My stitching journey began in kindergarten, when each child in my class was given a small rectangle of huckaback fabric and standard Government issue perle cottons in bright green, red and orange! We were instructed to stitch straight lines across the cloth. I quickly became bored with straight lines and ventured to make patterns with my threads. On taking my work home at the end of term, I enthusiastically raided Mum’s stash of embroidery threads. She had every colour of the rainbow! I stitched that little rectangle of huckaback to within an inch of its life until every row was filled. I have been stitching ever since.
I was born into a farming family, where sunny days were spent working in the sheep yards, cutting burrs or helping to move irrigation pipes. The rainy days were an excuse to spend time indoors stitching. I still love rainy days!
I come from a line of country women who value hand crafted items. My grandmother knitted and crocheted prolifically, with a new project ‘on the go’ each time I visited. Her standards were impeccably high (measured by the CWA yardstick!) so that she seemed to spend a lot of time ‘un-pulling’ and starting over. My mother was an exquisite embroiderer in her youth, stitching the tiniest of perfect stitches. She studied dressmaking and taught me the finer arts of zippers, French seams, pattern drafting etc as I grew up. She also passed on her perfectionist tendencies to me, insisting that I should ‘tack’ everything and ‘unpick’ if in the slightest doubt. She has a lot to answer for!
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t kept my hands busy creating something. Stitching gives me a sense of peace in an otherwise busy life, and I get quite ‘out of sorts’ if a few days go by without me putting needle to fabric. I have three children and a husband who teaches High School Mathematics, so our family life revolves strongly around school related activities. My professional background is in agricultural science and mathematics, and I currently work part-time in an Entomology laboratory.
I began writing a stitching and gardening blog in 2007, when I was a stay-at-home mum. At the time, I was keen for a challenge and curious about ‘blogland’. It didn’t occur to me that anyone other than my mother might read it! It is no exaggeration to say that my blog has changed my life immeasurably. I have ‘met’ the loveliest women from every corner of the globe, each similarly addicted to stitching and generous in their encouragement of my work.
Purely by chance, one of the contacts I made online is Angela Yosten, who is a web developer for Moda Fabrics, including Moda Bake Shop. After chatting online, Angela one day emailed an invitation for me to contribute a project to the Bake Shop. I hadn’t designed anything ever! However, with Angela’s encouragement, and the inclusive forum that the Bake Shop is, I submitted several designs, my very first!
Each of these designs is simple, and reflects my current preference for an ‘uncluttered’ style. I have little time to devote to my craft, so simple designs work for me at the moment. I hope that my designs meet a need for quick and easy projects for new stitchers or women with busy lives. I love to incorporate lots of white or linen in my projects. I think they each provide a wonderful foil for the many gorgeous fabric ranges available today.