I've had a couple of weeks of celebration! Having family around for my birthday recently was my dream present. At my age I have everything I need (and want!) so my stock answer when I'm asked, "What would you like for your birthday?" is always "to have family with me". Having said that, I did receive some lovely presents as well!

Last week, it was our 49th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by attending a Symphony Orchestra concert and a meal out with some friends.

I am so blessed to have spent so many years with my wonderful husband and love of my life.

And I'm celebrating finishing a quilt. It was one of my 'slow' projects, commissioned more than a year ahead, so I had plenty of time to tackle it little by little.  Just a sneak peak or two for now:

I am really thrilled at how it has turned out.

Another celebration that is happening soon is the wedding of a friend's daughter. I've been asked to make a coat hanger for the bride's dress. I will be in my element with guipure lace, beads, and ribbon for this next project.

When I showed you the pincushion below a couple of months ago, there was a lot of interest in it and I promised I would make it available in my Craftsy Store.

That's happened now and the pattern is available for just $5. Check it out here.

I'm having a break from stitching this week - tell you about it next time!


Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Pattern 4

Block 4 is now available in the free BOM
wall quilt.

The verse featured this month is the amazing Golden Rule that Jesus taught.

If we lived like that, what a transformation would take place in our families, workplace, communities ... and even our nation.

Are you adding a little key charm on yours?

You can download the pattern here.

I've had a busy but fun week with five of our grand-children with us - two of our son's boys and three of our daughter's children. The cousins had a wonderful time together, which was lovely as they don't see each other very often. We had a number of mornings and afternoons at the beach, went to the Museum and to a fabulous Dinosaur Exhibition, and trotted off to see the Cinderella movie (loved it!).  The only sewing I did was the usual mountain of mending that daughter brought with her!

I'm glad that I worked hard before Easter to write up patterns, prepare samples etc. as I have three designs to post off to editors this week. Two of them are Christmas projects. It's a bit scary already thinking about the end of the year! 

Hope the editor likes this as much as I do!

Happy stitching!

The finishing touches

Happy Easter! May you enjoy the many blessings of the amazing event we celebrate.

I thought it was about time I shared again some of the hints, tips and know-how that I have picked up over the last few years in my role as a designer. Today I want to talk about "the finishing touches" or "how to take a project from ordinary to gorgeous". I'm focusing particularly on stitching accessories, which, because they are small, lend themselves easily to adding that little extra. 

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” 
Jimmy Johnson

So here are some of my "little extras". 
Gold fused beading:

Picture these items without the beading. They might be pretty, but they really don't look finished until the "little extra" is sewn on.  The set below has Pearl beading:

Don't despise the humble binding. See how the lavender binding on this needle-case acts as a frame around the darker border fabric:

Braid makes a wonderful finishing touch:

Closely connected is the twisted cord edge. In contrast to the commercially made braid, you can make a twisted cord so easily yourself:

Twisted cord is probably my "go to" finishing touch:

I love that there are so many colours of thread available that you can always have the right colour, in contrast to the limited range of store-bought braid. I added little picots when sewing on the cord on this set:

You couldn't get much simpler than running stitch, but that was all that was needed to give this set its finishing touch:

If you are using felt, there are even more options available with its "no fray" properties. A simple blanket-stitch sews the pieces together and gives the finished look:

On this bag I used a variation called closed blanket-stitch and used a contrasting thread:

So, think about adding that "little extra" next time you want to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.

I didn't get much done last week with a couple of lots of visitors, a funeral to attend and Easter upon us. I will accomplish even less this week and I am very happy about that because that means family will be here!!!

Enjoy your Easter celebrations.