Hi. My name is Sandy Cousins and Shiralee Stitches is my exciting little patchwork store.
I began my little Shiralee Stitches venture to provide local ladies with the opportunity to learn how to add hand-stitched elements to their patchwork projects, and a place to see, learn to use, and buy the particular tools I love, and a place to source the fabrics which are my particular style.
My style is very traditional, preferring earthy, muddy tones of colour, reproduction fabrics, and old-fashioned techniques such as English Paper Piecing, and needleturn applique, and I love texture, so I like working with felted woven wools and linens etc.
Let me inspire you…….take a look inside my little Shiralee Stitches online store and you will find my favourite fabric, threads, tools, patterns, kits and other ‘bits and bobs’ that you need to create beautiful projects. I only sell the things I love to use myself, so all the items in my little shop have been hand-picked, all tested by me, and ‘must-have’ items in my own sewing room……..
So how did it all begin?………
My family and I are lucky enough to live on a cattle property in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. My father-in-law, Barclay, named the property ‘Shiralee’ after viewing the movie with the same title, and I’ve adopted that for my business name of Shiralee Stitches.
My journey into sewing began when I ended up being posted to a small country town as a first-year teacher. It was the days of stretch sewing and I signed up for Knitwit lessons to give my new basic sewing machine a workout. My parents had given me the machine as a finishing uni gift. It wasn’t long before I discovered patchwork and realised it suited me much better than dressmaking…….the final product didn’t have to fit!!!……I’d always enjoyed cross-stitch so when I saw a quilt combining stitchery and piecing, I was in heaven and I’ve hovered in heaven ever since…….
Continuing on from a working life teaching children, I began to follow my passion for all things related to fabric. I was fortunate to be offered to teach quiltmaking to adults at a local school through their Adult Education initiative, and have found it to be something I love. This opportunity sparked my desire to teach patchwork and quilting to ladies who were unable to join the school group, and in the process of organising some lessons at a local hall, Shiralee Stitches was born and ‘the rest is history’ as they say.
Since Shiralee Stitches beginnings, I have had the joy of taking my little mobile shop to many local craft fairs. From these market events, invitations came flooding in to visit quilting groups both near and far. I am overwhelmed and forever grateful for the wonderful positive response I enjoy as I travel around, set up shop and demonstrate my skills to lovely like-minded ladies.
Sewing, and more importantly, sharing my sewing journey with others, enriches my life, and that’s what ‘drives’ me to involve others in my passion.
Happy sewing…..enjoy your visit here…….Sandy