Sunday, June 26, 2016

Melting Moments

Yesterday, my husband suggested I bake "something yummy" for afternoon tea. He suggests this every weekend and usually I'll whip up a batch of scones or a tea cake. He is a huge biscuit lover, so this time, I decided to make our afternoon tea a little, extra special with some delicious, Melting Moments:
These beautiful buttery biscuits, sandwiched with jam and vanilla buttercream are a favorite in our house. As the name suggests, they have a delicious, soft, crumbly shortbread like texture, which totally melts in your mouth.
You may call these Yo-Yo biscuits, as they are made using custard powder but the recipe I originally used (I think it came from the reality cooking show, Masterchef) refers to them as Melting Moments. I have baked these quite a few times now and I prefer to use my own buttercream recipe and fill them with a store brought blackberry jam because that's our favorite.
They are quite large and the recipe yields only six completed biscuits but they are quick and easy to make, easy clean up and are totally delicious.
They are perfect for afternoon tea and they look so pretty on the table. (Poor hubby was in absolute torture waiting for me to take some photos to share with you, before I allowed him to eat one).
My advice is to be generous with the buttercream and jam because there is a lot of biscuit and make sure you give them a lovely dusting of icing sugar before serving, to make them pretty.
If you are looking for "something yummy" to make for afternoon tea, then give these biscuits a try. You can download the recipe HERE or right click on the picture below and save to your computer:
I hope you enjoy these morsels of deliciousness. Hubby was thrilled and yesterdays afternoon tea was another of those special family moments, filled with chatter. laughter and melt in your mouth goodness :)
Happy baking :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Bonus Blocks

I've shared all 83 blocks with you and believe me I could share hundreds and hundreds more. There are so many amazing and stunning blocks to be pieced and my Chatelaine Sampler represents just a small portion of my favorites.
My blocks are together and I'm still plotting and planning my borders, but here's a little sneak peak:
I realise that we don't all share the same tastes or skill levels, so some of the blocks may not appeal to you or they may have been a little tricky and you decided to skip them, so I've decided to give you some bonus blocks.
I've compiled a file of 9 Bonus Blocks and most of these are blocks you would normally expect to find in a sampler: Nine Patch, Economy Block, Birds In The Air etc. but I've also included a couple, just for fun i.e. Love Heart and Pinwheels.
I didn't sew samples of these blocks to show you, but all the diagrams, instructions and templates are included in the file, to assist you in making some more pretty blocks.
You can use the bonus blocks as replacements for any of the blocks I've shared or keep them in your file as reference for future projects (seriously your block library can never be too big).
To download and print the complete file of 9 Bonus Blocks, just visit HERE.
That means my "block a week" sharing has come to an end :( but I will be back soon to discuss border options and over the coming weeks, you will be bombarded with pictures of my Chatelaine Quilt.
Until then......happy sewing :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 83

The last block of my Chatelaine Sampler is the stunning Mariner's Compass and I saved the best block for last. I know I say every week that a block is my favorite, and they are, but this is my all time favorite block EVER.
I first encountered this block in my SBS quilt and I put off making it due to the paper piecing. Up until then, I had been able to make templates or fudge other blocks that required PP, without actually learning how to do it. As I really wanted to make this block, I had to at least attempt paper piecing. I watched a You Tube video of a woman paper piecing a boat, understood the basic principals and sat down and sewed my first Mariner's Compass and boy was I pleased with myself. It even got its own blog post HERE.
I'd like to say that my love of paper piecing came from there but it didn't and I had no plans to every PP again. I did try it again years later and the more I sewed this way, the more enjoyable it became and I found that I could piece more intricate designs...........and the rest is history :)
I was a little worried about how my soft fabrics would work in this block but I love how it turned out and I think its perfect for our quilts. It is paper pieced in eight easy little sections, so give it a try :)
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
So that's all 83 blocks! And can I say a huge "thank you" to everyone for your support over the last 83 weeks. You are amazing!! Sharing my blocks has been the highlight of my week and I love that you love my favorite blocks as well. Your comments, emails and photos have made this project so enjoyable to me and I can"t thank you enough xxx
Next week I do have some bonus blocks to share with you (which you can use as you wish) but until then I'm putting my Chatelaine quilt top together and I can't wait to share.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 82

This weeks gorgeous block is Prairie Flower. This is another pieced nine patch block and its a lovely representation of those stunning meadow flowers.
For a settler on the prairie, the littering of wildflowers such as asters, cowslips, marigolds and cornflowers etc. signified the end of the hardships of winter. These beautiful flowers were welcome bursts of colour to the prairies and they thrived among the grasses, without human intervention.
The majority of this block is pieced using quick corners and I think it will be a lovely addition to our sampler quilts.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
So, that means I have only have one more block to share with you and believe me, its a stunner! Its my absolute favorite block EVER and I cant wait to share it with you next week. Can you guess what it might be?
Until then, happy sewing :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 81

This week I have a gorgeous block for you called Blueberry Patch. This is a lovely pieced block and can you see the white sawtooth star, hiding in the background? Its a very easy block to sew together and I kept my palette soft and pretty but that star would really "pop" surrounded by some lovely bright fabrics.
Blueberries are a staple in our house. Not only are they a super food full of wonderful antioxidants but they are so versatile and can be used in lots of recipes.
For centuries, wild blueberries were used as a source of food and medicine. Berries were left to dry out in the sun and were then ground into a fine powder, preserving them for the winter. The powder would be mixed with ground corn meal and honey as a nourishing food during the colder months.
Growing your own blueberries requires a lot of love and planning, due to they rich nutrient requirements and protection from pests, so preparing a special patch in the vegetable garden (companion planting) would yield the most successful results.
To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
And lastly I have your collage of Blocks 73-81. They all look so lovely together and it wont be long until they will all be joined in our quilts:
Blocks 73- 81
Happy sewing :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Corona Mini Quilt + Your Free June 2016 Calendar

With May almost over (and where did that month go BTW??),  it is time to release my new June Mini Quilt and your free June 2016 Calendar.  This month I have a lovely pieced mini for you, featuring a gorgeous array of stars, all encased in a soft and pretty corona.  So without further ado, introducing my new June mini quilt,  Corona:
A corona is an aura of plasma which surrounds the sun and other celestial bodies. We all love a stunning star quilt and this design is based on the "Star and Corona" quilt block, with my addition of the extra smaller sawtooth stars in the centres.
The light blue corona links those beautiful stars, giving them their own celestial glow. I chose a strong colour palette for this mini and I love how dramatic the larger star's appear, pieced in that rich red and navy fabric.
I chose a softer palette for the smaller sawtooth stars, but they still feature strongly in this quilt. Corona is easily pieced, using lots of flying geese units and a few squares and rectangles and its a fun and quick little mini to sew. Although my palette is quite uniform, this design would look lovely with a more scrappy look. I shopped my stash for this mini and I think that all the fabrics work quite well together.
Corona finishes at around 17" square, so your cut pieces are quite generous, without lots of my trademark "teeny tiny" pieces to work with. This quilt would be perfect to use as a table topper or wall hanging but I'm also sure it would make a stunning full size quilt, if you made multiple blocks and sashed them together.
I quilted my Corona mini with some all over stippling, which gives the quilt that lovely texture and I finished it off with that gorgeous navy binding, giving the mini that perfect frame.
As always, the PDF pattern includes step by step written instructions and clear colour diagrams, to help you along the way. I've included a colouring sheet to assist with fabric/colour selections prior to making your Corona mini and I've also included two options for hanging your mini quilt, using either a hanging sleeve or corner pockets.
If you would like to make your own Corona mini quilt, from today until the end of June, PDF patterns are available at the introductory price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, they are also available in my Etsy shop, HERE.
And lastly, I have your free June 2016, calendar, featuring the gorgeous Corona:
To download and print your free calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you love Corona as much as I do. It was a fun mini to design and sew and its a gorgeous addition to my growing collection.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 80

This week I have a super easy block for you, called Maypole Dancing. This block is very quick to piece and you will probably spend more time picking the perfect fabrics than actually sewing it, but I wanted to include it, purely for my own nostalgic reasons.
I was seven when our teacher, Mrs Adams, gathered the girls around a tall white pole with gorgeous long flowing ribbons attached at the top. We were all excited and intrigued and it was then she taught us the art of the Maypole dance. The music was beautiful, the dance was feminine and energetic and after some practice, we gave a performance for our families and friends. I'm sure we got it wrong more times than we got it right, but our ribbons entwined, making gorgeous patterns and then unraveled as we retraced our steps.
I hope you have fun with this one, it is a sweet block and it may conjure a memory for you as well. Have a play around with the colour placement. I did sew one with the colours reversed and I didn't like it as much but it may work better for you and your quilt.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
And just for fun, here's an action shot of our Maypole Dance performance, taken by my proud mum (1974). I'm the one in the front, with the plaits or ponytails, flying everywhere :):
I'll be back tomorrow with my new June Mini Quilt and your free June Calendar. Happy sewing :)
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