Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 65

This weeks lovely block is Rail Fence. This is a simple yet very effective block and you guessed correctly if you assumed this block was named after the humble split railed fence.
Rail fences are made using timber logs which are split lengthwise into rails and constructed without the need for nails or other hardware. They were widely used in pioneer life, especially in woodland areas, as they were easy to assemble on hard or rocky ground and could be disassembled and moved, if necessary. During the Civil War, split rail fences were a major source of firewood for the Union and Confederate armies.
This is a versatile block to have in our quilt libraries and you can construct yours as I have, with all the darks towards the centre or you can have a play around with any of these options:
Whichever layout you choose, its a quick block to piece, using some easy strip piecing. You will notice in the pattern, that I make two strip units to crosscut, instead of one long unit. I do it this way, to avoid the long seams distorting as I sew. There is a little extra wastage, but it gives you a more accurate finish :)
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Flummery

Do you remember flummery? My mum made it all the time and I think we loved it purely because of the name. She had two recipes; a quick one she made for us kids, with packet jelly and evaporated milk, but she also had an adult version, for special occasions, which was amazing! I thought the adult version, would make a perfect Valentine's Day dessert, so with a few tweaks, here's my Flummery:
Flummery has English origins and the name generally referred to something bland and unsatisfying. In post World War II, Australian's began making it with jelly crystals and evaporated milk, as a inexpensive mousse. As much as I enjoyed mum's "kids" version, I always loved when she made the "adult" version; it was so much nicer and neither bland or unsatisfying.
Flummery is light, smooth and creamy and its a beautiful summery dessert when served with some fresh berries. My recipe makes two large servings, which makes them perfect to be served and shared. You could use smaller moulds and make four but its far more romantic to share a dessert plate with your sweetheart, don't you think?.
I opted for some delicious strawberries to serve with mine but any fresh berries would be perfect. Be careful not to overload the top of your dessert, as it will start to split from the weight of the fruit. Just add a few drops of pink food colouring to achieve that pretty pastel pink and your dessert will match your Valentine's Day celebrations.
You can use individual jelly moulds, as I have done or you could use one of those large ring moulds and fill the hollow centre with mixed berries; the only requirement is that the mould is plastic and a removable lid is beneficial, to help turn out the dessert.
However you decide to present your Flummery, it is yummy and its the perfect end to any meal. It doesn't take long to prepare but you will need to make it the day before serving, which gives you more time to spend cooking a lovely Valentine's Day dinner.
To download the recipe for my Flummery, just visit HERE or right click on the picture below and save to your computer for later.
Bon appetite!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 64

This weeks pretty little block is Straw Flowers. Straw flowers, also known as paper daisies or everlasting daisies, are native to Australia and are considered wildflowers. They are also grown in the cottage gardens of other countries, purely because of their beautiful blooms. They contain less moisture than other flowers, so they are perfect for dry arrangements and they feel quite papery or straw-like, to touch.
Flowers are strongly represented in quilt history and I think they look just as pretty in the quilts as they do flowering in the gardens.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
I hope you enjoy sewing this weeks block. There's no tricky bits, just lots of HST's and a few squares and rectangles.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 63

This weeks block is the stunning Peace and Plenty. The phrase "peace and plenty" referred to an aspired ideal or dream or was given as a blessing to others. To live with peace and plenty, meant to live abundantly sufficient or to have an abundance of sufficient necessities, such as family, love, health, food and comfort. It also referred to personal freedom, freedom of religion or beliefs and the right to own land.
I think we all aspire to this; to live a wonderful life, rich in the necessities we need. Its all to easy to get caught up in the ideal of having everything we think we want, which only leaves us feeling unfulfilled.
This block is simple in construction but you will need some templates for those square units. I have included those in the pattern or if you like, you can cut to the nearest 1/16th.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
And lastly, here's your collage for Blocks 55-63:
Happy sewing and peace and plenty to you all :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Aztec Mini + Your Free February Calendar

You would be correct in assuming that I spend a lot of time looking at, thinking about and sewing, quilt blocks. I have quite a few beautiful books filled with inspiration (and sticky notes full of scribbles and plans) which I regularly drool over. When I first saw the lovely "Squash Blossom" block, I knew that with a little tweaking and a lovely border, this beautiful block was destined to become my February Mini Quilt, Aztec:
The Aztecs are renowned for their gorgeous geometric designs and their simple patterns make striking quilt blocks. Traditionally, the Aztecs used a palette of bright, vibrant, earthy colours but for this mini, I went with some lovely aqua, pink, navy and grey and I was pleased with this combination.
As 2016 is the year for sewing from my stash, all of these fabrics are from various older projects and I was fortunate to have "just enough" of some, so I could complete this mini the way I envisioned.
Aztec is a fully pieced mini quilt and its quick and easy to construct. I like the addition of the border; it frames the block nicely and really draws your eye to that stunning focal centre. It also gave me some lovely negative space to showcase some quilting, and I chose an all over free motion flower pattern, which I think finishes it off perfectly.
The quilt finishes at approx. 16" square and the PDF pattern includes full step by step instructions and coloured diagrams for easy construction. I've also included a colouring sheet to assist in fabric/colour selection prior to sewing your quilt and instructions for an optional hanging sleeve or hanging corners, to assist in mounting your mini quilt. Aztec, could also be used as a cushion front, a table topper or you could make multiple blocks for a lovely full sized quilt.
From today until the end of February, PDF patterns of Aztec will be available at the discounted and introductory price of $4.95 and can be purchased in my Big Cartel shop HERE.
If you prefer an instant download, you can also purchase a copy in my Etsy shop, HERE.
And I also have your free February Calendar as well, featuring the lovely Aztec:
To download and print your free calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you love Aztec as much as I do and that February is a wonderful month, full of love and laughter for you and your family :)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What's Hooking

I realised the other day, that it's been awhile since I shared any crocheting updates. These days, I seem to spend as much time at the hook as I do at the machine and I love it. So here's what I've been working on lately.
First up are these lovely heart coasters I found from Nancy Drew Crochet. I completed these four in a few hours and they were so much fun to crochet. You can find the free pattern "Granny Sweet Hearts", HERE, if you would like to give them a try. They will be the perfect addition to our Valentine's Day/Wedding Anniversary decorating.
Just one tip: I added an extra row to the pattern and I changed to a smaller needle for the frill and it gave them a much neater finish. I think I will be doing this more often in the future, as my chain style borders tend to be a little loose.
Madeline was cleaning and purging her room a few weeks back, so I crocheted a couple of Mandala's to brighten up her newly cleaned space. She popped them under the vases on her bookcase, and they look lovely. They are also a little addictive because I then made a few more (and a few more).
For both of these projects I used Patons 8ply Cotton Blend and its so lovely to crochet with, I need to buy more of this. You can find the find pattern for the "Little Spring Mandala",  HERE
Before Christmas, I did finish my GREG blanket and it is draped over our couch. It was such a fun blanket to work on:
The borders took quite awhile to finish due to all those LBV stitches but it was worth all the work and I think I would use that border style again. Towards the end of the border, I was crocheting those stitches quite well but it took awhile to find the correct rhythm and the correct LBV.
I felt a little lost after finishing GREG, but Shelley had an older free CAL on her blog called "In A Spin". It sounded perfect so I purchased some gorgeous Latte Cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills:
I love this wool, in fact I just ordered some more for another CAL, which is starting in a month or two (more on this new blanket another time). The "In A Spin" CAL is a collection of patterns from various designers and squares are worked to either 12", 8" or 6". Currently I am at Week 28 of the 55 week program. Each pattern presents a new challenge and you have to add or subtract rows to obtain the right size; basically it makes me think and pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and work beyond the pattern.
This is just one of the lovely squares called "Corkscrew". I love the 3D squares and this one was quite tricky to begin with but I managed to work it out and was quite proud of myself for achieving the end result.
All the details for the "In A Spin" CAL can be found HERE, if your up for a challenge.
You can also follow my Pinterest board "All Things Wool" HERE and see what else inspires me as my list of "to do" crochet projects grows longer and longer :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 62

This weeks super sweet block is Lost Ships. This is a quick and easy block to piece, using lots of pretty HST's. I decided to keep the palette quite soft for my block and I think it looks lovely.
The Lost Ships block has been used in quilts since the 1870's and you can see the dark ships quite well, but if you look closely you can also see a white "ghost" ship; more would be more prominent if you used this block as an all over pattern.
Have a play around with colour placement on this one. You can be deliberate in your choices, as I have or try a more scrappy look which also works well with this block.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
I hope you enjoy sewing this one, its one of my favorites.
Happy sewing :)
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