Thursday, April 23, 2015

Birthday gift ideas with Sarah Lauren

I'm thrilled to bring you a series of blog posts with different ideas to use ribbon and supplies from Sarah Lauren. If you are like me, you will get lost  in her website (seriously - I LOVE ribbon!) so I've included a supplies list at the end. 

This is my regular go-to gift idea for all the various parties my socialite Miss 6 seems to get invited to.

Two age-appropriate books - I think these are both Billie B Brown chapter books. We have a little local bookstore in our suburb which I like to support and they offer little return cards to pop inside the front cover. That way the birthday girl can easily return if she has duplicates.

On top I usually include a hair accessory of some type. The little covered button hair tie is in the school colours which is practical but not terribly exciting so I included this little 'tuxedo bow' hair clip. 

If you want to make one they are super easy.


  1. Cut one length of 22mm grosgrain ribbon to 8 inches (bottom ribbon). Fold in half and make a crease or mark a line with a pencil. 
  2. Fold each end in to meet in the middle on a dab of hot glue. 
  3. Cut another length of 22mm grosgrain ribbon to 6 inches (top ribbon). Repeat above instructions. Note: I wanted to position the ladybug and the love words so I think it was a little smaller or bigger than 6 inches!
  4. Glue one on top of the other at the middle point. 
  5. Cover your chosen clip with 9mm ribbon (remember to heat seal each end) and glue to the folded ribbons on the back (see below photo). 
  6. Choose your favourite slider (diamante buckle on top), thread the 9mm ribbon through. Place on top and glue on the reverse. Again you will need to heat seal the exposed ribbon end. 

How awesome is this Quatrefoil ribbon!!!

Special thanks to Sarah Lauren (aka Janine) for the supplies to play with. Be sure to head over and take a look at her amazing range. I seriously would love to have a coffee break in her studio/workspace!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cross Stitch Block

I'm so behind in my blogging lately. My camera is kinda broken. It has this little fuzzy spot on the pictures. Perhaps a scratch on the lense. So unfortunately it is bad iPhone photos until I can get it fixed or replace it. 

So just a quick one to show you another Quilt Block Boot Camp block - the Cross Stitch Block (too many 'blocks' in that sentence) by Pile o Fabric.

I loved putting this one together and love the end result. I probably need some sashing around the edges to make this a larger cushion. For the moment it is just sitting there waiting to see what I will do with it (actually have a bag of little quilty projects like that now!!)

Picked these three fabrics up in a discount bin with no selvages so I don't know what they are. I wish I could find more of the floral one as it is lovely! Any suggestions?

Until next time (and promise this isn't turning into a quilting blog!). 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Back to school baking

Ok - I am not a food stylist/photographer. I also don't create recipes - I'm not that cool and will leave that to the experts. (Waving at the awesome people who create - thank you!)

But I can bake and do a lot. I thought I would share my favourite back to school baking recipes with you. All these go in the freezer and then I tend to keep adding every couple of weeks so the kids have lots of options to choose from. 

I leave out the nuts and cut these into little bite sized slices. Lovely a soft (rather than crunchy as the biscuits sometimes can be). 

This is a cake recipe which I just bake as muffin size. Particular favourite of Mr Lil Pip and great to use all the ripe bananas that I hoard in the freezer. Awesome alternative to creaming the butter and sugar - simply melt together. 

When this recipe popped up, I simply had to try it. If you have a Thermomix you are in luck, if like me you don't, Peta offers options to cook the old fashioned way. Shhhhhh don't tell the kids there is zucchini in there. I actually blitzed it completely rather than grated. 

Another one that I make into muffins rather than the loaf and works fine. These are usually the last ones left in the freezer as the kids go through phases of eating it or not. I don 't mind as it does offer something for me to have with a coffee or take to work. 

My kids love these biscuits. They actually freeze quite well after baking and you can do so much with them. Pop sprinkles on top, cinnamon and sugar, ice them and more. A fantastic basic recipe. 

With all these sweet treats, I thought I should make something savory. These cheese and bacon rolls are fantastic and even easier as we have a bread maker. I did make some that were Vegemite and cheese (those dark ones on the end there). 

I also tried this Apple and Sultana Muffin on the weekend (sorry no photo) and it was great. 

Hope you have found something you would like to try and if you have any recommendations that your kids love - please leave me a comment with a link! I prefer to try ones that others have found successful. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Baby boy quilt

This is what happens when you start out with a plan to make the Cluck Cluck Sew Road Trip Quilt and end up making something completely different! Let's say it is inspired by it!

A work colleague knew she was having a baby boy and I wanted to make something special for her. She actually was my maternity leave replacement when I had baby number two (now 6) and now it is her turn to be a mumma. 

I've had this Fat Quarter bundle of Riley Blake's Scoot for ages and was waiting to find a special purpose for it. The solid grey/blue colour is actually a Tilda fabric that I bought with the intention of making dresses from but it wasn't quite what I expected. Thankfully it was absolutely perfect for this quilt. 

I used a method of binding the quilt using the quilt back (see tutorial here). I should have read the tutorial more carefully as it recommends using this method for small things like hotpads, table runners or mini quilts. This is a regular cot size quilt so big! I'm happy with the end result but I wouldn't use this method for a cot quilt again.

I just did single line quilting along the length. I'm currently watching a Craftsy class on Free Motion Quilting as that is the next skill I would love to master. 

I think the best moment (and one that justified the hours of work that went into it) was getting a message the night after gifting it saying her husband "LOVES your quilt. He said ... can't believe Jane made that, it's beautiful and so 'us'. Thank you again". Made my heart sing!!

Welcome to the world little one. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quilted star cushion

I kinda feel like I'm constantly making cushion covers at the moment. I feel like I could quite easily be dragged into this quilting caper. I do love doing a little cushion though, as I get to master a block or techniques on a small scale rather than the daunting and frankly overwhelming task of completing an entire quilt. 

After Christmas when we traveled back from Queensland, we stopped a couple of days in Sydney and stayed with my aunt. 

I'm of the old school manners that you thank someone when you stay. I thought about buying her chocolates or flowers or something but decided to go with a more personal approach. 

She is an incredibly talented seamstress and has been very helpful with advice to me when she has stayed with us. It was a risk to make a little cushion but actually she doesn't quilt so was in awe. And honestly, someone who sews will always appreciate something handmade more. They just know the work involved right? 

I chose this little charm square pack to match with her bedroom. I'm not even sure what it is or where I got it as it really isn't my usual taste. I suspect I may have acquired it someone along the way (perhaps won it!!). 

I'm not even sure what this block is called but when I searched online, it seems to be called a quilted star. I'm sure by looking at the photos you could work out what do to. I used 5" charm squares and loved that the finished block makes up the entire cushion (no sashing or matching here!). I just did very simple straight line quilting around the inside of the star and a simple envelope back. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yellow and Black Clutch

I hate to even write these words but 18 months ago one of my besties noticed this photo on Instagram.

A photo posted by Jane ~ Lil Pip (@lilpipdesigns) on

She loved it and request that I make a clutch for her. Since she had a significant birthday coming up, I promised I would and tracked the fabric down (I only had a few scraps of this). Her birthday last January was quite possibly one of the hottest ever. It was insane last summer. Too hot to sew that's for sure. I gave her an IOU in her card. 

Fast forward to her birthday coming around again (oh my god - does this happen to other people!?) and I finally finished it. The main excuse for the delay is that I did a kinda mash up of a couple of patterns and kinda made it my own. I got to a certain point and doubted myself. It all came together in the end and I'm happy with the outcome. Just hope she is. She did laugh when she got two presents this year!

 What's your longest project from conception to completion?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Economy Block cushion

I'm still plodding along with Ros' aka Sew Delicious Quilt Block Boot Camp each week (I blogged here about the little Raspberry Kiss and Simple Heart Block). I'm a little behind but hoping to catch up in the next couple of weeks. 

Here is one I made a few weeks ago and I see a great future for this style of block - the Economy Block. There is so much potential. I love the really scrappy (that's a word and not a criticism!) version that Ros did. I need to raid my stash and find more fabric that suits that tiny, little centre square. It is just 3" square. 

I haven't completed this cushion yet. I want to teach myself free motion quilting first. I'm think I'll practice a bit and then be ready to quilt all these cushions that are stacking up. 

I'm loving all these little hedgehogs though. Aren't they cute?

Mmmmm with a photo this close you can see my points
don't really match up. Promise it looks better in person!

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