21 April 2014

My Enchanted Garden: Applique Quilts in Cotton and Wool

My Enchanted Garden: Appliqué Quilts in Cotton and Wool is the beautiful new book by author, teacher and quilter extraordinaire, Gretchen Gibbons.




Gretchen takes us on an applique journey through nature and our surroundings. The main project in this book is called The Enchanted Garden, which is just a breath taking quilt. Inspired by a nineteenth century quilt called ‘Birds of Paradise’, Gretchen takes us through the steps to create our own Enchanted Garden quilt.


01-96 B1182 4ths.indd


From the basic applique instructions, to choosing fabrics and actually making our own wool felt, Gretchen covers all of the general sewing requirements right at the start of the book. Excellent images are also included with the instructions, which assists those of us who like to learn through images.


01-96 B1182 4ths.indd


The projects in this book are created with a combination of wool and cotton fabrics - then finished with beautiful embellishment. After creating The Enchanted Garden quilt, the sewist has the opportunity to create a number of other, smaller, projects in this same applique style. Projects include a purse, pillow and numerous smaller wall quilts and blocks.

My Enchanted Garden: Appliqué Quilts in Cotton and Wool is an excellent resource and is a wonderful addition to any sewing library.


01-96 B1182 4ths.indd

14 April 2014

Pot Lid Holders {Week 25/52}

I posted this image on social media the other week and asked everyone to tell me what they thought these were. There were some really fun responses including mug rugs, coasters, egg cosies and breast feeding pads.

A couple of people actually picked my intended purpose for these little oval quilts, though all of the responses are perfectly viable too.


Pot Lid Holders


I intended for these to be Pot Lid Holders and here is the quick tute on how to make these fun scrappy little projects, which, if your saucepan lid handles get super hot (like mine), are absolutely useful.

Start with a backing piece of fabric, a piece of batting and fabric scraps.


Pot Lid Holder 1


Find something that is oval which you can trace, or just draw a free hand oval on to a piece of paper. Cut it out and then trace the oval shape on to your batting with a marker. I have an oval bobbin holder, which was the perfect size. My oval is approximately 5” tall by 3” wide.

Place the backing fabric facing down, and the batting on top.

Chose the first 2 fabric scraps and place the first one over the marked line with the right side facing up. Place the second strip, face down, over the top of this first one, with the edge aligned.

Sew along the edge with a quarter inch seam.




Flip that second strip over so that the right side is facing up. Repeat with a 3rd strip of fabric. Align the edges and sew across with a 1/4” seam.


Scrappy Bunny 4


Repeat until the marked oval shape is covered.

Use the oval template which you made earlier and pin it to the block and cut around it.

The binding is a little trickier as it has to be cut on the bias to be manipulated around the curves. Sew it slowly around each curve and it will all work out fine. I cut my bias binding strip of fabric to measure 1 1/2” – use the 45 degree line on your cutting ruler to achieve this.

I use single layer of fabric in the binding (rather than a double layer binding which is used for quilts).

Hand stitch the binding to the back of the little ovals quilts and they’re ready to use.

Wouldn’t these make a perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook (or even if they don’t love to cook!)?

I have made a few extras which I will to someone who guessed Pot Lid Holders, correctly on the Samelia’s Mum Facebook page.


Pot Lid Holders 2


As always, if you make a Pot Lid Holder, please share your pictures in the 52 Week Scrap Challenge Facebook Page.

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ (click the button below) so that you don't miss any of the future projects in the 52 Week Scrap Fabric Challenge.

Follow on Bloglovin

Learn more about 52 Week Scrap Challenge here.

Previous 52 Week Scrap Challenge Projects:

Scrappy Heart Pincushion {Week 1/52}

Flutter By Needle Case {Week 2/52}

Fabric Covered Jars {Week 3/52}

Stitch a Dresden Pillow {Week 4/52}

Plastic Bag Dispenser {Week 5/52}

Life is Better With Friends : Mini Quilt {Week 6/52}

Electrical Cord Wrap {Week 7/52}

Sunny Mug Rug {Week 8/52}

Scrappy Quilted Trivet {Week 9/52}

Quilted Fabric Box {Week 10/52}

Bloom : Wall Hanging {Week 11/52}

Double Tulip Pincushion {Week 12/52}

My Funny Valentine {Week 13/52}

Scrappy Needle Book {Week 14/52}

Rice Therapy Eye Pillow {Week 15/52}

Jolly Table Mat {Week 16/52}

Super Scrappy Strip Cushion {Week 17/52}

Turnstile Table Topper {Week 18/52}

I Heart You : Coaster {Week 19/52}

I {Heart} Reading : Bookmark {Week 20/52}

Pot Holder Pocket {Week 21/52}

Flower Garden Cushion {Week 22/52}

Scrappy Bunny Mini Quilt {Week 23/52}

Best Friend Cushion {Week 24/52}

08 April 2014

Easter Mini Swap

I’m such a fan of mini quilts, that I signed up with Chez of Gone Stitchin’ for 12” mini club this year.

Our first mini was an Easter inspired one. My partner is away on holiday, on the other side of the world, so I won’t mention her name just in case she sees this post before returning home.

I sent my travelling friend the Scrappy Bunny Mini Quilt. I hope she likes.


Scrappy Easter Bunny Mini Quilt


I actually enjoyed making this one so much, that I made another one, facing the other direction.


Scrappy Easter Bunny Mini Quilt


This one is more autumnal in colour and heavily quilted. This is going to a friend whose birthday I missed, but who will hopefully find a little space for this bunny in her home over the next couple of weeks.


Ceramic Reclined Bunnies


My secret swap partner was Kim who blogs at Quilting With Kim. I was very spoiled and received this lovely applique mini quilt. I just love applique and this little fellow is just gorgeous. He’s currently sitting with all of my other little Easter decorations and will be part of my little Easter family.


Easter Swap from Kim


Thank you Kim. I absolutely love the mini quilt…and the kids loved the chocolate bilby’s.

Also, a big thank you to Chez who not only organised the swaps, but also provided labels and gorgeous Easter coasters which we all send to our partners.

06 April 2014


From director Wes Anderson comes the acclaimed new comedy: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.

TGBH FB icon 3
The film recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars - and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
Hailed as Wes Anderson’s best film and one of the best and funniest films of the year, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL hits cinemas on April 10.
The Grand Budapest Hotel Cast
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL boasts a very talented cast including : Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton.

Watch the trailer below. It’s really quite funny and I am looking forward to seeing this film too.

The generous people at 20th Century Fox have offered to give away 4 double passes, to some very lucky Samelia’s Mum readers. To be in the running to win a double in-season pass, just leave a comment telling me what you think is the nicest thing about staying in a hotel.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED - Winners: Jessica, Merryl, Roberto, Peta

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway will close at 17:00 on Monday 7 April 2014 AEST. The prize will be sent by the promoter. Samelia’s Mum will take no responsibility for any delay, loss or damage to prizes sent to winner. Winner 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.

03 April 2014

Double Smoked Ham and Leek Mini Quiches {Recipe}

They say that real men don’t eat quiche, but try telling that to my husband and son. When they follow their noses to the kitchen and realise that I am making quiche, there is often a “Yay!” involved.

Although known as a classic French dish, did you know that quiche originated in Germany? The word quiche means "cake" which came from the German word Kuchen.

Today I’m sharing my yummy variation on the classic Quiche Lorraine. My family love my mini quiches and they disappear quickly once out of the oven.


Smoked Ham & Leek Mini Quiches (Recipe)


Double Smoked Ham & Leek Mini Quiches

3 sheets of puff pastry

1 leek

200g DON Double Smoked Leg Ham

2 tbsp olive oil

5 large free range eggs

3 tbps thickened cream

Grated tasty cheese


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

Cut 4 circles out of each sheet of puff pastry (I use a large mug). Place the 12 circles of pastry in oiled muffin tray.

Warm the olive oil in a pan over a low heat. Caramelise the leek until it softens and is slightly golden.

Slice the ham as desired. Sometimes I cut into squares and sometimes I make long thin strips.

Into each pastry cup, add approximately 1 tbsp of ham and some of the leek. Top with a pinch of grated cheese.


Mini Quiche


In a bowl or a jug whisk the eggs and the cream until it’s light and frothy.

Pour a little of the mixture into each pastry cup. Don’t fill all the way to the top as the mixture will grow and overflow (and make a big mess in your oven).

Place in the oven and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.

Serve with a green salad for a lovely brunch or make them just before the kids get home and let them have one for afternoon tea. You’ll receive an extra kiss and cuddle, guaranteed!


Smoked Ham & Leek Mini Quiches


DON® Ham is made from prime cuts of pork. Each leg is cured, then hung for an intense hot-smoking period, using selected Australian wood which intensifies the natural colour and flavour. The hams are then slow cooked for around eight hours.


DON Double Smoked Ham


For more DON recipes, visit the DON Recipe Inspirations or the DON Smallgoods official Facebook page.

Disclaimer: This series is in partnership with Don Smallgoods.