Thursday, May 26, 2016

Corona Mini Quilt + Your Free June 2016 Calendar

With May almost over (and where did that month go BTW??),  it is time to release my new June Mini Quilt and your free June 2016 Calendar.  This month I have a lovely pieced mini for you, featuring a gorgeous array of stars, all encased in a soft and pretty corona.  So without further ado, introducing my new June mini quilt,  Corona:
A corona is an aura of plasma which surrounds the sun and other celestial bodies. We all love a stunning star quilt and this design is based on the "Star and Corona" quilt block, with my addition of the extra smaller sawtooth stars in the centres.
The light blue corona links those beautiful stars, giving them their own celestial glow. I chose a strong colour palette for this mini and I love how dramatic the larger star's appear, pieced in that rich red and navy fabric.
I chose a softer palette for the smaller sawtooth stars, but they still feature strongly in this quilt. Corona is easily pieced, using lots of flying geese units and a few squares and rectangles and its a fun and quick little mini to sew. Although my palette is quite uniform, this design would look lovely with a more scrappy look. I shopped my stash for this mini and I think that all the fabrics work quite well together.
Corona finishes at around 17" square, so your cut pieces are quite generous, without lots of my trademark "teeny tiny" pieces to work with. This quilt would be perfect to use as a table topper or wall hanging but I'm also sure it would make a stunning full size quilt, if you made multiple blocks and sashed them together.
I quilted my Corona mini with some all over stippling, which gives the quilt that lovely texture and I finished it off with that gorgeous navy binding, giving the mini that perfect frame.
As always, the PDF pattern includes step by step written instructions and clear colour diagrams, to help you along the way. I've included a colouring sheet to assist with fabric/colour selections prior to making your Corona mini and I've also included two options for hanging your mini quilt, using either a hanging sleeve or corner pockets.
If you would like to make your own Corona mini quilt, from today until the end of June, PDF patterns are available at the 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 have your free June 2016, calendar, featuring the gorgeous Corona:
To download and print your free calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you love Corona as much as I do. It was a fun mini to design and sew and its a gorgeous addition to my growing collection.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 80

This week I have a super easy block for you, called Maypole Dancing. This block is very quick to piece and you will probably spend more time picking the perfect fabrics than actually sewing it, but I wanted to include it, purely for my own nostalgic reasons.
I was seven when our teacher, Mrs Adams, gathered the girls around a tall white pole with gorgeous long flowing ribbons attached at the top. We were all excited and intrigued and it was then she taught us the art of the Maypole dance. The music was beautiful, the dance was feminine and energetic and after some practice, we gave a performance for our families and friends. I'm sure we got it wrong more times than we got it right, but our ribbons entwined, making gorgeous patterns and then unraveled as we retraced our steps.
I hope you have fun with this one, it is a sweet block and it may conjure a memory for you as well. Have a play around with the colour placement. I did sew one with the colours reversed and I didn't like it as much but it may work better for you and your quilt.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
And just for fun, here's an action shot of our Maypole Dance performance, taken by my proud mum (1974). I'm the one in the front, with the plaits or ponytails, flying everywhere :):
I'll be back tomorrow with my new June Mini Quilt and your free June Calendar. Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 79

This weeks lovely block is Twist and its something a little different but lots of fun. I love a traditional "square in a square" or economy block and this variation has a clever, twisted design.
I love how this design gives lovely motion and depth to the block, drawing your eyes through the twisted layers, to the centre square.
This is a paper pieced block and its constructed in one piece, so its quick and easy to sew and its a great way to use up some scraps.
Fear not, if this twisted style of block doesn't appeal to you, there is an Economy block included in my bonus/substitute block file (coming after Block 83), so you will be able to swap this variation with a more traditional version.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 78

This week I have a lovely block for you called Child's Play. This block is sweet, simple and lots of fun, just like playing with our precious little ones. I first encountered this block when sewing my SBS quilt and its one of those blocks that I just adore, because of its elegance and simplicity.
Children have the most joyous and positive view of the world. For them, there is only love and empathy to be shared with others. Their world has room for everyone to try and succeed, and if someone fails, they are right there picking them up and encouraging them to try again. Children treat everyone the same, regardless of gender, race or religion and they live and play together harmoniously. They don't judge, they don't gossip, they don't feel superior; they encourage, they support, they share. they are accepting and they look at the world with such awe and enthusiasm.
People say children are "adults in training" but I think the adults could learn far more from the actions of a child, than they actually realize.
To me, this block reflects all that is missing in the world we live in today. If only people could live together and see each other, through the heart and eyes of a child........
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)
PS: You may have noticed but I have disabled the Google+ comment function on my blog. I have had numerous issues with this function and everything I did, fixed it for a few posts and then the issues returned. Sadly this decision wiped all of the wonderful comments I have received over the last two years, but it was a sacrifice I had to make to keep connected with you and reply to (and actually see) the amazing feedback you leave. Commenting is now open to everyone, no word verification, no need to jump through hoops to ask a question or just say "hi", and I can keep connected with you all, which is very important to me. Keeping it simple, really is, always the best :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt On Point Layouts

I've already shared my horizontal layout ideas for our Chatelaine quilts and today I'm looking at setting the blocks on point. This would be my preferred method, and the option I will probably use for my quilt, but there is one teeny downside. The final size of a quilt centre set on point, always finishes at an odd size, so when you are adding borders, you have to be open to fudging the borders just a little, to make them fit (and that's not as big of an issue as it sounds)
If that's OK with you, then lets look at some on point layouts. For each of these layouts, you will require 83 of the 6 1/2" (unfinished) sampler blocks and the quilt centre will finish at just a little over 59" x 79", which will we stretch a little to finish at 59 1/2" x 79 1/2". Let's begin with some of the more "classic" options:
Option 1A                                                                Option 1B
Option 1A has some lovely coloured cornerstones between the blocks and the blocks appear "floated". In Option 1B, the centre feels "cosy" with the addition of coloured setting triangles. It is just a personal preference and it does depend on what you may decide to use for borders (more on those in another post).
Option 2A                                                                   Option 2B
In Option 2A, I have reversed the sashing and cornerstone colours and this really defines each of the sampler blocks. For Option 2B, I have used a secondary colour for the setting triangles which frames all the blocks beautifully. This option would look great if you are planning on using that secondary colour as your first border; the quilt centre would flow perfectly into the borders.
Option 3A                                                             Option 3B
For Option 3A, I have omitted the outer coloured sashing triangles, so the blocks blend nicely into the large setting triangles and there are no harsh edges to the quilt centre. I have done the same in Option 3B, except in reverse but this option really defines where the blocks end.
Now lets have a look at some fun, less traditional ways to set an on point layout:
Option 4A                                                        Option 4B
Both of these options have long diagonal sashing strips dividing the blocks. Option 4B includes the outer coloured sashing rectangles, which gives the quilt centre a lovely frame. If your looking for something a little different, either of these options could be fun.
Option 5A                                                                Option 5B
In Option 5A, I've kept all of the centre sashings white and added coloured outer sashings and setting triangles. In Option 5B, I have added some coloured cornerstones and kept the setting triangles white, Both of these options really frame the quilts centre and both are quite dramatic.
Option 6A                                                            Option 6B
In both of these options, I have included frames around some of the blocks, so you can focus on the blocks in smaller sections. Your eye is drawn to the framed sections and its a great way to showcase some of your favorite ones, if you can actually choose a favorite :)
So there's another twelve ideas for layout options for your Chatelaine Quilt.
Please feel free to use any of the layout options I've shared, or combine a few options and come up with something that you really love.
Again, I have compiled a file, including tips, diagrams and cutting instructions for all of the options in this post and you can download and print the entire file HERE.
If you missed the horizontal layouts, you can download the file, HERE.
I have a few more blocks to share with you and I have also compiled a file with some bonus blocks. You can use these blocks in place of any of the blocks I have shared or keep them for reference for future projects. And then we will look at border options.
Until then......happy sewing :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

***Mother's Day Sale***

On Sunday, we celebrate Mother's Day and for the next few days, I'm having a sale in both of my shops. All PDF patterns, including sale items and Ezines are discounted until midnight Monday May 9th.
To receive your 15% discount, simply enter the code LOVEMUM at either checkout and it will be deducted from the total of your order. Its a great chance to grab yourself a little present.....from me to you :)
You can purchase PDF patterns in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, visit my Etsy shop HERE.
And don't forget to use the discount code LOVEMUM in either of my shops, to receive your 15% discount.
To all the mum's, soon to be new mums, grandmothers and great grandmothers.....Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy your special day with those precious loved ones :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 77

This week, I have another lovely paper pieced block for you, called New Star. This is a modern twist on a traditional star block and I adore this one. Its quick and easy to piece and its going to look stunning in our quilts.
Although I really, really wanted to choose some aqua and yellow for this block, I needed to add some more grey and green to my block collection, so I went with this palette. Have a play around with the colour placement on this one, I'm sure it will look stunning in any combination.
To download and print this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
It's hard to believe that we are up to Block 77 and that I've been running this BOW for almost eighteen months. The highlight of my week is sharing a new block with you and its a little sad that in a few short weeks, that will all be over. On Monday I will have the on point layout options for you, so look out for that post. Then we will talk about borders and I have some lovely ideas prepared for you. And I'm also working on a file of "bonus blocks" as well, which you can use as substitutes for some of the blocks in your quilt or keep for reference and use in future projects.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Banana & Blueberry Bread

Are you like me and get excited when the fruit bowl contains over ripe banana's? It is rare in our house, but when it happens, it means I can make Banana Bread. I have quite a few different recipes but lately I've been playing around with a healthier version. I've made this bread quite a few times now and its so yummy that I thought I would share the recipe with you. So here's my Banana and Blueberry Bread:
This Banana and Blueberry Bread is packed full of banana and oats, a generous amount of cinnamon and an abundance of those beautiful blueberries. Its a lovely combination and I'm sure you could make it even healthier, depending on your own dietary requirements. Its quick and easy to make and you don't need a lot of fancy ingredients; you should find most of them in your own kitchen.
Its great to have for morning or afternoon tea but its also perfect to have, lightly toasted and served with some sliced banana and a drizzling of Manuka honey, for breakfast. It's lovely and moist and lasts for about five days in an airtight container (that's if the family allows it last that long).
Its also perfect to take along to craft days or quilting classes; my girls have really enjoyed nibbling on slices as they sew, without having to feel guilty :)  It would also be great for school fetes or fundraisers and you could decorate the loaves with a baking paper sleeve, tied with bakers twine before packaging it in some cellophane. Parents are always looking for the healthiest option on the baked goods stall, and I think these loaves would be popular.
If you would like to give my Banana and Blueberry Bread a try, you can download the recipe HERE or right click on the image below and save it to your computer:
I hope you and your family enjoy my Banana and Blueberry Bread recipe. We enjoyed some for breakfast this morning and I may even cut myself some more for lunch, its that good :)
Happy baking :)
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