All posts by Anna

Make your own iPad Case

Inspired by a recent trip to India, I saw a beautiful handmade book sleeve that I could easily adapt to be a new home for my iPad. I found some gorgeous fabric whilst travelling there and thought it would be a fitting fabric to use on this quilted iPad sleeve.

What you need

Card to make your template
External Fabric (preferabley patterned) 1 x 30x27cm and 1 x 21x27cm
Internal fabric (plain) 1 x 30x27cm and 1 x 21x27cm
Wadding Fabric to create quilted look
Sewing Machine
Trim Fabric
2 x Buttons

What to do

1) Measure out the templates based on measurements of the iPad itself. I measured mine as above. You should have 2 templates, one of the base of the sleeve (which is longer and will fold over to form the flap) and a second template for upper part of the sleeve (on which the buttons will be sewn onto). Allow 1 cm around the edge of the template to allow for where your trim fabric will be sewn.

2) Mark onto the fabric the outline of your template and cut 4 pieces total. 2 x from the external fabric and 2 x from the internal fabric. As noted above this should give you a smaller and larger piece from each type of fabric.

3) Use your templates to also cut out the wadding for the quilting.









4) Pin the wadding in between the external and internal fabric in each size. Using masking tape, mark out on the fabric how and where you would like your quilting to run. I stitched mine diagonally and then horizontally using the pattern in the fabric as markers. Make sure when stitching the quilting (which I did on my machine, but you can do by hand) that the stitch lines are as straight as you can get them and evenly spaced.

5) Once each section has been quilted, you will need to add trim to smaller piece where the entrance to the sleeve will be. For the trim fabric I used a run of cotton that measured 4cm in width and then the length of the full outline of the sleeve plus the little bit of trim needed for the entrance. I ironed the trim down the middle allowing 2cm each side and then folded the fabric in on itself again to create a 1cm binding on each side.

6) Sew the 2 pieces together to form the sleeve as pictured.

7)You then need to add the trim. This is the tricky part as you need to ensure that your stitch line is not only clean, but the trim is easily 1cm on both sides of the sleeve. It’s best to pin this in place. Take your time doing this bit as patience really pays off.

8 ) Once you have sewn the trim fabric all the way round the sleeve, neatly finish it off.

9) I used the remaining trim fabric to make button loops that I sewed by hand on the flap of the sleeve. I used these to help place my buttons, of which I also hand stitched onto the smaller section of the sleeve (as pictured).

10) A quick press with the iron and sleeve is ready for it’s new life…as a home for my iPad.







Ohio Star Patchwork Cushion

I am a big fan of patchwork and really enjoy making cushions from this easy but gorgeous pattern. It is definitely all down to the fabrics you choose that determines how cool this cushion can end up looking, so I would say take the time to pick colours and patterns that really work together. Here is a simple step by step guide on how to make the Ohio Star;

  • This block is based on a nine patch (3×3 grid) and is composed of triangles and squares
  • Decide on the size of your grid. If you are working on a 12″ block this will be made up of 9  4″ x 4″ squares
  • Two templates are needed – a square and a triangle that is 1/4 of that square
  • Add grain line and “Ohio Star” to templates
  • Place templates on the wrong side of chosen fabric (lining up straight grain) and draw around with a sharp pencil
  • 4 squares and 16 triangles will be needed in total
  • Cut out adding a 1/4″ seam allowance, by eye, on all sides of each shape. Place shapes in order.
  • Pin sets of two triangles and stitch along pencil line. Press seams open
  • Pin two sets of triangles together to form a square. Stitch and press seams open
  • Sew the block together, first into three rows then stitch rows together


  • Decide on the finished width of sashing – add 1/2″ for seams
  • Measure the size of your patchwork square
  • Cut sashing for for the top and bottom using the the measurements from one side of the pattern to the other and stitch in place. Press seams to sashing
  • Measure the length from top to bottom including the sashing you have already sewn and cut two stripes. Sew in place and press seams to sashing.

Quilt “Sandwich”

  • Place the patchwork block on the wadding and cut it 1/4″ bigger
  • Place the wadding on the backing cotton fabric and cut out
  • Tack all three layers together


  • Always start quilting from the centre of the work
  • Thread can be matching or a contrast
  • The purpose of quilting is to hold the three layers  together and it can be decorative as well
  • Start by either quilting a motif in the centre or quilt a line about 1/4″ within the square
  • Quilt within some of the triangles and all four of the outer squares
  • Quilt a line 1/4″ from the inner edge of the sashing


  • Cut a backing fabric the same size as the cushion front
  • Stitch a seam using 1/4″ seam allowance, gently round the corners. Stitch the line a second time for added strength
  • Clip the corners and turn right side out. Stuff with cushion pad
  • Slip stitch the opening

Yummy Chocolate Oreo Cup Cakes

Whilst Chris is definitely the Chef in this partnership, I want my forte to be Baking. So I have challenged myself to bake at least 1 new recipe a month. This is my first; Yummy Chocolate Oreo Cup Cakes. I was inspired by a recipe on goodtoknow, and put my own spin on it. I have to admit they tasted quite good!

Ingredients (makes 12)
For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • 100g plain flower
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1.5tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼tsp of vanilla extract

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • 600g icing sugar sifted
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 100ml whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.
  2. Put flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder, salt and butter in a free-standing mixer with paddle attachment. Mix together until you have a sandy consistency. I don’t own a mixer, but managed to mix the ingredients with my hands, it produced the same results.
  3. Whisk milk, egg and vanilla in a jug. Slowly pour half into the mixture, beat to combine and then turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps. Again, if like me you don’t own a mixer you can use a wooden mixing spoon. You just need to be ready for a sore arm…
  4. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and pour in the remaining mixture. Continue to mix for a couple of mins. Do not over mix.
  5. Spoon mixture into the 12 cases and cook for 20 mins.
  6. For the chocolate buttercream: Beat icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a free-standing mixer on a medium speed. Turn down to a low speed and add milk gradually, once mixed turn up to a high speed again and beat for approx 5 mins and mixture is light and fluffy. This was a bit harder to achieve by hand, but through sheer determination I ended up with some gorgeous, and am proud to say, fluffy  buttercream icing.
  7. Use a piping bag and metal nozzle to pipe onto top of cooled cupcakes.
  8. Decorate with double chocolate Oreo’s or with whatever you fancy.