My Year of Gifting Embroidery – Mothers Day – Owl Keep it


Mothers Day is fast approaching, and last week I created a wonderful sewing caddy for the mothers in my life.  My husband and I are blessed with many mothers, there are our wonderful mothers Lyn and Jean, Edwards oldest sister Annette who is like a grandmother to the kids, and two fantastic women Rita and Lyn who adopted and mothered me when I moved to Melbourne many years ago.  We want to acknowledge all of these wonderful people in our lives, and thankfully they are all stitchers, so the Owl Keep It is the perfect gift.

This gorgeous stuffed owl will brighten up any stitchers room, whilst at the same time keeping all of your notions handy. Use the wings to hold machine needles and hand needles, the stuffed body is a pin cushion, and the three pockets are perfect for scissors, unpick, or any other notion you need. The owl stands up all by itself, with the help of the thread storage on its back.   I have used a range of layer cake fabrics to make my owls, but you could just as easily select fabrics from your stash.


4 pieces of co-ordinating fabric from a layer cake, or 4 x 10” squares of co-ordinating fabric
Small scraps of fabric for the owl face and eyes.
10” square of felt for the wings
Tear away stabiliser
Owl Keep it embroidery designs by Julie Hall Designs
Embroidery threads to match your fabrics
20cm x15mm elastic
Sewing thread to match your fabrics
Hand sewing needle
Polyester Fibre Fill (toy stuffing), for stuffing owl.


The “Owl Keep it” – embroidery designs come in 4 different sizes, making it perfect for ALL embroidery machines.


  1. The “Owl Keep It” embroidery design kit come with 3 separate designs. The owl back, owl front, and owl wings.
  2. Begin your owl by creating the wings. Hoop stabiliser, and load the wing design into your machine. Stitch out the wing outline, and then lay the felt and wing fabric (with right sides together), on top of the outline. Stitch out the last colour change.
  3. Remove wing from the hoop, take away the excess stabiliser, and trim. Turn the wing right side out, and press.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the second wing.
  5. Create the owl back. Hoop stabiliser and stitch the outline onto the stabiliser. Lay the back fabric on top of the stabiliser, line up the elastic with the first line of stitching, and working one panel at a time, stitch down the elastic, leaving a loop in each panel.
  6. Remove the owl back from the embroidery hoop, take away all of the excess stabiliser, and press. Set aside.
  7. Create the owl. Hoop stabiliser and stitch the following colour changes.
    1. Stitch the owl outline onto the stabiliser.
    2. Lay the main fabric piece down on top of the outline (ensuring all edges are covered), and stitch out the second colour change to secure.
    3. Stitch the outline for the owl face.
    4. Lay the owl face fabric down on top of the outline, and stitch. Trim away excess fabric.
    5. Stitch the satin stitch to complete the applique.
    6. Stitch the outline for the eye
    7. Lay the owl eye fabric down on top of the outline, and stitch. Trim away excess fabric.
    8. Stitch the outline for the second eye
    9. Lay the owl eye fabric down on top of the outline, and stitch. Trim away excess fabric.
    10. Stitch out the eye iris and lashes (I use a dark brown thread)
    11. Change to thread to match the eye, and complete the satin stitch on the eyes.
    12. Change thread for the nose. Stitch.
    13. Stitch the outline for where the pockets will go.
    14. Take your last piece of fabric, and press in half.   Lay the pocket piece over the outline, and stitch the pockets into place.
    15. Take your wings and lay out over the owl.
    16. With right side down, lay the owl back piece over the top of the embroidery. Hold gently and stitch to complete stitching on owl.
      IMG_2465 At this stage, if your stitching is not totally tight, use your sewing machine to re-stitch around the outside of the owl.
  8. Remove the owl from the hoop, and trim around 6mm from the edges. Clip all seams.
  9. Turn the owl out, and press with a warm iron.
  10. Take the fibre fill, and fill the owl firmly.

Pin and hand stitch the bottom of the owl to complete.

owlclosed owlopen2 owlside


My Year of Gifting Embroidery – Making the List

So far on my “year of gifting embroidery”, I have been planning and making my gifts as each occasion occurs.  However I looked at the month of May, and nearly had a heart attack.  5 Mothers Day Gifts, and 4 Birthdays all in one month.  This prompted me to make out my list for the entire year – Birthdays, Christmas and anniversary’s.

Microsoft Word - gift list by month  Microsoft Word - gift list by month

Now thankfully many of these gifts can be “double-ups”, where I give the same gift to multiple people, but it still startled me the number of gifts I have to make.  So my new plan is to get a few pressies done each week.

I urge you to join me, and get to work on knocking presents off your list.  Not only will you save money by making your gifts, but it is a wonderful sense of achievement when you can mark names off.

Have a great week, and look out for the wonderful sewing caddy coming as my mothers day gifts this week.




My Year of Gifting Embroidery – Car Emergency Kit

Hello all. I hope everyone is having a wonderful month. I love March. The weather gets cooler – but you can still wear your summer gear, daylight saving hasn’t ended yet – so the evenings are still long, and it is only 4 weeks until the school holidays.

This week it is my father-in-law’s birthday.  David is 81 on Thursday, and like many his age wants for nothing.  Normally we would give David a hardware gift card, but they are looking at moving into a retirement village this year, and don’t need more “things”, however last year David and Jean (mother-in-law) had an incident where their car broke down in the evening, and they were stuck out on a road for hours, without a flashlight or anything – so a gift idea was born.

My car emergency kit uses designs from the Edwards Garage design collection, and is quick to make.

caremergencykit  caremergencykitopen


  • .5m heavy weight denim fabric
  • 30cm lining fabric
  • 30cm net fabric
  • 30cm wadding
  • 2 x 35cm zippers to match the heavy weight fabric
  • 1 magnetic closure set
  • 2m x 38mm bias binding for the binding of the kit
  • Edwards Garage embroidery designs by Julie Hall Designs
  • Embroidery threads to complete embroidery
  • Stabiliser, Bobbin thread for embroidery
  • Sewing thread to match heavy weight fabric


All seam allowances are 6mm

If you use a lighter weight fabric, line your bag with heavy weight wadding, as well as the lining fabric.


  1. From the denim, cut a rectangle, 50x30cm.
  2. From the denim, cut two rectangles 12x30cm
  3. From the lining fabric, cut a rectangle 33 x 30cm
  4. From the net fabric, cut a rectangle 32x30cm
  5. From the wadding, cut a rectangle 50x30cm

    Car Emergency Kit - Cut Fabrics

    Car Emergency Kit – Cut Fabrics

  6. Working with the 50x30cm rectangle of denim, fold the denim in half (making a 25x30cm rectangle), then mark up the centre point of this rectangle.
  7. Working with the centre point, hoop together your stabiliser and denim.
  8. Load your chosen embroidery design onto your embroidery machine, and stitch out your embroidery design.
  9. Remove the design from the hoop, and press.
  10. Take the lining fabric, and join to the denim rectangles (12x30cm), sandwiching the zipper in between.
  11. Take the netting and join to the external side of the zipper, to form the pocket.
  12. Sandwich the wadding between the wadding and the external embroidered rectangle, and trim to ensure all are the same size.
  13. Use a CD (or a similar rounded object) to round off the corners of the rectangle.  Trim
    IMG_2445  IMG_2446
  14. Working with the lining and wadding mark the half way point across the width of the kit, and then 2.5cm down.  Mark
  15. Use the back of the magnetic clasp to mark out the cutting points.  Cut two small holes.
  16. Insert the magnetic clasp and secure through the denim and the wadding.
    IMG_2451 IMG_2452
  17. Pin all three layers together, stitch all the way across the middle of the kit.
  18. Attach the bias binding to the outside of the kit.
  19. Fold the bias binding over, and hand stitch to complete.

caremergencykitopen caremergencykit

My year of Gifting Embroidery – Camera bag

Hello everyone, and welcome to March.

Today is my darling hubby’s 45th Birthday.  I have spent the past few days cooking special meals for him, we have had a wonderful picnic with the kids, and I have been making him a wonderful present.  As a family we love going out for day trips, but I always end up carrying around all of the extra stuff that we need in my handbag.  I am hoping that this wonderful camera backpack will solve this problem.  It is small enough not to be too heavy, yet large enough to carry the camera, as well as two lenses, and an extra battery.  The designs are from a new collection, Lights, Camera……  Enjoy.


For a limited time, I have the pattern and instructions for the backpack available for free on my website .  Whilst this is a relative simple backpack to make, the instructions, along with the pattern, takes up 19 pages (with full colour pictures), so I don’t want to bore you all by listing all of the details here.

Have a wonderful week, and let me know what you are working on.


New Designs for March – In the Hoop Felt Food

Hello everybody, and welcome to March.  I have had a lovely and relaxing Sunday, the kids and I took hubby to the National Library of Australia to see the Mapping the World exhibition as part of his birthday celebration.  It is an amazing exhibition showing maps that are around 500 years old, and the beautiful calligraphy that is used on them.

But – more importantly, I have been working on 4 new sets of designs – Felt Food.  I have young nieces who are between 2-5 years old, and they received a play kitchen as part of their Christmas presents.  This food is wonderful for young ones, and also a great resource for special needs kids, such as Autism.  Kids can make their own hamburgers, cookies, breakfast, or pizza – and best of all, it is all in the hoop!  Click on each pic to go into the website and see the designs.

pizza hamburger2 cookies breakfast2