Friday Flashback – Deco Candlewicking – New Freebie – and how Victor/Victoria inspired this collection

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

This week I am bringing you the Deco Candlewicking collection.


Art Deco has always been a huge influence on me. The wonderful Edward (husband) jokes that I would love him more if he was 100 years old.  Most of my furniture is from this period, with the jewels in our furniture crown being the sideboard from my grandmother, and a beautiful 1920’s table that we picked up on ebay for $50.


When I saw this artwork up for sale, I immediately jumped on it. As per usual, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I “needed” it.


It was a good couple of months later that I came up with the idea. We were on holidays up in Queensland, and one of the kid’s wasn’t able to sleep, so I was up in the lounge room of the unit we were staying in, with Emma on my lap, scrolling through the TV channels.  As I was scrolling, I found the movie Victor Victoria, and the beautiful sets that were used in the movie had me hooked (this movie has been a favourite since I was about 12, and I still watch it about once a year).


if you look in the background of this picture, you can see the amazing curve of the wall, the gorgeous rounded table, and the screen.  All examples of beautiful art deco furniture and styling.


I love the lusciousness of the 1920’s, and this is what I have attempted to re-create. As well as the shapes included in this collection being classic Deco, the dense satin stitches have a lustre, adding depth and richness to the designs, without overpowering.  The candlewick elements give texture, and added interest.


As soon as I finished these designs, I wanted to play. Over the years I have used these designs over and over again.  I have made many handbags over the years, with the Deco Candlewick designs as the feature.  Working with the cream on cream theme, I have created a beautiful table centrepiece.

candlewickcentrepiece copy

Probably my favourite piece of all of the creations I have made with these designs would be the quilt top. I had taught a class on these designs, and one participant had suggested that candlewick HAD to be tone on tone, and that tone should be cream.  Now I am a contrary person, and naturally this challenged me.  I immediately then chose to create a quilt in black with the candlewick designs.  To make it more fun, I found the brightest colours that I could find.  I love this quilt, and regularly receive compliments on the colours used.


Initially we gave away a Deco Candlewicking Heart HERE as a freebie with the Deco Candlewicking designs. As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are also offering a second Deco Candlewicking design as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.


current free design available on our website


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.


Free Project – Embroidered Hooded Towel

Hooded towels for the beach are a must. I love that I could pop a towel on top of the kids, rub them down to dry, and then change them under the towel, without exposing them on the beach.  This hooded towel is created using a regular towel and additional hand towel.  Adding embroidery to the bottom gives the design a real feature.



  • 1 regular to small sized towel – mine was 68 x 135cm
  • 1 matching hand towel 40 x 60cm
  • 1m wide (25mm) bias binding to match the colour of your towel
  • Embroidery threads…
  • TearClean Tear away stabiliser from Stitch-a-ma-jigs by Julie Hall Designs
  • WetAway Topper wash away stabiliser from Stitch-a-ma-jigs by Julie Hall Designs
  • Conway Beach Bear Designs by Julie Hall Designs



  1. Load your embroidery designs into your machine.
  2. Print out templates for each of the designs, and lay them on the towel to create a template. Mark up the hooping points on the towel. As you can see from the image below, I have laid out different bear designs to go across the towel, with palm trees and the sun breaking up the design, and adding height.
  3. One by one, embroider the designs across your towel. Use the WetAway wash away stabiliser on top of the design, so that the stitches are formed on top of the towel, and the loops of the towel do not show through the design.
    1. If you don’t like hooping towels (and who of us do?, use a basting stitch to secure the towel to your stabiliser.
    2. Make sure that the towel is supported on the table with your embroidery machine, and that you don’t have the towel dragging. This will help insure that the hoop is not being tugged around, and ensure the best possible embroidery results
  4. Once the embroidery is completed, remove the excess stabiliser from the top and bottom of your towel.
  5. You are now ready to construct your hooded towel. Take the hand towel and fold in half. Stitch across the top half of the handtowel to form the hood.
  6. Fold the towel in half and pin marking points to show the half way point.
  7. Measure the hood across the centre of the towel, and using a water soluble pen, mark the beginning and end of the hood.       Using a really sharp pair of scissors, cut a slit using these measurements.
  8. Pin the hood into place, and stitch around the opening to secure the hood to the towel.
  9. Take the bias binding and pin and stitch into place around the neckline to hide the join, finishing off with a hand stitch.
  10. Now your loved one is ready for the sea/swim.




Friday Flashback – Conway Bears – New Freebie

Friday Flashback – Conway Bears

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

This week we are looking back at the Conway Bears collections, including the Conway Beach Bears, and Conway Ballet Bears.

These bears are the inspiration of a wonderful friend of mine – Anne Conway. Anne is the most amazing artist, with her skills ranging for painting, to folk art, to sewing.  She is one of the artistic people that I so admire, as she just has an innate sense of style and colour.

Anne was participating in a machine embroidery class with me, learning how to make the most of her new embroidery machine, and each class would bring in one of her own projects. One week she had a fantastic bag that she had painted on, with these gorgeous bears.  I was hooked.  Immediately after class, I asked Anne if I could digitise these bears for machine embroidery.  (the girls had just started walking, and I could so see how gorgeous they would look in little ballerina bear t-shirts, with tutus on).

I then spent a couple of weeks working out how to give the bears a “furry” look. I really wanted the texture from a real teddy bear to shine through.

As I completed the Ballet Bears, Anne showed me some art she was creating for Beach Bears, and they really cracked me up. I love the Buxom Bear, with her big hat and swimsuit (she is probably my favourite), and I really loved that there were both boys and girls (didn’t want to leave my boy out).

When I was looking at projects for these gorgeous bears, I think I got a little creative.

The first item that I created was a fantastic set of shopping bags (create might be an overused word). I purchased a set of re-usable shopping bags from my local shop, and embroidered a bear on each of them.  One of these bags has still survived (and we live in Canberra which is plastic bag free!)

For the ballet bears, I can remember making the girls their little t-shirts, however I cannot for the life of me find a photo of them in their shirts. I also remember making Emma a door quilt, using the shoes and one of the bears, with Emma’s Room on it.

My favourite of all of the projects that I have made with the bears however would have to be the hooded beach towel. Cameron was such a perfect little model here.  Using the designs to create a beach scene on the bottom of the towel, really worked well for this design. (see Monday’s post for the instructions for this project).


Initially we gave the Ballet Shos, and the Palm Tree from the Conway Ballet Bears, and Conway Beach Bear Design Collections as the free design (still available HERE). As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are offering a second design, one of the amazing Conway Bears from each of these collections, 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.

Free Project – Applique Medallion Quilt


I have always wanted to make a medallion quilt, so when I made a cutting mistake in one of the Violets & More blocks (cut on the square, not the diamond), I decided to make lemonade, and from the ashes came this great lap or wall quilt.


Finished size of quilt – 43.5” square

All seam allowances are ¼”

The Medallion Quilt


  • 1.5m black homespun
  • 14” square piece of fusible pellum
  • 14” square piece of batting
  • Embroidery Threads – Mettler
    • 0453 – Medium Yellow Green
    • 4644 – Dark Blue Green
    • 5664 – Medium Blue Green
    • 3045 – Lavender Mauve
    • 0660 – Pale Butter
    • 0520 – Medium Yellow
    • 0506 – Pale Orange
    • 2905 – Dark Purple
    • 2830 – Medium Purple
    • 0310 – Bright Yellow
    • 2300 – Bright Pink
    • 0221 – Lime Green
  • Bobbin thread
  • Stabiliser
  • Embroidery foot for your machine
  • Free motion quilting foot for your machine
  • ¼” sewing foot for your sewing machine
  • Quilting ruler, matboard, rotary cutter
  • Template for block 5 square.
  • 3 x 1.5” strips of pale mauve fabric
  • 95 4×2” strips of multi coloured fabrics for 3rd border.
  • Print a template using design “block 5”
  • Violets & More Embroidery Collection by Julie Hall Designs
  • Free Auxiliary Designs from Julie Hall Designs



  1. Take the black homespun and cut off a 14” strip
  2. Cut the 14” strip to form a 14” square
  3. Take the fusible pellum and iron on to the wrong side of the homespun square.
  4. Take the template and place over the square.
  5. Using a chalk pencil, mark the position of the design.
  6. Transfer the designs for block 5 onto your embroidery machine.
  7. Using the numbered template to show you the stitching order, hoop with tear away stabiliser, and embroider each of the designs, pressing the back of the work between each embroidery.
  8. Once complete, remove all of the excess stabiliser and press.
  9. Trim the block to 12 ½” square.


First border

Take the three 1.5” strips of pale mauve fabric, and stitch together to form 1 long strip. Press


Using your ¼” foot, stitch the pale mauve fabric to the 12 ½” block, beginning with the top and bottom, and then the two sides.

Second Border

The second border is where all of the embroidery takes place. You will need the auxiliary files, and the medallion border templates (available for two weeks as a free download)


  1. Cut 4 x 7” strips of fabric, and attach to the square, beginning with the top and bottom, and then the two sides.
  2. Take the medallion border templates, and mark the centre of the template by folding in half length wise.
  3. Position the template over the border, aligning centre of the template with centre of the border. (Don’t worry if it appears there will be a 1 – 1 ½” gap at the edge, we will cover that up in the final step.)
  4. Using the hooping sequence marked on the template, embroider each of the designs in turn on the border.
  5. Repeat for the other two sides of the border.
  6. Using the medallion border bow template, embroider the bottom edge of the quilt.
  7. Take the individual violet design and place over the gap in the border to join (if you still have a small space, use the satin stitch on your machine to join).
  8. Trim the border down to 6½”.

Third Border

  1. Take the strips of fabric, and join together in no particular order, to form one long strip.
  2. Attach the strip of coloured fabric to the top/bottom, then sides of the quilt.


Fourth Border

  1. Cut 4 x 6” strips of fabric, and attach to the square, beginning with the top and bottom, and then the two sides.
  2. Using the single frangipani designs, mark up the corners, and centre points of each border.
  3. Hoop the fabric using the markings made in step 2, and embroider the frangipani to complete.


Quilting & Binding


  1. I have quilted my medallion quilt using the following method, in the following order.
    1. Pin the entire quilt, using quilt top, wadding and backing.
    2. Stipple quilt the middle medallion
    3. Ditch stitch the one inch border
    4. Echo quilt the 2nd border, following the embroidery
    5. Ditch stitch the 3rd border
    6. Stipple quilt the 4th border and bind to complete.

Machine Embroidery Shadow Work Tutorial

On Friday we looked at shadow work, and some of the fantastic projects that you can create with this technique.  Today I want to take you through the actual technique of creating this beautiful technique.

Shadow work is a fabulous technique. It is quick to complete, and looks very elegant. When looking for designs to do in shadow work, select designs that have been specifically digitised for this technique. There are a couple of tricks that will assist you in achieving perfect embroidery.


  1. Hoop stabiliser into the embroidery hoop, and ensure tension is firm.
  2. Load up your shadow work design into the machine, and thread for the first colour (this should match the fabric that you are using, however if you have issues seeing the stitching through the fabric, you could use a contrast)
  3. Lay the Colourful base fabric on top of the stabiliser, and stitch out the first colour run. This colour will not only hold down the fabric, but will also show you where to trim away any excess fabric
  4. Remove the hoop from the machine, and with a pair of small, sharp scissors (I love my squissors with the curved tip for this), trim around the embroidery. Start by removing the centre pieces of each design, and then working your way to the outside.
  5. Once all of the trimming is complete, take your cotton voile fabric, and lay it on top of the embroidery hoop. Use the markings that you made on the voile to ensure that the centre line is matched up to the centre point on the top and bottom of the hoop, and pin into place around the corners of the hoop.
  6. Stitch out the second and any further colour runs, to attach the fabric to the shadow fabric, which will complete the embroidery.
  7. Turn the embroidery wrong way over, and remove any excess stabiliser.

Free Pattern – Butterfly Bling Handbag


I love this handbag.  It is large enough to hold all of my essentials, such as purse, water bottle, sunglasses, as well as all of the “stuff” that seems to accumulate as you plan a day out with the family, and still looks great.  If you have trouble finding Buckram, you could also use stitch and shape, or any heavy weight lining fabric.




  1. Take the pattern and increase all pattern pieces in size.
  2. Print out the butterfly placement template, join together, and punch the holes for placement marking.
  3. Trace the middle panel shape onto the strip of black fabric (you will cut out later)
  4. Use the template to transfer the placement markings onto the black fabric.
  5. Embroider butterfly’s on the black fabric one at a time, as per the template.
  6. Repeat the embroidery on the other piece of black fabric to match.
  7. Remove the stabiliser from the embroidery, and press.
  8. Use the middle panel pattern piece to re-confirm the size of the panel, and cut these two pieces out.
  9. Use side and bottom panel pattern pieces and cut out using the mottled fabrics.
  10. Join the side panel pieces to the middle panel, to form a front and back bag.
  11. Lay the front and back bag pieces onto the buckram, and cut out a piece of buckram the same size as the bag. At this stage, also cut a piece of buckram the same size as the bag bottom.
  12. Lay the front and back bag pieces onto the lining fabric, and cut lining fabric the same size as the bag. At this stage, also cut a piece of buckram the same size as the bag bottom.
  13. Using your iron on a hot steam setting, iron the buckram onto the bag front and back pieces, as well as the bag bottom.
  14. Join the bag front and back pieces together, and then sew the bag bottom into place.
  15. Take the lining fabric, and join the sides together, and then insert the bottom.
  16. Press all the pieces, opening seams out flat.
  17. Take the 4 handle straps and fold in half.       Using a small seam, sew down the length of each strip.
  18. Pull the straps through to the right way, and press.
  19. Take your handles, thread the straps through the openings, and baste onto the bag front and back, ensuring that the handles are aligned.
  20. Take the bag main fabric piece, and the lining fabric, and with right sides together, stitch around the top of the bag, leaving a 20cm opening.
  21. Pull the bag through the opening, , press all pieces together, and top stitch around the top of the bag, securing the lining, and closing the gap.


I hope you enjoy this bag, and get as much use out of it as I have over the years.  Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Free Project – Coffee, Tea, Me? Towel Topper

This Towel Topper is easy to make, and is something everybody needs.  Make a couple of them in advance, keep them wrapped up in the gift box, and you will always have an amazing gift on hand, that everybody will love.  I have been creating sets of these Towels for my nieces as they move out on their own, and they are lasting for years.





  1. Hoop your stabiliser and homespun and attach the hoop to your embroidery machine.
  2. Using your embroidery machine software, take the Towel Topper outline and your choice of design from the Coffee, Tea, Me? Collection, and place together, with the embroidery design sitting near the bottom of the Towel Topper outline.
  3. Stitch the towel topper outline in a thread colour that matches your homespun, and embroider your Coffee, Tea, Me? Design in colours to suit.
  4. Trim around the outline to ¼” around the sides and top, and 1” around the bottom.
  5. Stitch a second Towel topper outline only onto homespun (this will be the back of the towel topper). Trim as per above.
  6. Using a small straight stitch (1.7mm approximately), stitch around the sides and top of the towel topper, leaving the bottom open.
  7. Trim off the top corners, and turn the towel topper in the right way. Press.
  8. Take the press studs, and attach at the back through a single layer of fabric, and through the top through all layers.
  9. Take your handtowel, and if necessary, trim up one end to ensure that your towel isn’t too long.
  10. Gather or pleat the raw towel edge to fit the bottom edge of the towel topper.
  11. Stitch the towel to the embroidered piece using a small straight stitch and the guide line of the towel topper outline.
  12. Flip the exposed end of the towel up into the topper, and hand stitch opening closed.

Your towel is now ready to hang in the kitchen.

As alternatives, use the same technique, and monogram towel toppers to give a personal look to the kitchen.

I hope you have enjoyed this project, and I hope that if you re-create this project for your own kitchen, you will send me pictures.

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

Trapunto Tutorial

Trapunto is a quilting technique which produces a raised surface on the quilt. The word trapunto, from the Italian for “to quilt,” is a method of quilting that is also called “stuffed technique.” A puffy, decorative feature, trapunto utilizes at least two layers, the underside of which is slit and padded, producing a raised surface on the quilt.


To create machine embroidered trapunto you will need:-

– Stabiliser

– Thick polyester wadding (you know that really ugly stuff that you don’t want to use on any important quilting projects)

– Trapunto designs

– Embroidery thread

  1. Hoop a piece of stabiliser firmly into your hoop
  2. Take a piece of polyester wadding the approximate size of your hoop and lay in on top of the hoop
  3. Cut an additional piece of stabiliser and lay it on top of the wadding. Gently place all 3 layers onto the embroidery machine
  4. Embroider the first colour, gently holding the wadding and top stabiliser in place.
  5. Remove the hoop from the machine, and lay the hoop on a flat surface. Whilst the hoop is flat, gently trim away all of the excess wadding and stabiliser from around the outline.
  6. Once the excess wadding and stabiliser have been removed, gently pull the stabiliser away from the inside of the outline, leaving just the hooped stabiliser and the wadding
  7. Take your cotton fabric that you will be using for the top of the design, and lay on top of the wadding.
  8. Place the hoop back into the machine and stitch out the remaining top stitches. You may need to gently smooth the top fabric down as this is happening to avoid any puckering.
  9. Once any top stitching is complete (depending on the design there may be more than 1 colour), remove the design from the machine, un –hoop the fabric, and remove the bulk of the stabiliser from the back. Your design is now complete and ready to use.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and have a go at this magnificent technique.

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

Fit for a Queenie – Free Design

My wonderful parents are coming today for a quick visit. They wanted to come straight after my surgery, however between their commitments, and mine, this is the first chance that we have had.  I am really looking forward to them coming, as my father still spoils us by cooking dinner for us whilst he is here, and mum is going to take me out for a coffee in the morning.

Mum did have one request however. She is attending a sewing camp in a few weeks, and on the last night of the camp, they have a “dress up night”, where all of the ladies are encouraged to create something to wear.  For instance a few years ago it was all about the tiaras, and each lady was encouraged to make their own tiara.  This year it is all about aprons, and so mum has come to me.

Amongst her friends, mum has the nickname of Queenie (for our family, I have narrowed this down to Her Majesty, or Madge), however a good friend of hers created a beautiful crafting bag with the word Queenie, and a crown on it, that mum really loves. The other thing that you need to know about my mother is that since dad stopped working so hard (he now only put in about 10 hours a day) (approximately 20 years ago), he has taken over the cooking and meal preparation.  So it is a big joke that mum would never need an apron, as she doesn’t cook.

For this project, I wanted to create mum a fun type of apron. I purchased an apron from K-mart for $5.00, however you could definitely make your own, and a necklace from Lovisa for another $5.00

I have created this Queenie design, and am offering it as a freebie download for anyone who wants to make their own queen a beautiful apron.



  • Apron – K-mart have these for $5.00
  • Pearl Necklance (I purchased mine from Lovisa for $5.00)
  • Queenie embroidery design – free from Julie Hall Designs
  • Embroidery Thread (I have used hot pink)
  • TearClean Tear Away Stabiliser
  • Sewing Thread to match the apron
  • Hot Fix Crystals



  1. Take the apron and iron flat
  2. Mark up the centre point on the front of the apron.
  3. Measure 4” down from the top of the apron, and using the markings of created, hoop together the stabiliser and apron, centring these points.
  4. Load the Queenie design onto your machine (as a hint, make sure the design will be stitch the right way around, you do not want this upside down), and stitch the design out in your chosen thread colour.
  5. Once the embroidery is complete, remove the hoop from the machine, and the apron from the hoop. Turn the embroidery over, and remove any excess stabiliser.
  6. Take the necklace, and undo the clasp.
  7. Lay the necklace out on top of the apron, and place it at the neckline. Once you are happy with the placement, gently use your free motion zig-zag to stitch the ends of the necklace to the apron (if this part concerns you, feel free to hand stitch this part)
  8. Take your hot fix crystals, and gently place different crystals around the design.

Your apron is now ready to wear, and perfect for the Royalty in your home.