Take a slow-sewing break, all in romantic reds (+ giveaway!)

So charming, so whimsical, so sweet—we’re so excited to share with you the heartwarming new book from Australian designer Natalie Bird!


Natalie’s captured the soft, fanciful look that Aussie designers seem to create so effortlessly—and she’s done it all in romantic reds. Her simple patchwork and appliqué blend with embroidered stitcheries and sayings that will tug at your heartstrings.

Rose Cat Mini Stitchery

What better way to kick off 2017 than with a new sewing project to make you smile? Natalie’s easy embroidery stitches take just a few minutes to learn, and the tiny details that make her work so endearing will delight you.

Natalie’s here as a guest writer today to tell us more about her passions for slow sewing, for hand embroidery, and for RED (along with a little embroidery tip too). Welcome, Natalie!

Natalie-BirdI love red. Red shoes, red front doors, red apples, red handbags, red wine, red cars, and of course, red fabric! I had amassed quite a collection of red fabrics, so I thought, why not do a book of projects using my favorite red fabrics, paired with beiges, greys, and creams? I love this combination. Maybe you have a collection of reds too?

My favorite sewing is handwork. I love appliqué, embroidery, and English paper piecing. I love to incorporate any or all of these into my quilt designs and sewn projects. In Cottage-Style Charm you’ll find sweet projects based on some of my favorite themes of friendship, family, and home. I hope you’ll enjoy making these projects for your own home.

Birds, cats, baskets of flowers, home, a dog, a sweet angel. These are some of the appliqué blocks featured in the main quilt, Heart and Home. I love the Star blocks in the center panel of this quilt. They’re tiny, but they’re so sweet!

Heart and Home sampler quilt with block details from left: HOME Heart, Scooter Dog, and Pretty Red Robin.

I also love the Little House Pincushion. It’s so fun to make with a little of everything—appliqué, embroidery, and English paper piecing—with a sweet little verse. Fill it with crushed walnut shells to give it a lovely weight, and it will keep your needles and pins from rusting! I’ve made a few of these for special friends who love to sew too.

Little House Pincushion

The True Friend Tote is a great size with plenty of handy pockets and sturdy, wide straps. The tote’s construction is simple, and I hope you’ll enjoy the embroidered verse on the front, celebrating friendship.

True Friend Tote

Red-Bird-Coin-Purse-detailEmbroidery tip: I always use a lightweight, fusible interfacing on the back of my embroidery fabric. The interfacing stops the fabric from stretching and hides thread shadows. My best advice for neat embroidery is to “stab stitch,” and to use a hoop when possible. To stab stitch, pull your needle and thread all the way through from front to back, and then from back to front in two separate movements, rather than making the whole stitch from the front. It’s a slower process, but your work will turn out neater.

Thank you for sharing your new book with us, Natalie!

Red fabric and thread: bursting at the seams (ha!), building up a nice stash, or feeling the need to start a stash right now (or would you choose an entirely different color to stitch these beauties)? Tell us your answer in the comments and you could win a copy of the Cottage-Style Charm eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

Good luck and thanks for joining us today!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Margaret, who says:

“I’m all about the reds!”

We’ll email you about your prize, Margaret—congratulations!








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