Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Malia Cowl

A few Sundays ago I shared the link to the Malia Cowl as I wanted to crochet more wearables this year. I've just finished my own version and I had to share it with you because I love it:
The free pattern is by Rebecca at Little Monkeys Crochet and its part of the Malia Crochet Along. The collection includes everything from the cowl to boot cuffs and I'm excited to try some of the other Malia patterns over winter. You can find all the links HERE.
I used Lionbrand Heartland yarn for my cowl and its beautiful to crochet with but it did make the cowl a little stiff, not the soft drape I was hoping for. Hopefully it will soften and shape better the more I wear it. Its a beautiful yarn though and the cowl is so snugly and warm :)
The cowl is Boho style with lots of gorgeous texture and its buttoned to secure and finished with a fringe. The thing I like the best is that is looks handmade but it doesn't scream "look I made this" if you know what I mean.
The pattern is very easy to follow and there's a video to walk you through each and every step of the process. She gives you a few options in the video so its beneficial to watch before you start crocheting.
I did make a few changes as I went along. Firstly, I made my cowl slightly longer than the pattern. As long as you chain an even number and then add 1 ch, your pattern will work. I don't like things to sit too high around my neck, so I added an extra 20 ch to make it just slightly longer. I also made the cowl one pattern repeat narrower for the same reason. It sits perfectly and I don't feel like I'm choking :)
I also added the optional edging to finish off the raw edges and I added four buttons instead of three. No other reason really except my buttons were smaller and I had four so I used them all. I did secure them by sewing through both pieces of the cowl, so my cowl is permanently secured. Rebecca suggests this as an option and I thought it would be better than stretching the holes each time you button and unbotton the cowl.
I'm so thrilled with how it finished up. It sits in the perfect spot around my neck and it looks great. I'm looking forward to some colder weather so I can use it to dress up my coat :) It was the perfect first wearable project to try for the year and I'm sure I'll be making more before winter's end (especially when Maddi sees this lol).
You can find the free pattern for the Malia Cowl HERE.
Happy crocheting :)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Week Ending (Feb 18)

Happy Sunday everyone. Thanks for stopping by and seeing what made my Week Ending list this week. I have some great links for you so I hope you find something fun and inspiring.
Please remember these are not affiliate links, just things I loved and you need to visit the link for all the details :)
OK here we go:

  • I'm super excited about the Le Nuage Wrap from Sewrella. I'd wear it as a scarf and I've already purchased some yarn for this project. I can't wait to start crocheting this wrap. You can find the free pattern HERE.
  • I really want to try this Fig Jam and Ricotta Torta from Gourmet Traveller. You can find the recipe HERE. I just need to find a good excuse to bake it. Anyone wanna come over for morning tea?
  • It's important to know how to care for and wash your precious quilts and I found this great article at All People Quilt which covers all you need to know to keep them in tip top condition. You can read the article HERE
  • Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane has just given us a sneak peek of her upcoming fabric line Summer Blush. You guys, its stunning! I'm a big fan of Sedef's fabric so I'm super excited for this range to be released in August. Take a peek HERE and add it to your wish list.
  • I sacrificed my waistline for you guys this week and tried this yummy Lemon and Lime Delicious Pudding from Good Chef, Bad Chef. I used to watch this show a lot and I knew I should be eating what she (Good Chef) cooked but I seriously wanted to eat what he (Bad Chef) cooked because his always looked wickedly delicious. Anyhoo, this dessert is amazing and a refreshing way to end a meal. You can find the recipe HERE.
  • If you love English Paper Piecing or you are thinking of giving it a try, I found a sweet Pyramid Pincushion pattern at Today's Quilter. You can never have too many pincushions and you can find the free pattern HERE. I don't do a lot of hand sewing these days but I thought this might be a fun car project to do while I'm waiting for Cohen to finish school :)
  • The last link it something a little different. I love quotes and I love surrounding myself with positive affirmations. The Organised Housewife has an easy 5 Step Tutorial on How To Make A Vision Board. Its a great idea and you can be creative with its content depending on your goals, dreams or personal growth. The tutorial can be found HERE.
That's it for another week; lots of fun things to excite and inspire. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope you have found some time to be creative :)
Happy Week Ending :)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mira- PDF Pattern

I have a new pattern to add to my PDF family today. You have seen it before when it appeared in the Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine last year but now its available in both of my shops as a PDF. I'm excited to tell you a little more about it, so say hi again to the stunning Mira:
The magazine sent those gorgeous Cheery McGee fabrics for me to play with and the colours were a little more vibrant than I usually use but the prints and solids were beautiful. I had a design in mind and once the fabrics arrived I knew that gorgeous red would work so well and shine in this quilt.
Mira is a giant red variable star which pulsates to increase or decrease its brightness. In constellations, bright stars are surrounded by shooting comets and tiny twinkling stars and I think I captured that in this design.
The comet blocks are set amid a sprinkling of saw tooth stars to create the quilts centre. Both blocks are simply pieced and they finish at 9" so there's nothing fiddly to sew, just quick and easy piecing.
There are two borders surrounding the centre and they bring the Mira star to life. The borders are sewn with some basic piecing and quick corners.
I quilted my Mira quilt with my "go to" FMQ flowers and can you see the little sneak peek at the backing? Its hard to see from the photos but the white backing has a lovely all over white flower print. I don't usually use white backings but I thought this was perfect for this quilt.
Mira finishes at about 54" square so it makes a great lap/throw quilt. It would also look great hanging on a wall to add that dramatic touch to your home decorating.
The PDF pattern comes with step by step written instructions and lots of diagrams to help you create your own version of Mira. I've also included a colouring sheet to assist in colour/fabric selection prior to sewing your quilt.
If you would like to make your own Mira quilt, PDF patterns are now available for $8.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, PDF patterns are also available in my Etsy shop HERE.
I hope you love this quilt as much as I do. It was a fun quilt to design and I loved working with this vibrant fabric. Mira is a beautiful addition to my pattern family and a gorgeous quilt to snuggle under :)
Happy sewing :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Non Slip Foot Pedal Mat

Remember the link I shared in my Week Ending post on Sunday for the Non Slip Foot Pedal Mat? Well I made one for myself and I have to tell you....... it works perfectly :)
I love my new machine but the foot pedal seems to have a mind of its own and in its travels, gets wedged under the ledge of my sewing table. I'm working on wool carpet and it happened a little with my Pfaff foot pedal but the Brother one just wont stay put. There are probably a hundred solutions for this but I stumbled across this tutorial from So Sew Easy and decided to give it a try.
Mum uses the non slip matting for different purposes so I grabbed a couple of her larger scraps and used some fabric scraps from my stash for the bindings and the stopper roll, so basically a no cost project YAY!
The tutorial is very easy to follow and its says the mat isn't the most prettiest thing but that it works....and yes it does! I sewed all day yesterday and my foot pedal did not move! I love it!
Its a quick and easy project and it took me about an hour to finish. Bear in mind a large portion of that time was spent picking the perfect fabric :) not that it really matters but that's how I roll.
There's a lot of bulk under the machine and the matting is grippy so I did use a sheet of paper underneath to help feed it through, as the tutorial suggests. Its easy to remove once the binding is on because the paper perforates as you sew, just like paper piecing.
The stopper roll is a great addition but make sure you size it to fit your pedal. You don't want it wedging underneath the roll or else your machine wont stop when you take your foot off. I machine sewed my stopper roll to the mat for extra strength and stability.
So in conclusion, its a fun project, its a great tutorial, the mat works perfectly and I'm a happy sewer :) If you're having "wandering foot pedal syndrome" like I was, then this non slip mat is a great solution.
You can find the tutorial HERE at So Sew Easy. And if you have any other solutions that may also help, feel free to share them in the comments for everyone to read.
Happy sewing :)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Week Ending (Feb 11)

Happy Sunday :) and Happy 29th Anniversary to my amazing husband. ♥ Love you forever baby xxx I hope its been a fun week for you. Its been a very productive one for me and I'm excited about the projects I have coming up to share with you.
Let's have a look at what made my Week Ending list this week and remember these are not affiliate links and you need to click the link for all the details.
Here we go:
  • If you are looking for a homemade alternative to basting spray then there's an article and video tutorial HERE. I pin baste but I thought this might be a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative for those who prefer to spray.
  • I loooooove Turkish Delight, so when I saw these Giant Turkish Delight Marshmallow Meringues, I had to add them to my must try list. You can find the recipe HERE.
  • Do you have trouble with your sewing machine foot pedal moving as you sew? The pedal on my new machine seems determined to wander off and explore under my sewing desk. I stumbled across a clever solution HERE for a non slip foot pedal mat. I plan on sewing one later today so I'll let you know how it works :)
  • When Mandy from Crochet Redagape announces she's running her first CAL, you just run to the wool stash and start crocheting. Her designs are always gorgeous and I've just completed the first month (pictured). I'm going scrappy for my Sampler blanket and using lots of colour. You can find all the details HERE.
  • Have you seen the new Alison Glass range, Sun Print? I haven't used her fabrics before but I've fallen in love with this range. Click HERE to be inspired.
  • I love using cotton yarn for crocheting and Yummy Yarn and Co. have just listed some DMC Natura Just Cotton Yarns. The colours are gorgeous and you can shop the range HERE.
  • And lastly, I have a video for you to watch. You are going to love this 94 year old ♥ He's an artist and a gentleman and his painted quilt blocks are stunning. Head over HERE for a glimpse inside his studio and his creative life.
That's my list for this week. I hope you find something that inspires you.
Happy Week Ending :) 

Friday, February 9, 2018

{Recipe} French Toast Cookies

Last week I was watching one of my favorite Instagramers, and she had just received a box of beautifully decorated cookies; you know the ones, they are heavily iced and look far too pretty to eat. The cookies were a mix of flavors and they all sounded amazing but the one that resonated with me the most, was a french toast cookie. It sounded lush so I cleared my day, headed into the kitchen and worked on my own recipe. And here it is, my French Toast Cookies:
How yummy does that look? Just between you and I, they are amazing :) I love french toast and there's really no reason why we should limit it to just the breakfast menu, is there?
These French Toast Cookies are buttery, soft and full of that beautiful french toast flavor and the best bit is you can enjoy them anytime of the day.......with a coffee. Bonus!
I have a basic foundation cookie recipe, which is my go to recipe, and I love to adapt it with different flavors and fillings. Its quick and easy and you get perfect results every time.
The cookie dough is soft but the more you work it, the better it becomes and there's no need for chilling or resting the dough; its a mix, roll and cut kinda dough :)
For my French Toast Cookies, I flavored the dough with cinnamon and added a gorgeous maple syrup buttercream to give them that delicious french toast flavor. Because Valentines Day is right around the corner, I used heart shaped cookie cutters for this batch and they look so cute :)
You can cut them any shape you like but I thought they would look cute with a smaller heart cut out of the top cookies, so you could see the buttercream and it can ooze out of the top on that very first mouthful.  This recipe makes 24 individual cookies so just remember to remove a small heart from 12 of them prior to cooking and leave the remaining 12 solid.
I piped the Maple Syrup Buttercream on the solid cookie halves, and you don't need too much otherwise its messy to eat but if you're up for the challenge, pipe away! I finished the tops with a dusting of icing sugar and I added a single piping of buttercream and a light sprinkling of cinnamon to each of the centre cut outs.
As I'm writing this post, I'm thinking a spread of strawberry jam under the buttercream would also be amazing. That might be an idea for the next batch, I love sliced strawberries with french toast :)
You could serve these cookies for Valentines Day as an alternative to the traditional chocolate recipes. Not only do they pack a flavorsome punch but they look pretty on a plate and they smell absolutely amazing. 
They would be the perfect addition to a high tea plate or you could wrap them in cellophane bags or pretty gift boxes, to give as a gift to that someone special.  
If you would like to try my French Toast Cookies, you can download the recipe HERE or right click on the photo below and save to your computer for later.

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do. I have to admit taste testing these delicious morsels was no hardship :) They do taste lush and you can enjoy those traditional breakfast flavors with your morning or afternoon tea.
Happy baking ♥ :)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Icelandic Blanket + How To Make Tassels

I've just finished my first crochet project for the year and it's this gorgeous, chunky Icelandic Blanket:
The pattern is a freebie from the very talented Jessica of Mama In A Stitch and its such a lovely pattern and very easy to crochet. I chose the squishiest yarn I could find at Spotlight which was a Moda Vera Shiver yarn.  The blanket is so cuddly and warm and you guys, that texture is simply gorgeous!
Its a very easy two stitch pattern, a moss stitch I think its called, so it grows quickly and you can crochet and watch TV without having to concentrate too much or count stitches.
I tend to make my blankets a bit too large but Jessica has a great sizing reference guide for all blanket sizes and I chose a lap blanket to snuggle under while I'm reading over the winter months. The size is perfect and I'll be using her guide for all future blankets.
I had to grab snippets of time to work on it and Maria was close by, overseeing its progress. She's a strange cat; she hates to be held and she doesn't seek affection but all day everyday, she is about that far away from me regardless of what I'm doing :)
I did add a couple of extra elements to the original pattern. I added two rows of single crochet all around the blanket to give it a border and I also added some tassels which finish it off perfectly. Tassels are the bomb at the moment, so I thought I would share how I make mine. There's no need to purchase a fancy tassel maker, you can make them quickly and easily with what you have on hand.
So here we go:
Step 1: You will need your yarn and a sharp pair of scissors, and something sturdy to wind your yarn around like heavy cardboard, a plastic or tin lid or a quilting square. The size of your item will determine the length of your tassel so my DJ square was perfect for 5" long tassels.
Step 2: Starting and finishing at the bottom of the square, wind your yarn around and around until you are happy with the thickness of the tassel and make sure you count as you wind so you can keep them consistent in size. For my tassels I wound 40 times. Trim off the working yarn and then cut two extra lengths at about 12" each (no need to be particular, these are for tying the tassel).
Step 3: Slide one of the 12" pieces of yarn between the square and the front section of wound yarn and wiggle it up to the top of the tassel and knot it securely. Leave the tails as these will be used to attach the tassels to your project.
Step 4: Gently slide the yarn off the square and lay it on the centre of the remaining 12" piece of yarn about an inch or so from the top depending on how big you want the ball section to be.
Step 5: Tie the yarn securely to form the ball and then smooth the tails down towards the bottom of the tassel, ready to be trimmed.
Step 6: With your sharp scissors, cut through the loops evenly at the bottom of the tassel and trim any longer pieces until you are happy that the tails are even (or "evenish" in my case).
And that's it! Super simple and no need for fancy tassel makers :) To attach, I tied mine to each corner of the blanket and then sewed in those tails. They give the blanket an elegant finish and I love them ♥ I think I actually prefer these to pom poms :)
And Maria gave them her stamp of approval. I left the blanket for two minutes during the photo shoot and she immediately claimed it, snuggled down and had no intention of moving  :)
I do love my new blanket and I imagine Maria and I will use it a lot over the winter, her more than me most likely. Its the perfect size, the perfect texture and that gorgeous chunkiness will warm those chilly nights. It looks pretty inviting doesn't it? :)
Happy crocheting :)
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