Friday, October 31, 2014

Sneak peek and the doors are open...

I've been stitching new pretty designs...



These are three of the six new stitcheries inside Month 2 of the Stitchery Club. 
I'm loving them. 
The one below also comes in a non-applique version with a verse to stitch inside the heart as a 7th stitchery bonus....



The theme for Month 2 is 'hearts'...but you may have guessed that already?



There are six new stitcheries in the second month of the Stitchery Club, and I'll be stitching a couple of them twice, using different colours and backing fabrics so you can broaden your view on how you'd like to stitch them yourself.

We're also going to look at using different fabrics to embroider on this month - I've been playing with linen, vintage doilies, cotton sateen and dupion silk...oh, my I'm enjoying these!

SUBSCRIBING...
I received a number of emails from dismayed readers who didn't catch the one week 'sign-up' for subscriptions at the launch of the Stitchery Club earlier this month, so naturally I went to Mr E for counsel about what I should do about subscription dates in the future. 
He's such a good and patient listener (and I do tend to ramble on and on when I explain my decisions to him which gives him ample time to think over his response), and after emptying my mind of all the "what if I....?" options he quietly assured me the simple thing to do was keep the option to subscribe permanently available. Isn't he marvellous?!

So there you have it! 
If you'd like to read all about becoming a monthly subscriber to my Stitchery Club you can do so over HERE on the Club page
You can also subscribe immediately if you'd like to as the Paypal buttons are conveniently there on the Club page for you to use.

Free Gift
 In fact, once you have subscribed, and while you're anxiously awaiting your Stitchery Club patterns to arrive on the 17th of the month,  I will send you my "breathe" design to make during the interim...


Well, it's Friday, and I have some seriously sweet stitching to do. It's a good day when we get to stitch, isn't it?!
Hope you're having fun too...
hugs


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tutorial - make this simple Stitcher's Friend gift card!

We have moved house 20 times in 23 years.
We have moved towns 11 times in 23 years.
We have moved states 5 times in 23 years.
And we're fairly sure we may move again in 2015.

One thing I like to do is send a Christmas card each year to the far away friends who made an indelible mark on my heart over those 23 years.
Last Tuesday when Mr E and I spent 8 hours driving to and from Cooktown I thought how nice to add something small and useful inside the Christmas cards that will be posted to sewing friends, and as the hours passed by and I stitched carefully on my knee over every bump the old outback road offered up, this idea came to pass.

With 2015 just over the hill, a useful gift for Christmas is a set of fresh sewing needles! 
This little 'Stitcher's Friend' card will fit easily inside your regular Christmas cards, or would be a great addition to swap parcels.

I've made up these pretty labels for the cards...
 There are six on the sheet, which you can download HERE as a free gift.

Gather some supplies. 
I've raided Blossom's papercraft box and found that a pack of 6½” square papers will allow me to make two cards per sheet.
 You'll also need:
* a roll of double sided tape (or glue)
* rotary cutter (use an old blade, not the one you're currently using for your fabrics)
* cutting board and ruler
* some scraps of cotton or wool quilt wadding/batting
* an assortment of needles - both hand sewing and machine are a good choice
Use your rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting board to accurately cut out the six Stitcher's Friend labels from the free sheet you have printed.

Cut the 6½” square of scrapbooking paper in half.
Place strips of double sided tape across the back of a label, covering the four side edges. Peel the backing from the tape and position the label inside the right hand half of your scrapbook paper...
Fold the paper in half to create a card...
 Machine sew a line just inside the folded edge of the card. This helps to keep the card closed when you have finished it...
Gather your assortment of needles. Three or four needles will be enough...
Sew a scrap piece of cotton or wool quilt wadding/batting inside the card. A straight line across the top edge is all you need. Place the needles in the wadding...
A nice touch is to write what size needles you've added...
How easy was that!?
I've made two, only four more to go! 
But, maybe I'll keep making them, after all they will be lovely additions in birthday cards too, don't you think?


If you'd like to stitch a sewing set for a more substantial gift I've just re-released my pretty "Linen Rose" sewing set as a pdf pattern...


The embroidery is quick and easy - simple backstitch and two strands of red thread!
It's also an easy pattern to machine sew once the hand work is complete, and can be made up in an afternoon...


The 'Linen Rose' pattern and your free  'Stitcher's Friend' labels are HERE in the shop now as instant pdf downloads.

Enjoy your day!
I have secret stitching to attend to...

hugs

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The 1912 Sampler

Last week when we walked the halls of the beautiful old convent school in Cooktown, now in use as the Captain Cook Museum, I came across one item that I thought needed it's very own blog post. 

Minna Spearritt was a student at the school from 1912-13, and carefully displayed behind glass is her 102 year old needlework sampler...


This is unlike any other sampler I have seen. I think in my mind a sampler has always represented a stitched alphabet with numbers and floral emblems or symbols, but Minna's Sampler features almost every skill a seamstress would require in the day.

Minna's hand stitched autograph, dated...


Hooks and eyes, gathers, eyelets...


Buttonholes, tiny backstitch, crossed stitches...


Ruffles, pleated folds...


Sampler within a sampler...


...and tiny dolls, knitted doll socks, the Union Jack.


I looked over every inch of Minna's Sampler, so rich with history and the fine work of her young hands.
Can you see why it needed it's very own blog post?
I'm inspired by her sampler, and think I may follow that inspiration wherever it may lead...

Photos of the rest of the museum are in THIS blog post.

hugs


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Projects you can make...

I've taken some time to hunt down some wonderful projects shared across Webdom that you may not know about, but which would be brilliant to make for yourself or as Christmas gifts or decorations!

I've decided to make some of these beautiful linen bookmarks from the tutorial that Minki Kim shared HERE...


What about an afternoon of making sweet felt mittens?
The template and instructions are HERE on Amy's blog...


Or  do you have a stash of vintage linens?
These mittens are adorable too!
The instructions and template are shared HERE on Carol's Polka Dot Closet blog...


What about this delightful little cross-stitch shared by Cathy Roy of Le Chalet des Perelles?
It can be downloaded HERE.


Or if you'd like to stitch something larger Cathy also shares this *gorgeous* design, which very quickly rose to the top of my To Stitch For Pleasure list!
You can download it HERE.


New BOM!
Jacquelynne Steves is starting a free Block of the Month this week but you'll need to be quick to sign up. It can be either a 4 block or 6 block project - it's up to you  - but it looks lovely and would be great for using up fabric scraps. Check it out HERE....



Have a lovely day everyone!
I'm deciding between sewing down binding or starting one of these projects above...decisions, decisions... 
Or I could do both.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Free Christmas design for you!

It's a double blessing Monday for all my Elefantz readers!

Each year I love to create designs that bring glory and honour to my Lord, and in 2014 there have been many Scripture based embroideries and projects shared here on Elefantz, the largest endeavour being the 26 week-long Lord's Prayer Quilt.

Today I have the first Monday blessing to give you - block 21 of the Lord's Prayer Quilt...


 This block completes the sixth row of the quilt. Coming along nicely....


Download Block 21 (as well as the first free 20 blocks) HERE.
How are you coming along with stitching this quilt? 
Mine is quilted and waiting for the binding, so very soon I can show you!

The second Monday blessing is a sweet set of Christmas stitcheries that celebrate the true gift and meaning of this wonderful time of celebration...

 


 This set is my free Christmas gift to *you* dear reader.

You can download it HERE and may I ask that if you are on Facebook or Instagram that you share this free link as well? I'll have it posted on those pages for you to do so. 
To share on Pinterest just hover over the photos on this page and a 'pin it' button will appear.

By sharing like this it becomes a gift that keeps giving and giving...xx

Email me your photos when you stitch them so I can share them here on the blog, ok?

Have a blessed and stitchy week everyone,
hugs



(Elefantz on FB here, on Instagram look for @jennyofelefantz, and you'll find Elefantz on Pinterest here)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cooktown, day 2...

On Tuesday Mr E had a day free between work meetings so we packed water, fresh fruit, my stitching, some audio books, and headed west up the mountain range, then north to...
I'd only been there once before, back in 2011 when we rode the motorbike 900 kilometres in one day for a long weekend stay, but I've always wanted to return.
First of all we drove to the top of the lookout and gazed over this tiny coastal town...



With only two hours to spend in Cooktown (it's an 8 hour round trip from Cairns)  we knew exactly what we would be doing, so next stop was the Captain Cook Museum!


In the early days of the last century this was a convent and school...



Everything about it is beautifully crafted...


The top floor verandah has magnificent views out over the harbour...


...and large frangipani trees all along one side that are so high they tip onto the verandah.


Inside we did not know where to begin as the museum holds a vast amount of incredibly interesting and beautiful things, like this staircase. The students would climb and descend it every day when moving from their dormitory to the classroom. It's incredibly narrow - just 12 inches wide and some steps were only about 3 inches in depth...



I was transfixed by this hand painted Lord's Prayer, a gift from the Irish artist, Father Dempsey...


Mr E spent much of his time in the Captain Cook/Endeavour room. The anchor and cannon are originals from the ship...



Meanwhile, I spent much of my time looking at the vast array of artifacts gathered from the area around the late 1800's - early 1900's...








This is carved ivory, and belonged to the local police officer who stored his 'calling cards' inside...


 (There was something else incredibly lovely that I found at the Museum but I'll wait until next week to share about it because it sparked an idea...)

We left the Museum with hearty appetites and there is nothing better to eat in Cooktown than fresh fish! We love how they serve it on a bed of rice with a quarter of lemon...


After a short walk around the harbour...


...and a few stops to capture the glorious colours surrounding the walkways...




...we waved goodbye to Cooktown and headed south once more.


What a memorable day we had!

hugs