Happy happenstance

Happenstance? 'Happenstance' you say Bloom? Hmmm, I am reading Charles Dickens at the moment, so my use of 'happenstance' is his fault.

Motivated by the wonderful adaptation of 'Great Expectations' on the


, I am trying to read ahead before next Sunday's episode. Catch up with last week's episode on


, or read it with me by downloading a free copy on


. Oh, the irony, or is it juxtaposition - Charles Dickens now on iView and iTunes! 

Sorry, I digress! Since first posting to this blog over

five years ago, one happy happenstance has lead to another and I find myself designing patterns. 

Last October, I was invited by

Australian Homespun

to contribute a design for a new project-of-the-month (POM) initiative called 'A Trip to Remember'. The POM is a series of 10 projects, one per month until December, each with a travel theme. All projects have been constructed using 

Amy Butler's

 dramatic new line '


' (below), and the the series is being launched in this month's issue.  

There is an awe-inspiring roundup of designers who will present their creations over the next 10 months, including:

 Natalie Bird of

The Birdhouse

Jodie Carleton of

Ric Rac

Lesley McConnell of

Faeries in my Garden

Natalie Ross of

Natalie Ross In Stitches

Majella Rush of

Kookaburra Cottage Quilts

Monica Poole of

Moonshine Designs

Nicole Mallalieu, of

Nicole Mallalieu Designs

Brenda Ryan of


And even the inimitable

Ms Butler

herself. What a treat!

I am weak at the knees and completely humbled to be in the company of these amazing women. I feel like I'm in a real-life version of Sesame Street's 'one of these things is not like the others'!

Each designer was generously supplied with fabrics of her choosing from Amy's range. I chose these:

My brief was to construct a garment bag. Concepts for my designs are usually directly inspired by the fabrics - their colours, scale and 


 Amy's 'Lark' fabrics struck me as flamboyant, extravagant and dynamic. I decided on an appliqued panel with a floral 'flourish' twining from top to bottom.

The applique background was problematic, with just the right shade of 'almost black' unrepresented in my stash. Thankfully the lovely Rita @

Red Pepper Quilts

came to my rescue with some perfect Kona 'Pepper'. Thanks so much Rita - you were a godsend!

The reverse side of the bag has a central zipper ...

... and two zippered pockets for safe keeping of jewellery, stockings etc.

It is a bit hard to see, but there is a gusset all the way around to accommodate several garments, and the bag is finished on all edges with a fine bind. It is fully lined inside.

It is particularly special that all projects in the Australian Homespun's 'Trip to Remember' program will be donated to Alzheimer's Australia. This organisation is the peak support body for people with dementia and their families and carers in Australia. The projects in Homespun's program will be auctioned or raffled to raise funds for this important cause. I doubt that there are many women who are not affected, indirectly or otherwise, by the suffering caused by dementia.

This month's issue of Australian Homespun (No. 106) is just hitting newsstands now. 

Australian Homespun can also be purchased in a digital format from