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 :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 61

This weeks lovely block is California Chimney. This is such a pretty block and I really wanted to include this one in our quilts. It is another of those pesky blocks which needs to be taken to the nearest 1/16" to achieve a perfect 6" (finished) block.
The cutting guide is written to the nearest 1/16" but if your not confident with cutting these sizes, I have also included the templates, to make things a little easier.
(When printing the template sheet, please ensure your printer resize settings are set to "none" or "actual size" in the page scaling pane, to ensure accuracy of printing).
Whichever way you choose to prepare this one, it is lovely and worth all the work :) If you have any problems though, feel free to email me and I'll see what I can do to help.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Amore- Free Valentine's Day Pattern

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart:- Helen Keller.

Valentine's Day will be here in a few short weeks and because I such a romantic, I've designed a sweet little free pattern to share here on the blog. It's my way of thanking you for your wonderful support and all the love you show for the things that I share. So here's your free Valentine's Day pattern, Amore:
I love to decorate our house according to the season or occasion. It doesn't have to be arduous; a mini quilt, table runner or a simple framed project can welcome the celebrations, just nicely.
Amore is a quick and easy pieced project which can be completed in a couple of hours, tops! 
I chose some pretty pink and red fabrics from the scrap bins and teamed them with some lovely tone on tone white fabric. Once it was complete, I framed it in my favorite Baroque style frame. As all frames are different, and mine is an odd size, you may need to alter the pattern to fit. Because of the design, it is easy to re-size to suit.
I finished mine with some loopy, swirly free motion quilting and now it sits in our front porch as my first decoration for the season of love (or Amore, as the Italians say.......I apologise if that song is now playing in your head, it is in mine while I type).
To download your free Amore pattern, just visit HERE
The free pattern includes full instructions and diagrams, a colouring sheet for planning your fabric choices and some tips for fitting it into your chosen frame. I've also included an option for sewing it as a mini quilt, with bindings and hangers, if you would rather not frame your finished quilt.
So, " That's Amore" :) I hope you have fun with it and feel free to share it on social media. The world would be a much nicer place with a little more Amore.
Happy sewing!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins

A few years ago, Madeline volunteered to cook morning tea for her history class and she found a recipe for the most amazing muffins. They were such a hit, that she had regular requests to bring more batches. We have given this recipe to many friends and as I was making a batch the other day, I thought I would share it here too, with you. So here's our Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffin recipe:
I don't think there's any better flavour combination than raspberry and chocolate; its a match made in heaven. The raspberries beautifully complement the pieces of smooth, sweet white chocolate. We leave our chocolate pieces quite chunky, so you get a nice big hit when you bite into the muffin.
These would have to be the lightest and fluffiest muffins I have ever tried and they are super delicious. I suggest you make and eat them in the same day. They are still nice up to 2 days later, but not as yummy as straight from the oven. They are easy to prepare, so you can whip up a batch an hour or two before guests arrive or before you need to serve them.
Madeline and I leave notes in my cookbooks, just to remind us of any hints or tips etc. and sometimes we write little messages, which future generations may read one day. I love that Madeline has written next to this recipe that its " a family favorite, which must be passed on to the grandkids" :)
As an alternative, add some cocoa powder to the mix and substitute the white chocolate for some dark chocolate chips; this combination is delicious as well. Either option is perfect to have with that morning or afternoon coffee or make a batch for your next picnic; they will be thoroughly enjoyed.
To download the Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins recipe, just visit HERE or right click on the image below and save it to your computer.
I hope you enjoy these little morsels of yumminess.
Happy baking :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 60

Welcome back to my free Chatelaine BOW Sampler Quilt. I've had lots of emails over the break regarding this quilt; some of you are catching up, some of you are just starting and many of you just wanted to say thanks. I really enjoy sharing these blocks with you and I appreciate all of the wonderful feedback. I've got some lovely blocks still to come, so let's get to it:
This weeks gorgeous block is Hourglass. I thought I'd start 2016 with something sweet and simple, to get us back in the groove. This is an easy nine patch variation and I think it will look lovely in our quilts.
From my research, I found that Hourglass blocks were used in quilts as part of the "Quilt Code", which was rumored to help slaves escape to the North. The quilts were hung on fences or in windows and the colour of the hourglass indicated the safest time of the day for the slaves to travel; red for morning, yellow or green for afternoon and blue or black for evening. Clever :)
(You can read more about the "Quilt Code" HERE.......very interesting read)
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
I hope you enjoy my first block for 2016. Happy sewing :)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Ampersand

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed your Christmas with family and friends, and that you are all relaxed and ready for a wonderful, creative 2016.
Earlier last year, I was fortunate to again work with Kristy and the lovely team from Make Modern Magazine. Issue 9 of their inspiring magazine, goes on sale today and I am one of the contributors:
If you haven't seen Make Modern Magazine before, go and have a look. Every issue is full of inspiration, beautiful projects and lots of tips, tricks and interesting articles. My project, for the current issue is, Ampersand:
Typography is very popular in home decorating right now, so I designed a paper pieced cushion featuring the Ampersand, using gorgeous black and white fabrics. This is a very different project for me but I enjoyed pushing myself to create something that was modern and on trend in home decor.
Usually Madeline "claims" the projects I make but Cohen grabbed this one for his room, so you know your on a winner when its teenage boy approved :). It finishes around 14" square so its the perfect throw cushion for a bed or your favorite chair.
It was a fun project to design and working with Kristy and the team is such a pleasure; they are amazing! I would also like to thank the lovely Fee for the gorgeous fabrics. I was looking to purchase fabrics for this design and she so kindly sent me some from her own personal stash. Thanks so much for your generosity Fee, they worked perfectly and I couldn't be happier :)
Don't forget to take a look at Make Modern Magazine and grab a subscription: you won't be disappointed :)
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