20 May 2016

More Strawberry Stitches {pattern}

I've busy working on Christmas projects, which means that it's been very quiet here on the blog. I can't show you what I've been making, but if you follow me on Instagram, you'll certainly see a few little sneaky peeks.

In between the Christmas stuff, I took a few hours off to stitch up one of my favourite little designs, and create something for a friend. I really hope that she likes it.

I used 12wt Aurifil cotton - some sections are stitched with 2 strands and others are only 1 strand - I like the look of the thicker and thinner lines.

This basic strawberry design is one of my free downloads over on Craftsy - rather than the 2.5" pincushion on the pattern, I stitched this up and then added 1.5" strip borders... which are strawberry prints (of course). 

The strawberry print on this new pincushion is called The Shabby Strawberry by Emily Hayes for Penny Rose Fabrics and honestly, it's just delightful.

My friend likes strawberries, now I hope that this gift it's TOOOOOOOO strawberry-ish.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I love to stitch strawberries and love strawberry prints, but I don't really like to eat strawberries... unless they're on a cake ;-)

19 May 2016

Pretty Playtime Quilts {QAL}

Pretty Playtime Quilts is a sweet new book by Elea Lutz and published by It's Sew Emma (FQS). Elea is a designer for Penny Rose fabrics and is the designer behind some of my favourite fabric ranges (Milk, Flower & Sugar / Little Joys / Sweet Biscuit).

This week, The Fat Quarter Shop announced the Pretty Playtime Quilts quilt-along and I'm super excited to be one of the bloggers who will be joining in the fun! My copy of the book arrived in the post today, and I'm looking forward to working on my block. Wait til you see it - it's soooooooo cute!!

We'll be working on the Garden Fairy Sampler Quilt (cover quilt) and here are the other bloggers joining in the fun.

Week 2 - Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 - Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 - Anorina from Samelia's Mum
Week 5 - Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 - Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 - Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 - Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 - Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 - Tina from Emily Ann's Kloset
Week 11 - Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 - Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 - Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 - Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 - Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 - Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast

The quilt projects in this book were created with the Strawberry Biscuit range of fabric - kits are available right here, from The Fat Quarter Shop. This truly is a beautiful book and it has many sweet projects to create for the little lady in your life. It'll be difficult to choose which one to make first!

09 May 2016

Spoonful of Sugar - Retro Pillow

Today is my day on the A Spoonful of Sugar: Sew 20 Simple Projects to Sweeten Your Surroundings Zakka Style blog tour and I'm very pleased to share my Retro Pillow - the project which I created from Lisa Cox's gorgeous new book. I used the Chatsworth range of fabric by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs which is very sweet and feminine. 

Lisa (along with her daughter) has blogged over at A Spoonful of Sugar for a number of years. She has just published her first (solo) book... and I'm sssssssssuper excited for my friend. 

Lisa is super generous and shares tonnes of tips, tutorials and free patterns on her blog. I've been a long-time fan and follower of her work and am so pleased that she's taken this wonderful next step in her creative journey. 

A Spoonful of Sugar: Sew 20 Simple Projects to Sweeten Your Surroundings Zakka Style is a beautiful book filled with projects to sweeten your home, zakka style. Each project has excellent colour diagrams and comprehensive step by step instructions. Projects are rated by their difficulty level, which makes this a great book for a newbie sewist. They can start with all of the simple projects and then move forward working on the trickier projects.

The projects included in this book range in skills. Patchwork, piecing, applique, embroidery, sashiko, crochet... Lisa has touched on a lot of skills and personally, I think it's a wonderful to try a lot of new things to see what you like best and practice the skills which you're not so familiar with (like crochet and y-seams). 

My first crocheted scallop edge (I'm a little bit pleased with myself over this edging)

My first ever machine pieced hexagons (Y-Seams... Yikes!!)
Hand quilted with cotton Aurifil Mako 12 in colour # 2310

We're around the half way mark of the blog tour with many great crafty bloggers still to come. Below, you'll find the list of participants - why not go back and check out what everyone has made so far? So much gorgeousness!

April 26            Jodie Carlton                    Ric Rac
April 27            Minki Kim                        Minki’s Work Table
April 28            Melissa LeRay                  Oh How Sweet
April 29            Jemima Flendt                 Tied With a Ribbon
April 30            Beverley McCullough        Flamingo Toes

May 2              Sedef Imer                       Down Grapevine Lane
May 3              Nadra Ridgeway                Ellis and Higgs
May 4              Amy Morinaka                  Chick Chick Sewing
May 5              Caroline Critchfield           Sew Can She
May 6              Kristyne Czepuryk            Pretty By Hand
May 7              Bronwyn Hayes                Red Brolly

May 9              Anorina Morris                  Samelia’s Mum
May 10            Peta Peace                        She Quilts A Lot
May 11            Faith Essenburg                Sarana Ave
May 12            Angie Wilson                     Gnome Angel
May 13            Sharon Burgess                 Lilabelle Lane Creations
May 14            Stacy Olson                       Stacy Olson

May 16            Ayda Algin                         Cafenohut
May 17            Jennie Pickett                    Clover and Violet
May 18            Wynn Tan                          Zakka Art
May 19            Lisa Cox                             A Spoonful of Sugar

Do yourself a favour and order your copy of A Spoonful of Sugar: Sew 20 Simple Projects to Sweeten Your Surroundings Zakka Style and then you'll be ready to join us in the Instagram Sew Along from 1 June to 9 August 2016. 

We will be making projects from the book. There will be five rounds, each lasting for two weeks which will give you plenty of time to complete a project or two from the book.  Our good friend, Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company is the Guest Judge, with fantastic prizes for the winner of each round, plus a Grand Prize Winner, generously sponsored by Alisha from Ministry of Fabric. We really hope you join in the fun! #ASPOONFULOFSUGARSAL

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 💕