Sunday, 26 January 2014

Circles Blanket

Wow I actually finished this blanket!  

I started it way back in the summer and finally managed to get it finished just before Christmas. 

I was absolutely determined to get it done partly because it was taking up so much space in my sewing area but also because little one was beginning to need a bigger nap time blanket.








So here it is and I'm so happy with the bright, cheery colours. 

It's so plain and clean looking and completely unfussy, just the way I like things....and it's also simple enough to still suit his room in years to come - you know what I mean?  
It's not a babyish quilt, it's just...colourful!!!







So to make it I just cut a load of white squares and then some colourful circles in all different sizes.  I laid them all out on the floor to see how it would look and when I was happy with the size and way it looked I appliqued the circles onto the white squares and then stitched all the squares together.


That was the quick bit!  The bit that took all the time was me deciding that I would hand stitch around each circle in a contrasting bright colour to hold the front and back together and make it look a bit more quilt-like (I'm definitely NOT a quilter!!  I often just cut things about the right size, I don't have the patience that a proper quilter needs!).

Once all that was finally done, I finished the edges with bias. 


Phew.  So glad to see it finished and I think it looks lovely in his room and more to the point he LOVES snuggling into it at nap time!


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Playdough

What great fun we had today (on yet another rainy day)!  

Little one's fingers are getting bigger and stronger and he's becoming more confident with playdough and not eating it as much either....bonus!





Today the playdough turned out a very dark shade (red and blue mixed together) so it was perfect for adding these really colourful buttons, spools and matchsticks.



He spent ages pushing the objects into the dough and then taking them out and moving them around.  This is the longest he's played with playdough yet!  (20 months)




Playdough is great for loads of reasons and if you want to learn more about it's benefits click here.

And if you're looking for a super easy playdough recipe I can recommend this one....


1 cup flour
half a cup of salt
a spoonful of cream of tartar (increasingly difficult to find in the supermarket so I'm using a little spoonful these days)
1 cup of boiling water
food colouring (optional)

Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix til they all come together.
You can play with it when it's cooled a bit.

It will keep for a week or so in an airtight container.



Monday, 20 January 2014

Zip Pouch Bag

Recently at work I've been struggling to get my hands on things right when I need them...pencils, highlighters, sharpeners etc so I decided last week it was time to make myself a little pencil case so all my essentials are right at hand when I need them.  I think the last time I had a pencil case must have been at university, so that's going back a while?!



Anyway, I got this lovely notebook for Christmas and it's been sitting on a shelf waiting to be used, just sitting there looking all pretty with those colourful hearts that I just can't resist, so there was the inspiration for the bag - hearts!









I cut the hearts freehand so they're all different sizes and the best thing about them was that I raided the scrap bag and managed to find all these lovely bright colours without cutting into more fabric.




The lining is bright pink and the zip is red and to finish it I tied a little loop of ribbon through the zip with some colourful beads.



This week at work I'm going to have everything all in one colourful little place, yeah!!


Friday, 17 January 2014

Pancakes to Play With!

Make your own pancakes to play with in nearly the same time as it would take to make the real thing!



To make the paper pattern for these I drew around the base of a plastic tub  - roughly the size you want the pancakes to be and then add on a seam allowance, approx 1cm. 

Use this paper pattern to cut out six circles in the lighter coloured fabric (this will make 3 pancakes).


Next, cut a smaller paper circle but don't add a seam allowance as this fabric will be appliqued on.  Cut six smaller circles in the darker fabric.


Applique the smaller circles onto the larger ones using either a straight stitch or zig-zag, whichever you prefer.

Now put the right sides of each pancake together and stitch around each circle, leaving a gap of about 3-4cm.  

Trim the seam and turn through.





Push in a circle of wadding (to make the pancakes look a little padded) if you want to and then hand stitch the opening to close it.

That's it!  Serve with pretend strawberries and cream!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Ravioli Play Food

I have been itching to get some sewing done this past week but there just hasn't been enough time, so when Monty went down for a nap this afternoon I was determined to make something....and this is what I made...
                                             Play Pasta!!



It was the easiest thing in the world to make but I can't help smiling as I just think it looks soooo good!


If you want to have a go at making it here's how I did it.


Cut some fleece or felt (or any other fabric you may have) into two strips approx 30x5cm.


Stitch them together along the long edges.







Now cut the long strip into about 6 squares.

Stitch across the remaining sides of each square.






Trim the edges with pinking shears.





That's it, it's that simple and we've had loads of fun playing with it!




Now I'm thinking of vegetables, ice lollies, biscuits.....what will be next?!

Mini Quiches

I've been making these for a while now and putting them in the freezer as a great emergency dinner for little one. 

A friend originally told me a rough recipe and every time I make them, they're different but super tasty. 

The truth is that you can just add in whatever you like with the egg and they are great for hiding lots of veggies in too!

I'll give you a rough recipe for the ones I made today...I never really measure anything when I cook, I just chuck it in and hope for the best!

To make these mini quiches I used:

leek - about a quarter of a leek chopped finely
red pepper - about a quarter, diced
sweetcorn - a dessert spoon
peas - a dessert spoon
spinach - a few leaves, chopped
basil - a few leaves, chopped
some chopped ham
some grated parmesan cheese
about 3 eggs
a large splash of milk
a little butter


First I fried the leek and red pepper in the butter, then added the peas and sweetcorn for another couple of minutes.



Add the chopped spinach to the pan and let it wilt.





In a jug grate the parmesan, add the chopped ham and crack in the 3 eggs and a splash of milk, then throw in the chopped basil.

Add the veggies to the egg mix.









Stir it all up and put into muffin cases or a tray.






Bake at about 180 for approx 20-25mins or until golden on top.


Enjoy!  


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Ice Play

There are so many ideas around just now for winter sensory play and many of them look really fabulous, so this one may not look all that flash but it was a whole lot of fun and kept little one entertained for quite a looooooong time by his standards!

...and it's just ice, a tray (or in this case a lid from a box) and a couple of cute polar bears.







He's still a bit young for small world play but he's definitely at the early stages- offering food and drinks to little animals and people.



Best of all he just enjoyed touching the wet, slippery ice and splashing about in the water as the ice melted.


Next time we might try shaving foam or cotton wool and sparkly bits.  

Friday, 3 January 2014

House Cushion

Here's the cushion I made for my niece for Christmas......



I had been planning to make her a cushion for her room for a while but fancied doing something different from a simple patchwork design, so I came up with this idea after making the little Higglety Pigglety Houses a few weeks back (which I knew she liked).
This one is obviously on a much larger scale and had a strict colour palette to match her room - blue and purple.


Ok, so you can't buy house shaped inner cushions...I don't think?? So here's a quick guide as to how I did it.

I drew a paper pattern the size of the cushion (35x35cm) and added a triangular roof shape on the top side.  Then I added a 1cm seam allowance all the way around.  I cut the house shape out using plain white cotton.  Fill it using the original cushion pad and toy stuffing to fill the roof space. 

Then just carry on with the outer design.

It turned out well and she seemed delighted!