Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fleur Mini Quilt +Your Free March Calendar

"Flowers are the sweetest thing God ever made and forgot to put a soul in"
 - Henry Ward Beecher
I love to decorate the house with flowers; they are like essential nutrients for the soul. I generally pick flowers from the garden to fill my vases but I also like to grab a nice big bunch from the market when we shop for vegetables. I also like to use floral designs in my quilts and my new mini quilt, includes one very pretty flower. So, without further ado, here's my March Mini Quilt, Fleur:
I chose a soft, muted palette for Fleur. These fabrics have been in my stash for quite some time and I decided this was the perfect project to showcase them. They give the quilt a beautiful soft and dreamy feel. I can also imagine this mini looking absolutely gorgeous, in some bright, bold colours or pretty florals. There is a colouring sheet included in the pattern to assist in your colour/fabric seletion and from the feedback I've received from customers, these sheets have been very beneficial :)
The main block is paper pieced and its very quick and easy to construct. Its finished off with a simple needleturn applique centre or if you prefer, you could use a large button, which would add another dimension. I love the shape of this flower and it has a more native wildflower look to it, rather than a blossoming cottage flower.
The Fleur block is encased in a sweet flying geese border, which I think resembles bunting that is softly blowing in the breeze. It does bring a lovely sense of movement to this mini, without overpowering or crowding the centre block.
The cornerstones are my favorite little pinwheels and they are small and a bit fiddly (2") but they finish the border quite nicely. There's also a lot of negative space to showcase some lovely quilting and I chose to stipple my mini, which added quite a lot of gorgeous texture.
If you would like to make your own Fleur mini quilt, from today until the end of March, PDF patterns will be available at the discounted and 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've also got your free March 2016 calendar, featuring the lovely Fleur:
To download and print your free March calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope March is a wonderful, carefree and happy month for you and your family :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 67

This week I have a sweet and super easy block for you, the lovely Susannah. This block represents the minstrel song by Stephen Foster, "Oh! Susannah" which was first published in America in 1848.
The song contained fun, nonsense lyrics, set to a polka style beat. It has been adapted many times, removing the original racist connotations, and is one of America's best known songs.
I chose some gorgeous florals and stripes for my block but its such a versatile pattern, so you will be able to showcase any of your favorite fabrics. The construction is quick and easy, so there's nothing tricky to look out for on this one. Just have fun with it :)
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chatelaine Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 66

This weeks gorgeous block is Gulf Star. The first time I made this block was for my SBS quilt and its such a stunning block, that I had to include it in our quilts.
Star blocks are prominent in quilt history, and its really hard to chose a favorite. The stars have always offered guidance for travelers but they were also looked upon as religious symbols of their faith in God.
I chose a lovely soft palette for this block and I love how that white star pops when its surrounded by those pretty aqua fabrics.
There is a little paper piecing in this block, but its quite simple and I've also included templates with the pattern if you prefer to use those instead.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

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 :)
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