Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 72

This weeks little stunner is, Dublin Steps. After last weeks block, I thought we needed something that was quick and easy to piece and this one is a really pretty block. It does have some similarities to the traditional Jacob's Ladder block, which, of course, is another of my favorite blocks.
Dublin Steps is one of those "secondary surprise" blocks which yields a lovely quilt when used in multiples, as an all over pattern:
Is also great to use as an alternate block (pictured with a simple Shoo Fly block):
So you can see that its quite a versatile block and you could make some gorgeous quilts. Its also stunning as a single sampler block and I think it will be a lovely addition in our quilts.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
And finally, here's your collage for Blocks 64-72:
Blocks 64-72
Happy sewing :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Easter ♥

"Dear old Easter Bunny, hopping here and there,
Spreading Easter joy around, as you hop everywhere.
Dear old Easter Bunny, please hop over here,
I've been waiting patiently, to see you since last year"
- Easter song by Annie M. Clarke Ostrander
From my family to yours, wishing you all a wonderful Easter, full of love, happiness and special memories.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 71

This weeks gorgeous block is Goose In The Pond and trust me, it is as tricky as it looks; lots of little pieces, lots of seams to match, and your working to the nearest 1/16". The elements alone are easy, 9 patches, rail fences and HST's but there are teeny tiny pieces in a 6" block, so take your time and persevere.  It is worth all the fuss and mines far from perfect but for the moment, I can live with it :)
I pieced my block but in the pattern, I have included the piecing instructions, templates and paper piecing design sheets, so chose whichever method suits you best. Personally, after piecing mine, I would suggest the paper piecing option and I may remake mine this way or I'll just refer to this as my humility block :)
I hope I haven't deterred you from giving this gorgeous block a try. It is very sweet and well worth the effort. To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
After Easter, I'll start sharing my ideas for the layout and borders of the Chatelaine Sampler Quilt. I have quite a few options, tips and inspiration that I can't wait to share with you.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Capella Mini Quilt + Your Free April Calendar

Our son, has always been fascinated with the planets and the stars. A few years ago, we brought him a telescope and there's a certain peace to be found, studying the night sky. We may be able to see billion of twinkling stars, beautiful comets and meteors, but it holds so many more mysteries, far beyond what the human eye can see.
We all love a pretty star quilt and my new April Mini Quilt is a stunner. Introducing, Capella:
Capella is the brightest star in the constellation Auriga and the sixth brightest star in the night sky. It appears to be a single star but it is in fact, a star system of four stars in two binary pairs. Its name derives from the Latin capra or "goat" and is often referred to as the "little she goat".
Capella is a paper pieced pattern and I have included templates for four different size quilts; 12", 14", 16" and 18", so you can decide which size best suits your needs. I have chosen a grey scale palette with that gorgeous burst of blue in the centre but I imagine this quilt would look lovely in any combination. I have also included a colouring sheet to assist in your colour/fabric selection, prior to piecing your mini.
I love the octagonal shape of this mini; its perfect to use as a lamp mat or table topper but if you would like to sew Capella into a cushion front or make multiple blocks and sew a larger quilt, I have also included cutting and assembly instructions to square the block up.
If you would like to make your own Capella mini quilt, from today until the end of April, PDF patterns will be available at the discounted and introductory price of $4.95 (AU), in my Big Cartel store, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, PDF patterns are also available in my Etsy shop HERE.
And lastly, here's your free April 2016 Calendar, featuring the stunning Capella:
To download and print your free April calendar, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Chocolate Mousse

Our family Good Friday lunch is at my parents and this year, I'm in charge of bringing dessert. There are quite a few chocoholic's in my family, so I've decided to give them the full chocolate experience, with my Chocolate Mousse, served in little Easter eggs:
This dessert is rich, decadent and creamy and its always a crowd pleaser. The mousse can be prepared the night before and then piped into the chocolate eggs before serving, so its a great dessert to transport, like I will be doing. You can cut through its sweetness by adding a quenelle of whipped cream on the side and some lovely fresh berrries.
To prepare the egg cups, slice off the top of the Easter eggs and melt the chocolate tops. Add a small dollop of the melted chocolate to the centre of each plate and position the chocolate eggs, holding for a few seconds to ensure it remains in place and once the chocolate has set, they are ready to fill with mousse.
The mousse is easy to prepare and once again, the quality of the chocolate you use will determine the overall outcome, so buy the best your budget allows. Of course, you don't have to serve it this way, you could spoon the mousse into some lovely glass bowls or glasses or serve a quenelle of mousse as an accompaniment to a plate of fresh fruit.
If you would like to try the Chocolate Mousse, you can download the recipe HERE or right click on the picture below and save it to your computer.
I'm looking forward to our family lunch and I'm sure everyone is going to love this dessert. After all, it just isn't Easter without that full chocolate experience :)
Happy baking :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 70

This weeks gorgeous block is my favorite paper piecing block of all time, Pineapple. This block is so much fun to sew and its worked all in one piece, so its just a matter of choosing your colours/fabric and getting straight to the piecing.
Pineapple quilts began appearing after Log Cabin quilts, as a more complex variation. Due to its symmetry, no matter which way the block is set, it remains the same. The design radiates from the centre with overlapping angular strips creating that wonderful swirl of motion.
Traditionally, the pineapple is a symbol of warmth and hospitality. In some countries, pineapples were impaled to porch railings to announce a willingness to receive visitors. If a guest stayed overnight, they were given the bed which had pineapples carved into the bedpost or headboard, even if it was the master bed.
This humble block has such a wonderful history and I just had to include it in our quilts.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)
PS: I was still having a few issues with comments on my blog. When I log out of Blogger, I can see the missing comments on previous posts. When I log back in to reply, they disappear on my end. I have had my technicians, (aka my kids) have a look and we are pretty sure the problem occurred due to a glitch with a widget. It has been fixed but I still cant see the missing comments while logged in. Once again, if you have not received a reply to a comment in the last few weeks, I apologise and I truly appreciate the time you took to leave it.....thank you and hopefully this annoying issue is now resolved :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Free Block Pattern- Easter Basket

There are some gorgeous traditional basket blocks to sew for Easter projects but I wanted to design something a little different for my Easter decorating and I decided to share it with you, as a free pattern here on the blog.
This sweet block is a quick and easy paper pieced pattern which finishes at 7" x 9". I added some extra borders to my block, quilted it and then mounted it on a stretched canvas, just for something a little different. There are a few wonderful tutorials on mounting quilts on canvas, so have a look HERE or HERE and choose the best option for you.
You could also pop it in a picture frame or add some binding and turn it into a mini quilt; have fun with it and make something you love :)
The free pattern includes a colouring sheet and templates and instructions for the block only. To download your free copy, just visit HERE.
And if you haven't already, make sure you grab my free Bunny Butt Cushion pattern. This is a fun little cushion to sew and a great way to use of some of those pretty scraps that you may have in your stash. The kids will love it and its perfect for Easter decorating.
Both of these projects would also make lovely "non chocolate" gifts for someone special this Easter, so I have also designed a set of free Gift Tags and some Cupcake Toppers:
For the gift tags, print the sheet on to some card stock, cut around and punch out the centre hole. Attach to your gifts with some pretty ribbon or bakers twine. For the cupcake toppers, cut around and attach to a toothpick with some clear tape and pop in your Easter cupcakes.
Download your free sheet of Gift Tags and Cupcake Toppers, HERE.
I hope you enjoy my Easter freebies and that they help, just a little, with your family celebrations.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 69

This week I have a sweet little block for you, Wedding Ring. This is a quick and easy block to piece and it will bring that touch of romance to our sampler quilts.
Marriage has long been symbolized by the wedding ring. In Ancient Egypt, rings of braided reed or hemp were exchanged as a symbol of eternity and never ending love. Quilt blocks represent the important things in early pioneer life, so its no wonder the wedding ring makes an appearance.
This block, although simple in appearance, includes the centre cross, representing the blessed and sacred bond of marriage. I hope you enjoy sewing this one.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Rocky Road

Every Easter, my late father in law and I would buy each other a Rocky Road Easter Egg; it was our thing. I can't remember seeing him eat any other chocolate, unless it was something my kids forced him to share.
To his delight, I began making him homemade batches of Rocky Road throughout the year, so he could indulge more frequently. Its perfect for Easter, so here's my Rocky Road recipe
There are many recipes for Rocky Road but this is exactly how I used made it for dad, based on his preferences. I use a mix of dark and milk chocolate and its a good idea to buy the best quality chocolate your budget allows, as it really makes a difference to the finished product. The chocolate is melted and then combined with lovely chunks of roasted almonds, walnuts, marshmallows and a little coconut.
Don't limit yourself to only these ingredients though; be creative. It also works beautifully with glace cherries, dried cranberries, sultanas, hazelnuts, peanuts, Turkish Delight, broken Butternut Snap biscuits, or scout the lolly aisle for some Clinkers, soft jubes or popping candy (the kids love this). The possibilities are endless but keeping it to just a few ingredients, makes it perfect.
Its quick, its easy, its fun to prepare and most importantly, its yummy. Its perfect to give as a gift, so wrap individual slices in cellophane and tie with some pretty ribbon or grab one of the little pails (like the one pictured above) and fill it to the brim. Its also nice to have with coffee, instead of dessert, at the end of your Easter lunch or dinner.
If you would like to try my Rocky Road recipe, you can download it HERE or right click on the image below and save it to your computer.
Happy baking :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chocolate Kisses

Picture, if you will, those Easter mornings when our kids were little and they would run excitedly into our bedroom, struggling to climb on the bed because they had to keep a firm hold on that precious half eaten Easter egg with one hand. They were dressed in toasty flannelette pyjamas, their bed hair would be an unruly mass of curls and their faces and hands were one giant, sticky, chocolate mess.......and then they would kiss you.
Oh that delightful chocolate kiss first thing in the morning; completely unforgettable and also the inspiration behind my new Easter design, Chocolate Kisses:
Of course our kids are all grown up now but one thing remains the same; chocolate is always on the menu for breakfast Easter Sunday. Its that one day of the year, when its totally acceptable to skip the oatmeal and devour one of those yummy chocolate eggs first, no matter how old you are :)
I had a lot of fun designing this cushion. I adore the applique eggs with their pretty flowing ribbons and those big red applique kisses. A few old, mismatched buttons were the perfect finish for this design. Did you notice that I also put kisses in the buttons, because you can never have too many kisses, can you?
I have machine appliqued around my shapes but if you prefer you could applique by hand using a blanket stitch or you could add a seam allowance and needle turn, if that's your preferred applique method.
There's plenty of lovely negative space to showcase some pretty quilting and I chose an all over loopy kinda stipple which gives the cushion that touch of femininity.  I finished the cushion with some binding, because I think it frames the main design and gives the cushion a lovely neat, professional finish.
The cushion finishes at around 14" but of course it would be easy to make it either larger or smaller, depending on your needs. Its a quick and easy project to sew, especially if your short on time this Easter and it would look lovely in any room of the house.
If you would like to make your own Chocolate Kisses cushion, PDF patterns are now available for $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.
Happy sewing and I hope there's lots of chocolate kisses, coming your way :)
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