I have always been interested in needlework. One of my earliest memories is playing with embroidery threads and buttons at my Mother's knee as she mended clothes. How privileged I felt when I was given my very own sewing box! My Grandmother was a weaver and my Mother an invisible mender so I guess threadwork is in my blood.
From an early age I developed a passion for all forms of needlework but especially knitting, crochet, needlepoint, patchwork, applique, and sewing. I often created my own designs because I couldn't find what I wanted in the stores. As I have studied art and design the work came naturally to me. Much of my needlework knowledge comes from books – I taught myself to knit and crochet as a child and have continued to learn from books, magazines and the internet ever since. In my teenage years, I tried other forms of needlework – from tapestry to dressmaking to patchwork and embroidery. As a young mother in my twenties I sewed baby clothes and I made almost everything I wore in my thirties. If it involves thread and a needle or hook I've probably tried it at one time or another!
My greatest excitement occurred when I discovered the world of 12th scale minis in 1996. I have always been interested in history and Victoriana, and here was a chance to combine that passion with my beloved needlework. My first miniature needlework interest was in knitting - I bought a set of needles at a dollhouse show and found some patterns in a dollhouse magazine. My specialty area is knitted lace - both life size and mini scale. The more complex and challenging the pattern is, the more I enjoy it. I started miniature knitting by using 1 ply wool and worked my way down the scale, reducing thread and needle sizes until I was happy that my work was fine enough to be regarded as 1/12th or dollhouse scale. These days most of my miniature knitting and crochet is done with fine sewing thread and silk and some of the thinnest wire needles and hooks available. Knitting in all scales has always been my favourite form of needlework, and even after more than 40 years of playing with the “two sticks and string” I still find there is more to learn. I regard it as a lifelong project. These days, I don’t work in full size as much as I do in miniature, although I’m still addicted to knitting full size lace shawls and doilies.
Over the past few years my miniature needlework interests have expanded to include crochet, petitpoint (needlepoint), filet lace, cross stitch, beading and tatting. There are many more needlecrafts I hope to explore in miniature as time goes on. I will certainly never be bored. In fact I have become so obsessed with the needlework that the dollhouse kit I bought 12 years ago remains a shell. It has a roof and walls but not much else! However I did manage to at least finish a roombox, which you will find photos of on the My Minis page of this website.
Ideas for my designs come from many places – period needlework and photographs, nature and the world around me. I often use my cottage garden as inspiration. The form or colour of a flower or leaf can send me off on a new design idea, and this is reflected in the names of my patterns – many are plant related. Sometimes I just pick up the needles and thread and start playing around with them until an idea comes to me. I think of new designs and ideas of things to make constantly – far more than I will ever be able to complete.
My knitting and crochet patterns are all worked three times, with corrections being made at every stage to ensure that the final product is free of error. I work every cross stitch, filet lace and petitpoint pattern personally to ensure the charts are error free. Each pattern is rated for the ability level required to complete it. I write my knitting and crochet patterns primarily with English terminology, however if required I am able to supply American instructions for each pattern. The petitpoint, cross stitch and filet lace patterns are designed with computer software initially, and then I work each pattern personally to check for colour and chart accuracy. I do all my own cover designs and photography.
Through the wonder of the internet, I am fortunate to be in regular contact with many miniaturists from around the world and to be continuously inspired by their passion, knowledge, and experience. In the past I have been actively involved with the Miniature Needlework Society Australia, and have served time on the committee as Victorian State Representative. My work is regularly displayed at miniature exhibitions in Australia and overseas, and I trade once a year at the Victorian Association for Miniature Enthusiast's annual show in Melbourne.
I regularly give advice to people beginning their journey into miniature needlework in order to pass on the skills I have acquired. I feel this work is important, as there are so few books on the subject available. Making miniature needlework is not just a case of taking a full size pattern and using finer materials – some of the traditional techniques must be modified, and there are many tips and tricks to learn.
As an added service to my customers, I offer free advice by email on working any of my patterns. I also sell a limited number of finished articles - see the Gallery on this website for my latest creations.