24 April 2016

South Australia (Road Trip)

It's been a little quiet on the sewing front, around here... and for very good reason. We've spent a fabulous week road-tripping around South Australia. I'd never been to this southern state before so the Autumn school holidays we're the perfect time to visit.

After a quick weekend pit-stop in Melbourne with my in-laws, we re-packed the car and headed west. Our first night in SA was spent at Mt Gambier (just over the border). After driving for around 7 hours, we arrived late in the afternoon so didn't get much time to explore. We still managed to visit a local attraction - an old sink hole which is now a beautiful garden with huge masses of hydrangeas. Possums come out at night and the locals take fruit and vegetables to feed them (by hand). Amelia wasn't too keen to get close to these furry locals, so we stayed up top and watched from a safe distance.

Next morning, we had a breakfast picnic at Blue Lake - a lake in the crater of a dormant volcano. The cobalt colour of the water is just magnificent and I can just imagine how spectacular this would look in the middle of a hot summers day.

Back on the road again and we headed into wine country. We drove by hundreds of kilometres of vineyards. I knew that wine was a big SA export but wow - the amount of vines that we could see, just from the roadside - was absolutely enormous!

After another 7 hour long day of driving, we finally reached Adelaide. Finally.... 

Over the course of the next few days, we visited the Barossa region and taste tested all sorts of beautiful wines, cheeses and local produce. We visited Maggie Beers farmhouse shop and saw the kitchen where they film her show. Sadly, the lady herself wasn't around, but we enjoyed visiting her beautiful part of the world.

We spent a whole day at Adelaide zoo and got to see FuNi and Wang Wang - Adelaides resident giant pandas. Oh my goodness, they're such amazing creatures. They were snoozing during our first walk-thru, but when we came back around to see them before exiting the zoo, they were sitting and eating bamboo. Just sitting on their bottoms, snacking on bamboo. They felt almost human the way they were sitting and eating. 

We saw the sea lions have lunch, super cute golden tamarins, sleeping tapirs, otters, meer cats, lemurs and a gorgeous flamingo called Chilli, who's lived there since 1948! 

We've been to a lot of zoo's in our time, but I must admit that though Adelaide zoo is small, it was probably my favourite. It has wonderful shady spots, plenty of seating all around the park and its interactive with many volunteers on hand to explain and share tid-bits of information. 

Glenelg - I saw my first sunset over water. We live on the East Coast of Australia, so for us, the sun always sets over mountains. I must admit, it was a little disorienting.

Hahndorf - what a wonderful place! Hahndorf is a German inspired village only 30 minutes from the Adelaide CBD. We parked the car and spent the day wandering along the Main Street. So many little stores to visit and explore. We bought a few mementos from Hahndorf including the requisite fridge magnet. We had lunch at the Hahndorf inn and feasted on a giant platter of German delicacies. Yum! 

The time we spent in Adelaide (and its surrounds) was over too quickly. We only got to see a few attractions of this region and next time, we'll definitely have to stay longer.

15 April 2016

Appliquéd Crochet Basket

It was the Easter long weekend and I had a sudden urge to learn how to crochet. Why, yes, these "must drop everything and learn a new skill" urges happen too often. I had yarn, borrowed a crochet hook from my mum and YouTube. 

Before long, I'd made a scarf, was half way into making another and was contemplating a blanket. Spotlight had 40% off yarn, so I went in and bought a bag-full.

Now, a new craft requires storage. And what better way to store yarn and projects, than in a "made to order" basket.?!?

I made this basket with denim wash EssexLinen. The vines are made with red and white gingham bias binding and the leaves were some favourite scrappy prints from recent projects. 

I traced out a leaf shape onto template plastic and used this cut-out to trace the shapes onto the right side of the fabrics - I was naughty and used a frixion pen (yes, I know, bad, bad, bad!)

I then used a small pin to hold the leaves in place and needle-turn appliqued, folding and turning-under on the drawn lines.

The inside of the bag is lined with cheery cherries. I love this basket. It can hold 10 balls of yarn along with hooks, scissors and whatever project I'm working on.

I've learned the basics of crochet and am in the process of making a blanket using V-stitch with rows of 2 alternating colours. I'm very pleased with how it's coming along, but I'm really excited to start another new project already :)

My blanket is coming with me on a road trip. I normally embroider or sew hexies, but I must admit, crochet is much easier to do in the car 💕

13 April 2016

Scrappy Trip Quilt

Being the sheep that I am, when I saw the Trip Around the World quilt appear on blogs and social media, I just had to make one too. It was fun finding strips in my scrap tubs, to put these simple blocks together.

Wind that clock forward 3 years, and I found my scrappy version of this quilt sitting in the bottom of a scrap tub. I had completely forgotten about it. At the time, I remember thinking that it was a little too small and I'd like to make more blocks to finish it... another day.

Honestly, it's never going to happen. I've added a black and white spot border with a few solid squares thrown in (I didn't have quite enough border fabric).

I quilted it in a meandering free motion design using my favourite light grey 50wt Aurifil cotton - #6726.

I adore this backing fabric. I've had it on my shelf for the longest time. I bound the quilt in bright yellow over the course of a couple of evenings watching "Outlander" on Netflix.

I'm happy to report that's now finished! Yaaaaay! My little helpers held it up - on their tippy toes, so I just know it'll be a great size for snuggling on the couch this coming winter.

Did you join in the trip along, back "in the day"? Did you make a scrappy version, or were you controlled with your fabrics and colours?

Crazy Cat Mountain Pillow

My friend Carol, sent me some beautiful Cottage Gardens embroidery floss in a variegated colour called Tulip.

Fuschia, yellow and green. Perfect colours for stitching a mountain of crazy cats, right?

I purchased this stitchery pattern from Urban Threads (along with many others) and enjoyed stitching these quirky felines on a lovely, soft hanky linen. 

The first border fabric in this pillow is from the extravaganza range by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake Fabrics and the second border is a medium purple solid which I had in my stash and works quite nicely with the print.

I simply adore stitching on linen - it's such a luxury. Do you have a favourite fabric you stitch with?

29 March 2016

Strawberry Biscuit Patchwork Pillow {TUTORIAL}

I've been a lucky girl, playing with the sweet new fabric range by Elea Lutz called Strawberry Biscuit. A couple of weeks ago, I made and shared an English Paper Pieced Pillow with the Strawberry Biscuit range. Click here to read about it, and to download the free pattern.

Today, I'm sharing my pattern for this quilted Strawberry Biscuit Patchwork Pillow . Strawberry Biscuit has a few "cheater" prints which are just perfect for this 9-patch and snowball design.

I included blocks of these cheater prints within the overall design, and once I backed with a layer of batting and stitched on the print (in the "seams"), it gives the appearance pieced patchwork. I used Aurifil #2024 in a 50wt which is probably my favourite colour and size to piece and quilt my work.

Can you imagine how quickly and easily a 9-patch and snowball combination quilt would come together with these prints? The possibilities are just endless.

Please visit the Pennyrose Fabrics blog for my full tutorial

If you create a pillow like this one, please be sure to tag me on social media #SameliasMum