Month: May 2016

Crochet Quilt – Part 1

As I mentioned back on my Amigurumi Turtle post, I’ve been crocheting since February last year, and the very first technique that I learnt was the traditional granny square. I decided that I should make myself a blanket, and thought that I could finish it by winter, no problem! Heh, I think I may have underestimated the task!

My wonderful friend, Maxine, was extremely patient and taught me the basics of how to crochet a granny square, and then to make it all sink in once I got home, I watched (and re-watched quite a few times) Bella Coco’s video tutorial. I refer back to her written instructions whenever I need a refresher and find them very easy to follow. I’ve learnt to crochet in UK English terms, which are slightly different to the US English crochet terms, but I’ve also managed to learn how to translate between the two!

As I do, I got very excited after finding out I could crochet a granny square, and went straight onto Pinterest and found this amazing blanket that was pinned! (The website the pin links to no longer seems to work, but the picture is there.) It was perfect, combining my loves of quilting and crochet, and it had quite the modern look to it too!

Unfortunately there was no pattern, but I used it as inspiration to start designing my own pattern for a “Crochet Quilt”. Living in Australia, we don’t have as many yarn brand options, but I kept reading about how soft (and affordable) the Stylecraft Special DK yarn was, so I chose my colours from the amazing colour range on LoveCrochet and saved colour swatches for each of the colours. I am a little obsessed with purple, but decided to balance it out with some pinks, turquoise and greys, resulting in these beautiful colours (although the bright pink, Fiesta, is displaying as much brighter than it seems in real life):

Crochet Quilt colours
From L to R, Top to bottom: Aspen, Petrol, Fiesta, Grey, Plum, Magenta, Fondant and Silver

I decided that while I could colour in a piece of paper, I wanted to be able to use the colour swatches to get a much better idea of how it would all look once I pulled it all together. After much investigation, I purchased the Quiltography iPad app, which was fantastic to use, and imported my colour swatches and started playing with layout. This is what I came up with:

Crochet Quilt pattern

If you live in Australia, you’ll most likely have noticed that we’ve already passed one winter and we’re about to hit another, and I’m only a little over a third of the way through my crochet quilt! I started working on it last May but since it’s a project for myself I keep putting it off to one side so that I can get other projects with tighter deadlines, like birthdays, finished.

Each square is five rounds in size, and on a good night I can get one square done in about 45 minutes, so I’m normally able to do one after dinner, or sometimes on the bus (if I’m not working on another project). I thought that I’d post some progress shots on here so that I have a bit more accountability, and hopefully I’ll get it done this year, so feel free to comment away and ask how I’m going with it! This is where I’m at now, but I’ll keep on working at it…

Crochet Quilt progress shot

I’ve committed the cardinal crochet sin of not sewing in my ends as I go, and I still need to attach the squares, but I think it’s coming together quite well!

Happy crocheting,

Meagan x

Spanish chickpea and spinach stew

I’m always on the look out for new recipes that are lactose free and nice and quick to prepare!

I came across the Lazy Cat Kitchen blog last week and had to try at least one of her recipes. Ania lives in Greece and blogs about her plant-based diet and recipes, and they all look amazing!

On Monday, I knew I wasn’t going to be home from work too early, and this chickpea stew recipe looked like delicious, quick and is lactose free to top it all off, so I decided to give it a try.

This recipe for Spanish chickpea and spinach stew delivers! I always love a good tomato based meal, and combined with the chickpeas and brown rice this was both healthy and filling, with plenty for left overs. I may have cheated a little and used a microwave packet of brown rice, but it still came together quite quickly.

Spanish Chickpea and Spinach stew

With chickpeas, tomato paste, peeled tomatoes, garlic, onions, spinach, almond flakes and spices this recipe is delicious and full of flavour. I had to leave the chilli out, as it’s another thing that I’m allergic to, but I think it would add an extra zing!

Not only is the recipe easy to follow, but it’s also vegan and gluten-free! I look forward to making more recipes from Ania’s blog and I will be sure to keep you posted on my cooking adventures!

Happy cooking,

Meagan x

Pincushion thread-catcher

Working full-time, I don’t always get to do as much craft as I’d like to, so I’ve decided that sometimes I’ll post about crafts that I’ve done over the last few years that I’ve found on Pinterest. 🙂

Last week I posted about my friend Lisa’s birthday doughnuts – Lisa has been one of my closest friends since Year 7 in high school, and we’ve shared a place for the last 5 years (and yep – we’re still friends!). Luckily we both love to craft so she puts up with my crafting goodies being everywhere! 🙂

Two years ago, I spotted this pin for a pincushion thread-catcher and thought that I could make this as something that is not only cute but practical too! Lisa loves to sew, in particular quilts. Anyone who loves to sew knows how those annoying bits of thread end up everywhere. I have a sewing machine mat that has a little pouch for sewing scraps and it’s been super helpful. I’d seen Lisa eyeing mine off, so I knew it would go down well.

Close-up of pincushion

This pattern was super helpful and easy to follow, although I decided to leave out the clothesline so that it could be stored flat! For the first time, I got to take a trip to Bunnings for something I actually wanted, crafting! It made my dad happy to be able go to the hardware store with me and not have me bored, lol! 🙂

For this you’ll be using 2 door hinges as a weight inside of the pincushion, along with toy stuffing – though I read that some people added steel wool instead which had the added benefit of sharpening the pins!

Pincushion thread-catcher

I was so happy with how it turned out, and Lisa has enjoyed using it, it’s a constant presence on our sewing/dining table – so I’ll call that a success!

Check out the tutorial and let me know how you go with the project!

Happy sewing,

Meagan x

Birthday Doughnuts

Ever since I found out I’d become lactose intolerant, I’ve been on the hunt for a lactose free doughnut recipe. It’s one of the things I really miss, and haven’t been able to buy pre-made or in a packet mix! I’ve tried cake mixes piped into doughnut tins, and while it is tasty, it still wasn’t quite “right”.

Well, I stumbled upon this recipe a few weeks ago on Pinterest, and I thought it would be perfect for my dear friend Lisa’s birthday. You see chocolate is one of her favourite food groups (along with lollies), closely followed by veggies!

Now you might be wondering what this has to do with doughnuts? Well the chocolate and lollies is easy to understand, but the vegetables? The secret ingredient is…… Kidney Beans!

Lactose free doughnuts

I know it sounds strange but trust me it works! It’s a rich dense doughnut and you can’t taste the beans at all. Now the original recipe is vegan and it can be found here on Sina’s blog, but I’ve modified it a little to use lactose free ingredients in place of some of the ingredients that I couldn’t find here. I also substituted the hazelnut topping for hundreds and thousands (or sprinkles for those of you overseas).

Sina has very generously allowed me to repost her recipe here with my few alterations and Australian conversions:


  • 1 420g can red kidney beans
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 150g bag of Sweet Williams chocolate chips (or your choice of vegan or lactose free chocolate)
  • 4 tablespoons hundreds and thousands


  1. Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Place them into a blender together with the brown sugar, almond milk, and cacao and blend until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Then transfer it to a medium bowl and stir in the flour and vanilla extract. Spray the doughnut pan with cooking spray or grease it with lactose free or vegan spread.
  3. Either use a spoon to fill each doughnut or fill the batter into a Ziploc bag and cut off one edge.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and bake the donuts for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool down in the pan for a couple of minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.
  5. In the meantime, make the chocolate glaze. Melt the lactose free (or vegan) chocolate either by using a microwave or place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place it over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted, cover the doughnuts with the chocolate and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands.

The birthday girl and I have enjoyed snacking on these doughnuts, the recipe made 12 doughnuts plus a few extra mini-cupcakes. Make sure you visit Sina’s page for the full and vegan version of this recipe, it’s a great site!

Happy cooking,

Meagan x