Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012


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!


Little Miss Monkey

monkey soft toy held in hands


After the success and enjoyment of Bunny, I knew I wanted to revisit and dabble some more in recycled softies.


monkey softie lying on a table


Little Miss Monkey was made for Christmas, for the granddaughter of one of a family friend. The brief read: squishy, cuddly, friendly, with limbs just right for grabbing on. Hopefully I nailed that!

She has a little headband with a hand-crocheted flower – and a matching one for little Z to wear too! I love her little pot-belly (one of my favourite features of this pattern) and her wiggly wonky little tail, and her ‘fur’ is a super soft angora sweater felted up in my washing machine. Her hands and feet and face is fleece that I tea stained myself. Her skirt is reversible and is made out of one of the very first pieces of fabric I ever ever bought! So this little monkey is actually quite special to me.


monkey softie sitting on a small table with two headbands


monkey softie sitting on a table, view from behind


She came to life through sketches, but also through I guess what you could call Monkey v1.0. I’d made the first monkey softie a long while ago, but the pattern just didn’t work. The body was to skinny, the arms were too long, but I did like the face. So I kept his head (a little creepy I know!) because I knew I wanted to go somewhere with that original design eventually. And I’m glad I got the chance to revisit – and out of that wonky first monkey came this little Miss!




365: August & September 2012



In August/September I:

  • Worked on my Dear Jane
  •  Finished some bee blocks
  • Spent some quiet time carving stamps
  • Healthy baking
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone & journalling with 30 days of lists

DUDQS3 received

There is something exciting about participating in a swap. The nervousness of making something for someone you (usually) haven’t met before. Will they like it? Is it their taste? And then the excited wait for your own package in the mail.

Recently I participated in the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap (round 3, hosted by the ever-lovely Quilted Tortoise this year) and boy did I get spoilt!



I can’t believe this quilt is really mine! It was made just for me by Cathy of Cabbage Quilts, and I feel very very spoilt. How amazing is it! It’s all of my favourite things in one mini quilt just for me – gorgeous linen, paper piecing, stars, greys and yellows, and mustard yellow binding. Eek!

Usually I hang my minis in my craft room, but this one is going to go in the lounge room so everyone can see it! Thank you so much for this perfect mini quilt, Cathy. I still can’t believe it’s mine!

And the best thing about the DUDQS – meeting fellow crafty Aussies!


(also how amazing is this backing fabric?! yes please!)



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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