Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter Preparations

Easter is definitely my favorite holiday, so today I got the house all decorated and ready.
Good Friday lunch will be at our house this year, with my parents so I am busy planning the menu and working out table settings etc. Seafood will definitely be on the menu and for dessert I'll be making my great grandmothers Easter Lilies from my second ezine. These are very simple and very yummy:
I like to make homemade presents for the kids to give to their friends so I thought I'd share a couple of links to some quick and fun projects to make as gifts:
The tutorial for these cute little Easter Bunny Suckers (on the left) can be found HERE and the template for the cardboard baskets can be found HERE. Check out my Pinterest Boards for some more great ideas for craft and decorating :)
If your looking for a lovely table runner for your family lunch table, my Easter Hunt Table Runner pattern is available in my shop as a PDF file for $6.95 and looks lovely as a centrepiece for any table:
I hope that helps a little with your preparations for this Easter. For me its back to the recipe books, looking for a few new recipes to try for our Good Friday lunch :) 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Egg Cup Warmers- Free Pattern and a Recipe

Eggs are a staple breakfast in our house so I have designed a free pattern for some cute little Egg Cup Warmers pictured here with the subway art I designed for the second ezine.
They will compliment your ezine Easter projects perfectly and I'm also sharing my recipe for Boiled Egg with Herb and Cheese Toast Soldiers, at the end of this post.
The egg cup warmers are quick and easy to make and I think they would look lovely on your table Easter morning. I have based my design on egg cups measuring approximately 3" high and 2" in diameter.
Please Note: To download and print the design sheet for this pattern, go HERE. For the applique, first trace Template B and Template C on to vliesofix. Cut around shapes and then fuse to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics using a hot iron. Cut out shapes.
So here's what you will need to get started:
- 2 x Template A in your main fabric (back and front of the egg warmer)
- 2 x Template A in your lining fabric
- 1 x Template B in a scrap of white fabric (using vliesofix and the above method)
- 1 x Template C in a scrap of pink fabric (choosing either the heart or flower template and using vliesofix and the above method)
- 1 x 6" length of ric rac
- 1 x 3" length of ribbon or tape
- 1 x button
- iron on pellon cut to the same size as the back and front pieces of the egg warmer
- applique threads
- quilting thread
- general sewing supplies
Fuse a piece of iron on pellon to the wrong side of the main back and front pieces of the egg warmer.
Quilt your pieces as desired. I marked a line through the centre of each piece with my hera marker and quilted along that line and then either side in 1/4" increments in contrasting quilting thread.
Position your applique pieces on one piece (the front) and when happy with their placement, remove the backing paper and fuse to the front of the egg warmer with a hot iron. I have chosen to machine applique my pieces using matching cottons. For my tutorial on machine applique go here. You may also chose to hand applique using blanket stitch and two strands of embroidery cotton.
Once your applique is complete, position your piece of ric rac just below the applique and sew across to secure. Trim the excess. Fold your 3" ribbon or trim in half, wrong sides together and pin to the top of the egg warmer front, in the centre, raw edges together and sew across a scant 1/8" to secure. Securely sew on your button using two strands of thread.
With right sides together, pin the back of the egg warmer to the front and sew around, leaving the bottom open. Clip around the curve.
Repeat for the lining, also leaving a 3" opening on one side for turning the egg warmer later.
With right sides together and matching seams, pin the lining to the egg warmer and sew around to secure. Turn to the right side, pushing out all the corners and press. Sew around the bottom opening 1/4" from the raw edge, to secure the lining (due to the small size of the opening you will have to sew this seam from the inside of the egg warmer)
Your egg warmer is now complete. Make as many as you need for your Easter table.
For us, it will be Boiled Eggs with Herb and Cheese Toast Soldiers for breakfast on Sunday morning:
Boiled Eggs with Herb and Cheese Toast Soldiers (serves 4)
3 x 1" thick slices of bread, cut into 12 1" batons (I use a rye sourdough)
60g butter, melted
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup of grated cheese (of your choice, combinations of cheeses work well)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Sprinkling of Italian Herbs (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Place bread batons in a shallow dish.
3. Mix together the melted butter, Dijon mustard and using a brush, coat all sides of the batons evenly.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add grated cheese, parsley and Italian Herbs and carefully mix to combine and coat all sides of the batons.
6. Arrange batons on the baking tray, spacing them in the tray
7. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning a few of times during cooking.
8. While toast is cooking, put eggs into a medium saucepan of cold water, which covers the eggs by 1cm, and place on a medium heat to bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes depending on your preference for boiled eggs.
9. Remove eggs from saucepan and place into 4 egg cups and set three of the Herb and Cheese Toast Soldiers on each plate and of course, use your bunny placemats from the second ezine!. Enjoy :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Free April Calendar

March has been a very busy (and very productive) month for me, hope it has for you too. So its time for your free April Calendar:
April is all about Easter so this months featured project is the Bunny Placemat from my second ezine. And I really love the quote I have selected because honestly, who doesn't love chocolate? I'm quite looking forward to raiding my kids chocolate haul this Easter :)
I hope you enjoy this months calendar and that adds to your Easter decorating. To download and print the calendar just go HERE.
I'll be back soon with a free project to compliment the Easter projects from the second ezine. Here's a little sneak peek until then:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Plotting and Planning

I hope everyone had a lovely St Patrick's Day yesterday:
I hosted a morning tea/lunch with a few girlfriends and I used all the projects from my first ezine to decorate. It was a wonderful day and fantastic company with lots of yummy food and plenty of laughs :)
Things have been really busy in the studio; lots of plotting and planning for the next ezine:
A sneaky peek at one of the projects. This has been a fun project to make and it looks lovely (Maddi has already stolen the sample to put in her room).
Next to my sewing machine, this pile of components is slowing growing:
Might not look like much yet, but its destined to be one of the largest projects I have put in the ezines. I might have bitten off more than I can chew with this one, due to the time constraints but hey that's how I roll :)
And I have also found a little time to finally finish all the blocks for my latest design, Fairground:
Just working on the borders now (as much as I can) and its going to be gorgeous. I really cant wait to finish this.
And I've also been working on a free pattern to compliment your Easter projects in the second ezine, which I will blog about very soon :)
Thank you so much to everyone who has emailed, left comments etc. regarding the ezines. They are really fun to put together and I'm so thrilled that you are enjoying each issue and finding some inspiration to celebrate life, family and friends and I love hearing about your celebrations :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Threadbare Ezine- Issue Two

It's time for the release of Issue Two of my Threadbare Ezine and this issue celebrates the months of April and May. Its divided into three sections; Anzac Day, Easter and Mothers Day.
This has been a fun issue to work on and I love how its all come together. There are 11 projects crammed into 40 pages and is now available in my shop HERE as a PDF for $5.95.
So here's a look at the projects inside. For Anzac Day there's a lovely appliqued Poppy Wreath table topper:
Poppies are a symbol of remembrance on Anzac Day and this topper will look lovely on your table for a family lunch or afternoon tea.
With Easter fast approaching there are five pretty little projects to decorate your table and your home:
A lovely appliqued bunny placemat and a matching coaster and two gorgeous Easter Baskets that can be used for Easter Egg Hunts or filled with eggs and given as gifts:
Some quick and easy Felt Egg Ornaments which are fun to make with the kids and a sweet little Easter Basket Wall Hanging.
In the Mothers Day section, there's a generously sized Craft Bag:
Perfect for all of mums craft needs and easily constructed with charm squares:
Floral Hoop Art with four printable cards to chose from to peg on the trim line and two cosy cushions for her favorite chair.
There's also a few recipes, for you to try:
Anzac Biscuits (my grandmothers recipe), Easter Lilies (my great grandmothers recipe) and a very decadent but ohhh so yummy, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart.
There's also lots of ideas for decorating and gifts, some fun facts and a few printables to help you celebrate and decorate i.e. Easter gift cards, Easter Subway Art to print and frame, recipe file cards and a bookmark for mum. In the Anzac Day section there is a very special poetry contribution from our talented daughter Madeline (and yes I'm biased), depicting the hardship of war.
The ezine is ready for you to print with full size design sheets and step by step instructions, complete with coloured diagrams where applicable.
So thats the second issue, I really hope you enjoy it. I have already started drafting a couple of free projects that I will release during April and May to compliment your ezine projects and the planning is complete for Issue Three (June and July). Work has begun on some of the projects and its going to be another fun issue to put together. Back to it :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Free Applique- St Patrick's Day Serviettes

St Patrick's Day will soon be here (March 17) so how are your preparations going? This year I'm having a few girlfriends over for morning tea/lunch. As far as decorating goes, I already have the Connemarra Shamrocks tablecloth and Shamrock bunting from the first issue of my ezine, so to compliment these projects, I have designed two little free appliques for you to use on serviettes or tea towels etc, the shamrock and a leprechauns hat:
I purchased some white damask serviettes and set about prettying them up, quickly and simply.
Firstly using one your machines decorative stitches sew around the serviette (1" from the outside edge) in dark green cotton; I used white cotton in the bobbin to disguise the threads from the wrong side:
Sew a straight line 1/4" from the decorative stitch on the right side. For the applique, download the design sheet from HERE and the trace designs onto a piece of vliesofix (or equivalent) and fuse to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics with a hot iron. Cut around the shapes and position on your serviette. When you are happy with their placement, remove the backing paper and fuse to serviette with a hot iron. Applique as desired:
I have machine appliqued around my designs but you could also hand applique using blanket stitch and two strands of embroidery thread. For some tips on machine applique go to my tutorial  HERE.
Make as many as you need; mix and match both of the designs or just chose your favorite.
There are so many wonderful decorating ideas and recipes on Pinterest for St Patrick's Day. I loved this idea:
A centre piece of flowers using a cabbage (original source HERE) and as I love Subway Art, I downloaded one for the table (original source HERE) and framed it.
Of course, for my contribution to our morning tea/lunch,  I will be serving the Mini Ombre Cake Stacks from my ezine:
And I'm going to try an Irish Soda Bread (recipe HERE) and some Lucky Spinach Quiches (recipe found HERE).
For more decorating ideas and recipes for St Patrick's Day, follow me on Pinterest and have a look at my boards, HERE.
Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!!!
"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go"- Irish Blessing.
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