Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Free Pattern- Tea Bag Wallet

Maddi and I love herbal teas and when the weather turns cold and miserable, she prefers to drink tea at Uni, instead of bottled water. The cafeteria offers green tea but not some of our other favorites, so she needed something pretty to pack her tea bags in........therefore I designed her a Tea Bag Wallet and now its a new free pattern for you to try as well:
She can throw this in her handbag and have a selection of her favorite herbal teas on hand, helping her to keep focused and relaxed during those long hours of study.
To make this Tea Bag Wallet you will need:
- 17cm main outer fabric
- 17cm lining fabric
- scraps of fabric for stars
- 10cm white homespun for stars
- iron on pellon (6 1/2" x 8 1/2")
- 1 x button
- 3 1/2" piece of hat elastic
- quilting cotton
- matching cottons for top stitching
- general sewing supplies

To get started, you will need to make three star blocks for the front of the wallet. The following instructions are for ONE star block only:

From the white homespun cut:
- 4 x 1" squares (A)
- 1 x 2 1/4" square cut diagonally twice to yield 4 triangles (B)
From your chosen fabric scraps cut:
- 4 x 1 3/8" squares cut diagonally to yield 8 triangles (C)
- 1 x 1 1/2" square (D)

1. Arrange the cut pieces according to the following diagram:
2. Sew a (C) triangle to one short side of each of the white homespun (B) triangles, pressing seams towards the dark fabric.
3. Sew the remaining (C) triangles to the opposite side of the white homespun (B) triangles, pressing seams towards the dark fabric, to make 4 flying geese units which should measure 1" x 1 1/2" when complete.
4. Sew one of these flying geese units to two alternate sides of the (D) square, pressing seams towards the square.
5. Sew a white homespun (A) square to either short side of the two remaining flying geese units, pressing seams towards the white homespun square.
6. Sew one of these units to the top and bottom of the centre unit, pressing seams open to alleviate bulk, to complete your star block which should measure 2 1/2" square. Make three of these blocks.

From your main outer fabric cut:
- 1 x 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle
- 1 x 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strip

7. Sew the three star blocks together to form a row which should measure 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" when complete.
8. Sew the 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strip to the bottom of the star blocks, pressing seam towards the strip.
9. Sew the 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to the top of the star blocks, pressing seam towards the rectangle. Your wallet front should now measure 6 1/2" x 8 1/2".
10. Fuse the piece of iron on pellon to the back of the wallet front with a hot iron and quilt as desired. I chose to stipple my wallet front using a co-coordinating quilting thread.
11. Position the button, in the centre of the bottom strip, just below the star block seam (as pictured above) and sew securely.
12. Fold the 3 1/2" piece of hat elastic in half and with raw edges together, position in the centre of the back of the wallet, leaving a small tail beyond the raw edge (as pictured above). Sew across the elastic, three or four times, using a scant 1/8" seam to secure into position.

From the lining fabric cut:
- 1 x 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle (main lining)
- 2 x 6" x 6 1/2" rectangles (pockets)

13. With wrong sides together, fold the pockets in half to yield two strips 3" x 6 1/2" and press.
14. Top stitch 1/4" along the fold, using matching thread.
15. Mark the centre point (3 1/4") of each strip, using either a hera marker or chalk pencil and pin pockets to the main lining.
16. Sew down the marked line in the centre of each pocket, using matching thread.
17. Sew around the three raw edges of the pocket, a scant 1/8" to secure to the main lining.
18. With right sides together, pin the lining to the wallet front and sew around all four sides, leaving a 3-4" opening on one side for turning.
19. Clip corners and turn wallet to the right side, pressing out corners. Press the wallet well and ensure the seams of the opening are pressed inside.
20. Top stitch around the wallet, a scant 1/8" to secure (this will close the opening).
21. Slip tea bags into the pockets, fold wallet in half and secure the elastic loop over the button to complete your Tea Bag Wallet:
I hope you enjoy this free pattern, its a great rainy day project.  Maddi was thrilled with hers and it comfortably holds eight of her favorite tea bags; quite enough for a day at Uni. I made one for myself also, to throw in my bag for craft days and visits with family and friends and can see a few more being made in the near future. They would make lovely gifts and you could add a few boxes of herbal tea to make it extra special.
Time to put the kettle on :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Free June Calendar

With May coming to a close, it's time for your free June Calendar:
This month features my "Starry Nights" quilt from Threadbare-Issue Three. At the moment its cold, wet and miserable in our corner of the world but there is a beauty to this time of year. Life is slower and we spend more time at home, filling our bodies with warming comfort food and keeping ourselves busy, reading, crocheting, sewing, watching movies and playing board games.
The city is littered with the remains of Autumn; beautiful coloured leaves lying beneath bare trees which will hibernate till the first signs of spring.
Homemade soups are an integral part of winter for us. We can and do, live on these hearty bowls of goodness, attempting to strengthen our bodies and fight off all the "nasties" that are floating around this time of year:
(Roasted cauliflower and onion soup with garlic and herb croutons)
This months quote, is just a little reminder to see the beauty and appreciate all the little things in life. Be thankful for where you are right now and celebrate all that life has to offer.
To download and print your free June calendar, just visit HERE.
I'll be back soon with a preview of what's coming up in the fourth ezine and also a free pattern for something useful during these cold winter months :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Productive Week

Last Tuesday I had a clean studio, all of my commitments were finished and the planning for the next ezine was complete, so it was time to start a new quilt design. For this, I'm using the gorgeous upcoming fabric line Primrose Sands from Helen Stubbings of Hugs and Kisses:
I love these fabrics; the colours are just gorgeous and its really hard to chose a favorite or though I'm loving the teal :) My new design is called "Asteria" and its coming together quite quickly. The setting elements were finished earlier last week:
(can you tell I really love that teal??) There are 24 main Star blocks and I have completed 10 of these so far and they are looking lovely. My border blocks are all cut and I'm hoping to piece those in between the star blocks and new ezine projects, over the coming weeks. This is going to be a another pretty quilt.
As we enter into the colder months, naturally the wool comes out:
(there's that teal again!!) I've really enjoyed relaxing in front of the television and crocheting these little Sunburst Granny Squares. Not sure how many I will need, I'll just keep going till I make a nice afghan. Looking forward to joining them and I'm hoping to crochet them together, just doing a little more research :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I'm thrilled to release my latest quilt design Fairground. This quilt has take me forever to complete, due to other commitments but every step has been so worth it; I love the finished quilt:
Every October, the annual show/fair comes to town and as a child, for me it came with great excitement. It was our opportunity to experience country life; a chance to get up close and personal with farm animals and farming equipment, watch the wood chopping and equestrian events and to see firsthand the lovely handcrafts and home baked goodies that were so loving displayed.
Nowadays, the show is very commercial  and it's all about the rides, the showbags and very little about the true essence of "bringing the country to the city". It's more about entertaining the kids than educating them.
Nostalgic me, remembers the smell of the animals as you entered the gate, the funny sensation of fairy floss on your tongue, the feel of fleece on a new baby lamb and the sound of a stand full of pretty pinwheels, in all shapes, sizes and colours, blowing in the breeze:
Every year, one of these pinwheels came home with me (and a cu-pie doll on a stick) and it was my most valued possession :)
Fairground is a tribute to those stands of pinwheels and includes the large pinwheel block, which does use templates but is easily pieced and the pattern includes some tips to help plus the smaller pinwheels which are used as cornerstones and in each corner of the outside border. Its all teamed with some lovely sashings and checkerboard borders:
I attempted a floral motif FMQ technique for my Fairground quilt and I'm thrilled with the results. It took a little while to get the hang of it but I'm so glad I persevered, the texture is lovely.
Fairground is a generous 70" x 94" quilt and is available in my store now, either as a PDF file or as a paper pattern and you can go HERE to purchase your copy or you can ask your local quilt shop to order it in for you.
Fairground is designed to be a scrappy style quilt and is suitable for fat quarters/fat eighths or equivalent, and is teamed with some lovely crisp white homespun.
I hope you enjoy making this quilt as much as I loved designing it :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Threadbare Ezine- Issue Three

It's time to release my third Threadbare ezine (June and July) and once again, I would like to thank everyone for the amazing support of my ezines. I love putting them together and I really try to keep the projects quick and easy and useful in our every day lives.

This issue became a bit of a "bumper issue" with 11 projects, including a single bed size (or large throw) quilt, 6 recipes, some lovely printables and hopefully, heaps of inspiration.
As my little business turns eight in July the first section is devoted to Birthdays:

There's a lovely party set which includes an appliqued table runner, matching placemat and chair mat and some pretty balloon bunting to help you decorate for those important birthdays.
I think they will suit either gender and any age and I know my set will get used quite a lot of the coming years for our family birthday parties (first time will be this Wednesday when my husband turns 50!!!).
There are also some lovely cupcake toppers (shown in the first photo) and some pretty gift tags for you to print and attach to your gifts. I've also included my basic recipes for both cupcakes and a butter cake which I use for decorating all our birthday cakes. Both recipes are easy to adapt with flavoring or colouring, depending on your needs.
The second section is Tax Time and or though its not a cause to celebrate, its an opportunity for us to look at our financial goals for the coming year, plan for holidays or renovations and a time to clear out our desk/office and pretty up our surroundings so we feel inspired while working:
There are two journal covers in this section; a large cover with a pretty hat block and a small cover with a teacup and saucer. There's also a lovely mug rug to spruce up your desk. I've included a printable planner to help you stay organised.  You can either print copies and glue them into a large journal or laminate one and use a water erasable pen to record your information.
I had originally planned on including some healthy snacks to have at your desk but as I tend to spend hours writing patterns (and ezines) and prefer something sweet to nibble on, I have included two recipes; Apricot Balls and Candied Nuts (OK,so they aren't chocolate but they are sweet and yummy and almost healthy!!)
The third section is Winter Solstice and again, maybe not much to celebrate, especially on those cold wet mornings when you have to brave the weather for school run but there is a beauty to this time of year and family time is more prevalent as we stay indoors and congregate where its warm and cosy:
The projects in this section are the "Starry Nights" quilt and a matching hot water bottle cover to keep you warm and toasty.
One of the beauties of winter is the comfort food: slow cooked meals, hearty soups and casseroles and then there's the ultimate comfort Golden Syrup pudding:
Many years ago, I had lunch with a few girlfriends at a gorgeous country pub and we had this for dessert. The chef was so kind and shared his recipe with us. I've shared this recipe with so many people and everyone loves it and I can assure you, its devine!!!! Smothering it in cream is mandatory, trust me ;)
The last section is Bastille Day and who doesn't love everything French? Whether your planning an afternoon tea with family and friends or you just want to add a little Parisian flair to your decorating, these two projects will suffice:
A Paris inspired cushion and a lovely little framed appliqued silhouette of the Eiffel Tower. There's also a Paris themed subway art, ready to print and frame as part of your decorating.
When you think of Paris, you think of all the lovely gateaux's and pastries but I've chosen to include a French Inspired Carrot Cake which would be perfect for an afternoon tea.
So that's the third ezine and its all jam packed into 45 pages. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I have enjoyed putting it all together.
The ezine is available as a PDF file only (6.24MB), in my shop for $5.95 and you can go HERE to purchase your copy. I have to physically email each purchase due to how my shop is set up so I do appreciate everyone's patience and theres usually only a small delay between purchase and it arriving in your inbox, unless of course, due to time differences I'm away from the computer and then it will be sent to you ASAP :)
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