Birthday cake #1

September is the month when we celebrate more birthdays around here. We now have 8 birthdays this month, since Francisca joined us last week. But with so much birthday cakes the odds are I’ll be baking one of them!

So the weekend was dedicated to cake design! I missed making a cake like this, from beginning to end, with the right layers and filling, frosting and decoration! I had two days of hard work, but above all I had two days of fun!

And it was well worthwhile, if not for the cake itself, for the pleasure of doing it and the chance for practice and put to good use the hours of training that I already have!

While the cake is cooling it’s time to practice drawing with pastry bag and diferents tips, using royal icing I made experiments using several shapes and designs to relax my wrists and refine my technique!

4 layers lemon cake with lemon curd filling. All homemade with lots and lots of love!

And white chocolate ganache frosting to balance the lemon flavor!

Cloth Diapers #1

Occasionally I return to cloth diapers making, but gone are the times when I made then to the rhythm of the tides. Still can not get enough of doing them, just keep thoses babies coming into the world!

I’m not sure if arround the world people use this cloth diappers. I know that here in Portugal and in Brazil too, people do use them kind of a burp cloth and as a sun cover in the stroller. It’s part of all the essencial baby stuff, a must have!

How to make a quilt #1

I love to quilt. It is a project that I can never get enough of, no matter how many I’ve made. I don’t know if it’s the excitement of being able to freely choose the colors and fabric patterns, or perhaps the endless combinations of shapes and cuts what we can do. Making a quilt is almost like a painting: first there is the empty white screen you have to fill with colors and shapes, and the end result is perfect!

I like my quilts with bright and strong colors, I like simple basic fabrics and lots of white fabric to make the colors shine. I like to play with shapes and create my own patterns. To tell the truth I think I just made one quilt following a pattern and was my first!

This one will be a baby quilt and of course, already has it’s destination. I designed the quilt and called it “Squezze my Square”. Finished has about 1mx1m, ideal size for a new born and later to serve as warmth in the stroller. I made my niece Bia one when she was born and when she was on her stroller she always took the quilt with her and cried like crazy if someone took her the quilt! She was just over a month and a half old, so yeah, it makes all the difference!

For Teresa I made a larger one for her bed, but as she never slept there, rarely used it. Now whenever the quilt leaves the closet she clings to him and hugs him. And so does Mafalda because she has no quilt, but loves her sisters and is always asking me to make one for her … I must say in my defense that when Mafalda was born I hadn’t been bitten by the bug quilt!

This is all to say that if there is a “must have” in baby’s trousseau is a quilt. It’s surely the best gift you can give to a newborn, even better if it has been carefully sewn with all the love and caring of someone close.

It can be easy and quick to make deppending on the pattern. In the case of my “Squezze my Square” is super simple to make and quick, most pieces are large enough to make the quilt top quick to assemble. And as it does not require complex stiches can be easily done by those who don’t have a sewing machine.

I seem to have heard an echo sounding “she is crazy! hand stitching?”. Yeah, I’m staunch defender of quilts sewn by hand. Not for extremism or prudery, but because it is a more than viable solution for those who have little time to devote to sewing. Let me explain: for anyone who has a sewing room where the machine is installed and where you can leave everything messy and close the door when you have to stop, this does not apply and is perhaps even faster using your machine.

But for those who have no sewing space and have to assemble and disassemble the machine, prepare the pattern pieces to sew, sew a little and pack everything up again, hand sewing can be a time saver if you have only half an hour a day or less, or if you have to stop several times to check on your children.

And how is this facilitator? It is because you can have a bag with the quilt pieces you are working on, a scissor, needle and thread. Nothing more. And you can sit comfortably on your couch watching television, and while you’re there you can stitche your quilt. And you’re doing it at your own pace and you can work on it every day, even if only for a little time. If the quilt bug bites you too hard, you can also take your small bag wherever you go and work for example, in the garden while the children run and play! It works for me!

Of course if you have periods of time that you can dedicated to sewing you can always work on your machine, you can always make some parts by hand and the other by machine. If you want to know, it will not be noted in the final result so …

Get to work! There are only a few days left to my big Meias Marias OnLine Store opening (just a few …) and there you will find everything you need to make a “Squezze my Square” quilt, but this time boys are also included! I promise it’s not just girl things!

So? Let’s make a quilt? To know how just click the button!

[cryout-button-color url=”” color=”#FF0000″]How to make a quilt[/cryout-button-color]

Children Backpack Pattern #2

Another backpack. The more I make the simpler they get to do! The monkey was a request of Bia, and the colors are my responsibility, but almost guarantee success, as it has green and orange, the favorite colors of her mom!

For this backpack I choose to use a dark blue jeans, a dot print fabric and a white corduroy.

I used my own piping cord and loved the result. Makes a beautiful highlight and because it’s in the same print it doesn’t add more visual information to the backpack but it highlights it. I not always enjoy working with prints so intense, especially when the project involves other parts overlapping and other elements to combine, because it becomes hard to find the point at which visual information is the necessary and sufficient, without beeing to excessive or to little.

The fabric liner is the same as that of the outer pocket and has a small interior pocket.

The has a melted plastic zipper with large teeth and is easy to slide, as it’s meant to be easily used by children.

The Monkey apliqque is in the exterior pocket, that opens and closes with Velcro tape. It is made of felt because no I didn’t found a fabric that would work best as a monkey. The ears are only stitched to the head to give some 3D effect and nostrils are made of two small Fimo buttons made ​​by me. The eyes make this monkey super sweet!

I used another of my Fimo buttons, just to make it oh! so charming!

The bag for the change of clothing is made ​​in the same printed fabric of the backpack and has an application in the mouth of brown bias tape, just to make the set.

Everything is ready! I wish a great school year to Bia and to all boys and girls, in particular those who will attend a new school!

Do you want to make your own backpack? You can get my “Back to School” backpack patterm here:

[cryout-button-color url=”” color=”#FF8000″]”Back To School” Backpack Pattern[/cryout-button-color]