23 October 2014

A Day with Helen of Hugs n Kisses

The day finally arrived. I was going to join a group of other ladies to have a day of stitching with Helen Stubbings of Hugs n Kisses. It's been a while since I've been to a class, so I was super excited.

Upon walking into the room, we were treated to a visual festival. Helen has brought along a number of her projects which were beautifully displayed and which were evoking lots of ooooh's and aaaaaah's from us.

The class got underway and we were taught how Helen appliquéd with her semi water soluble single sided fusible applique paper.

The paper is perfect to popping into the printer and printing up the patterns, or to trace with the standard pen and light box.

We were working on a beautiful project called "Birds of a Feather". Before long we were cutting and arranging and pressing and gluing and arranging and more gluing... It's funny, there were moments of absolute silence as we all concentrated on the task at hand... followed by lots of chatter.

Birds of a Feather by Helen Stubbings of Hugs n Kisses

Helen would show us a step and we'd all be concentrating furiously, and the chatter and giggles would begin and then we'd be taught the next stage and we'd go back to being super quiet and concentrated quickly broken by more chatter. It was such fun!

I didn't finish my project but I'm almost at the sitting and appliquéing stage, which in my mind, is the best bit. Right? 

Helen showed us how she appliqués with fine thread and a fine applique needle. I captured a sneaky picture over her shoulder ;-)

When I finish, I'll be sure to come back and share. Now, I couldn't spend the day in a sewing store and not come away with a few goodies.

Here's what came home with me. Again, I was very surprised at my restraint.

I was thinking that perhaps a Hugs'n'Kisses stitch along might be a fun idea? Maybe starting in the new year. What do you think? Would this be of interest to you? We could set goals and share photos in an online group and maybe even have a few prizes. Let me know if this is something you might like to join. 

22 October 2014

Creating a Christmas Wish List

In Partnership with Mattel

Can you believe it's almost November? The countdown to Christmas will soon commence and by the end of it, we'll be frazzled messes. We'll have thrown random gifts into our shopping carts with limited regard as to what we're buying for our kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews, friends, neighbours... just that need to get it done and to get out of the shopping centre.

Or is this just me? Every year I have the best of intentions to be organised and shop early for Christmas. I like to imagine that I'll be one of those wonderful gift-givers who breezes calmly through the aisles of my department store barely working up a sweat. I envision that I am one of those people who pays particular attention to what the recipient wants, needs or likes and buys appropriate gifts which will be loved and cherished. 

Admittedly, the reality is never quite what I imagine. I usually run out of time and impulse buy or stock up on gift cards. This year, it will be different... well the kids shopping at least... 

21 October 2014

Corelle South Beach {GIVEAWAY}

Meet Tiffany, the Dinner Party Diva. She’s a Vino Virtuoso and is all-knowing in the art of hosting a fabulous “Tipsy Hostess” dinner party.

Don't you just love her fridge full of wine and the dinner guests dancing on the table? Ho... Hum... Have a look at more Tipsy Hostess antics plus her dinner party tips, on the Tipsy Hostess Facebook Page.

We all know how fabulous Corelle dinnerware is. It’s fine yet tough, timeless yet modern, everyday dinnerware yet perfect for a more formal dinner party.

The secret to the Corelle dinnerware is the lamination process which creates a break and chip resistant glass. This glass is lightweight, yet incredibly strong glass that is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Its durability is unmatched.

Inspired by the popular bright colors and contemporary flair of South Beach, Miami, the NEW South Beach pattern is perfect for all of your fun and casual entertaining this summer.

With thanks to Corelle and World Kitchen, one lucky Samelia's Mum reader has the chance to win the ALL NEW and very stylish, Corelle South Beach dinner set.

What is your best tip for hosting THE PERFECT dinner party?

There are two ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment here on this blog post

2. Look for this image on the Samelia's Mum Facebook Page and leave a comment on the image.

The winner/s will be announced on the Samelia’s Mum Facebook Page, so be sure to follow along to see if you are the lucky winner. 

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway is open to Australian Residents ONLY. Giveaway will close on Monday, 27 October 2014 at 17:00 AEST. The prize will be sent by the promoter/s. Samelia’s Mum will take no responsibility for any delay, loss or damage to prizes sent to winner. Winner/s will be announced on the Samelia's Mum Facebook page and/or contacted by email. The winner has 7 days to claim the prize. If it is not claimed within this time period, it will be forfeited.

20 October 2014

Wollongong Quilt Show 2014

We had an action packed weekend, which means I barely had a moment to pick up a needle and thread. For me, this is quite rare… but, it’s all good as I’ll be getting back to it today.

Saturday, morning began with the FlyBoy taking the kids to morning sport…  which meant that I was free to visit my local quilt show. Yaaaay!

I had a lovely time looking at all of the lovely quilts and chatting to some friends.




This quilt called My Procrastination Quilt  by Leonie Lever was one of my favourites. I’m not normally a fan of browns, but this really caught my eye.


My Procrastination Quilt by Leonie Lever

My Procrastintion Quilt (Centre) by Leonie Lever


One of the other quilts which I really, REALLY loved is called Jesy’s Choice and is by Franki Pinkerton.

It’s one of the more modern quilts on show and the way these Drunkard’s Path blocks are arranged gives the quilt a fun playful look.





You can’t go to a quilt show without buying some goodies, right?

I visited Kate from Kate Quilts. We’ve been online friends for a while and met through a Bee Group in Flickr a few years ago. We caught up and chatted for a bit while Iooked at all of the pretty things she had for sale. I came away with a couple of packs needles. I love applique so I bought some straws in size 8 and 11. Yes, size 11. I’m going to have some fun trying to thread these babies.




I then popped over and visited the girls at FabricDirect. They’re my go-to for beautiful Lecien fabrics and all of my Flower Sugar stash, I owe to them. I did restrain myself and not buy the new Flower Sugar bundle (even though I really really REALLY wanted it), but came home with a charm square pack of Tilda fabrics and some pretty trims. I particularly like that pink spotty one with the lacey edge. I have no idea how or when I’ll use it, but I just had to have it.


This was only the morning of the weekend, but I think I’ll have to return later to share what else we got up to. It involved big trucks and a lot of yelling, hollering, screaming, cheering, dancing, flag waving and general carrying on.

17 October 2014

Wonky Bird Coasters {Tutorial}

After finishing a few big projects, it’s been nice to create something small and fun. A quick finish project is always nice and I think it helps keep the creative juices flowing, and the old brain ticking over, planning the next big thing.

Last week, I posted about one of these small projects. I shared some images of the Wonky Improv Birds which I was playing with. I also shared an image on FB which received quite a few requests for a tutorial. The original source of the inspiration is an image by LauraJ on Flickr.

If you’d like to have a go at making some, here’s how I make my Improv Wonky Bird Coasters. Grab your scrap tub and let’s get to it.

I make the coasters in sets of 2 – mainly because the first step is to make a half square triangle block. To make one half square triangle block always results in 2 half square triangle blocks – right?

Begin with (2) 4.5” squares. One low volume for the background and one will be the bird body.

Draw the diagonal line across the low volume square, place them right sides together and sew a 1/4” on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the line and press to the dark side.

Wonky Bird Block - Pieces

Here are the next pieces which you’ll need:
A = the half square triangle blocks
B = will be the front of the bird. It needs to the be the length of the HST block and approximately 1.5” – 2” wide depending on the look you’re going for.
C = this needs to be a little wider than the bird body (B) but the same length. So let’s say somewhere between 2” to 2.5”.
D = this is the beak. 1.25” square.
E = this square will go on the bottom corner of the birds body. Around 1.5” square should work.

As I said, this is all improvisational, which is why I haven’t given exact sizes – just the rough guide. Your Wonky Birds will all look different depending on your fabric scraps and the “look” you’re going for.

Okay, let’s get back to it. Place the beak (D) square on the top left corner of the white (C) piece and sew diagonally across the yellow from corner to corner.

Wonky Improv Birds - Piecing

Trim these pieces 1/4” outside of the sewn line.
Flip the triangle piece over and press to the darker side.

Wonky Birds Piecing

Now sew these 3 pieces together and press. Here you have the bird (sans legs). Yay!

Now for the legs. You’ll need a piece of the background fabric approximately 2” wide and the same length as the bottom of the bird block PLUS 2 inches. So for example, if the bird block measures 6”, your piece should measure 2” x 8”. This extra will give some wiggle room and will be trimmed down at the end.

Wonky Bird Legs

At approximately 2” from the left side cut this piece. Measure another 3/4” (or 1” depending on the look you want) and cut again. This is where we’re going to sew in the legs.

The leg fabric is only 3/4” wide and the same height as that bottom piece.
Sew the legs into the spaces which we just created and then press.

Wonky Bird Legs 2

Sew the legs block to the bird block and then press and trim. It’s looking good, isn’t it?

Now we need a top bit. A little bit of sky. This piece needs to be approximately 2” and the same length as the rest of the bird block.

Sew the sky piece and then press the block completely.

Square the block (I trim mine down to 6” square) and here you have your finished improv wonky bird. Yay!!

And if you’ve been making 2 at a time like I do, it’s a double yay!

Wonky Bird Blocks

Place your bird on a square of batting and a square of backing and quilt with straight lines. I use my presser foot as my quilting guide.

Wonky Birds Quilted

For my binding, I cut my strip 1 3/4” (rather than double fold binding).
Starting a few inches from a corner and leaving a tail for joining, sew the binding to the right side, mitring the corners as you go.

Stop a couple of inches from the starting point and join the ends of the binding neatly with a 45-degree seam, trim the surplus and finish sewing the binding to the coaster.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I also hope that you now go forth and create lots and lots of wonky birds.