28 February 2013

Baby Bandana Bibs

I ordered some fabric at the weekend from Plush Addicts to make some bandana bibs for my teething, and therefore extremely drooly, daughter. Today I had some time and made four of them! I'm really pleased with how they've turned out and with a bit more practice I'll be able to make them look really professional! (The blue star pattern is for my friends son who is having the same teething issues as L!)

What do you think?

24 February 2013

How to... make a coffee pot cozy.

After making the 9 patch quilt block last week I decided to use it for something practical and make a coffee pot cozy.

1. Sew two 9 patch quilt blocks together.

2. Layer the two 9 patch quilt blocks with wadding and backing. I used the same blue material as I used in the 9 patch block. Pin together.

3. Quilt the layers together. I decided on a diagonal criss-cross pattern in blue cotton so I could see how accurate I was (not very! I need to get a special tool to help me with this. I’ve seen in in my local sewing shop so will add this to the list of crafty things I need to purchase!). Then Trim to make the edges neat and easier to stitch the binding on.

4. Sew on the binding.

 5. Sew on a button...

6. ...and a fabric loop …

7. All finished!

All ready to keep my coffee warm.

17 February 2013

How to... make a basic 9 patch quilt block

After making a basic quilt recently I realised how much I have to learn about quilt making. I decided to do a bit of internet research and see where I should start. So armed with my fabric stash I'm going to practice some different quilt blocks before I attempt my next quilt. This week I've made a basic 9 patch quilt block and this is how I did it: 

1. Cut fabric into equal width strips. You will need 3 strips in each colour. (I was aiming for 5 cm squares in my finished block so cut 6 cm width strips to allow for a seam allowance of 1/2 a cm).

2. Rearrange the strips as shown in the photo below.

3. Sew the strips together and press the seams flat. (I need to practise my seam allowances as I've actually ended up with a 4 cm width strip!)

4. Next cut the sewn strips.

5. Rearrange the strips again as shown below and sew together to form the 9 patch quilt block. Easy! 

My plan is to sew two of these blocks together and make a coffee pot warmer so watch this space!

13 February 2013

Rainbow Cake!

I have had this on my Pinterest board from the Imagination Tree for a while and have been waiting for the right occasion to make it. It was T's 2nd birthday this week and so I thought this was the perfect occasion!

Before I started the cake I needed to order some gel food colourings to colour the 6 different cakes. I ordered these from Amazon and I was really pleased with them. I did a little test first with some cupcakes so I could work out how much I needed to add to get the desired colour.  A little went a long way so I've got plenty of colouring for future cakes and icing.

Although it might look complicated it was actually an easy cake to make. It was a basic sponge mix separated into 6 bowls and then a different colour was added to each. I did have to borrow some bowls from my mum though! I had to cook them in stages with two cakes in the oven at a time so this did take  a while to do. The cake was a little bit denser than I had hoped but I think I knocked a lot of the air out when I was mixing in the colouring. The taste was lovely though. 

T loved the cake and everyone was surprised when the cake was cut! 

9 February 2013

A Cot-Bed Size Quilt


I've finished my quilt! The fabric arrived 3 weeks ago and after the planning and preparing all the pieces I've put them all together. It is not quite the idea I had in my head but for a first quilt I am really pleased with the finished product. I really wanted to finish this for T's birthday so I have probably rushed this and I need to learn how to do some things properly (binding for instance!!).

There are lots of things I need to practice. My Grandma has just given me her fabric stash so I'm going to use that to make lots of smaller projects and single blocks before I attempt my next quilt. I think I am also going to follow a pattern for my next quilt. 

Folded Up Quilt

6 February 2013

Decorating a Cake

T is moving up a room at nursery this week and I wanted to say thank you to all the staff in his room because they have been so brilliant with him. When he started going about 9 months ago he cried when I left him and clung to me when I went to collect him. Now he runs off as soon as he gets there and cries when we go home. 

I decided bake a carrot cake from The Great British Book of Baking. I have made this cake before but the new thing on this was the decoration. I have used a piping bag to ice cupcakes before but I've been a little more adventurous this time and tried writing and a carrot. I'm pretty sure you can tell it's a carrot!

I'm pleased with the results but as with anything practise makes perfect!

A Teapot Cozy

This is a birthday present for someone who loves her tea! I also wanted to have a go at quilting something a little bit smaller before I quilt my son's quilt together later in the week. I've already worked out they I need to have plenty of pins in place to prevent bunching of the fabric on one of the layers so I'm glad I've had a go at this first.

I used Messy Jesse's Blog to make the cozy. Mine is a little bit wonky! The fabrics were cut exactly the same so I think they got wonky when i sewed them together. I need a little bit more practice sewing curved lines! 

Hopefully the recipient won't notice the mistakes!

2 February 2013

My Top 5 Online Fabric Shops

Often when I'm searching for fabric online I find fantastic designs but then I realise that they are based in the USA or Australia. With the exchange rates the fabric seems to be cheap but when you add on the shipping costs it works out to be really expensive. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite fabric sites with you - all UK based!

1. Emma's Fabric Studio: Love this site! Lots of modern fabrics with a very large choice.

2. Fabric Rehab: An excellent range of fabrics, including Japanese designs. They also have a shop in Dedham, Essex.

3. M is for Make: A smaller selection of fabrics but they also sell a range of sewing patterns.

4.  The Cotton Patch: A huge range of fabrics, quilting equipment, and haberdashery.

5. Patch: Selling everything to meet your quilting needs!


6. Plush Addict: Super quick delivery and their minky fabric is so so soft!

Have you got any sites that you'd add to this list?

1 February 2013

Chocolate Tiffin or Chocolate Refrigerator Cake!

A recipe this week! When I go to Costa for a coffee I always get the Belgian Chocolate Tiffin - I just love it! So I searched for some recipes and found this one on All Recipes
  • 110g (4 oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa
  • 225g (8 oz) Rich Tea biscuits, crushed
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 225g (8 oz) cooking chocolate - half milk & half dark

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, syrup and cocoa. Add the biscuits and raisins when melted. Stir to combine.

2. Pour mixture into a Swiss roll size tin and press down. Melt the cooking chocolate and pour over the mixture in the tin.

3. Pop the tin into the fridge and leave for about 1 hour to set. To serve, cut into about 20 pieces.For the next attempt:

More chocolate needed for the topping as the amounts in this recipe meant that it wasn't thick enough for my liking!

It was a very easy recipe and the only skill involved was melting! I added some cherries along with the raisins and used all milk chocolate for the topping. Will definitely be making this again. (T also loved it but then I think all toddlers love chocolate!)