Blog Hop: Modern Folk Embroidery

I am so excited to share with you today:

 * my first blog hop post

Nancy Nicholson’s delightful book – Modern Folk Embroidery

* my take on the cuff bracelet

I love the benefits of Instagram. The wonderful supportive like minded people you e-meet [although I have met some a wonderful group of ladies in real-life – story for another day], the inspiration and the opportunities it offers. Like the opportunity to receive and review Nancy’s ebook.

The cover had me drooling from the word go. The book is full of:

gorgeous photography

beautiful colourful projects

an insightful stitch library

clear and easy to follow instructions

full size templates

I have always enjoyed embroidery and working with felt. So immediately I wanted to start making all the projects. I settled on the cuff bracelet for my first make from the book. I might just gift it for Christmas. When I was finished I thought the middle flowers looked like succulents.




A little difficult to see in the photo however [as with many of the other bloggers] I love the Eskimo laced running stitch.

I can see myself adapting these to make napkin rings and perhaps making the cushion next.

Although I’m the last stop on the hop – be sure to see what inspired the other bloggers.

Monday 17th October – SewandSo

Wednesday 19th October – Wild Olive

Thursday 20th October – Kate & Rose

Friday 21st October – Lilipopo

Monday 24th October – Anna Scott

Tuesday 25th October – SewandSo

Wednesday 26th October – Carina Crafts

Here is a short clip on some of the projects you will find this fabulous book.

And lastly if you need to have it on your bookshelf, you can find it here.

Cooking up a storm

Today I wanted to share a quick and easy but oh so adorable tutorial – kids apron. I was lucky enough to win a Rollie Pollie [jelly roll] from Riley Blake Designs on Instagram. Bella Boulevards Fresh Market collection is vibrant and whimsical, filled with citrus, florals and fruits. It screamed out kitchen to me. So with that I decided to make some children’s aprons. Here is how I made it. This size would be suitable for 3-5 year olds.

rollie pollie

Work out the order and placement of the strips. As I was going to donate these to my son’s pre-school I thought I would group ‘boy’ colours and ‘girl’ colours.

position strips

Sew the strips together with 1/4 inch allowance and press. I press the seam towards the darker colour of the 2.

Cut the panel in half, creating 2, 20 inch [50 cm] pieces.

sew strips

Sew these 2 panels together and press.

sew panels together

Measure 6 inches [15 cm] from both sides [top left and top right corners] towards the centre and mark. Measure 12 inches [30 cm] from both sides [bottom left and bottom right] upwards and mark. With a plate [or another circular object mark the shape on the fabric and cut [keep the pieces for the scrappy oven mits].

cut shape

Sew a 1/4 inch rolled hem around the entire apron. Press the hem and sew in threads.

rolled hem a

rolled hem

Sew the waist and neck straps securely in place with an X box. I used white herringbone tape, 8 inches [20 cm] for the waist straps and approximately 16 inches [40cm] for the neck strap.

sew straps

With the scraps I trimmed them into approximately 4 inch squares.

trim scraps

Quilted them with wadding.

quilt scrap

I machine sewed the matching bias binding leaving a loop at one of the corners to create play oven mits to match the aprons.

match with bias

Sewed in the threads.

sew bias

play oven mits

Lucky we had storm trooper to model the ‘girl’ one.

my models


A is for apple, B is for bowl

spaghetti yarn fruit bowl

Fruit Bowl – spaghetti yarn pattern

Finished size: 9 cm x 30 cm [3 ½ in x 12 in]


Spaghetti yarn [I used Lincraft brand]

Crochet hook: size 10 mm [USA size P]



Abbreviations: ch= chain, sc = single crochet st=stitch rnd=round

Notes: American crochet abbreviations used {sc [USA] = dc [UK/Australian]

This bowl is crocheted in the round, i.e. the rows or rounds are not joined it is worked in a spiral form.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 8 sc in second ch from hook. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 2: 2 Sc in each sc around. [16 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 3: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next sc] around. [24 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 4: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 2 sc] around. [32 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 5: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 3 sc] around. [40 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 6: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 4 sc] around. [48 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 7: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 5 sc] around. [56 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 8: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 6 sc] around. [64 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 9: Sc in each sc [back loop only]. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 10-11: Sc in each sc around. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 12: Sc in each sc [back loop only]. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 13-14: Sc in each sc around. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 15: Sc in each sc [back loop only]. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

The bowl is reversible depends which side you like best.

Any questions – let me know.

Craft a rainbow

How excited was I when I opened the [Craft and Quilt Fair] Craft Fair Friend [the fair’s mini mag] to see that Cecile Franconie would be at the fair. I have been admiring her creations on her blog for years. So here is my recap on a wonderfully inspiring day at the fair.

I was lucky to meet and chat to Cecile and photograph her work.

I attended some free workshops. Learnt about ‘boro’ sashiko stitching, some tips on how to make the perfect bag, how to create beeswax food wraps, some tips on using my ever growing collection of embossing folders and discovered candlewicking.

And did you know that candlewicking came about from American women initially using lengths of candle wicks to embroider boiled and bleached flours bags or feed sacks. Traditionally it’s white on white or cream on cream, and pre-dominantly colonial knots to form simple designs.

Warning – it’s a long post but worth the creative eye candy.

Cecile chatting and creating [stitching] flowers.


Some of Cecile’s gorgeous pieces on display. So ornate, textural, just exquisite.









There was a lovely quilted hoop display.






There were so many features on the quilts that I loved – that called for close-ups!

These 3-D origami like butterflies are the cutest!


FMQ drooling





Zoom in – the stitching on these petals…



So simple, so effective, MUST try.


Reviewing my photos – I was clearly attracted to bright rainbow inspired quilts.



Tegan’s ‘The 1400’





Di J’s ‘out of the square’


Oh my these tiny treasures…



This one used Tasmanian timber scraps. With eyelets in the corners, these were sewn to create ‘wooden blocks’.


Sweet felt applique embroidery, sew as you go hexagon quilt.


Denim roof tiles [my take on it]


A fussy cut masterpiece.



Penny Poppleton’s ‘Jenn does Mrs B’



Rachael Daisy won ‘best in show’ with this beauty.


Coffee shop in a tea pot

A pictorial post to show case some of the very talented miniature artists. These were on display at the 26th Sydney Miniatures and Dolls’ House Fair over the weekend.


The kettle inside the teapot! Gingham tablecloths and triangle sandwiches…

garbage bin

When taking a photo of the rubbish bin is justified.

1970s lounge

Circa 1970. Wallpaper and shagpile rug spot on.


Iconic orange kitchen bench tops. Light fittings. Beaded door curtain.

front porch 1

The key, skipping rope, tea cosies and fly screen door.

front porch

That lead light glass.

garden shed

The cutest crochet hat and gnome.


Door paint detail. Chicken droppings.


Brown paper bags and  tomatoes.


Kitchen Aid. Twinings tea tin.

pot oasis

Proof – anything can be turned into a ‘room box’ – a little garden oasis.

Queenlander 1

An entire block of Queenslanders. Emergency vehicles as wedding cars – hope the bride and groom are ok?


Neighbourhood dispute.

witches den

Spell book and skulls.

a special little man turns one

We are off to a first birthday on Sunday. And this invitation inspired me to upcycle and recycle.


You may recall this post – I had an idea to combine these words with a tie. These instructions are for a 13 x 18 cm [5 in x 7 in] shadow box frame that I had. You can adjust the tie size and card stock to suit your frame.

Cut a 15cm [6in] and 7cm [3 in] piece the thin end of a pre-loved tie.

Sew the edges at the top of the 15 cm piece together.

step 1

Sew 1cm  of the ends of the 7cm piece together creating a ‘tube’.

step 2

Insert the top of the 15cm piece  through the ‘tube’ just created and sew in place on both sides.

step 3

Sew top closed.

step 4

Print the words to live by onto card stock. I would suggest printing on scrap paper until you are happy that it fills the space correctly.

Trim card stock to fit in frame. Stick the tie with double sided tape.

step 5

Frame your art.

framed words to live by

The link provides a pdf of the ‘words to live by’ – if you would like to make this but need it to be re-sized leave your email address and I can send you the word version.

just like children, I love them equally

So you may recall the competition I entered and won last year, and the amazing prizes. A brand new Brother NV1800Q amongst the winnings. I do love her.

But Christmas last year I received an envelope. A letter [the original in Spanish below] with this story.

This is my life story. My country of birth Great Britain, I was born on 20 May 1946, my family consists of 30,000 sisters of excellent reputation and we were certified ED 77514 8. We migrated to different countries. My group was destined for Australia we were placed in different locations and so it was there that we became famous and wanted. So it was destined I wait for a while until someone was interested in me and took me home and there I was to  start a new beginning in my life and be part of another family. I felt at home rather quickly and they gave me love and cared for me, logically I had to work and thus took years, until one day they left me abandoned. I was too old and my presence had deteriorated and because of my age I worked slowly. After a period of neglect in a corner, they decided to take me to the markets where I was bound to be acquired by another person. I had no success as several people looked at me with pity for my poor state, asking questions about my life, no doubt I was too old and no one was interested. Finally after many hours of waiting, a good Samaritan looked at me with a desire to take me in, and so I had a new home, I spent a few months there, they were interested in changing my image, over a few weeks I was glad to see my changed appearance and looked very presentable. I was happy knowing that I would spend the rest of my life there but this was not the objective, but it was to be gifted to the person who asked questions at the markets. The person that  left without considering that while I cannot work I could be a part of her home and as such be proud to show me off to her visitors. My name is Singer ED 775148.

The original piece in Spanish – as written by my mum.

La historia de mi vida. Nuestro pais de nacimiento Gran Bretania el dia 20/05/1946 mi familia se compone de 30.000 hermanas de excelente reputacion y nuestro prestegio nos certificaron ED 775148. Emigramos en distintos paises , mi grupo fue destinado Australia en el que nos ubicaron en distintos lugares y asi fue que fuimos famosas y muy requeridas, estuve de muestra por un tiempo hasta que alguien se intereso por mi y me llevo a su casa y alli fue un nuevo comienzo en mi vida y parte de otra familia, me senti bien rapidamente ya que me brindaron respecto y cuidaron de mi, logicamente debia trabajar y de esta manera pasaron años, hasta que un buen dia me dejaron abandonada ya estaba muy mayor y mi presencia se habia deteriorado y debido a mi edad trabaja lentamente. Despues de un tiempo de abandono en un rincon, decidieron llevarme a una exhibicion donde tal vez fuera adquirida por otra persona, no tenia suceso ya que varias personas me miraron con compasion por mi estado deteriorado hacian preguntas respecto a mi vida, sin dudas ya era muy viejita y nadie mostro interes. Al fin despues de muchas horas de espera, una buena samaritana memiraba con deseos de llevarme, y asi fue nuevo domicilio, pasaron unos meses se interesaron por cambiar mi imagen, con el correr de unas semanas me alegro verme cambiada y lucia muy presentable, me ilusione de saber que alli pasaria el resto de mi vida pero no era ese el objectivo, sino que iba a ser el regalo de quien me miro hizo preguntas en la exhibicion pero se fue sin tener en cuenta que si bien ya no puedo trabajar voy a ser parte de su casa y tal vez orgullosa de mostrarme a sus visitas…..Gracias mi nombre es Singer ED 775148.

So the person who made the enquiry at the markets was me. I did ask and eventually walked away. Little did I know my parents returned that afternoon, bought her, took her home, restored her with the intent to gift her to me. My dad did an amazing job in giving her a new lease of life.




The model # + google – provided my mum with the facts to write the ‘life story’.


This decorative plate is just gorgeous.


What a lovely discovery – a full bobbin. What was the previous owner making …


The cover was in a very poor condition – unfortunately I don’t have a before shot.


I couldn’t help taking this shot – I received this toy machine about 30 years ago. I decided to google this model number and it is circa 1960.


The logo shows the Singer boat shuttle, crossed needles, spool and thread.


So although one child has 290 stitches and one sits simply showing her beauty I love them equally.

A pretty awesome year. 2016 I can’t wait!

Here is pictorial summary of my crafty highlights of 2015. So happy and proud of my achievements. 2015 summary

I opened up my Etsy shop in April. Something I will focus on 2016. In May I was notified that I won the Brother Competition, winning a sewing machine, ScanNCut machine and a craft room make over. I created and wrote several posts for the Lincraft blog and later started collaborating with them on the how-to projects [more to be revealed this year] and made it on the cover of Handmade magazine amongst several other pieces being published.

I also met some lovely and talented ladies in real life after ‘chatting’ on Instagram. Attended 2 craft shows, miniature exhibition, many markets, participated in some fantastic swaps and handmade gifts and cards for family and friends. I can’t wait for 2016, I’m so excited, hope you are too!