Mushroom Magic by Ana Mallah
19th June 2020
Here in Australia, winter has just begun. The weather is getting cold, there is more rain around and although our natives trees keep their leaves all year around, there are still plenty of other imported varieties still displaying the rich golden colours of the recent autumn season. However, unusually this past autumn, we seem to have been inundated with mushrooms.
Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus and generally appear above the ground during cooler weather. With hundreds of different varieties appearing all around the world, it is little wonder that almost everyone is familiar with them.
Hopefully, everyone is also familiar with the fact that while some mushrooms are edible (and absolutely delicious), there are plenty which are highly toxic. Wild mushroom picking is something that should be left to the experts as mistakes can prove deadly.
But we were curious as to why are there are so many in Australia at the moment… apparently, because we’ve had quite a bit of rain, the mushrooms are springing up like… well, like mushrooms!
They love it when it is cool and damp so our recent autumn is ideal. Wake up in the morning, and there they are in the backyard or the park, peeking out from spots you’re sure were empty yesterday.
It isn’t difficult to believe that the fairies might have planted them overnight, giggling with mischief before vanishing as soon as the sun came up.
Despite their dangerous reputation, there is no denying that a perfectly formed mushroom is a gorgeous sight indeed. But knowing of their uncertain toxicity, we’ve brought you a far safer way to appreciate the humble mushroom by stitching one of your very own.
Ana Mallah has created the most recognisable of mushrooms for our latest Handpicked project ‘Mushroom Magic’. Commonly known as the Fly Agaric, the highly recognisable, scarlet capped spotted toadstool has long been associated with gnomes, fairies and magic.
Ana has chosen a brilliant red silk for the stitches on the cap, highlighted all over with delicate white French knots. A tiny blue butterfly has also settled on the cap, which sits atop a plump, rounded stem.
We know you’ll love the detail, but the final delight comes when you recognise what this project is – a tiny box topped with a perfect pincushion!
‘Mushroom Magic’ has been specifically designed to complement Ana’s two projects featured in Inspirations issue #106, forming a trio of stitching accessories cuter than anything you’ve seen before.
Into the Forest Mushroom Needlebook (left) and Tree-Stump Pincushion (right). Mushroom Magic (centre).
Just imagine the tiny treasures which could be housed in this diminutive container. Any self-respecting fairy would be proud to show it off.
Made from felt, embroidered and decorated with stumpwork details, ‘Mushroom Magic’ is a project which no-one will be able to resist. When the army of mushrooms in the garden disappear, Mushroom Magic will stand, bright as ever, on your stitching table.
That said, we might suggest you keep your windows closed at night as we can’t guarantee those covetous fairies won’t take a liking to this adorable project and magic it away!
Make Your Own Mushroom Magic
Mushroom Magic by Ana Mallah from our Handpicked range is a delightful mushroom pot with a handy pincushion top.