Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Little Owl

I have a feeling that 2013 might be the year of the soft toy! I finished Monkey just in time for Christmas (I know that’s technically last year, but really.. it still feels like Christmas was just “sometime earlier this month”!) and then just last weekend was the first birthday of a very special little boy, so of course any excuse will do to make another softie!



This little guy was made from a rescued tweed skirt with an impossibly small waist (seriously! It was about a size -6!), felt eyes, and a super squishy soft angora belly and face. I’ll be sad to use up the rest of that cream jumper, because it’s just the softest!



I think my favourite thing about this little owl is definitely the feet. Stripey feet are the cutest! They remind me of old fashioned stocking socks. I’m also pretty fond of the eyes too, although it wasn’t always this way!



Another thing I want to work on in 2013 is to show more of my process, instead of just finished projects (I also want to blog more so that you can actually SEE finished projects!) I do post a lot of my WIP progress on Instagram, so if you’re an Instagram user (hands up all addicts out there! It’s ok to admit it – I check it in bed when I wake up, and before I go to bed. I check it when I’m on my lunch break, and I may have been guilty of checking it on toilet breaks too, ssh!) please feel free to add me! My username is the same as my blog: TwoCheesePlease. For those who don’t have Instagram, here is a little collage of different owl eyes that didn’t work. 



I think I’d like to call these guys “Jumper Buddies”.  ‘Jumper’ is the Australian word for ‘sweater’, and I’ve made all of these softies so far using reclaimed and recycled clothing from op shops (‘thrift stores’!) that I’ve laundered and felted in my washing machine at home. I like “Sweater Buddies” too, but I think I should stay with the Aussie word – yes?

 You can get some fantastic woollen jumpers from the op shop in gorgeous mixes of wools (angora, rabbit, cashmere, oh my!) and they just make the cuddliest toys. And a welcome side benefit – because the ‘fabric’ has been through the wash a few times to felt it up as much as possible, you can just chuck these guys in the washing machine when they get grubby and you know they’re not going to shrink anymore! Totally wash-safe – how great can you get for little pals who sometimes go on grubby adventures!


Dear Jane patchwork pouch

close up of cross stitched x x x x's on the pouch handles


close up of the hand quilting on a patchwork pouch


I finally got to gift this today!


pouch made of linen and a patchwork star from the dear jane quilt



I finished it alllll the way back in November, but I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with the birthday girl until this weekend.

It’s a linen and patchwork pouch for her hand sewing, or her Dear Jane blocks, or make-up, or…. really, anything else! That’s the magic of pouches – they can hold anything your heart wants to keep cosy and safe), and the patchwork block itself is actually one of the DJ blocks. I used all my precious little favourite scraps and stash for this one. The Heather Ross Mendocino is probably my favourite ever(!) but Essie is totally octopus-worthy!


close up of patchwork star in dear jane pouch

The star is some frustrating fancy inset y-seam piecing, and the whole block itself (all the way out to the tip of the star points) is only probably 5 inches – teeny tiny!

I bound the inside seams with a rich plum satin ribbon. I kind of think that this adds a little touch – kind of like wearing nice underwear under your clothes, you know? Only you know it’s there, but it’s a little bit of secret luxury in your day!


dear jane pouch open to see inside at the satin binding


I accidentally fell in love with this pouch as I was making it. I have this mini-mini-mini quilt hanger that I bought at a craft show last year, and I think I might have to turn this little DJ block into a teeny-mini for myself to hang on that frame, too. And now I just want to make pretty pouches all day long! One for crochet projects on the go, one for the socks I’m eventually going to teach myself t knit, one for my make up, one for everything! Something I want to quietly work on in 2013 is making myself some more “functional patchwork”. You know – something that’s pretty, and handmade, and makes me smile every time I use it – and slowly, hopefully, I will be able to toss the plastic bags I cart all my projects around in, haha!






I remember the first time I’d ever seen someone working on Amigurumi and my mind was completely blown by (what seemed to me) the complexity of crocheting in the round like that. It was my mama and she went on to demonstrate the magic circle starting method, at which point my brain started playing elevator music and I was lost. That was when I was just starting to learn crochet and I was still struggling with granny squares!

Since then I’ve made tons of granny squares, a couple of scarves, and even a doily rug! But one of my favourite projects so far was this little teddy that I made for Mr Cheese before we’d moved in together. It was my very first amigurumi – you can tell because it’s actually inside out!



Did you know amigurumi had a right side and a wrong side? I clearly didn’t! I chose to use this side (the ‘wrong’ side) as the outside because I liked the rough texture more. The thing I don’t like so much about amigurumi is the spiral effect you get from crocheting in the round. That’s just part of the craft though, I guess! Since I’ve made Jeremiah, I’ve learnt that it’s really important to turn your ami’s in the right way otherwise you lose a lot of shaping. If you’re interested (or just starting in amigurumi) there’s a great article here on PlanetJune.




Jeremiah was a great introductory project for me. Not too big, not too complicated, and what a cute result! I followed this great tutorial over at All About Ami, except I used roving to needle felt his nose instead of using store-bought pre-felt. Did you know you can needle felt right onto your amigurumi? It’s true, you can! You could felt on eyes, or paw pads, or even clothes! I love the 3D muzzle look! And it made me miss needle felting. I think when things calm down around here, and I catch up on my massive unfinished projects (ha! that should be “if”, not “when”, I think!) I need to break out the needle again for some more sculpting!



My name is Holly and I live in Australia. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly quilts, stamps & plushies). Sometimes I also write about things that inspire me. Thanks for stopping by!


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I hope your visit here has been inspiring, but please respect my designs and idea as my own. You are welcome to use my patterns & tutorials for personal use (for you, for gifts, etc.), but not commercial use. Please feel free to link to my tutorials, but please do not reproduce them in full on your site. Thank you! © HOLLY McGUIRE 2008-2014

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January 2013
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