Friday Flashback – Beautiful Bugs – New Free Design

Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.


This week I am focusing on the Beautiful Bugs collection.

This collection began with me seeing a gorgeous set of artwork. You may not know this, but not many digitizers create their own artwork.  There is a different skill involved in creating beautiful stitches and designs that translate well into thread, and that of creating the artwork.  Each skill is equally valuable, and as stitch artists, we go to a lot of trouble to create a great working relationship with the artists we work with.

However, back to the artwork. I saw these beautiful flower designs with faces, and could not resist them, I purchased and downloaded them onto my computer, and immediately got caught up in life.  That same week, my parents came from another state to visit me, and my gorgeous 6 month old daughter Emma was admitted to hospital with Pneumonia. I spent the next 5 days at the hospital with an incredibly sick child, whilst my parents took care of the other two kids.  During the evening and night whilst Emma slept, I could not sleep, and sat up in the hospital room with the beeping of the monitors playing with these designs.


I think my favourite part of the Beautiful Bug designs are their chubby cheeks. As you can see with the picture of Emma at this age, she had those same cheeks.

This was the first collection that I ever created using the applique technique. Although the software that I used at the time would create applique as a one step, I was never a fan of doing things this way, and needed the control of manually designing this.  I had some gorgeous scraps of fabric that were perfect for this, and for me one of my favourite things about embroidery is being able to go through the scrap basket.

The first thing that I made with the Beautiful Bug designs were little shirts for the girls. I wanted something sweet and spring like, and we always got plenty of compliments on these t-shirts.


Next I got creative with fridge magnets. I love using the embroidery machine to create things that you would not think of creating with the embroidery machine.  By stitching the design onto felt, and using a sticky magnet sheet, you can create a strong bond, perfect for fridge magnets.

Initially I attempted to keep these magnets at the top of the fridge, so they would remain pristine and would hold notes for me. However the kids loved these, and they soon migrated to child height for playing.


The same year I created fridge magnets for the mothers for mother’s day, and I have also created a gorgeous quilt with the designs, perfect for a baby’s cot.

Initially we gave away a 3 part flower design HERE as a freebie with the Beautiful Bug designs. As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are also offering the single flower desgin as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.


Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

The best laid plans….. and how I ended up in hospital instead of at a Craft Show!

I am a huge planner. If you ask my hubby it is probably one of the things he likes both most and least about me.

I had a great plan for this month. I was going to Toowoomba to do the Craft Alive Show, then teaching a class, dashing back to Canberra for Valentine’s Day, then off to Sydney for another Craft Alive Show, before coming home and getting heaps of work done.  I had meals prepped for when I was away, the calendar was up to date so nobody would miss out on anything.

All of that fell apart!

As many of you know, Australia had a heat wave a few weeks ago, and that happened to be when I was in Toowoomba. Whilst the family were sweltering through the heat wave in Canberra, I was struggling through it in Toowoomba.  Unfortunately, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and after a lifetime of never having an issue with health, or dehydration, I ended up dehydrated and quite ill.   I loved the Craft Alive Show, and had such a wonderful time meeting everybody, however when I got back to the hotel on Sunday night, it was in extreme agony, and I was having trouble drinking or eating anything.

I persevered onto the class on Monday – thank heavens their regular teacher was there as well, and fully assisted me, as I was near fainting the entire time – and got 400kms down the road on the journey home that evening.

On Tuesday I arrived home for a lovely dinner hubby had prepared (that I could not eat), and we both agreed something was wrong physically.

On Wednesday I got an appointment with the doctor, assuming that they would give me something to fix me, and the car would be packed by Wednesday evening for Sydney on Thursday. Instead I was sent for an immediate CT scan and blood work, after which they rushed me to hospital with a massive gallstone and inflamed gallbladder.

After lots of tests and doses of antibiotics, on Friday evening I was well enough that they were finally able to operate on me. 5 days later I am sitting at my desk in very little pain, with 5 keyhole marks on my belly (I attempted to get surgery upgraded with lap band and a tummy tuck but they wouldn’t do it), wondering where the week went.

I think the worst of it all though is just how long it has taken me to sit at the computer again, and how mushy my mind feels (hopefully from the anaesthetic).

I am so blessed and lucky to have a wonderful hubby and children (who are doing all of the cooking and cleaning for the next few weeks) – hubby just took two days of carers leave for me to make sure I was ok at home, and is now calling each hour to make sure I am ok, and not lifting anything. Having said that, their planning or lack of it is driving me batty!

So next week when you hear I am seeking medical care, it is from hubby and kids not writing a meal plan, not any real illness. 😉

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

Friday Flashback – Cameron’s Zoo – New Free Download


Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a peak inside some of my classic collections. This week I am focusing on the Cameron’s Zoo collection. This collection began with Cameron’s love of animals. All of his favourite books involved animals, and he would absolutely love making the noises of each animal. As soon as I […]

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How do you choose your colours?


What type of stitcher are you? Do you go with gut instinct to select your threads for embroidery, or do you agonise over the decision, second guessing your choices? Whatever type of stitcher you are, we all know that choosing the right colour of embroidery thread can make or break your design! Personally, I am […]

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Free Project & Tutorial – Stumpwork


On Friday I went back in time and showed you one of my favourite techniques (but really, that is like asking which kid I like best – I love them all) – Stumpwork. Feedback from many of you is that you have never had the opportunity to try this technique, so I would like to […]

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Friday Flashback – Stumpwork – Free Download


Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a great look at some of my classic collections. This week I am focusing on the Stumpwork collection. This collection began because my next door neighbour at the time (Rhonda), has an incredible talent for creating beautiful hand embroidery. I would sit there watching her work these gorgeous […]

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Thankful Thursday – Week 12


And finally, we are at the end of the Thankful Thursday collection. This weeks design is now HERE, and can be downloaded for the next two weeks. Savour life and all it’s magic. Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

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Crusin’ Towards Toowoomba


I love a sunburnt country – Dorothea MacKellar (1908) I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of drought and flooding rains, I love her far horizons, I love her jewel sea, Her beauty and her terror – The wide brown land for me. Today has been a really […]

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Friday Flashback – includes Freebie Design


Welcome to a new segment that I am very happy to bring you. The Friday Flashback. Each week I am going to show you one of my classic designs, letting you know the story behind the design, projects that I have made using the designs, and giving you a freebie. This week, I am beginning […]

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Embroidery on Weird Fabrics


Weird Fabric Wednesday – how to embroidery on straw placemats or hats. Did you know that you can embroider on difficult fabrics, such as a straw hat or placemats? It’s really quite easy. The trick is all in preparing the surface for embroidery. I purchased these beautiful placemats from the reject shop ($10 for a […]

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