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Updated: 2018-04-22T07:29:29.702-07:00

 



Granny Square Crochet for my Daughter

2013-09-08T22:58:43.293-07:00

Granny Square CrochetI've always loved the look of a Granny square blanket. I'm not sure if it is the Granny square crochet pattern that intrigues me or the combination of colours that inspires me. Whatever the reason my Crochet Pinterest board seems to be full of Granny Square crochet patterns.Since my eldest daughter "has flown the coop", I have felt compelled to make her things. I am assuming that this is normal. Those of you who are regular readers will have already read about the new curtains, matching cushions and crochet edged blanket that I made just recently.Yet still my fingers were itching for something a bit more challenging, so I was thrilled when she showed a keen interest in some of my Granny square crochet finds.One pattern in particular caught her eye, which was found on Ravelry.So I was off to the local wool shop to gather supplies. Here are some of the colours I chose.wool balls for Granny square crochetOnce I had the pattern in hand I launched in. Despite the easy rating on the pattern I had some problems. My first attempt turned into a mat for my younger daughter's dolls house and the second was refashioned into a groovy headband. Clearly I was going wrong somewhere...and then it dawned on me. The pattern was an American pattern and I had been taught to crochet the British way. Those of you who crochet will understand the difference. If not check out my article on the Stitching Cow blog that includes a handy chart of the crochet stitch terminology used. Click here for British and American Crochet TermsOnce I had this sorted I was away and my Granny square crochet pile started to grow. I am also very pleased to report that my youngest daughter has taken it upon herself to sew in all the loose ends. This is the perfect arrangement.I crochet the Granny square, pass it to Miss 13 and she secures the ends. What could be better?our pile of crocheted Granny squaresAs we sit side by side on the lounge of an evening, I try not to think about the day when she too shall spread her wings and go. For now we are both enjoying creating something wonderful and I can highly recommend the humble Granny square as the perfect crochet therapy!Warmly Lenna [...]



Crocheted Edge Blanket - Retro style

2013-08-27T00:02:07.725-07:00

Just recently while sorting through some things in the attic, I came across a length of wool fabric. I had bought the fabric and a collection of sewing bits and pieces from a lady who was moving into a retirement home a few years ago, some of you may remember my blog post about it "A Pleasant Surprise".

The wool fabric had appealed to me because it had a retro feel to it, and at the time I thought that it would make a great picnic blanket. Five years on it sat sadly in a box, begging to see the light of day.I tossed it down the attic stairs and vowed to do something with it.

I am pleased to say that an idea came quite quickly. My eldest daughter (who has now moved out of home) has just moved into a 1940's style house and in keeping with the house she has decided to decorate in the same style. Being a "poor struggling university student) all donations of homely goods have been received gratefully. Some newly made retro style kitchen curtains and some matching cushions from Mum were particularly well received.So I knew I would be on a winner if I made her a crocheted edged blanket to snuggle under of an evening.

The surprising part was how quickly the project came together. I doubled over the fabric and sewed around the raw edges using a walking foot on my sewing machine, an opening was left for turning through. I then worked a base row and picked out a suitable crochet edge from an old book that had belonged to my Grandmother. After three nights of crocheting the blanket was finished and presented to my excited daughter.




Five long years this wool fabric had been stashed away in my attic and I am thrilled to see it now draped over a lounge chair in my daughter's home. I am sure that the previous owner would be thrilled as well!

Warmly Lenna




Exciting News

2013-08-21T17:30:18.730-07:00

It has been so long since I have posted here that I feel I must explain. Truth is I have been busy working on two exciting new projects. The first has been a total revamp of my Stitching Cow website, which had become too large for the old system I had been using. Those far more technically minded than me convinced me it was time for an upgrade, and while I knew they were right, another part of me understood only too well the amount of time it would take. As they themselves put it "the ball of string at my end was quite long!"

The good news however is that the new website is now up and running and has been very well received. It has some new features, the most exciting being a range of handcrafted timber sewing products which are exclusive to the website. They have been custom made by my father, who takes great pride in his workmanship. I convinced him to make some items for me and I was delighted with what he came up with. You can check them out by clicking here.

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Handcrafted timber darning mushroom at Stitching Cow

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Small timber button scoop
I have also included a shop section that includes some fabric goodies for you to enjoy and a streamlined shopping cart which is much easier to navigate. Check out the new website for Stitching Cow here

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Cupcake of quilting fabric fat eights
My other project is still under wraps but I can tell you that I have been working with Apple on developing something wonderful for the Apple Ipad. Months in the planning and design it is very soon to be released and I will be sure to let you know when you can check it out.

Having shared all my news, I hope you will forgive me for not having posted here for so long. Promise I will write again soon and include some pics of a crocheted project I have just started for my eldest daughter who has just moved out of home.
Warmly Lenna



Yoko Saito project and book

2013-04-18T17:38:57.793-07:00

Project Designs by Yoko SaitoYoko Saito is my all time favourite designer. I remember seeing a small advertisement for one of her amazing bag designs in Quilt Mania magazine and from that point onwards I was hooked! Since that day I have been collecting Yoho Saito's books. Unfortunately for me, most of her books have been published in Japanese or French, however this has not deterred me in the slightest. I am still able to ponder over the photos of her exquisite designs which continually inspire me.One of the qualities that I admire so much about Yoko's work is that many of her projects are worked by hand. Yoko's designs often combine needle turn applique, hand embroidery, hand piecing and of course hand quilting. She is an amazing talent.Over the Easter break I decided that it was about time that I stopped just admiring, it was time to pick up needle and thread myself and attempt one of her projects.I selected a small bag project from the book Motifs de Patchwork. This book by Yoko Saito includes 156 blocks and a variety of ideas for incorporating them into stunning projects.This is the project I selected from the book. If you look closely you will notice that the front section is made up of four blocks. Each block is only 4" (10cm) in size and all those little pieces are hand pieced. I have to confess that I spent the whole day piecing just one block which I had to undo numerous times. It is difficult to appreciate just how small those template pieces are, which is why I placed a pin next to them. Those little tiny triangles are the ones that caused me the most grief, they are half of a quarter!Eventually I got the first block together which is far from perfect. Each shape is sewn together using a small running stitch. Three blocks to go and I will have the front panel complete. Then I will begin work on the side panels which are hand quilted in a cross hatch pattern. The front panel is also hand quilted so I have much to do!I'll let you know when I get it done. Wish me luck!If you are interested in books by Yoko Saito, here is one of the few written in English. Click here for Yoko Saito bookWarmly Lenna[...]



Best Tomato Relish Recipe

2013-03-17T19:56:51.197-07:00


How lucky was I this week to receive a wonderful bounty of home grown onions and tomatoes, this meant one one thing, a batch of Tomato Relish!

This year I thought I would do some research on my ipad and find  a new Tomato relish recipe. I'm so glad that I did because I found an easy recipe that I think has become a new family favourite. It is different to my usual recipe in that it combines grated apple, red wine vinegar and a combination of spices including All Spice. The recipe can be found on the Taste.com website

I multiplied the recipe by 4, which made 5 large jars. The fresh Thyme stirred through at the end was also a nice touch. Luckily I had an abundant supply in the herb patch.



Hope you enjoy this recipe too, I think it is the best Tomato Relish recipe that I have come across.
Warmly Lenna



Little Felt Bunny and Free Bunny Embroidery Patterns

2013-08-13T00:05:19.373-07:00

Last night I felt like making something, I had the sewing bug! With Easter only a few weeks away I decided to make a little felt bunny. Before starting I also did some research for some free bunny embroidery patterns to share with you, which I have included below. But first meet my little gray bunny. I Saw a Little Bunny I saw a little bunny going hop, hop, hop. I said, "Please, Mr. Bunny, won't you stop, stop, stop." He flapped his big, long ears and had no word to say, And before I could get near him he had hop, hop, hopped away! Author unknown  I had  a delightful time photographing him for you, here he is looking a bit cheeky! I always find it amusing how toys take on a personality all of there own. Miss 12 usually names my little creations but she is not home from school yet, so he will have to remain nameless unless you can think of a name for him.My little felt bunny is hand sewn from wool felt, he has two small seed beads for eyes and I added two small buttons and a soft green ribbon. Choosing from my ribbon stash was difficult (yes I know it is untidy) and I have to confess that my little felt bunny tried on a few ribbons before we decided on one.Little felt bunny only entered this world last night so I have not written a pattern for him. Let me know if he is something you would like to make, if I get enough interest I will write the pattern for you.If you too would like to do some stitching coming up to Easter, here are some free bunny embroidery patterns finds for you:Click each link to go to the website so you can print off the pattern.Free bunny embroidery design by BadbirdsFree bunny embroidery pattern by About.comFree bunny embroidery pattern by French KnotsHope that you find these free bunny embroidery patterns useful and that you enjoyed seeing my little felt bunny. What should we name him and should I write the pattern so you can make one too?Warmly LennaPS Good news, due to popular request I did decide to write the  pattern for my little felt bunny, it can be found here http://stitchingcow.com/collections/felt-projects/products/flopsy-bunny[...]



Wall Quilt for Lansdowne Crescent Primary School, Hobart Tasmania

2013-03-06T16:13:22.380-08:00

Last year my youngest daughter finished what has been a long chapter in out family's history at primary school. Over a period of 15 years hubby and I have been apart of a wonderful experience as our three children progressed their way through junior school. As all parents know being apart of a school community involves many activities, including fetes, fund raiser evenings, music events, excursions, school assemblies...the list goes on and on.We have enjoyed them all.With this in mind, and sensing that an important chapter was coming to a close, I felt that I wanted to leave  Lansdowne Crescent Primary school with a parting gift of some sort. The opportunity presented itself when a brand new hall was built at the school, and the idea of a large wall quilt to decorate one of the walls was hatched.The idea was eagerly adopted by my daughter's grade 6 teacher, a kindred soul at heart who also enjoys creative pursuits. So it was decided that the whole class would be involved from conception to completion. It was also decided that the wall quilt would depict the scene that the children see looking down from their school playground onto the city and harbour below.After photographing the view, an initial design was sketched and then a team of children and myself painted the scene onto calico.Here it is pegged to the trampoline, the rough sketch is taped to the bottom for  our reference.Our next task was to get the kids to sketch some of the buildings and boats that they could see from their playground. Their sketches were then reduced or increased to size and then attached to the scene using fusible webbing. A local curtain making and upholstering shop had kindly donated a collection of fabric sample books to the school, these were perfect for the project at hand. From these the children chose suitable fabric colours for the buildings and foreground vegetation.Over the next few weeks teams of sewers sat and hand appliqued the houses, buildings, boats and leaves in place. Rows of quilting were added for the waves and smaller details like the town clock and flag were hand embroidered. Here are some close up sections of the wall quilt.These grade 6 children did an amazing job. The project was a wonderful journey for all involved and now proudly hangs in the school hall. Miss 12 and I were responsible for hanging the wall quilt. After a few times up and down the ladder we were both satisfied that it was straight and sturdy. As we proudly looked up at the wall quilt now in its final resting place, we reflected on the journey that had been taken. It had involved so many little hands, much laughter and lots of wonderful, creative energy.As my daughter and I walked away from the school a tear slipped down my cheek as I closed that chapter and began contemplating the next.Warmly Lenna [...]



Knitted Shawl

2013-02-27T16:18:19.062-08:00


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Graphic from Ravelry - The Crow Maltz Shawl

As soon as I stumbled across this beautiful knitted shawl designed by Juji Vail I just knew I had to make it. Trouble was my mind immediately began doubting my knitting skills, I had never attempted something like this before. I had always considered myself more of a "one jumper in 2 years kinda girl". But the more I looked at the lovely detailing, the more I imagined it snuggled around my shoulders this winter and so I pushed on.

By the way this gorgeous knitted shawl pattern is free on the Ravelry website. I ordered the wool that was recommended  from Loop, one of my favourite wool and knitting websites. The wool is hand dyed from The Old Maiden Aunt range which gives that amazing subtle variation in the colour.

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Graphic from Loop

Thankfully a trip home to Mum boosted my confidence. While there we sat together and cast on my first stitches, a while later the first sequence of the lace pattern had emerged and I was off and running. A few more weeks in and the first side of the lace edging was complete. Although it involved immense concentration on my behalf and the training of my family to not interrupt me mid pattern sequence.

Even more weeks in (I told you I was slow!!!) and I have progressed to knitting the actual body of the shawl which is an unusual Slip stitch that is new to me as well. My excitement is building  knowing that I will indeed indeed have this knitted shawl finished for this winter.


I promise to keep you posted on my progress and will undoubtedly be showing off my knitted shawl when it is finished. Warmly Lenna



Best Rhubarb Relish Recipe Ever

2013-02-19T17:58:03.773-08:00


I 've just been out to the garden to pick some beans and rhubarb because I have come across the best Rhubarb relish recipe ever!

Truth is, until a few weeks ago I had never thought of using Rhubarb for relish. I usually make the usual tomato relish, but this year when my rhubarb plant decided to double in size I knew I had to find some other recipes besides Rhubarb and apple crumble.

Thankfully I stumbled across a recipe for Rhubarb relish over at Melissa's blog and so decided to give it a try. I also tried a recipe for Rhubarb jam, but I have to confess that it did not come close to the relish!

The Rhubarb relish is delicious on all meats, and is very quick and easy to make. So if you have Rhubarb growing in the garden, head on over to Melissa's blog for a copy of the recipe

Click here for the best Rhubarb relish recipe ever!



Christmas Project in Homespun Magazine

2012-12-12T19:48:32.041-08:00

If you are looking for some last minute Christmas projects to make, check out Homespun magazine.I'm excited to say that I have a featured project.

I designed these cute little Christmas boxes to match my Christmas in Italy quilt. As always Homespun magazine has done a wonderful job photographing them.

Hope you like them.





Noah's Ark Quilt by Little Green Cottage

2012-12-10T14:42:15.341-08:00

Months in the planning and sewing, my new Noah's Ark quilt is now ready to enjoy.

Take a few moments to watch this special video presentation I have put together for you.
Enjoy!

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Head on over to the Stitching Cow website for all the details about how you can retell the story of Noah and the animals stitch by stitch. Click here for information about my Noah's Ark Quilt



Little Green Cottage at Melbourne Wholesale Quilt Market

2012-12-10T14:31:52.278-08:00

Wow the last few months have flown by and I have to confess that my blogging has taken a back seat. Much has been happening behind the scenes at Little Green Cottage. One of the biggest being our attendance at the Melbourne wholesale Quilt market.
There we were excited to launch lots of new designs, including my new Noah's Ark block of the month quilt.

Here I am with my helping angel Janice.



Things are in full swing now filling orders and getting patterns out to shops. And just to make things a bit more stressful my Miss 12 reminds me each day how many days until Christmas!!!!



Project for Little Green Cottage Workshop in Tasmania

2012-08-13T22:16:58.227-07:00

Over the last few days I have been busy creating a new project for a workshop planned for The Fabric Parcel in Wynyard, Tasmania. The Appliqued Sewing Box was designed with some beautiful fabrics and Cottage Garden embroidery threads that Mandy had in stock. Aren't the colours lovely?



The full day workshop will be held on Friday 28 September, 2012 and I will be covering needle turn applique, hand embroidery techniques and fabric box construction. There will also be a half day beginners class on Saturday 29th for those that would like to learn how to make a patchwork Christmas stocking embellished with some simple Redwork embroidery.

I'm looking forward to a trip up North and hope that I all the Tassie readers are able to drop by the shop to say Hi!

For more information about this workshop contact Mandy at The Fabric Parcel




The Ark is about to Embark

2012-06-03T18:21:54.994-07:00

All the animals are aboard and the Ark is about to set sail.


Noah and his wife are just rounding up the last of the animals.
The storm clouds are gathering.


Pattern and kit details available next week so stay tuned!



New Homespun Magazine Design

2012-05-27T20:42:02.692-07:00



Last week I was busy sewing a new design for Homespun Magazine. The lovely Catherine from Homespun requested a design that would compliment my Christmas in Italy quilt. So of course the design needed to include little hand appliqued cottages nestled amongst the snow.

I was lucky enough to have some off cuts of the same fabric range I used for this quilt, so this new project compliments the quilt beautifully. Although I cannot give too much away I can show you a sneak peek of the project which will appear in the 2012 November issue of Homespun Magazine.

A cute little project that is quick and easy to sew up just before Christmas.



Look out for this Christmas project and lots of others in the November issue of Homespun Magazine.




New Christmas Projects

2012-05-27T20:36:51.714-07:00

Over the last few weeks I have been busy designing some new Christmas projects. I know it is only April, but we Australians love celebrating Christmas in July. It gives us a chance to enjoy a roast dinner without melting in a pool of sweat. Australian sewers also embrace the chance to begin their Christmas sewing projects, hoping that this will alleviate the rush that tends to come with the lead up to Christmas. Well that's the plan anyway.So while my new Noah's ark project is being finalized and the pattern tested, I have been thinking about all things festive and thought I would share with you some of my new creations. I have been playing with some beautiful hand dyed wool felt and these little birds are part of a set of three.Our family dog Jacko has also been admiring them so I am being careful to hang them well out of doggy reach!I also couldn't resist the temptation to make a cute winter cabin. There is also a felted Christmas tree to complete the set which is still under construction. It is decorated with miniature brass bells and a timber star. Trouble is I haven't found the perfect star to go on top yet, so left it out of the picture. It looks very quaint here amongst the little white blossoms.Whilst looking for some Christmas fabrics in my stash I uncovered a bolt of Prairie cloth which has formed the basis of these hand embroidered Christmas stockings. The texture and lovely cream colour works well with some Redwork detailing. I bought this spotty ribbon some time ago which was also put to good useAnd here is something for the tree, I've made a set of five cathedral window decorations, three of my favourites are shown.. These were so much fun to make and the good news is that they are quick end easy.The patterns for all these projects will be available soon.I have one more Christmas project on the drawing board which I hope to share with you next week. So I had better get off the computer and back to my sewing studio. Chat with you again soon, but before you go leave a comment and let me know which project you like the best.[...]



Noah's Ark Project Continues

2012-04-01T20:24:33.966-07:00

When I began to research Noah and his wife for my Noah's Ark project, a few characteristics became very clear. From looking at pictures I was reminded of the fact that Noah and his wife were simple, humble folk.So dressing them as such was important. It was also very clear that Noah was to have a flowing white beard and a Staff.Image sourceImage sourceimage source So I went to work and here is what I came up with.   I found some hand spun natural wool in my drawer which I used for their hair and Noah's beard.I also had some hand dyed wool felt in coordinating greens which worked well for their robes which I decorated with some simple embroidery.Here they are on the ArkThe animals are almost ready to embark.The excitement is building. Say tuned!PS I am currently finalizing the pattern for this project which will be made up of a set of three patterns. I also plan to have some starter kits available which will take all the had work out of finding the materials for this project. More to come soon.[...]



Noah's Ark Project Continues

2012-03-19T18:26:12.047-07:00

Hooray the giraffes have finally been found, 
grazing amongst the leaves. 
They are now heading towards the Ark.

Noah has been extremely busy building the Ark, 
and of course his lovely wife has been by his side 
every step of the way. 
They are extremely shy but I have convinced them to make an 
appearance very soon. 
Things are getting exciting now because the 
gangplank has been lowered.


Noah was very pleased to find a suitable felt material for the 
roof which has been hand dyed. 
Looks a bit like thatch.
His wife convinced him to add some decoration along the edge of the 
roof as a finishing touch.

 He reluctantly agreed.


More to come soon.
Warmly Lenna

PS Yes hubby was right about the shape of the Ark, it looks much better don't you think?
My Miss 12 was very concerned about how the animals would enter the Ark until I informed her that the front of the roof flaps back so that the animals can all jump inside. She was delighted by this and thought that all the animals would have heaps of fun doing this. She was also relieved to hear that the animals would all be safe and sound inside when the storm clouds brewed.




Noah's Ark Project Continues

2012-03-05T18:28:25.831-08:00

Good news the Ark has been erected and appears to be water tight. Bad news I cannot take a good photo of it today because it is too cloudy.

Instead I thought I would share these Noah's Ark jokes with you.
They put a smile on my face so I hope they can do the same for you.
The first is how I am feeling at the moment trying to get this project finished. I have a gang plank to build and two Giraffes in pieces ready to be sewn together.


And these also made me chuckle.



Back to work I go!





Noah's Ark Project Continues

2012-02-28T15:29:33.386-08:00

Good news everyone, Zebra has found true love and can now get on the Ark.


Noah has also been busy laying the planks and fashioning the window panes.
 The Ark is almost ready to erect.


The animals are getting very excited.


But where is Noah and his lovely wife?
Coming soon!
 



Noah's Ark Project Continues

2012-02-20T21:26:33.972-08:00

This week, progress on my 3D Noah's Ark project has been somewhat slower. The Giraffes have not been found, and the Zebras seem to be very shy. Although I am pleased to report that a cardboard template for the Ark has emerged. I have to admit that this is the first time that I have been very grateful to Master 15 for his serious cereal consumption. It has left me with a pile of cereal boxes to work with. Teenage boys and  cereal seem to go hand in hand. Each week I have a replenished supply of cardboard to work with.

On inspection, Hubby the handy man and builder type member of the family, is not happy with the Ark shape. He has convinced me (reluctantly) that the Ark should be the same shape at the front and back. At the moment mine is square across the back, a bit like a fishing trawler. Before I go back to the drawing board, what do you think?

Here is a photo of my Ark. If you look in the background you will notice a very shy Zebra.


Later, I managed to persuade him to come out and say hi.
Here he is, unfortunately on his own. Although after this week I hope to have  a mate for him. 
He cannot get one the Ark otherwise.


Off to find the Giraffes now... and to rebuild the Ark.
more to share with you next week.
Warmly Lenna



More felt animals for Noah's Ark project

2012-02-12T18:12:23.575-08:00

Thought I would let the animals do all the talking this week.



More to come soon, I am busy rounding up the zebras and giraffes 
and of course there is the building of an Ark!
Warmly Lenna



Felt Noah's Ark Animals

2012-02-06T01:42:15.322-08:00

In keeping with my Noah's Ark theme for this year, I have been sewing some mini animals from felt. My plan is to make a 3D Ark from fabric and felt with Noah, his wife and of course the animals. I thought this would make a lovely accompaniment to my new quilt. So far I have two camels and an elephant.


I thought it best to begin with the animals and work my way up to Noah and his ark. Truth is I don't really know how I am going to construct the Ark, I just have it in my head at this stage and roughly sketched on a piece of paper. Hoping hubby will come to the rescue when I build my prototype with a few handy suggestions.

Had to race down to the Lyre Bird for some more wool felt this morning. (For all Tassie readers, the Lyre Bird has relocated to the very top end of Liverpool Street, it is now on the corner of Liverpool and Mole Street)
Now that I have some more felt, next on the list is a companion for the elephant and two fat, little, pink pigs.
I have then cut out ready to sew together.


Hope to have them finished with a few other animals by next week so that I can share them with you as well.

I am sooooo enjoying this project. Back to sewing I go!



Ideas for New Block of the Month Quilt

2012-01-29T15:52:33.921-08:00

Over the past few weeks my mind has been tossing around some ideas for a new block of the month quilt design. I've decided on two major projects for this year, one of which will be based on Noah's Ark.The story of Noah and the animals arriving "two by two" has always intrigued me. I've had heaps of fun researching this theme and have found some wonderful pictures for inspiration.Here are some of my favourites.Photo supplied by richdecorstore.com photo supplied by 1stdibs Furniture                                        Photo supplied by Inspirationline I love the two old trees on either side of this picture and will be including them in my quilt design.                                                   Photo supplied by WikipediaThere are more photos on one of my Pinterest boards just in case you are a Noah's Ark fan as well.Including an amazing birthday cake.I have started to sketch I am also eagerly waiting on some fabrics to arrive so that I can begin.Hopefully they will be here by the end of the week. More to come soon!Warmly Lenna[...]



Playing with technology

2012-01-22T19:18:43.293-08:00

I've decided that it is time to improve my skills and embrace some of this amazing technology that is available to us. In particular I have been playing with some photo applications for my new Android phone.

Whilst a tad frustrating to begin with, I am hoping that this frustration is the small price I have to pay to do things better and quicker. Surely this will mean less time on the computer and more time with needle and thread in hand. Well that is the plan for 2012 anyway.

So in keeping with this plan I have put together a few images of my new pattern collection which will be released for sale on the Stitching Cow website over the next few weeks. They will be available as both paper patterns and also as e-patterns (electronic patterns that can be downloaded instantly).

Unfortunately I only had a few photos on my phone to play with but you will get the idea of what this great little application can do.

I still need to work out how to send photos to my blog directly without losing picture quality. At present the program seems to shrink the photo so that it is too small. Perhaps I need a lesson with my teenage son. Anyway I will keep persevering and hopefully you will be able to see and enjoy my progress throughout the year.

Warmly Lenna