Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get Your Craft On...

Today we had our first craft class at the shop.

Put a Bird On It

Diane showed us how to make these beautiful hanging birds for the Christmas tree.  Under the bird's wing is a little opening for stowing a wee Santa surprise or you can make a whole flock and use them as advent birds.

If you missed out but would like to spend an afternoon crafting these lovelies we will be running another class next Sunday from 2.30 to 4.30 pm in store.

Flower Power Brooches and/or Hair Clips

On 2nd December the wonderful Melissa from Tiny Happy will be leading the next crafting session.  Melissa will be sharing her talents for making wonderful brooches or hair clips in the shape of flowers.

These would make wonderful Christmas pressies.

And for the Younger Crafters - Alice Bands

Girls age 7+ can learn how to make their own alice band.  (The results that these young crafters get is truly amazing!)

We are running two of these classes - the first on Sunday 9th of December and the second on the 16th of December from 2.30 to 4.30 pm.

If you would like to find out more about these classes or book a place in a class you can either email me or call the shop on 04 387 1055.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

making a kindle cover

I am preparing for my trip to Thailand and Cambodia at the end of this month to pick up my baby girl.  I blogged about her going to school in Cambodia here.

One essential for my trip is my Kindle and it has been naked up until now, so a cover was needed ready from my trip.  A search on the internet came up with a tutorial for making an ipad cover over at One Shabby Chick.  Using the principles of this tutorial I made my kindle cover.

I loved quilting on such a small scale and used it as an opportunity to try random diagonal lines on the lining.  I liked doing this and will be trying it out on my next quilt (whenever that may be).

The finished cover is a little snug and so if you are trying one yourself my tip would be that  the batting does take up quite a bit of space and so allow a little extra room to manoeuvre.  I used the fusible batting which was wonderful to work with.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

upholstering chairs using echino fabrics

A number of people have asked me about the suitability or not of using the echino fabrics for upholstery.

Occasional chair with Viewfinder fabric in the shop

The echino fabrics are not manufactured as upholstery grade fabrics as such and they have not been subjected to the Martindale test, which gives a rub count, so you know how hard wearing upholstery fabrics are.

But I have used the heavier echino fabrics for upholstering occasional chairs and I would also use it on a dining seat (you know the ones where the padded seat pops out).  Reupholstering these types of chairs does not take long or a lot of fabric and I love the effect the echino fabrics have.

I would also be mindful that New Zealand has very harsh sunlight and I most probably wouldn't place one of these chairs in full sun for a very long time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

there's a mouse in the house

...well mice plural.

To celebrate the arrival of a new shipment of fabric, which included Country Mouse by Heather Ross, I asked Louise whether she might be able to make me some mice for my window.  I don't think my photos begin to do them justice.

Baby mouse is asleep on Mummy Mouse's back. And did you see her crochet bag.  They makes me so happy I could squeal.

The detail on the bike, the basket and the strawberry are exquisite.

I feel very privileged to have these mousies gracing the window in the shop.  Louise they are more than I could have ever hoped for.

P.S.  so happy to be back blogging I never meant to take such a long break, but it was exacerbated by blogger deciding I did not have a blog!  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wellington - my town

I loved this and thought I would share.  But is did create a dilemma - what is my home town?  Is it where I live now or where I grew up - Christchurch?  Can I claim both, I certainly feel linked and emotionally attached to both.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This Week My Baby Left

Midget (who has just turned 15) left on Thursday for three months in Cambodia.  

Up until about two weeks before she left I was in denial - I did not want to think about my baby going out into the big wide world without me or her Dad by her side.  Midget will be attending school while she is in Cambodia.  It is an amazing opportunity and I would not dream of holding her back from the experience, but the selfish part of me just wants to hold her close always.  This in many ways is the first big step for her in being an independent person. 

To the person who said to me it is a bit like when they start creche - "you are emotional when you leave them but then you are alright" - I would like to say - No, it isn't like that at all - and when I left my kids for the first time at creche I lost my vision and had a huge migraine.  

I am an emotional person and so is Midget.  We cry. So on Thursday (and several days before) we were awash with tears.

Now I can still feel tears very close by and I am sure I will continue to do so the whole time she is away.

But I can also be strong.  To Midget (because I know you will read this) you are an amazing daughter, but most of all you are an amazing person.  You are a good friend, kind and gracious.  You are self motivated and incredibly talented in so many areas, but humble - you are the last one to want to be in the lime light.  You can be opinionated and strong willed and competitive, but would never put any one else down.  You feel things deeply and whilst you may not show it can be hurt easily.  You are also give the best hugs!  And you are strong too - enjoy every moment you are away - and remember we are here cheering you on!

And right now I am looking forward to October when my sister and I will be going over to Cambodia to meet up with my baby and bring her home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Ghastlies are Here

I like that this fabric is a little subversive.  My fingers are itching to sew something with them.  You can find them here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Even the Queen wears Glitz

New in store HRH Queen Elizabeth II Blackboards.  Her magesty looked as though she needed a little something else. What better than a Swarovski crystal necklace from Glitz?

The blackboards are $25 and the necklace $170.
We have been playing around with the shop window.  Out went the frames and in went the paper doilly bunting and an afternoon tea theme.  One thing I have discovered is that it is incredibly hard to take photos of a shop window, the glare and reflection don't make for good photography.  I think I may need photoshop.  Does it help with this??  Does anyone know?

So this photo has been taken from inside.  Diane made these beautiful roses from prints charming fat quarters. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Opening Hours and Address

Thank you everyone for your lovely words - I realised I had left out a few minor details like where the shop is and our opening hours!  Doh!

You can find us at Shop 19, Kilbirnie Plaza, Wellington.  There is pedestrian access from 22 Bay Road or you can drive in off Rongotai Road and use our free car parking.  The opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 3 pm Saturday.  We like a wee rest on Sunday :).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

At Last - The Shop

The doors opened on Monday, so come on in....

and when you are in, it looks like this....

You can see my lovely work bench in the back ground - I love it!  No more getting a sore back when cutting fabric. 

It is a work in progress some of my permanent furnishings are still to be brought in and those trestle tables will be out!

I also need to load lots of new items into the  on line store - a large range of wool blend felt, more fabrics and linen trims.

So much to do - but I am loving it!  Thank you everyone for your tremendous support this has been a team effort.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fabric a Brac is on this Saturday!

Yeah I love Fabric a Brac!  As well as the new fabrics I sell, I adore vintage fabrics and this is the place to be if you do as well - just don't buy the pieces I want.

Also a big thank you to Josie for coming up with the concept and organising Fabric a Brac she does an amazing job.  She was saying that this is the 10th Fabric a Brac, and as well as indulging our love for gorgeous fabrics, buttons and trims it also supports Mary Potter Hospice.  Even better.

See you there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


That is how I feel at the moment.  I have had some extraordinarily talented and vastly over-qualified women apply for the part time position in the new Stitchbird shop.  If I could, I would really like to hire you all and really the commute from Wales is not too far is it???

But I am pleased to announce that Diane Massey-Molloy will be joining the Stitchbird Team.

Diane is a sewer and crafter and she makes and sells the most amazing corsages.

I have known Diane for a few years now and I know she will provide incredible service and advice to customers and be fantastic to work with.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


With the opening of the new shop I am looking for someone to join the Stitchbird Team on a part time basis.  At this stage the hours of work would be 10 am to 2 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, with the possibility of some additional hours and occassional Saturdays.

You will be passionate about fabrics and design.  Love creating and making and enjoy keeping up to date with the latest sewing and crafting trends.  You will also be confident and enjoy providing excellent service.

The job will entail providing service to customers both in store and over the internet, cutting fabrics, having input into buying decisions and providing general assistance.  The job is based in Kilbirnie, Wellington.

If you would like to apply for this position please send your CV to me at

Or if you know someone who would be great for the role please pass this information on to them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

welcome to the new Stitchbird shop

She is not quite ready yet as she is undergoing a makeover.  The shop is 5 minutes from home in the Kilbirnie Plaza, diagonally opposite from The Children's Bookshop.

We took possession last Monday and have had the builders in....

We hope to be open on 21 May which is just over a couple of weeks away and the To Do List is very long.  This weekend we will be painting, electrician, next week carpet, furnishings, then signage, the list goes on.

The shop will be called Stitchbird and as well as fabrics we will also be selling special things for you and your home. 

It is all very exciting and just a bit scary at the same time!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Talking to Annika Wester - artist and fabric designer

You could have knocked me down with a feather when I received an email from Annika about her fabrics in my store.  For me this is like my teenage daughter getting an email from Katy Perry.  Mr S tried to be understanding about my excitement - but I don't think he quite got it.  It is a fabric and design thing after all.  An exchange of emails began and I asked if she would mind doing a blog interview....

The workspace in Annika's Paris apartment

... and she agreed.  Annika is a Swedish artist living in Paris.  Her first range of fabrics Accessory Dreams was released by Kokka late last year and as soon as I saw the fabric images I knew I had to stock Annika's fabrics.  They have a whimsical quirkiness about them.

Bags made from Owl fabric

How did you start out in your artistic career? Were you always artistic and involved in art as a child?
Yes, I did draw a lot and it came very naturally.  I got hugely inspired by comics, cartoons, fairy tales, clothes and beauty; I grew up on a farm in the Swedish countryside where talk about art was non-existing! Actually, that was good for me because it made me being eager to do this.
I studied at fine art schools for some years in my 20's and learnt about a lot of techniques in drawing, painting, print especially but I started to get hungry for getting published and I thought that illustration would be so fun to do and I worked really hard to get assignments in Stockholm and also in New York.

What inspires you in your work?
My own imagination first of all I would say to 80%. The rest is clothes, very much my own ones actually and my background, travelling, flowers & nature.

What are your favourite mediums to work in?
Thin ink pens, and then I also really like goache which leaves a dry covered surface and one has to be fast as it dries so quickly. I also paint in oil. I really like to make sketches in lead, it looks so alive then like a drawing of a person or animal could jump out of the paper.

Is your fabric range for Kokka your first? If yes are you planning some more? (I hope so)
Yes it is my first and I would love to do more! I have so many ideas that I would like to realise. With Kokka, they printed the colors exactly how I wanted and the materials are so good quality. I love how they turned out!

Do you sew? And if yes what types of things do you like to make?
Actually, I have sewn a lot and I began making my own outfits as a teenager sitting up late nights creating some original pieces to say the least.  I especially love hand-sewing fine detailed work nowadays. I plan to buy a sewing-machine soon because I hand-sewed pretty much everything else here in my home!

Some of Annka's painting - I love the plates
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in art and design?
To be passionate about what you do, work much, and for myself I strive to learn new things and use my imagination a lot. It is really important to have a strong portfolio.

Sometimes it is not easy and the job does not work out the way one wanted. It can be so hard to be creative just that deadline-day but amazing work can come out in the end from that dark moment.

The market goes up and down also, I had some extra jobs in my career like teaching, working as a waitress..

Of your own work what are you loving right now?
My own oil paintings on trays, and the Kokka fabrics of course. Lacoste L!ve has releasedscarves and t-shirts with a pattern I did are quite cute. I also really loved having my illustrations printed generously for a whole cosmetic line that I did for korean Etude House.

If you could meet another artist alive or dead who would you like to meet?
Oh wow.. right now I can think of the Swedish artist John Bauer would be interesting to talk to about his world of beautiful forests, trolls and other beings.

Thank you Annika.  If you would like to see more of Annika's work she blogs at

Agent in Tokyo: contact Keiko Hidaka at CWC:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

the colour purple

Miss M was out tonight so I put down the blind in her room...guess what her favoruite colour is?

I also realised that I never blogged about the roman blind in her room which is made in Kokka's Butterflies on Floral - Purple.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Prints Charming Quilt Pattern

When I saw this quilt in the March edition of Better Homes and Gardens I had to have it.

I love the Prints Charming range of fabrics and have most of the designs in store.  I especially like that this quilt is big blocks which shows off the fabrics and also means a quick result - just what I need about now.

Here are some photos of the Prints Charming range at the Quilt Market

I love how they have embellished the fabrics with stitching.

Going to this market is on my bucket list, anyone else fancy going?

Monday, April 9, 2012


Cushions made for my sister in law

and her friend

Giveaway fabrics received from Jacqui over at Hazelnuts - just for leaving a comment in the weeks before her giveaway.  Thanks Jacqui I love them.

Sent a bag and fabric scraps as part of the Scrap Bag Swap organised by the lovely Nin.

Received a lovely bag and scraps from Melissa.  Thank you 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Excuse my absence

I do have a reason - in fact several reasons and one very exciting one which I will share very soon.

But in the meantime I will leave a picture of Little Red in all her scrumminess.  Jodie has done it again...

and her doppelgangers, (a photo "borrowed" from Jodie's blog which if you haven't visited you must).