Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Eternal Mini Quilt + Your Free May 2017 Calendar

It's that time of the month again when I release a new mini quilt pattern and today I have something very sweet for you. This months design is my interpretation of the lovely "Bride's Puzzle" quilt block and I think it's stunning. So without further ado, welcome to my pattern family, the gorgeous Eternal:
There's a long history of bridal quilts and its interesting to research the significance of blocks etc. that we know so well and use in our modern day quilting. I was unable to find anything specifically related to the "Bride's Puzzle" block, which was disappointing but I did find a lot of information on star blocks in wedding quilts. A star block, represents the bride's euphoria or "starry eyed" feeling of love and hope for a wonderful future with her betrothed.  I think we can all remember that feeling on our own wedding days (and hopefully everyday since).
I'm assuming the "puzzle" refers to navigating your way in a marriage. Every relationship has its ups and down, its trials, its happiness, its sadness but most importantly, it has eternal love ♥
The centre star is a "Le Moyne" star block which is usually sewn with set in seams but for this mini I designed it using pieced HST's and flying geese units so it's easier to put together. In fact, even though this design may look complicated, its quite quick and easy to piece and I have broken the pattern down in simple parts to make it a fun mini for you to sew.
I used a simple colour palette of red, pink and aqua and combined with that crisp white homespun the mini is soft and sweet yet very striking. The mini quilt finishes at around 18" square so the pieces are a generous size with nothing too fiddly to piece. A full sized quilt with multiples of this design would look stunning, I may have to add this to my wish list of quilts to make one day :)
The PDF pattern includes a colouring sheet for you to plan your mini quilt prior to sewing and it includes full step by step instructions plus tonnes of diagrams to help make piecing your quilt easier. I have tried to write the pattern so it suits any level of sewer but as always, I'm here to help, so email me if you need any advice or if you have any questions.
The pattern also includes additional instructions on adding a hanging sleeve or corner hanging pockets so you can hang your mini to be admired.
I quilted my mini with my favorite all over flower design but there is so much negative space to play with so you could showcase some lovely quilting in this design.
If you would like to sew your own Eternal mini quilt, from today until the end of May 2017, PDF patterns are available at the introductory price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop HERE.
If you prefer an instant download, they are also available in my Etsy shop HERE.
Plus I also have your free May 2017 calendar featuring the gorgeous Eternal:
To download and print this months calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you love Eternal as much as I do. I had so much fun with this quilt and its such a pretty addition to my collection. Love is eternal ♥
Happy sewing :)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Milo Bundt Cake

Milo is a staple in our house and while we love a steaming hot mug of that chocolate malt goodness, its also a great ingredient to cook with. I use it occasionally in muffins or slices for the lunchboxes, because it makes a lovely little treat. At the moment we are on school holidays, so I thought I'd whip up my Milo Bundt Cake instead, because trust me this cake is seriously delicious.
Its moist, its sweet, its packed with that yummy chocolate malt flavour we all love and a slice of this takes you right back to your childhood and eating spoonfuls of Milo straight from the tin (I do admit to maybe/possibly/definitely sneaking a spoonful or two of Milo as I was baking this cake; don't judge, I'm really not as grown up as I think I am).
For those of you who may not know Milo and need an alternative, Milo is a chocolate malt powder that is mixed with either hot or cold milk producing a delicious beverage. It was developed in Australia in 1934 and is now also manufactured and sold as snack bars, ready made drinks and breakfast cereals. If your looking for a substitute for Milo, you can find a couple of great homemade Milo recipes on the MamaBake website, HERE.
This cake is a little bit naughty but I truly believe that if you are going to break the diet, then make it worth it, right? There's always tomorrow to hit the gym or go for a run :)
It's a cake you would cook as a special treat and it does present well with a simple sprinkling of icing sugar. I love cooking with bundt tins as it gives the cake an elegant look and the portion sizes are a little smaller. If bundt tins aren't your thing, it also cooks well in an ordinary tin, just adjust your cooking times accordingly.
My Milo addiction stems back to my childhood and our son is just the same. When he was little he would steal spoonfuls from the tin, just like I did/still do. I'd often find him playing quietly and thinking he had got away with it but there was always that telltale chocolate moustache on his sweet little face, that gave the game away :)
Both of us prefer this cake to a dense chocolate cake because of that gorgeous chocolate malt flavour and I hope you do as well.
If you would like to give my Milo Bundt Cake a try, you can download the recipe HERE or right click on the picture below and save to your computer for later.
I hope you enjoy this delicious cake. I'll be back sometime next week with my new May mini quilt but for now, I'm going to enjoy the rest of the holidays, relaxing with the kids, watching some DVD's, catching up on some crochet projects and nibbling on cake.
Happy baking :)
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter ♥

"Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life." - S.D. Gordon

From my family to yours, have a wonderful and safe Easter. May your heart and home be filled with lots of love and happiness and a generous amount of chocolate :). 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Easter Freebie Round-Up

I had planned to add a new free Easter pattern to the blog, I'd even starting working on it, but looming deadlines have taken precedence. Instead, I've decided to do a round-up post of my older Easter patterns and some free patterns/tutorials I have found online from some very clever people. These projects are all lovely freebies and I'm sure you will love them.
Even though Easter is fast approaching, there is still time for some quick and easy projects, so I hope these inspire you:
First up is my free Bunny Butt Cushion pattern. This is a fun project and a great use of scraps. I love using this cushion in our Easter decorating; its super cute and the kids adore it. Its a quick project and you can whip one up in an afternoon :) You can find my free pattern HERE.
Next up are my Egg Cup Warmers and these are a pretty addition to the breakfast table over Easter. We love eggs, any which way, and boiled eggs with a yummy cheesy toast is our breakfast of choice for Easter. The warmers are quick and easy to sew and you can find my photo tutorial, plus a recipe for Boiled Egg and Herb and Cheese Soldiers, HERE.
Next up is my free Easter Basket block. This is a sweet paper pieced block and you can use this how ever you wish. I added some extra borders and mounted mine on a stretched canvas. It sits in my front porch during Easter, as a lovely welcome to guests. You can download the free block pattern plus some free gift tags and cupcake toppers HERE.
And now for some lovely patterns/tutorials I've found from some very talented people:
{image from the Design, Dining + Diapers website}
I adore these Shabby Chic Easter Eggs. They are so simple but they look so pretty and you only need basic supplies which may already be in your craft cupboard. I'm hoping to find some time to make a bowl full of these for our Easter table. You can find all the details on the Design, Dining + Diapers website HERE.
{image from the A Pumpkin and a Princess website}
I also loooove this pretty Easter Egg Wreath from A Pumpkin and a Princess. It would make a gorgeous welcome to your Easter guests and the site offers a great photo tutorial to help you out. This is definitely on my wishlist to make, maybe next year. You can find all the information HERE.
{image from The Life Of Jennifer Dawn website}
Another lovely simple project are these Easter Egg Ornaments from The Life of Jennifer Dawn. These are a great way to involve the kids and they will add something pretty to your home. The photo tutorial is very informative and you can find it and the required templates HERE.
{image from the Make It- Love It website}
And lastly, I adore these Carrot Treat Bags from Stitched by Crystal. These are on my list for next year and once filled with little eggs, they will make the perfect gift for friends and neighbours. There's a great photo tutorial to help you sew and you can find it and all the details HERE.
If your looking for some Easter recipes, I have a few on my blog:
You can find all of these plus more by clicking on the recipe tab at the top of my page or by visiting HERE.
I hope all of these projects inspire you in the lead up to Easter. They are quick and easy and each of them will add something special to your family celebrations. Back to my deadlines :)
Happy crafting :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Honey Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios

"A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left in it." Winnie the Pooh

We had some friends visiting over the weekend and as they live far away now, we haven't seen them for a few years. There was so much to catch up on and photo's and stories to share but it felt like we had hardly spent a day apart. That's what happens with good friends; time may have passed but it dissipates when you sit and chat and share some coffee and cake. 
I wanted to bake something a little special for their visit and I decided on my lovely Honey Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios: 
Just like Winnie the Pooh, I love honey. I drizzle it over everything (well almost everything) and its great to cook with. I use a lovely Manuka honey from the health food shop; its thick and rich and it's perfect for cooking because it doesn't lose its health benefits when heated.
This Honey Cake is super delicious and teamed with that gorgeous mascarpone cream and pistachios, its a little plate of heaven. The cake is light and airy and the honey flavour isn't too overpowering or too sweet; the flavours are balanced perfectly.
The mascarpone cream works well with this recipe and although I do add a little sugar to the cream, I don't make it too sweet as the honey cake is perfectly sweetened and requires nothing more. The scattering of roughly chopped pistachios look so pretty on top, adding their wonderful distinctive flavour as well as that lovely crunch element to the Honey Cake.
A slice of this Honey Cake is lovely with a cup of tea or coffee and our guests really enjoyed it. Its a heartwarming, homey cake, which looks a little bit fancy and is perfect to share with friends or family as you chat away the hours. Its a quick and easy cake to bake and your kitchen will smell amazing, for hours after its been cooked :)

It's one of those cakes to bake when you want something special but not sickly sweet or heavy. Take your afternoon tea outdoors and bask in the sunshine, listen to the sounds of the garden and enjoy a plate of yummy cake!
If you would like to try my Honey Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios, you can download the recipe HERE or right click on the image below and save to your computer for later.
I hope you enjoy my Honey Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios recipe. Its a lovely way to cook with honey and your guests will be impressed with your home baked goodness.
Happy baking :)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Breanna Bunny

Using our hands to create for the special people in our lives, is the greatest gift of all and seeing their face when they receive it, swells our hearts with pride. There's always self satisfaction when you complete a project but nothing compares to watching the joy your handmade gifts brings to others.
I was browsing Pinterest the other day, looking for something Easter inspired to crochet for a gift and I found an adorable bunny pattern which I just had to make. Here's my version of the Breanna Bunny from LeeLee Knits:
I don't usually make softies or toys but this little pattern was too cute not to try and I had a special some "bunny" in mind to gift it to. I struggle with toys because I always doubt myself on how much stuffing is enough but I didn't let this deter me and I got started on my own version of Breanna. Isn't she adorable? And, she's heaps of fun to crochet too :)
She's cuddly and floppy (probably due to me and my stuffing issues) and she finishes at 9" high so she is only little. The pattern is well written, with clear instructions and very easy to follow; if you know how to SC and SC2tog then your pretty much good to go! I strongly suggest using stitch markers though, if you have them, because your working in rounds and if your easily distracted (like me) losing your place can be frustrating.
She's adorable from head to foot and how cute is that little tail? I know the special some "bunny" I'm gifting her to, will absolutely love Breanna :) She's going to be hard to part with so it looks like a trip to the wool shop for some more supplies so I can make one for me too. In the meantime, I'm popping Breanna in a basket with some chocolate eggs and she's all ready to go off to her new home.
If you have a special some "bunny" who would love a handmade gift this Easter, then you can find the free pattern on the LeeLee Knits blog HERE. She has lots of lovely crochet and knitting patterns for kids and newborns, so its well worth a visit.
Breanna the bunny is a great weekend project and she sure will bring a smile to the face of her lucky recipient. I hope you have some "bunny" special in your life too, who will treasure this gift made by you with lots of love ♥
Happy crocheting :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ma Petite Mini Quilt + Your Free April 2017 Calendar

How are your Easter preparations going? It won't be long and the Easter Bunny will be paying us all a visit and I'm almost ready. I'm really looking forward to this upcoming holiday because it means the end of this first school term as well. This term has been extremely busy with so much going on, so we are ready to enjoy a break and recuperate ready for term two. They seem to cram everything into the first term to take advantage of the good weather, I think, but its very tiring for the kids and the mums.
While we patiently wait for these holidays, its time for my new monthly mini and your free April 2017 Calendar. I've already shown you the gorgeous fabrics I used in a previous post, so now without further ado, here's my new mini quilt pattern, the very stunning, Ma Petite:
I'm soooooo excited to share this mini quilt with you. As you already know I love sampler quilts and it really was only a matter of time before I decided to squeeze as many sampler blocks as I could into a quilt under 20" square :) I'm so thrilled with this little quilt! The fabrics were perfect for this design and they were great to work with; showcasing those tiny blocks oh so well. I love each and every little block in this quilt and I think they look even cuter in miniature.
My favorite quilt to snuggle under is my Chatelaine sampler (you can read all about it HERE) and now I have this gorgeous mini sampler to hang in the studio as well, where I can admire it while I sew.
The sampler blocks all finish at 3" square and I selected thirteen simple but pretty blocks with most of them constructed using either a nine or four patch grid. There is one paper pieced block (the little pink and blue double pinwheel) but I also included a (traditionally pieced) optional pinwheel block for you to substitute if paper piecing isn't your thing. If you do include the FPP block you could always use the optional block as a quilt label if you like.
I decided on plain white sashing and setting triangles for this one because I really wanted those little blocks to pop. The sashing is tiny (finishes at 1/2") but I've eliminated cornerstones etc. to make it quicker and easier to piece. So this means the lengths of the sashing strips between the rows, are cut larger than required and then trimmed when the quilt top is together. Not the most conventional way to piece, but for this size quilt it eliminates working with teeny tiny cornerstones and triangles and matching lots of seams. The pattern will talk you through this method and I'm always available to help if you get stuck, so send me an email.
Ma Petite is French for "my little one" or "my little" and I think it suits this mini sampler quilt perfectly. It looks so cute with its big sister, my Chatelaine sampler doesn't it? I have used a couple of the same blocks in both quilts but the majority of them are exclusive to this mini quilt pattern.
I finished the quilt with a simple pieced border and as I have mentioned before, on point quilts always finish at an odd size so be prepared to ease these borders on just a teeny little bit. If that's not for you, then add a plain coloured border instead, it will look just as lovely and you might feel more comfortable attaching it.
I quilted Ma Petite with the same all over flower design I used for my Chatelaine quilt and I chose that gorgeous red and white pinstripe binding to finish it off.
The best part about this mini, is that after you have made your little quilt and its hanging proudly on the wall, the pattern will become a useful reference library of 3" block patterns which you can use in other projects as well; either small gifts or border elements or as multiples for cushion fronts etc.
The PDF pattern includes full step by step instructions, tips and diagrams to help with ease of construction. I've also included a colouring sheet to help you plan your mini quilt prior to sewing and optional instructions for adding a hanging sleeve or corner hangers to the back of your quilt.
If you would like to make your own Ma Petite mini quilt, from today until the end of April 2017, PDF patterns will be available at the introductory price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, PDF patterns are also available in my Etsy shop, HERE.
I also have your free April 2017 calendar featuring the gorgeous Ma Petite:

You can download and print your free calendar by visiting HERE.
I hope you love Ma Petite as much as I do. Its a gorgeous mini quilt with some fun little blocks to try and it looks fantastic hanging in my studio. Its one of those quilts that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you see it and it definitely brightens my day and my studio. I love it ♥
Happy sewing :)
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