Fabulous Fabric Friday: Florence Broadhurst

When it comes to furnishing fabrics, there are few designers that are more timeless than Florence Broadhurst.  She’s Australian, too!

I can’t recommend enough the value of keeping an eye on ebay for people selling remnants from recovering jobs, or bigger household projects.   I’ve been able to gather several metres of gorgeous prints from doing so.

Here’s my all time favourites:2014-06-25 08.13.05

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The second one is a really large print (it might be hard to tell from this photo, but each flower is about 40cm across).

Her brights are really good too.  Here, I’ve covered a corkboard in her fabric and now it is a really special piece.

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Here’s a serving tray I covered in Florence fabric too:


(See this post on how to cover a tray with fabric.  It’s such an easy, fun, useful project!)

Needless to say, cushions and upholstery look great in Florence fabric.  If you’ve got a little more cash and a nice room for it, her rugs are pretty amazing too.

Happy Friday everyone!


Fabulous Fabric Friday: Hello Kitty!

Liberty Art Fabrics are beautiful.  Japanese character Hello Kitty is cute.  What could be better than combining the two?

From what I can tell, these fabrics are only produced in Japan, and so ordering from Etsy is the way to go.


Try these sellers:  Par Rui, lilymeru and washimatta.


Such detailed, colourful, fun fabric.  It’s a lot of postage from Japan, but probably worth it for something one of a kind.

Happy Friday everyone!



Tossing bean bags

Do you remember playing bean bag toss at school?  I saw this tutorial online today and it brought back so many lovely memories of the games we used to play in primary school.

The difference between the setup in the Sew Woodsy tutorial and the way we used to do it was that we didn’t have the fancy wooden structure as a target for throwing the bags.  We just used a hula hoop, laid on the ground.

We also spent a lot of time playing rob the nest with those same hula hoops and bean bags.  Such fun, and such a simple setup.  If you don’t know how to play, this post will tell you.

I thought it might bring back memories for you too, or provide a simple, fun game that you can introduce to your children.

Enjoy…  and thanks to Sew Woodsy for the trip down memory lane.


Why shouldn’t face flannels be pretty?

We have a lot of face washers (flannels) in our house.  They’re all plain white… not exciting at all.  Yet, my little one absolutely loves them.  She would play with and chew on them all day, if I would let her.


Inspired by Sing All You Want, I decided to make her some pretty ones.  I used a very different method though, so if you were planning on making some too, perhaps check out both posts and see which one will work best for you.

I cut a 10″ square of nice, soft terry towelling, and grabbed a 10″ layer cake square.  I chose some fabrics from ABC Menagerie, a line by Abi Hall for Moda.  It’s colourful, and of excellent quality.


I pinned them right sides together, then sewed around all four sides with a 1/4″ seam, leaving a 4″ gap on one side to be able to turn it through.



Hopefully you can see the gap I left for turning it through in this picture.


I turned it through so that the right sides were facing out, and used the end of a paintbrush to poke the corners out to be as pointy as possible.  In most sewing projects, I would trim the corners to reduce the bulk and make them pointier, but I was a bit worried about the terry towelling enduring this, so I left the corners untrimmed before turning it through.

I pressed the item, and pressed the hole so that the fabric and terry towelling looked like the sides that had been sewn.


I then did a top-stitch around all four sides, taking care to make sure that the hole is nicely closed up in the process.  I back-stitiched a little at the start and finish to make it nice and strong.

Easy, and done!  They are forgiving enough to be a good project for a less confident seamstress, or to be made very quickly by someone with confidence.


I then got carried away and made a whole pile.  These would make great gifts for new babies, particularly where you don’t feel close enough to give a whole quilt (or if you don’t have time to make a whole quilt!).

My creation was tested out at bath time, and was a hit.  These might become a real staple.

My husband asked how much they cost to make, exclusive of time.  I don’t usually do calculations like these, because all quilters know it is a labour of love, not a penny-pinching exercise.  They always cost so much more than a store-bought blanket would (but that’s not the point, darling!  It’s about the love that goes into them).  Anyway, I did the math, and they work out (fairly conservatively) at AU$1.94 each.  Not cheap, but not expensive for something that is colourful and practical.

Have a great week.


Fabulous fabric friday


Today I have something a bit different for fabulous fabric Friday.  Something cheap and simple, and then something expensive and special.

First things first.  Someone very special to me is a teacher.  She has a class of year one students, and because they are only just a little bit bigger than babies, she keeps some European pillows in a corner at the back of the classroom for those badly in need of a nap, or for those who aren’t feeling well.

Before this school year started, she said that she would like some new pillowcases for them.  The ones that came with the classroom were brown.  Where’s the fun in that?

So, I have made her some new pillowcases using this fabric that I picked up from Lincraft.

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What child doesn’t love puppies?  Particularly puppies wearing striped and polka-dot coats…

It’s the JoAnn brand that I seem to only see at Lincraft.  It was $9.99 from the furnishing fabrics section.  I wouldn’t use it for quilting, but for the heavy-duty work these pillowcases will be doing, furnishing fabric was perfect.

A week later it was even a further 30% off!

Because it is furnishing fabric, it is extra-wide too.  It meant I could do one whole pillowcase with just a 65cm wide cut.  Unlike most crafty projects, this is one that actually turns out to be cost effective when compared with the cost of just buying a ready-done pillowcase.  It’s a whole lot cuter, too.

If you have ever thought about making European pillowcases for a play room, or even for an adult’s bed, here’s the pattern I drew up and used.  I’ve tested it out, and it works really well.  Super easy.



Now here’s the special stuff.  Liberty Tana Lawn in the Susannah pattern.  I love the yellow and blue colourway, and have used it on so many pretty projects.

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Look at the detail in this.  From the centres of the sunflowers, filled with love hearts, to the delicate edges of each petal, it’s the perfect example of why Liberty are known as “art fabrics”.

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I just love it.

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Have a look here at the rainbow colourway.  I even have this Sportscraft dress made from the blue and white colourway.  Very soon, it will be released in a pink and white colourway, see here.  The purple and green is lovely too.  The Etsy store that I have linked to, Alice Caroline Supply, has the whole range.

At around $40 a metre, you had better have something special in mind for it before you buy, but everything that I make from Tana Lawn has a beautiful texture, silky and light.  It also washes beautifully.  Just remember to use a very fine needle, and even a finer thread, when you sew with it.  I tend to use Superior Threads’ Bottom Line with Tana Lawn.  It’s not designed for that purpose, but I have it already for quilting and it is fine enough to get a lovely finish.

Happy Friday everyone!


Clever Camille’s Australian tour

Last night I had the pleasure of attending Camille Roskelley’s talk at the Quilters’ Store in Salisbury, Queensland.  Such a lovely evening!

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It was the first time I had attended an event for Quilters other than a quilt show.  I was surprised by a few things:

1. the sheer number of attendees.  I thought I was one of only a few fabric nerds in my home city!

2. the average age of attendees – younger than I expected.  Quite a few people in my age group, 25-35 ish.  I’m so pleased to see that traditional crafts still have a lot of young practitioners.

3.  the level of excitement.  I swear I heard a few squeals that would have rivalled those of a teen One Direction fan.

So there you are.  Camille, it turns out you have groupies.  Who would have thought?

On the night there was a great selection of Bonnie and Camille goods for sale, but the most enjoyable part was being able to see and touch, up close, the quilts Camille brought with her from home, and hearing about the process by which she and her mother design fabric.

I restrained myself, and only bought these:

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I had been eyeing Camille’s books off for a while, but had hesitated because I don’t like to spend a lot of money on shipping, and books are heavy (and usually expensive) to post.  I can’t wait to get into them.

The evening was a lovely one, full of pleasant surprises.