magnificent Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
 
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It was super busy on The Patchwork Tea House stand, where I was working, so I wasn't able to to have a good browse this year.
 
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On my way out the door though, I couldn't resist a quick look at a couple of stands. (How could I help it... really? You can see it can't you? A rushing woman desperate to go home with something special and only a few minutes to spare.) Well, I think I managed to find some of the best treasure there was to discover, despite my brief shopping quest.
What do you think?
 
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I found these antique button sample cards at Chrissie's Timeless Treasures... and I love them!! I could never use them and take them off the cards, but I'm pretty tempted... especially by the red ones.
Directly opposite Chrissie's stand, was the L'uccello stand... and I couldn't help myself. Mother of pearl buttons are a weak spot of mine, and the other things pictured? Well, they begged to come home with me and I couldn't say no. If you are ever in the centre of Melbourne and you have a love of vintage, haberdashery, fabric and oh so much more... a visit to the L'uccello store is a must!
 
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Thank you again, for taking the time to enter my giveaway... and for taking the time to read my posts.
Until next time,

Let's have a GIVEAWAY!

(Pattern giveaway details at the bottom of this post.)

It feels great (like coming home kind of great) to have been more creatively productive recently. I love having a finished project and pattern in my hands, knowing the process it took to get to that moment. Usually I have a whole lot of projects underway at once, with all of them at different stages. We all enjoy the beginnings of a project don't we? Well, I sometimes get a bit stuck in the "exciting beginning part"... the excitement of a new idea and then another one, leads me to patterns half written, designs half stitched, ideas sort of played with then put aside. And that's kind of where I was for most of last year.

In recent months though, I've gotten a little strict with myself... its been more about the finishing and less about the beginnings.
I'm slowly working though my ideas and bringing them to the finish line. And that makes me happy. In fact, I think its just as exciting as the "exciting beginning part".
I wonder if the neighbours saw my little happy dance, when these patterns arrived on Friday.

Introducing "Daisy Dance - Needlework Keep" ~

A compact yet pretty way to store and carry your needlework essentials.
Finished size ~ approximately 6" x 7 
½when closed.

Daisy Dance 1

Late last year I was given a wonderful bundle of Fat Quarters to play with by Two Green Zebras... two beautiful fabric ranges by Tilda named Apple Bloom and Spring Lake.
"Daisy Dance ~ Needlework Keep" uses 3 fabrics from the Spring Lake collection, combined with a subtle off white print from the 2014 Bread and Butter range by Lynette Anderson and beautiful woolen flannel and thread from Cottage Garden Threads.

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Daisy Dance ~ One Day In May

All the embroidery in "Daisy Dance" is stitched with just one skein of variegated thread... stranded 210 Tropic Sea by Cottage Garden Threads. The tones compliment the Spring Lake fabrics perfectly, don't you think? The daisy panel on the cover has the added features of woolen flannel leaves and double-sided fabric leaves. The double-sided fabric leaves are simple to create and are only partly attached to the panel. This allows the leaves to sit up a little from the background and cast a small shadow, giving the panel a dimensional quality. Over time, the leaves also fray just a little, adding another textural element.
The daisy panel design is also suitable as a standalone project. Simply add a border and binding or a small frame.

Daisy Dance has a double fold, allowing for 3 panels, inside and out. This means plenty of pockets!
Lift the cover and you'll find a large pocket, perfect for a little fabric, notebook or even a small needlework project you're working on. To the right you'll find 6 pockets, perfect for thread storage, no matter the packaging style.

Daisy Dance ~ One Day In May

Open the needlework keep completely to reveal more... a home for a fabric pencil and a divided patchwork pocket (under the butterflies) for buttons and other notions. To the right there's another tall pocket for an applique glue pen, small ruler or tapemeasure. There's also a place to attach and store your embroidery scissors and two needlekeeps for your pins and needles.

Daisy Dance ~One Day In May 2

Daisy Dance ~ One Day In May 7

In the centre, two butterflies play, “...and they danced amongst the daisies to celebrate the Spring.”

Daisy Dance ~ One Day In May

Daisy Dance ~ One Day In May

I couldn't leave the back cover plain, so added a little friend there too.

Daisy Dance ~ One Day In May

Here's a look at the outside of the keep when fully open...

Daisy Dance 8

"Daisy Dance ~ Needlework Keep" patterns have begun to arrive in stores.
I will edit this post to add stockists as I become aware of them.

For now, you can purchase a PATTERN or FULL KIT from  The Patchwork Tea House.
The kit includes all fabric, threads (for embroidery and ties), woolen flannel, fusible stabiliser, fusible webbing, freezer paper, batting and button.

Patterns are also due to arrive today at Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop. Please email or call Karen to order.
Patterns are also on there way to Stitches from the Bush. Please email Perri to order.

If you are a store and would like to stock "Daisy Dance", please email lori@patternpress.com.au to place an order, as "Daisy Dance" won't be on the Pattern Press website until Helen's return from the US, in late May.

Daisy Dance 8

As always, the pattern includes full sized pattern sheets and comprehensive instructions, with lots of photos and illustrated detail.
I hope you enjoy "Daisy Dance" as much as I have.

To celebrate the release of "Daisy Dance", I have TWO patterns to giveaway!
Would you like one?

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post. If you feel like it, tell us what kind of neeedlework you enjoy.
I'm a bit partial to embroidery. Can you tell? Actually, I do love needleturn applique a whole bunch... and dimensional work.... ok, so I can't choose. 

National and international entries welcome.
Entries close at 
10pm on May 11th,  Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Winners will be drawn randomly on May 12th.

ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. WINNERS DRAWN TOMORROW EVENING (May 12th).

Until next time,

Two new patterns for you!

(Warning! Long blog post ahead!)
For the first time in quite a while I have new patterns to release! I have to say I'm pretty excited to have these completed and ready. I hope you like them.

The first is...

~ Heartfelt Trio ~
A trio of small projects, for the home or gifts
Finished project sizes
Hanging Heart – 8” x 8”, Wallhanging – 7 ½” x 14”, Framed Heart – to suit a 8" x 10" frame
-  Choose a colour.
- Choose a Heartfelt Panel, “Home”, “Welcome” or “Family”.
- Choose which project to make, Wallhanging, Hanging Heart or Framed Heart.

The process of designing "Heartfelt Trio" began over a year ago. I wanted to just make a simple framed version... but you know you start one thing, and the ideas come more quickly than you can stitch. I wondered if the design might be better used in a wallhanging. Actually, maybe it would be great as a cushion or "a 3 dimensional, filled with stuffing kind of thing".
As you can see I couldn't choose so I made all three ~ a trio!

So, one panel design, three heartfelt sentiments and three projects to create with it.

Heartfelt trio all 3

The Heartfelt Panel Design is created with a back-stitch filled word, satin-stitched dots and dimensional flowers. Each flower is made with a layer of double-sided fabric and felted wool. The smaller flowers are completed with a clear glass bead in the centre.

Heartfelt trio all 3
Heartfelt trio all 3
Heartfelt trio all 3

Each "Heartfelt" project offers different techniques to try.
The Hanging Heart has a fabric tie and a ruched edge which adds a lovely textural quality.

Heartfelt Trio Welcome1
Heartfelt Trio Welcome1

The Wallhanging features a little patchwork, quilting and threaded back-stitch.

Heartfelt Trio Home1

The Framed Heart is needleturn appliquéd and then edged with threaded back-stitch.
(You can see a closeup of the threaded back-stitch in a closeup above.)

Heartfelt Trio Family1

The pattern includes full sized pattern sheets and comprehensive instructions, filled to the brim with illustrated and photographic detail.

Heartfelt Trio Pattern Cover

My second release for this week is...

~ With Thread in Hand - Framed Stitchery ~
Finished design size to suit a 10" x 13" frame.

Vintage sewing tools and fully wound thread cards rest on a partially stitched doily, waiting for the embroiderer to return. This One Day In May project is reminiscent of embroidery design and tools of a bygone era.

With Thread in Hand framed2

"With Thread in Hand" was shared with Cottage Garden Threads Collectors Club in February and is now ready to be released as one of my pattern range. I loved designing this stitchery. I have quite a "thing" for all things vintage, but especially anything sewing related!

With Thread in Hand collage

This project is completed with Back-stitch, French Knots, Detached Chain-stitch, a little Satin-stitch and the tiniest of cross-stitches for a simple, yet textural alternative to the French Knot. The finished design fits comfortably in a 10” x 13” frame but would also work well bordered and bound as a miniature quilt.

With Thread in Hand Photos closeup4

 Only 4 different skeins of variegated, stranded cotton are needed to complete this project.
I have used stranded Cottage Garden Threads.
- 708 Plum Pudding for frame outline, spirals & detail on embroidery cards
  - 203 River Gum for leaves, stems & wound thread on the 1st thread card
  - 310 Carrot Seed for scissors, thimble, needle threader & card outlines
  - 1002 Kangaroo Paw for all text & wound thread on the 2nd thread card
Maybe you already have these colours in your collection.

With Thread in Hand Photos closeup6

With Thread in Hand Photos closeup5

With Thread in Hand framed3

“With Thread in Hand”  includes a MULTIPLE-USE TRANSFER so you won’t have to spend any of your stitching time tracing. You’ll also find a full sized pattern sheet and comprehensive illustrated and photographic instructions.
Add a touch of sewing nostalgia to your creative space... “With Thread in Hand”.

With Thread in Hand coverBoth of these patterns are available now and will be filtering into stores soon. Please get in touch with your local patchwork store to order, or you can find it HERE today.
For store owners, please get in touch with Helen or Lori of Pattern Press to place a wholesale order.
I will be having a giveaway of these new designs very soon, so keep an eye out.

Until then, happy stitching...

Gathering inspiration... and a little Valentine

(This being my first blog post of 2015, it would be downright neglectful of me to not wish you a very Happy New Year! Oh dear... and I think I should add "Merry Christmas to that too. I really am a bit behind! Lets pretend for a moment that we're not a good 6 and a bit weeks into the year already... ok?)

Spending some time rummaging in thrift shops and antique stores is one of my favourite things to do on a "me day".

I usually hunt for handmade items, vintage sewing tools and haberdashery, linen, bottles, childrens' books and postcards. I tend to also gather inspiration... not really intentionally. It just happens. I find old book spines, picture and mirror frames, linen and postcards, sheet music, jewelry design full of inspiration... just about everywhere you look there is a shape, flourish, colour combination, illustration or style that triggers something creative. Little discoveries like these fill me up with renewed motivation... and bring a wonderful assortment of new ideas for projects. And lets face it... the hunt and eventual discovery just make me happy!

Look at the cover of this sheet music! So many little elements are just begging to be embroidered, don't you think? (I'm sure store owners must wonder why I look at covers so closely... and for so very long!)

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I love the shape of this banner too. It feels a bit Christmassy to me... I have a project in mind already!

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The font used on this book cover caught my eye... as did the wonderful flower spikes. I can imagine them in a combination of applique and embroidery. The frame shape around the lettering is great too. There is so much inspiration here!

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I don't always find something to bring home, but I was lucky today.
I
 found a small table topper embroidered with a very simple "chicken scratch" design, a sweet vintage postcard with a Mabel Lucie Atwell illustration and a glass jar that once held lemon butter. None of the "had to come home with me" items have terribly much to do with design this time, but they speak to me just the same.

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Although very simple in design, I think the red and white "chicken scratch" cloth will be wonderful as a prop for project photography. Its a little primitive, pretty, country, girly and vintage in style... all at the same time.

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I never can resist anything illustrated by Mabel Lucie Atwell, but this treasure is especially sweet. The card is from the Valentine's Atwell Series, which is especially appropriate to discover today. Just in time for Valentine's day tomorrow.
As you can see, little Alice must be feeling a little forgotten by her beloved uncle... the labeling she has added to the front says it all. Either auntie and uncle have had a baby which is distracting them terribly, or auntie is doting on uncle a little too much for Alice's liking. What a giggle! Poor auntie isn't even mentioned in Alice's note. 

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Finding something vintage and produced by a Melbourne company is extra special to me... my home town. I'm looking forward to doing a little research tonight. Hopefully I can find an approximate date of production. The shape of the jar is beautiful too. A little art deco in style maybe... I wonder.

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What are you drawn to when thrifting or hunting for treasure? I'd love to know.
Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day for tomorrow (and I'm even early!).