Monday, June 29, 2015

Golden Syrup Dumplings

Comfort food generally reflects an emotional or nostalgic feeling to its consumer. It is often high in carbohydrates and very easy to prepare, largely because we crave that quick fix. Personally, anything with golden syrup fits my comfort food bill perfectly :)
Combining that thick, sweet, amber coloured sugar syrup with some light and fluffy dumplings reminds me of those cold winter nights when I was a child. Mum rarely made desserts, so this was a welcome treat, and always devoured enthusiastically :)
These little morsels of sweetness, warm the soul and are a wonderful, quick dessert to make and share with the family, plus the cooking aromas are amazing :) Serve them simply with some thickened cream or ice cream and I guarantee they will give you all the comfort you need, this winter.
To download the recipe for my Golden Syrup Dumplings, just visit HERE.
If you enjoy these, you might also like to try the recipe for my Golden Syrup Pudding which is a part of my Threadbare Ezine Issue Three (and available in my store HERE).
Happy baking :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Free July Calendar

It's hard to believe that we are almost half way through 2015 but a new month is almost here and its time for your free July Calendar:
The trees are bare, the gardens are wet and lifeless (or frosted over) and winter really makes me miss the sights and sounds of a lovely flourishing garden.  I find that decorating the home with flowers and garden inspired quilts, brings that Spring/Summer feel to our surroundings as we hibernate :)
This months featured quilt is my table runner pattern When Doves Fly. This little runner brightens our table with its pretty applique and simple piecing.
From today until the end of July, PDF patterns of my When Doves Fly table runner pattern will be available for the discount price of $4.95 in my shop HERE.
To download your free July calendar, just visit HERE.
Whether you are enjoying the sights and sounds of the garden in the warmer climates or adding them to your home in the cooler parts of the world, I hope July is a wonderful month for you and your family :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 34

This weeks block is Silver Maple. I love this block and I think its a lovely representation of the gorgeous Silver Maple tree (Acer saccharinum). It is quite simple in design but you can imagine the shimmering leaves blowing in a soft breeze.
The tree is a fast growing deciduous tree, native to eastern North America, in the eastern United States and Canada. It is often found along waterways and in wet lands and is also referred to as the "creek maple", "river maple" or "water maple".
This is a lovely block to sew and is easily constructed using some quick kitty corners instead of templates and some basic rectangles and squares.
I hope you enjoy this block as well. To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sophie- Parts, 11, 12 and 13

The nights (and days) have been cold or wet, so its been the perfect excuse to work on my Sophie blanket and snuggle under its growing progress:
Part 11 went together quite quickly, with the beginnings of these lovely corner flowers. It was the first step in my blanket becoming square again, in preparation for the final borders.
In Part 12, the corners were increased and there was the addition of some zig zag hills on each side which add a little more texture and interest to the blanket. With only four rows, this part was quite quick and painless, to crochet.
And here's where I am at the moment at the end of Part 13. Sophie is square again (or will be when it is blocked properly) and I'm ready to start the butterfly border which I have been really looking forward too.
It is quite large already so it will be a generous size with the addition of the final parts. I'm extremely proud of my progress on this project, as I was unsure of my ability to actually crochet this but every row has been an absolute joy and I have surprised myself with what I have been able to achieve.
Back to the hook :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 33

This weeks lovely block is Home Grown and I think I love its name just as much as I love the way it looks. To me, home grown means something produced and nurtured with love and patience, just like all of our lovely blocks.
I resisted the urge to add more to this one, as I think its super sweet as it is and it will be another great addition to our quilts.
Star blocks are very traditional in samplers, and even though there are so many lovely designs to chose from, I've yet to find one I don't love :) I hope you enjoy this one too.
To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Woolly Winter Warmers

The successful progress of my Sophie blanket, has given my the confidence to explore some other crocheting patterns, which are both practical and wearable during these cold winter months. I have made scarves and mittens in the past, so I scoured Pinterest for some new inspiration:
I found this lovely slouch hat pattern and decided it would be a perfect place to start. It's a quick and easy pattern which can be completed within a few hours and the wool I chose, holds its shape perfectly. It is such a warm and snugly hat and will protect against those cold winter elements.
It fits perfectly too, which means my wool ply/hook size was correct, which is always great. We generally don't wear winter hats but when they are this pretty, I can see I will be making a few more of these for Maddi and myself :)
The free pattern can be found HERE, if you are interested.
The second project I found is this gorgeous "Sidewalks Shawl" by Debbie Stoller. I love the cosy look of this shawl and the pattern is just so pretty and very easy to follow. So far I have finished the first pattern repeat and I'm in love.
I chose some beautiful soft Heartland wool for this one and I'm hoping it will drape well as it grows into a shawl.
The free pattern for this one can be found HERE.
Both patterns are lovely and its great to be creating some wearable projects to keep us toasty and warm this winter :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 32

This weeks lovely block is Dutchman's Puzzle. This block is an old favorite which has been used since the late 1800's and is said to be reminiscent of the famous Dutch windmills.
It is constructed using simple flying geese units and I love the implied movement of the rectangles. There are a few variations of this block:
By simply changing the colour placements, you can change the overall look of the block. You obtain a lovely secondary block when you set these as an all over design but I feel the Dutchman's Puzzle is pretty enough to stand alone in our sampler quilts and shine.
To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
I hope you enjoy sewing this weeks block. I look forward to seeing your interpretations :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

On these cold winter days, nothing beats a plate of Chocolate Chip Cookies as a delicious after school treat:
My kids love to come home and find a plate of these cookies ready for afternoon tea; add a cup of steaming hot chocolate and some great conversation to the mix and our afternoons are perfect :)
A batch can be made quite quickly and easily and are extremely moorish; try and stop at just one, I dare you! You only need a few basic ingredients and I think that its the brown sugar and oats that make these cookies super delicious and our favorite "go to" recipe for when we need a treat.
They store well in an airtight container for about a week (that's if you can show restraint and not eat them all) and are great for popping in the lunch box as well.
If you would like to give these Chocolate Chip Cookies a try, you can download the recipe HERE.
Happy baking :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sophie- Part 9 and 10

I thought I'd share an update on my Sophie blanket. Currently, I have just completed Part 10 and its been lovely to snuggle under its bulk on these cold winter nights and crochet away.
This was how it looked at the end of Part 9; another little garden of popcorn flowers. The pattern is either getting easier or I'm becoming a more accomplished crocheter, because this part went quite smoothly, without any unraveling :)
And here's were I am at the moment, at the end of Part 10:
It's quite large now and starting to square up again. It's also becoming quite difficult to photograph and in desperate need of blocking, but I love every bit of it :)
So that puts me at the half way point with this blanket. I'm really looking forward to what the rest of the parts have to add to this already beautiful project :)
Back to the hook :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 31

This weeks sweet little block is Rosebud. Its a lovely adaptation of the humble pinwheel block and I think its quite dramatic in its simplicity. I also love all that negative space which will showcase some pretty quilting, when our quilt tops are finished.
Its a very quick and easy block and I think its sweetness and simplicity will add a lovely point of interest, to our samplers :)
To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)
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