Jade & Kali

Embroidered pillowcases

One of my friends recently eloped to NZ. I decided in celebration of their marriage, pillow slips would be a great idea. Also, because sometimes they’re apart from each other, I decided to make them one each so that they could each have one even when they weren’t together. Okay, so I originally planned to make 4, but I was lucky to even finish this pair!!!

i know the picture isn’t the greatest, but I finished stitching them the Tuesday before they arrived on Friday, and I had work and kids, so it’s a miracle they even got washed, let alone ironed. If you want ironed sheets in my house, you’ll have to do it yourself!

So congratulations, Jade & Kali, we hope you’re very happy together and wish you every joy in your new adventures!


Glitter hot glue gems

I bought a Mod Podge Hot Melts mould in the shape of gems, and have been filling them with plain hot glue and decorating with nail polish. I experimented with glitter with mixed results – if there was too much glitter in the mould, the hot glue didn’t melt around it and the surface of the gems was bumpy where there were piles of glitter rather than smooth. Through trial and error, I figured the best way was to spread the glitter in the mould using a finger, so it was evenly distributed, then pour the glue. Of course this was the most time consuming way. I have ideas involving static electricity, charging the mould and then glittering and tapping off the excess, but that experiment will be for another day. In the meantime – aren’t they pretty?!


Excuse the blurriness, it was just a quick snap and now my daughter has hijacked them to play with. I was thinking I could make a whole lot and use them on cards, hair clips, and of course, play gems for Sophie!

The options are endless!!! So…to the glue gun, my friends!!!

Forays into watercolor

image Botanical GInspired by the amazing Lindsey at The Postman’s Knock, and this particular post, I decided to try my hand at some botanical letters. While I certainly didn’t get these done in the 30-45min time period, I can certainly see where with practice you could whip them up easily.  And I had a blast colouring them in using my Peerless Watercolour palette from Beth at OliveMeArtsie.

These will go to dear friends as birthday presents, I sure hope they like them!

Upcycling. Winning all around!

Sophie (2yo) is currently on a huge dress kick and wants to wear dresses all the time. Being winter here at the moment, she’s pretty good about letting me layer her with multiple long sleeved shirts and trackies underneath (did I mention that she’s currently anti-jackets/jumpers/hoodies/warm outerwear too?).

This is extending to sleepwear too, so I was on the hunt for cute knits when I stumbled upon this tute.  Which was perfect, because I currently have a bag of t-shirts that I love too much to give away, but no longer wear.

I had some narrow elastic, I had some time to myself (not true, I made my husband entertain the baby), and as usual, everything took longer than usual…but it’s done. In an evening! And I guess I can whip up more now I know how. I can only improve, right?

Time for bed. Goodnight, all, and send sleepy wishes my way so my 5mo will let me snatch more than 2 hour intervals tonight….

It's flawed, but I did this!
It’s flawed, but I did this!


I don’t know about anyone else, but I used to be a one project woman. Start a cross stitch, finish a cross stitch, choose another.

My biggest problem was more patterns than I could stitch. Now…. Excuse me while I wipe tears of laughter. What do I have going right now?

Let’s see. There’s the embroidery for the girls’ quilt. I’ve stalled at “N for Nest” because of …

… the wedding card I STILL haven’t finished since the present broke, I said I’d post it to them and hence the pressure of finishing has eased. Then there’s…

…the piles of bias binding I decided to mass produce thinking it would be easier. I’ve made 3 and I have 1 pinned to sew, cut press, and another huge piece that needs re-marking before cutting because I didn’t actually have a 45 degree angle and that was why my marks didn’t match up!

Oh, and then there’s the bibs and bamboo fleece I’ve cut for Em because she’s a major dribbler, but ALL of these projects (4!!! 5 if you include the cross stitch I abandoned…6 if you include the phone cases I’m designing for my husband and I…) been put on the back burner, because in addition to going back to work next week, I decided to do this course. And accept the better lettering challenge. SEVEN. SEVEN PROJECTS.

I am crazy.

Project #8: Adventures in bias binding

I have a pile of fat quarters and remnants that have been earmarked to become bias tape ever since I read a continuous bias tape tutorial.

Of course with 2 other projects on the go, this is the appropriate time to have piles of fabric heaped on the table as a work in progress. I’m slowly making my way through – I’ve marked them all with pin lines and I can pin them at my leisure then stitch them all. The cutting and pressing takes a bit longer, but in the mean time I made some pretty cards to put it on and started with the brightest, happiest fabric!

Here is the fixings for my bias tape cards:

Rotary cutter and mat, glue, old cards, IKEA straws and some scrapbook paper.

I had all of these things at home, so I just glued my card on to pretty scrapbook paper, pressed it under heavy books while it dried so it was flat and bubble free, trimmed it to an appropriate size (I chose 6″x4″), cut my straws to 3″ lengths and cut them down one side to form “bumpers” that will (hopefully) stop the tape from creasing.

Et voilà! Bias tape!

Project #7: Dribble bib

Miss Emily is nearly 4 months old now and has had the dribbles for over a month now. Cue the scramble to unearth the bibs from wherever I hid them when Sophie outgrew them.

Some lovely friends got us a couple of Nuby dribble bibs and they’ve been excellent, so I got to thinking.

I have some (tonnes) of bamboo fleece that I ordered, thinking we could stuff Sophie’s pocket nappies with them. I ordered it, washed it, cut it to nappy stuffable size, and then…it never got used.

I figured I could refashion it into dribble bibs. It’s natural coloured so I figured I could add some colour with a blanket stitch, maybe do seven bibs in rainbow colours. Then I had to run out the door to go to my sister’s house, so I grabbed my bag with the DMC Perle 5 variations floss in it, because I have been wanting to play with it and I figured, hey, multiple colours! Here is a great tute on blanket stitch if you need a refresher.

I couldn’t get 2 identically sized pieces out of one piece of fleece, so I cut one template of the bib (just laid the bib on top and cut around it roughly), then the “back piece” which basically was the triangle bottom part of the bib which ended maybe an inch from the ends of the straps. And then there was a little left over so I made a third piece that basically sits around the neckline and down into the triangle. I figured that was where we’d need the most absorbency!

Then I started my blanket stitch, added a few wonky lazy daisies and a snap at the back, and it was done! Probably took me about an hour, all told. And it turned out so cute and I have all the fabric, I may just make some more!

Cat xoxo


Project #6: Finished!

It’s done, hooray! And in time for us to go traveling. Unfortunately I vastly underestimated the time required to stitch my wedding card, and the present I stitched and mounted in a frame suffered a breakage en route, so we had to attend the wedding empty handed. But it does mean I can stitch it more carefully and send a perfectly stitched piece, which will be nice.

So, pics of the finished product:

The opened out case, with the extra pocket and tie detailing, reversed scissor pocket, and adjusted needle book.
The left hand panel. I added in a tie so I had the option of attaching additional pieces eg: a thread ring that would sit in the pocket but might possibly slide out. I just knotted 4 lengths of perle 5 floss and stitched it in with a loop, also in perle 5 floss.
The centre panel with scissor pocket and needle book. I reversed the scissor pocket because I am left handed, and also changed the needle book from portrait orientation to landscape orientation. This also allows me to drape the case over a chair arm if I need to.
The right panel with the 2 pockets.
The filled case. As we were flying, I tied on my thread cutter in lieu of scissors. I also have a pincushion ring attached. The left hand panel pocket holds 2 project cards of floss, and the right hand pockets hold my metallic floss bobbins (metallic floss doesn’t bear up well on project cards!) and my Thread Heaven. You can see one of my embroidery blocks in the back “project pocket”.

They say pictures tell it better than words, so there you go. Reflections: if I were to do it again?

– I’d consider a contrasting fabric. The co-ordinating colours looked great in the store, but the straps and binding didn’t pop because of that. So while it was a safe option, next time I might consider taking more risks!

– the quilting of vertical lines echoed the pattern so made the outer quite boring. While I am just practicing quilting, it might be worth trying something different on a small item like this where mistakes won’t be as obvious and don’t really matter!

If you are interested, I’ve found the pincushion ring to be invaluable, no more clenching the needle in my teeth while I coat my floss in Thread Heaven! You can find them here, along with an array of delightfully geeky patterns. Jacqueline is just lovely and her store is well worth checking out.

That’s it from me today!

Cat xoxo

Project #2: Wedding gift

Traditionally, Chinese custom is to give money at weddings. I believe it’s to help the families offset the cost of the wedding. At any rate, we were giving cold hard cashola way before people started trying to come up with “Wishing Well” poems – or as I like to call them “polite ways to request money gifts because we’ve been living in sin for, like, 5 years already and don’t need any more toasters, k?” I can see where “Wishing Well” is probably more diplomatic.  I digress. This weekend we are attending a wedding in Newcastle (which, by the way, is one of the most difficult places to get go from Adelaide, SA…). The bride introduced me to my husband and was the MC at our wedding, so if anything goes wrong, it’s all her fault. *wink* What this means is that while we’ll be giving a gift of money, I also wanted to make something a little more personal.  I got inspiration from this book (also on Scribd!):  

In particular, this project:


The colours appealed to me, and while I didn’t use that pattern, I got a similar font and made my pattern in Microsoft Word.  I found some charcoal quilting fabric at Spotlight, bought a skein of DMC B5200, some waxed transfer paper, and away I went.  It didn’t take as long as I expected, but I was aided by a co-operative baby who slept on my lap for the majority of it whilst my husband and mother-in-law wrangled the toddler. It also helps when using 6 strands of floss – you can just cut and go, although I believe there is a faction who recommend separating all strands before use, even if you are using all 6.  Anyway, it was completed and I managed to snag a pretty frame from Spotlight at 40% off and all I needed to do was mount it and make the card!  Hooray!

Congratulations Ariane & Adrian, we wish you all the joy in the world.



Cat xoxo