Welcome to my week of the Holiday House Hop! Welcome to those who are new to Said With Love… if you would like to follow along, sign up for my fortnightly newsletter with all the happenings around the Quilt Barn and Quilting-verse.
Each week (we started last week so head here to find out about Laura Piland!) a group of wonderful pattern designer friends and I are showing you a wonderful Christmas pattern, sharing a favourite recipe and a bit about some of our family traditions! All to get you into a holiday mood with plenty of time to actually make some things before the big day arrives.
I love everything about Christmas….. the family time, decorating the tree, singing Christmas carols, making gifts for my family and friends…… and baking gingerbread!
My tradition each year is to make a gingerbread house for Xmas day…. I have made houses that look like Hansel and Gretal gingerbread houses…. and in more recent years I have done a derelict barn (I was inspired by the Great British Bake Off one year!) and when we moved to our country home, I made the next door neighbour’s implement shed… and in 2018 I made a replica of the Quilt Barn! Check out the video of it compared to the real thing!
Complete with windows, deck and opening garage doors!! It took me a LONG time to make….. and about 20 seconds for my great nephews to demolish it! It did take us a bit longer to actually eat it though!
Scroll down to get my gingerbread recipe…. I make it spicy (might be my German heritage coming through!)
The other thing I love about Christmas time is the anticipation…… making time in December to bake gingerbread, take some plates of them to my neighbours (and have a good chat), go and cut down a tree with my great nephews…. decorate it with all the favourite ornaments collected over the years, plan our Christmas day meal, watch some Xmas movies…. I love doing ALL the things!
So my Said With Love Advent Calendar is perfect for help build the anticipation and excitement of all those activities!
There is a pocket for each day leading up to the 25th and the PDF pattern comes with all the instructions to make the wallhanging as well as activity cards you can print out to pop IN the pockets!
Of course you can put some treats in there too… but I love having activity reminders in there….. to watch a Xmas movie, to put on some carols, to visit the neighbours, to put a present under the local wishing tree…. lots of fun things that you can do as a family.
And of course, some cute christmas fabric to make it with never hurts either! This version was made with Sweetwater Holly’s Tree farm fabric… but I have also made a version using Bonnie & Camille which looked lovely too!
The pattern includes the numbers you can raw edge applique onto the pockets, or, as I did for the Holly’s Tree Farm version, the fabric actually had numbers in it that I cut out and appliequed on! Either way is fun.
My next winter pattern is called Charm on a Fringe and is different types of scarves in a large table runner (perfect for family gatherings over the holidays!)
This pattern is charm friendly (5″ squares) and has thin striped, thick striped and crossover scarf designs included in the PDF pattern. Make a few more scarves to make the table runner longer for those really big family tables! Or even more and make it into a quilt (perhaps in your favourite team colours?)
And what could be more festive than bunting? My A Bunting Charmer pattern has a clever way of using charm packs (5″ squares but can also be adapted for any size squares) so there is no waste whatsoever to make the cutest bunting!
Nothing says celebration like bunting in my mind! The PDF pattern has all the instructions on how to make this clever bunting.
And I can’t end this blog post without mentioning my Peekaboo Calendar PDF pattern! I made this fun calendar using Pixie Noel fabric collection and it is just so cute opening each door and seeing a cute piece of fabric inside! A fabulous eye spy wallhanging! Pop some numbers on each of the doors and you can be having fun each day leading up to Christmas seeing what is behind the door!
When asked what my favourite Christmas song is I didn’t even hesitate…. Jingle Bells! I literally sing this ALL year around… it such a mood lifter and gets me dancing around the house!
And here is my gingerbread recipe! I hope you have a fun time making (and eating!) these.
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup golden syrup (or treacle)
2 eggs lightly whisked
4 cups Plain Flour
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger (In my spicier version I use more like 3 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (and 3Tbsp of this!)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (and about 1Tbsp of cloves)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small pan over low heat. Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Set aside for 10mins to cool slightly.
Combine butter mixture and eggs in a large bowl. Sift in dry ingredients over the butter mixture. Stir until well combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Divide dough into 2 portions, cover well and place in refrigerator for 1 hour to rest.
Roll each out until 5mm thick. Cut into shapes (or house shapes!). Place on lined trays.
Heat oven to 180 degrees C and bake biscuits for 5 mins. or until golden. Allow to cool on trays before transferring to a wire rack.
If a darker colour is desired use treacle instead of golden syrup.
Head on over to the kick off blog post to see who is up next week (and get links to all the previous people too!)