Indulge in Stitches

Country Hart Designs hosted a lovely stitching weekend over at Maggie Beers farm in the Barossa Valley in South Australia at the end of May.  A group of six of us went from here – and met up with around another 100 ladies who attended the weekend too!  The Designers for the weekend were Leanne Beasley, Rosalie Quinlan and Robyn Welsh.  It was a wonderful weekend getaway!  We got some lovely projects to work on from each of the designers and we had two lovely days of stitching away and relaxing with friends.  Here are a few photos I took over the weekend.

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And here are the designers samples of some of the lovely projects we were given to work on.


A great weekend – thankyou ladies!

Happy Sewing!

A Mouse in Stitches!

Meet Maggie – my Mouse in Stitches!


I have designed and made this mouse over the last couple of weeks – and she did take a few prototypes to get her just right!

This design was inspired by my love of stitching retreats.  I’ve been to quite a few over the years with some wonderful friends of mine and we always have a lovely time.  It’s a great time to just have a bit of ‘time out’ for yourself and indulge in a day of stitching, good food and good company with lots of wonderful ladies who enjoy stitching and sewing too.  It’s also a chance to meet some very talented designers and learn their little tips and techniques.


A group of 6 of us are travelling to South Australia in May to go to Maggie Beer’s farm in the lovely Barossa Valley for a whole weekend of stitching and I can’t wait!


So Maggie the Mouse in Stitches is like our little Mascot for our Stitching Retreats.

She loves stitching retreats and goes to as many as possible!  She is working on a little Cinderberry Stitches design called Miss Needles – which she has nearly finished.  She also wears a linen dress with a lovely stitchery design by Leanne Beasley on it.  Her stitchery can also be put away into her little bag she carries made from Rosalie Quinlan’s fabric – Candy Bloom.

She is quite a robust little mouse as she loves to indulge in all the yummy food at the stitching retreats and deserts are her favourite!  She has also been known to stash a chocolate or two into her stitching bag to eat on the trip home!


In her design to give her that bit of shape – I used a head gusset plus her body is made up of four sections.

The arms and legs are attached using button joins too.  And she also has a little tail of course!  She wears glasses to help her see her stitching clearly and also has a little flower tucked behind her ear just because it makes her happy!

I am also entering her in the Sew Mama Sew Spectacular Softie Contest.  Make sure you pop over and check out the other entries too!

Happy Sewing!

Stitching day with Gail Pan Designs

One the weekend I was lucky enough to go to another stitching day down in Melbourne with my friend Jenelle.  This one was ‘Stitched In Time for Christmas’ with Gail Pan from Gail Pan Designs and Ramona Hermann from Flutterby Designs.  It was another great day out for us with lots and lots of talking, stitching and eating too!












Ramona and Gail both showed us their needle turn techniques and Gail also showed us how she does her hand quilting too.  We got to admire all the lovely quilts made by Gail and also buy some of Gail’s lovely fabric range and patterns too.  I also got to meet the lovely Sheryl from Enjoying life - who’s blog I have been following for a few years too.  It was great to finally meet you in person Sheryl!

Thank Jenelle for a great day out and thanks to Gail and Ramona for putting on a lovely stitching day for us.

Happy Sewing!


Urban Stitches – Melbourne

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to be able to attend Urban Stitches in Melbourne with 3 lovely friends.  This year it was held at The Novatel in St Kilda where we had a lovely morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea as well.  It was a lovely day of stitching with designers Rosalie Quinlan of Rosalie Quinlan Designs, Melly McNeice of Melly & Me & Jodie Carleton of Ric Rac.  We received 3 brand new fully kitted projects – one from each of the designers.  The project I did was by Melly & Me called Pretty Pendants.  A cute, quick little stitching project that I finished on the day.























There were five different stitcheries to choose from for the pendants – and I chose the hedgehog and then also started on the butterfly too.  Isn’t it just so cute!

Thanks Lisa, Jenelle & Cindy for a fantastic day out!

Happy Sewing!

Workshops, Stitching Days & Sewing Retreats

This weekend my friend Jenelle & I went to the ‘Girls Day Out’ stitching day & workshop in Bayswater (outer suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria) with designers Libby Richardson & Liz Stanway.  I LOVE going to these stitching days!   I would definitely recommend going to a stitching day out or workshop if you can.  Find out when a designer you like or follow is doing a workshop, stitching day and book yourself in.  It is so worthwhile!

So what do you get out of going to a stitching day, sewing retreat or workshop?

Friendship & Fun

The great thing about these days is you get to meet some lovely people who all love sewing and stitching too!  It doesn’t matter if you go by yourself or go with a friend – everyone there is so friendly and welcoming.  I have been going to these stitching days, workshops and retreats now for about 4 years.  One of the first ones I went to was in the Yarra Valley, Victoria – and I went there by myself.  I was a little nervous to start with but I shouldn’t have been as the table I sat at had a lovely group of ladies who welcomed me straight away.  It was fantastic and I had such a wonderful time – I couldn’t wait to go to the next one!

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 Learning something new

At all the stitching days, workshops and retreats I have been on I have learnt something new!  One of the first retreats I went on I learnt how to do a ladder stitch to close the turning & stuffing gaps on my softies.  This was so simple yet made such a difference to the finished softie.  You don’t see the stitches and this is something I do all the time now.  Another tip I picked up on one of these stitching days was how to do a satin stitch.  There are a few different ways to satin stitch – but they way I was shown on one of these stitching days just makes it so much easier and a much neater finish.

Some timeout for You

Sometimes life can get so busy that we can forget to take some timeout for ourselves.  These stitching days and workshops are the perfect way to get a bit of ‘You’ time.  You get to spend a wonderful day out with some wonderful like minded people doing something you enjoy.  Most of these retreats also provide morning and afternoon tea and a lovely lunch too so you get to spoil yourself with some yummy food.  It’s so relaxing and fun to just spend the day eating some wonderful food, chatting to some lovely ladies and stitching away!

Meeting the Designers & New Patterns!

You get to meet the designers and see their work and you also normally get a new unreleased pattern of theirs in you kit!    These goodie bags or kits are normally filled with some wonderful things as well as new patterns too.  Some of these are made up as kits with the fabric and threads you need to complete the project.  You normally get something that you can start working on and stitching that day – so you can start on it straight away!  I also love seeing the beautiful displays of the designer’s work.  It is just fantastic and so inspiring!  I normally spend a bit of time checking it all out – it’s so great to see these creations in person – and not just pictures on the internet.

Urban Stitches
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Normally at these stitching days and workshops they have pop up craft or fabric shop there.  So you can stock up on some wonderful fabrics, supplies and patterns too!  I often have some money saved up especially to spend at these shops on the day.  They normally carry the designers latest patterns and fabric lines and have kits so you can make something in the same fabrics that the designer has used on their samples.

So as you can guess – I can’t wait to go to my next stitching day!  Luckily it’s only 2 weeks away!  I get to go to Urban Stitches in Melbourne with some lovely friends and the designers there will be Rosalie Quinlan, Melanie McNeice & Jodie Carleton.

So if you can – I hope you get the chance to go to a stitching day, workshop or retreat.  They are so worthwhile and such a fun, fantastic day out.

Happy Sewing!