2016 – A Stitch in Review

As we close the book on 2016, I am taking a moment to reflect on what I have achieved this past year.

On a personal level – I raised my gorgeous son through Primary School (seems like yesterday I dropped him off in the classroom for kinder), my daughters are thriving through school and will graduate themselves next year, and despite some setbacks such as Heart Attacks (Dad), Back Surgery (Mum), and Stroke (Mother-in-Law), everyone in my family is healthy.

On a personal heath level I was blessed enough to finally get my thyroid taken out. Although the surgery was daunting, I was home within 48 hours, and have never felt better.

On a professional stitching level, this year has been amazing. I participated in the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show, travelled around the countryside with Craft Alive doing shows in Tamworth, Orange and Wollongong, and had a wonderful time teaching in both Melbourne and Sydney.  My gorgeous children are old enough now to want to join in with “the family business”, and each want to take turns coming and helping me out at shows (they love the credit card machine).

2016year-in-review-1

When I look back on the designs that I have created this year, there are a couple of highlights as well. I began the year with Emma’s Touch & Feel, which my beautiful daughter Emma and I made together.  Emma came to me at the beginning of the year and in her beautiful lilting voice (Emma has Autism, and considers each word very carefully) told me that it was time she joined the family business.  I love the Sewing Caddy, and stitched out many of these for gifts this Christmas to stitching friends, Vino has graced many a wine bottle cover this year, and the Periodic Alphabet was a huge hit as the teacher appreciation gifts.

2016year-in-review-2

My favourite two collections however would have to be the two that really stretched me to learn and practice new skills. The All Laced Up Collection has been a dream of mine for many years, and every time I have attempted to create lace, it has not worked for me.  This year however, everything came together and I am so proud of these beautiful designs.  Octavia Owl is my other favourite for this year, combining the art of design matching (which I believe with the advent of larger hoops we forget a little of), and a design that is both open and yet detailed.  Octavia began as I had just upgraded my digitising software, and I was attempting to learn all of the new in’s and outs of the software.  Being able to create something lovely whilst working through was a real personal achievement for me.

As I look back on 2016, it is with a smile on my face.

For 2017 I plan on many more craft shows to get out meeting more of you wonderful stitchers, more design collections, more cool new Stitch-a-ma-jigs, and hopefully, more inspiration for stitching.

Until next year, have a Stitchin’ Day.

Julie.

Advertisements

Thankful Thursday – Week 9

OK – so Christmas is over – we are in the cleaning up phase now – the kids are at home, and it’s hot.

So this weeks Free Thankful Thursday design is quite apt.

choose-joy-5x7Life’s Hard – choose joy anyway.

Download your free copy of this design HERE for the next two weeks.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and wish you all a happy and save new year.

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

 

Thankful Thursday – Week 8

Welcome all to our 8th week of Thankful Thursday.  This week we are focusing on Gratitude – you can collect your free design HERE for the next two weeks.

With only 2 weeks(ish) to go until Christmas, I love this one.  As a parent we all try so hard to instil a grateful attitude in our children, and I am happy to see as they get older that all of the hounding is paying off.

attitude-gratitude8x12

I worry each year about how much to give the children for Christmas.  As a child myself, my parents always made Christmas special for us, but it was all about mum having collected stuff throughout the year, and putting it all together.

I also have the twins birthday Christmas Day, so our celebration is doubly special.  This year we are celebrating at home, and hope that the weather will assist us, and give us a beautiful day under the shade sale sipping drinks, and enjoying great food.

I hope you will join us in having an Attitude of Gratitude this holiday season, and downloading the free design HERE for the next two weeks.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day, and a Happy New Year.

Julie.

Try my gorgeous Shortbread as a Christmas Gift.

With Christmas only a couple of days away, if you are anything like me, you are searching for that last few gift ideas.

all-shortbread

Each year I make shortbread for my husband to take to work as gifts. I embroider tea towels, and wrap the shortbread in the towels.  I am always worried that people will not appreciate a home made gift, however last week Edward came home and suggested that he needed another 5 to the 7 he had asked for, as a few people from his old team mentioned how much they are looking forward to the shortbread.

This year, I created another set of quick Christmas design collection – More Words on Christmas, which is a set of 10 new Christmas sayings – including a design encompassing the “selfie” phenomenon.  To celebrate this new collection, I wanted to share with you my favourite shortbread recipe.

Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 115g Rice Flour
  • 115g Castor Sugar
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 225g Butter (at room temperature)
  • Extra Castor Sugar to decorate

img_6644

Tools

  • 2 cake tins – I like round
  • Baking paper to line cake tins
  • Food processor with a blending blade
  • Aluminium Foil to wrap shortbread
  • Embroidered tea towel to wrap shortbread
  • Ribbon to tie up the shortbread

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius
  2. Pour the Rice Flour, Castor Sugar and Plain Flour into the food processor bowl
    img_6648
  3. Chop the butter into 1cm squares, and add to the food processor
  4. Pulse the butter into the flour until everything is combine
    img_6650
  5. Take the baking paper and trim into a round shape, and line each of the cake tins
  6. Equally distribute the mixture into the two cake tins, and using the back of a spoon, smooth out in the tin
    img_6652
  7. Take a knife and cut the shortbread into 8 equal parts
  8. Sprinkle with approximately one teaspoon of the extra Castor Sugar
  9. Bake for 40 minutes
  10. Once your shortbread has baked, leave to cool in the tin
  11. Remove the shortbread from the tin, and wrap in aluminium foil
    img_6655
  12. Take the foil wrapped shortbread, and gently wrap so that the embroidered panel is showing.
  13. Take your ribbon and tie in a decorative bow around the shortbread to complete.

Embroidered Tea Towel

Requirements

Instructions

  1. Print out the template of the design you are going to embroider.
  2. Mark up the tea towel so that the design will be centred at the base of the tea towel, but still leaving approximately 1.5 inches at the bottom clear.
  3. Hoop your tea towel with TearClean Stabiliser at the back.
  4. Stitch out your design according to the colour chart.
  5. Once embroidery is completed, remove all of the excess stabiliser, and press.

all-shortbread

Fun Free Christmas Embroidery Design

Hello all.  I hope you have all been having a slightly better week than me.  I was laid up with a summer cold last week, and had to complete a 2 day contract training course at the same time, so I have had no voice for the past 5 days (to my family’s delight)

I have however, had a lot of time for sitting back and checking things out on Pinterest (isn’t it a wonderful way to spend a day).  At one point, I found a great 12 days of Christmas poster for quilters, and decided I would attempt to create one for embroiders.

12-days-of-christmas

So for me, this would be my best case 12 gifts of Christmas.  It’s not that I need everything on the list, however I bet like me you can be inspired by the 12 hours to stitch each week.

You can collect your free 12 days of Christmas embroidery HERE.

Enjoy this design, and have a happy holiday season from my family to yours.

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

 

My 2017 Embroiders Bucket List

The new year is coming upon us.

I am about to celebrate another birthday (44 tomorrow), and I always end up thinking about what I hope to achieve in the following year.

I started writing things down, and instead of thinking of my list as my to do list, or new year’s resolutions, I am making a 2017 Embroiders Bucket List.

My bucket list is small, I only have 10 items on it, but I am looking at skills that I want to improve, or work more on.  My initial goal is to attempt to knock one item off the bucket list a month.

Consider joining me on my bucket list journey.

A Project in the hoop

I have done a couple of in the hoop projects, however at the top of my bucket list this year is a project using in the hoop techniques.

embroidery-field2

A sew-a-long

Sew a longs have become very popular over the last few years, allowing many stitchers the opportunity to work on a project together, in the privacy of their own homes, utilising the power of social media and the internet. I am thinking a sew-a-long over a weekend would be a wonderful way to all work on a project together.

DSCF0376

A Lace Project

If you are anything like me, you love the idea of making lace with your embroidery machine, however the reality of undertaking an entire lace project can be daunting. I have had in my mind for the past several months the idea of trimming a shirt with lace that I have created.

lace-project

A Project for Charity

Creating a project for charity is always high on my list of wants each year, and to be brutally honest, sometimes the time just gets away from me. There are so many charities out there who could use items that we make, or alternatively, donate a quilt or embroidered item to a charity of your choice for use in a raffle.

throw-kindness8x12

A Project to Wear

Think outside the box on this one, and think about how you can decorate your favourite clothing with embroidery. If sewing is one of your passions, then start with your favourite pattern, otherwise, hunt for a wonderful piece of clothing that you can enhance with embroidery.

cutwork pants

A Project to Gift

Think about your gift list for the next year – do you have any “0” birthdays where you could give a beautiful embroidered quilt (I did this for my sister-in-law’s 60th last month), or smaller gifts to give – my mother now orders towel sets embroidered for all of her friends birthdays.

slippers1

A Project for the Sewing Room

I have been wanting to make a cover for my machine for the past few years, and never got around to it. I have found pictures of what I want on Pinterest, but never had the time to just commit to it – so this is the year.

sewing-machine-cover

A Kitchen Sewing Project

Think of all the great things you could make for the kitchen, from a Mixmaster cover, to tea-towels, pot holders, or even placemats and tablecloths.

kitchenaid-cover

Learn A New Technique

There are always new techniques out there that we can learn and embrace into our skill set. This year I am going to learn and share a new technique with you.

An Alignment Project

I am going to complete a project this year, where I can focus on using my skills and continue to master the art of alignment (which I think with the bigger hoop sizes we begin to forget a little bit about).

IMG_3577

So this is my bucket list for 2017. Throughout the year, I will be sharing my experiences of marking items off the list.

Share with us what is on your bucket list.

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

Thankful Thursday – Week 7

Christmas is coming, we are all harried, so this one seems like a great one to remember.

This weeks free design is Throw Kindness around Like Confetti.

You can collect your free design HERE.

throw-kindness8x12

Remember that the link will expire in two weeks (although it is before Christmas, so we may as well).  Collect your free design HERE.

So instead of thinking of all that I have to do before the end of the year, I am going to try and think of all that I can get done for others.

Have a great Stitchin week all.  Julie.