Free Pattern for Christmas Giving - Week 2

It's week 2 of our 
four weeks of Christmas Giving.

Thank you to all those lovely readers who let me know that they really liked the needlecase pattern last week.  Today I have for you the "Coming up Roses" design - a Table Centre with a vintage feel:

Some pretty lace surrounds an embroidered centre:

You can download the pattern here.
It will be available for one week and then will be replaced with the next free pattern.

I didn't accomplish any sewing again this week. We've been away for the weekend for a family celebration - a very happy occasion. Instead of needle and thread, I did pick up the crochet hook and ball of cotton!  I've been making some Christmas decorations as small gifts for some friends. I hope to have some photos of the finished products next week.

Do you have children or grandchildren getting excited about Christmas? Here's a link to a fabulous site where you can obtain a free pattern for the Eggstraordinary Advent Calendar. It's a great design using things you will find in your home.  The children will love to be involved in making it.  

Seeing I haven't done any stitching, there's nothing much to show you in that area, so I thought you might like to see a couple of the amazing flowers that brighten our cacti garden.

Come back next week for another free pattern.

Happy stitching!

Free Pattern for Christmas Giving - Week 1

I'm excited to share our first free pattern in my
  four weeks of Christmas Giving.

This week I have for you the "Lovely in Lavender" Needle case:

It's a bit different to the usual needlecase, in that it is designed specifically for your packets of needles.  You know how difficult it is to work out which needle is which when they are all sitting neatly in a pincushion or needle case? I solved my problem by designing this project so that all the needles are stored in their marked packets - no need for guessing size and shape any more. 

 With just a little bit of embroidery, it's quick to make and would make a great gift for a sewing friend. The pattern will be available for one week and will then be replaced with the next free design. You can download the pattern from here.
Don't forget to tell your friends and share the Logo at the top so that everyone can join in the fun.

Some more of my Christmas designs are coming out in magazines.  Yuletide Poinsettia is a sweet little box with silk ribbon embroidery on the lid:

You can find it in Embroidery & Cross Stitch Magazine Vol 21 No 4:

I'm very fond of French Braid, which is very effective and so simple to do. It is an ideal technique for Table Runners and Jelly Roll strips as you can see in my Ding Dong Merrily Table Runner:

You can find this pattern in the latest Country Threads Vol 14 No 8:

I haven't done much stitching this week again. There were a couple of days away up country to see some of our grandchildren receive their school awards. Then I joined our Government "Get Ready" programme.  It's coming up fire, flood and cyclone weather where we live, and the idea is to prepare one step at a time to deal with the extreme weather and natural disasters that are part of living in Queensland. Each week we are given another job to complete. 

One of the things I needed to do was to scan all our important papers. Now 'important' has different meanings for different people. We have two boxes that we know we need to grab in an emergency. One has purchase invoices, warranties and all those mundane papers that are very handy to have, say if you lost everything in a fire. The other has my really 'important' papers - childhood photos, photos of my parents and grandparents, my father's war records, my children's school reports - things that are totally irreplaceable, totally worthless monetary-wise, but absolutely precious to me.  Last week I spent lots of happy hours reliving memories and sharing the photos with our children and their families.

My mum and dad (and me!):

This week I will have to tackle the mundane papers - essential but not half as valuable!

I hope you enjoy the free pattern and keep a look out for another next week!


Free BOM - Apples of Gold - Finishing Instructions

Today I have for you the finishing instructions for our 2013 Free Block of the Month "Apples of Gold" quilt. The verse along the top of the quilt has the key message: "The right word at the right times is like apples of gold in settings of silver."

I used some gold and silver thread for a bit of bling around the apples:

I hope you have enjoyed/or will enjoy making this quilt.  You can find the finishing instructions here.
All the blocks will be available for free on my website until 31st December. Meanwhile I have started to prepare something for you for 2014!

My "Night-time in the Forest" Cushion has been published in Patchwork & Stitching Magazine Vol 14 No 10.

I have used black a bit of late which is not my normal fabric choice. However, for this pattern I think it works well and I really like the apricot floral fabric with the black background.

I am very fond of owls so of course one had to feature in my night-time scene.  This week on our morning walk we discovered a Tawny Frogmouth (sort of an owl cousin) nest with two little fluff-ball chicks. It's the third year in a row we have seen them nesting in our area, so we were very pleased to find them, considering they move house each year and have great camouflage.

I didn't do much stitching this week - still getting over Craft Retreat, so no photos of any designs, but I do have a couple of fabulous Craftsy Classes to tell you about.  Craftsy is amazing!  They have just brought out two more FREE mini-classes!

I have joined this one because I reckon there is always something new to learn, or a tip to pick up.

Our Laird Christmases are great times when our family gets together.  A couple of years ago we had everyone in our immediate family - 25 of us - together, something that has never happened before. Our grandson took dozens of photos. Maybe you are going to take the opportunity to get some family portraits over the holiday season. Well, Craftsy has just introduced this course:

Seeing photography is one of my other passions, I couldn't help myself and joined this one too.  I love that you can watch the videos whenever you feel like it and they are always available.

And a final reminder.  The first of my four free patterns will be available to you next week. You might like to use my banner below on your blog/Facebook to spread the word.

Hope to see you back here soon.


Starting to think about Christmas ...

A few of my Christmas patterns have started appearing in magazines, so it's difficult for me not to be thinking about Christmas which is creeping up on us so fast.

I used the lovely Cinnamon Spice range to make the "O Christmas Tree" bag. It's a sweet bag to carry some of the Christmas shopping:

It is in Country Threads magazine 14/7:

On a more elegant note, the "Candle, candle, burning bright Cushion" uses gorgeous silk dupion and gold braid,  and is embellished with silk ribbon roses:

It is in the latest Stunning Country Craft Magazine 24/5:

Now, seeing I'm thinking about Christmas, then it is obviously time for gift-giving!  Commencing on the 17th November, I will have a free pattern for you each week up until the 8th December.  

I have chosen patterns that would be ideal for a lovely hand-made gift and that won't take long to make.  There'll be a cushion, needlecase, bag and table runner. 
Watch this spot!

I'm now home from the fantastic Creative Craft Retreat.  The ladies in my class did a great job of their silk ribbon embroidery.  Some of them had never done any type of embroidery before, so it was quite an achievement for them to produce what they did: 

I was impressed!  It's always a joy to teach ladies who are keen to learn and put 100% effort into what they are attempting.

Now I had better go and put away all the gear that I had to take on the weekend!

Happy stitching!