Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Lilies

One of our favorite recipes to bake and eat during Easter are Easter Lilies. In fact, we don't always wait till Easter to eat these; they also make a great Sunday afternoon snack:
These beautiful soft cakes are rolled into lilies and generously filled with jam and whipped cream and trust me, they are hard to resist. They could also be filled with jelly, if you prefer but we love ours filled with blackberry jam.
This is my great grandmothers recipe and its quick and easy to make but make sure you cook the cakes in batches so you have time to roll and secure them into shape, while they are still warm.
Its a great recipe to have on hand for when unexpected visitors pop in over the Easter period or you just feel like something special while your relaxing with a cup of coffee or tea.
To grab the recipe for these Easter Lilies, either right click and save the image above or you can download the PDF recipe, HERE.
I hope you enjoy them ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Juicy Fruits and Whipped Creme Blanket

Earlier this week, I started working on a new crocheted blanket. This one is for Maddi, who wanted a blanket crocheted in stripes, like my Cosy CAL or Cohen's Coastal Ripple. We had a look at a few different patterns and this is the one she fell in love with:
This is a free pattern called Juicy Fruits and Whipped Creme (pattern can be found HERE). The pattern is for a throw size but I added some more stitches to the width and I will add more rows to the length, to make it a generous single bed size.
She chose just a few of her favorite shades of purple and we teamed them with a soft off white and so far it is looking lovely and she is very happy.
I love how the scallops and cross stitches combine; they almost look like little love hearts. The pattern took me a little while to get the hang of but now its growing slowly and lots of fun to crochet.
At this stage, its still quite portable and I can crochet in the car, whilst waiting at school etc. but before long it will be big enough to snuggle under as I work. The nights are getting colder so I'm looking forward to it growing and keeping me warm and toasty.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Free April 2015 Calendar

Easter is drawing nearer and our house is decorated, the menu's are planned and we are all ready to enjoy a small holiday and eat tonnes of chocolate :) Its also time for your free April calendar:

April gives us a lot to celebrate but also lots to remember. For Australians, we pay tribute to our past and present soldiers on Anzac Day, April 25th. This months quote is a for all to those brave men and women, we will always remember.
This months featured pattern is Potpourri:
This is a gorgeous scrappy quilt and all you need is a pretty Jelly Roll, some white homespun and two solids to complete the quilt top. From today until the end of April, PDF patterns of Potpourri will be available at the discounted price of $6.95 and are available in my store, HERE.
To read more about this months quilt, just visit HERE.
To download and print your free April 2015 calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope April is another wonderful month for you and your family and that you too, get to spend some quality time with family and friends during the Easter break :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wintervale

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a new mini quilt design and its an illustration of adapting block patterns, using the basic structure and transforming it into something different. When I first saw the Starry Cross block, I saw little houses in the side units and then I imagined trees in the corner units. A little more tweaking and I had designed a little village, complete with a town square or meeting place. Introducing, Wintervale:
This design reminds me of the little town, Cornwall, where my great grandparents lived. Simple, yet inviting houses circling the unnamed, yet assumed "meeting place" where conversations were held, recipes shared, plans organised and homegrown produce traded.
The women would congregate with their hair in "pins", their brightly coloured aprons tied tightly around their waists and they always seemed to be holding a tea towel :) Knowledge was gained from these little meetings;from how to burp a baby to how to grow the perfect lemons.
The fire was always burning in these little homes. It provided warmth and cooked most of the food consumed during the day; seriously, nothing tasted better than the stews these ladies cooked slowly in the embers. All day, smoke would swirl from the chimneys and at night, there was a lovely warm glow in each of the front windows.
It was a coal mining town, situated on a mountain and surrounded by wonderful untouched bush land. As kids, we built forts and tree houses and appreciated all the beauty and adventure that nature had to offer. Because it was near the eastern coastline, it didn't experience snow but during winter it was cold, wet and the fog didn't seem to lift all day.  I have incorporated snow into my design with a lovely spotted fabric, because snow would have been wonderful :)
When hubby retires and the kids have moved on with their own lives, we will be ready for a change. Les would prefer a "sea change" but I would enjoy a "country change". Maybe a little town similar to the one my great grandparents lived in would be a good compromise for us; a coastal country town, close to the ocean :)
I hope you like my interpretation of yesterdays block and the childhood memories that it evoked. The design measures approx. 18 1/2" square and would make a lovely wall hanging or a centerpiece for your dining table.
PDF patterns of the design, are available in my shop HERE.
Adapting blocks is fun and simple to do and is only limited by your imagination. Have fun playing and building your own designs by incorporating the basics and let your creativity flow :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chatelaine Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 21

This weeks super pretty block is Starry Cross. I read quilt block reference books a lot and when I first saw this one, I knew it would make a lovely addition to our quilts but I also saw a few other things too, which sparked an idea for a new design; I wonder if you can see them as well.
Blocks can be interpreted in various ways and I think you are aware by now, just how much I love to tweak/add/enhance certain aspects of basic blocks and give them new life.
This particular block was the inspiration for a new mini quilt, which I will be releasing tomorrow (stay tuned). I hope it gives a good illustration of how blocks can be adapted to create something completely wonderful :)
To download this weeks free block pattern, just visit HERE.
I'll be back tomorrow with my new design :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Homemade Tartare Sauce

There are many traditions associated with Good Friday but perhaps the most common custom is the eating of fish. When we think of condiments, to serve or garnish our fish there are many options but my favorite is a good squeeze of lemon juice and my Homemade Tartare Sauce:
I promise you, once you have made and tasted this sauce you will never buy ready made Tartare Sauce again. Its creamy and tasty and quite quick to make, so its perfect to throw together and chill just before you are ready to serve your Easter lunch.
Its not ideal for storing, so the recipe serves about 6 people and don't worry about leftovers, there wont be any :) I love the flavor that the grapeseed oil and white wine vinegar bring to the mayonnaise and I cut my capers and cornichons quite rustic to give it a nice texture.
To download and print the recipe, just visit HERE.
I'm sure this Homemade Tartare Sauce will be a favorite at your table, just like it is at ours. Enjoy..... and your welcome :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Winter Is Coming"

I have lots to share with you over the next few days and first up I wanted to show you what I've been crocheting. Last year I crocheted lots of scarves but 2015 is destined to be the year of the wrist warmers I think:
I found a few beautiful free patterns on Pinterest but the first one I tried gave me so many headaches that I ended up playing around with a few patterns and came up with my own version. These will be great for me because I hate wearing gloves and they become a nuisance when your shopping or driving. I'll be able to wear these without taking them off to open my purse etc.
Maddi loves them as well; she divides her time between Uni and her part time job at Sanity, so she will still be able to work/study while keeping her hands warm and toasty. They are quick and easy to crochet and they are a great portable project for me while I'm waiting to pick up Cohen from school or after school activities.
Over the weekend I did try something a little different by changing the cuff and adding a crocheted flower and I love how they turned out. Now that I have worked out a basic structure of the pattern, I can change the row pattern or add embellishments to make them different.
You can find the pattern for the flower HERE, it would look great on a scarf, hat or bag as well. As for the wrist warmers, I have a few pinned to my Pinterest board that may help or inspire you too :)
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