Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Christmas quilt

Hello! 

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!  I don't know about you but I'm not very good at all this sitting about doing 'nothing', I *need* to be sewing, crocheting, or flicking through a craft mag!!  At least I have managed to just chill as I find doing these things nice and relaxing so as well as catching up with the festive telly I've been browsing sewing books and doing a little hand sewing.  More on those in another blog post as they involve some of the lovely gifts I received for Christmas :)

Now, the Christmas quilt in the title of this post refers to Joshua's quilt! I have mentioned it a few times on my blog, and I am happy to say I've finally done it! 

Waaaaaay back, here, almost a whole year ago, I actually showed you the fabric I'd bought to use for Joshua's quilt, the line is Ready, Set, Go! by Ann Kelle.  It's full of bright fun colours and lots of cute little modes of transport - perfect for a little boys bedroom. 


I managed to piece the quilt top a few months ago, sewing a few smaller squares together to make large 13" squares, and using some 13" squares cut from yardage -


Another few months after this I pieced the back!  It's basically the leftover fabric from the front and some cute alphabet fabric I got cheap from the USA.  Since one of Joshua's favourite colours is orange (and orange features quite a lot in the quilt top) I decided to bind the quilt with some zingy bright orange fabric. 


The finished result? 


Here it is, on Joshua's bed, complete with matching pillow which I made a while back

I wrapped the quilt up for Christmas and he was thrilled with it :)




I am also looking forward to share with you some other Christmas makes that I had to keep hidden until they were given as gifts, more on them in another post.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Take 2 plain t-shirts....

I spend a LOT of time planning things to make for my family, mainly for my son Joshua who's 3.  Quite often it takes me a very long time to get round to making these things...purely for lack of time! 

But...I managed to squeeze in one of these crafty plans last week!  After seeing Jo's post on a quick t-shirt revamp she did for her son, it reminded me of the t-shirts I had stored away for Joshua, - plain ones so that I could personalise them at some point in the future. 



I realised that personalising them didn't have to mean a laborious task, but just a quick embellishment with some funky fabric.  So I chose some fabrics I know Joshua will love and printed off some templates using Word.


For the first one, I chose this lovely starry, brushed cotton fabric and made a huge letter 'J'.  I've zig-zaged round it with bright orange thread (one of Joshua's favourite colours).


Ta-da!  Looks pretty cool I think. 

For the second one, I used some fabric he'd spied earlier in the week as I'd been using it for another (secret) project.  He's really into guitars at the moment so this fabric was perfect for his t-shirt. 


I cut out one of the guitars and appliqued it to the t-shirt - I added strings for a little extra touch!

I then cut out a huge star from the fabric and appliqued this to the centre of the t-shirt -


I absolutely *love* how this turned out!! 

Here's Joshua wearing the 'J' one, it was the night we put up the tree, so he's having a feel of every single tree decoration!

Monday, 10 December 2012

The most wonderful time of the year

There are a few things I just love doing once it gets to this time of year....one of them is to treat myself to a Christmas magazine...or two!  I treat the Christmas ones as something to keep and bring out each year for inspiration, or just to get me in that Christmassy spirit.  This year I got these ones -


Whilst Country Living is a nice read, I am preferring the Prima Christmas Makes as it is just crammed full of Christmas ideas, gifts, recipes and crafts.  I also got this one last year and am pleased to find that this year's contains just as much inspiration!

I especially love these paper crafts using sheet music -


They're all so easy to do and sheet music should be easy to find online to print off. 

I also love these flower pots which have been covered in pretty fabric, again, so easy to do at home - and they'd make a lovely gift.


I could imagine these prettily lined up on a windowsill.

My OH has treated me to an early gift - this Christmas album by Michael Buble -


Some lovely music which really helps set the Christmas mood.  It's a great album, with beautiful songs and even some nice traditional choir singing too. 

Evenings have been spent cramming in last minute crafting for gift ideas...a little embroidery here, cross stitch there...


And since a lot of my crafting of late is for gifts, I have to be careful what I show you on here! 

I was very excited to have had my first mince pie of the season too, and homemade! 

Excuse the scrappy bits using the last of the pastry! Waste not, want not!
There is just 'something' about keeping certain foods for certain times of the year - the smell of the mincemeat as I took the lid off the jar...oh..my...!! Amazing - it's like I wait 11 months of the year for this delicious pie filling!  I cut up a block of puff pastry and froze it in little pieces, this way I can only make a few at a time - I do this for my own safety, if I made up the whole pack I'd only end up eating far too many in one go!!   

Friday, 7 December 2012

Getting crafty in the kitchen

Pinterest has provided me with lots of inspiration lately - not just for crafting but also for cooking.  I have a board for recipes which, at this time of year is filling up with tasty delights such as gingerbread men, cinnamon apple cake and Christmas chutney. 

As it starts to get dark around 3.30pm these cold afternoons, I start looking forward to the tasty comfort food that so often becomes the focus of winter - warming stews, thick soups and of course lovely hot puddings!  So, armed with a load of new recipes and ideas to try, I've been keeping busy in the kitchen lately...


Filling up the freezer with homemade lasagnes, ready for a quick and tasty dinner over the next few weeks.


Oh so tasty cheese and broccoli quiche.


My dad's birthday was a good excuse to try out this spiced Pumpkin cake recipe ;)


This Christmas chutney recipe was also made yesterday, smelling divine, it has to be left for a couple of weeks in the fridge - I'm looking forward to trying some.

I've also been doing some culinary crafting with Joshua - we made these for his Christmas tree at nursery -


Popcorn tree garlands! 

Joshua also had a lot of fun this morning making some gingerbread men, so iconically Christmas!

Caught! Sampling the dough!
I made a separate batch that are a bit nicer to eat than the dough over-worked by a 3 year old! I added a little icing and gifted some to a friend this afternoon, in a little cellophane bag tied with ribbon - done in such a rush I didn't get a picture of the finished bag!  But here are the cookies -


The slow cooker has also been on all day today, cooking up a tasty beef stew for dinner...I'm just contemplating whether to quickly add some dumplings in for the final hour :)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Keeping Cosy

Brrr, it's getting cold isn't it?  I must admit, the sparkle of a little frost does help add to the excitement that Christmas is just around the corner!


I decided that a little shopping trip (for me, rather than for Christmas shopping) was in order as I desperately needed more cosy jumpers - in a bid to stop me from cranking the heating up whenever I was feeling cold! 


That there is one full shopping bag :)

I'm so glad the Scandinavian and Fairisle look has taken over the shops here, I just love the cardis and jumpers that are in the shops at the moment.  I managed to find a few that I liked, here are some that I bought -


I got another jumper, and also a pair of light brown skinny jeans - well I need those to go with my winter boots don't I?!


And for the cold mornings when I walk Joshua to nursery, I really needed to get myself a cosy hat, so here I am modelling my lovely wooly hat with huge pom-pom!


I haven't just been ensuring that I keep myself cosy, I have been looking after my candles too and have crocheted a few jam jar/candle cosies!  Aren't they sweet?

 
The tutorial for these can be found here, but be warned - they're very addictive!

There's also been lots of baking and cooking going on here too, last week we really enjoyed this cinnamon sugar apple cake -


Stay cosy x

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