Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012

Dark chocolate and orange scones – done healthy!

Ok, confession time.

A few years ago after the demise of a bad relationship and the start of a new relationship (with McDonalds and cheetos), I weighed over 90kgs/198lbs. With a lot of hard work and dieting I managed to drop 30kgs/66lbs and have spent the last year hovering around 63kgs.

Until I got laid up by a broken ankle, and went back to my comfort eating ways again. Not cool.

Well no more! No more sulking, no more making friends with deep fried chicken and chocolate biscuits and cake. I have made the challenging shift from years of dieting, to the much healthier mindset of “eating to be healthy”.

I’ve discovered what’s called the “clean eating” ‘diet’ (I say diet, but it’s not really a diet – it’s more just eating good wholesome food), and already I feel revitalised, energised, and even my skin looks better!

But that’s not to say that I don’t still have a sweet tooth! And this is why this recipe is soooo good – it’s healthy(er), but it’s just like having a piece of cake. Yum! And easy to make too, so what’s not to like! (Oh – and they’re high in protein so I love to have them as a post-workout treat sometimes – cause cake is the best way to end a workout!)



The secret is chopping up the choc chips really small, so that you still only use the same amount, but they feel like they go further – there’s tons of melty chocolate in each biteful! And the orange really gives them a zing! These are endlessly customisable with different flavours, so have a play and I hope you enjoy them!



Dark Chocolate and Orange Scones


2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar substitute
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped up
1 juiced orange
1 tbs orange zest (use the fine side of the grater to get zest, not chunks of peel)
1 cup milk (almond, if you can get it)



Preheat oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with baking paper

Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar substitute, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, choc chips, salt, and protein powder.

In another large bowl, mix together the egg white, vanilla, orange juice, orange zest, and milk.

Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until a sticky dough is formed (it will be a wet dough).

Knead the dough with wet hands and place onto the lined baking tray. Form dough into a circle about 1/2 thick. Spray a pizza cutter with spray oil and cut dough into wedges (at least 8 wedges) and do not separate.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

When they are done, recut along your previous cuts and plate them – and eat them! Best served warm (microwave for 15-20 seconds to re-warm at a later date).


My first quilt.

Zig Zag quilt on a clothesline


This has been a long time coming, but man it was worth the wait! I am utterly in love with my quilt, and although it’s not perfect (I made the blocks way back in 2009 when I wasn’t as much as a stickler for accuracy or even a consistent seam allowance as I am now!), it’s all mine and I made it, and I love it.


Zig Zag quilt hanging on a clothesline


My favourite part is the backing. It’s wide wale corduroy and it’s super snuggly, and really lends a nice weight. I was nervous when buying it, because I had no idea whether corduroy was something you could use as a quilt back! But the lovely Leigh reassured me (thank you Leigh, and thank you ever-helpful and friendly IG community!) and I’m glad, because I think corduroy might be backing all of my quilts from now on!

 zig zag quilt on the front porch of a two storey house

(I live on a mountain, and it gets quite cold in winter, so I can’t wait to have a quilt for every room!)


Do you have to name a quilt? Is that an actual thing? I made this quilt “design” myself (even though I know it’s not exactly unique, and chevron quilts have been done to death!) so I think I’m gonna name it. I’m longing for warmer days, and eating gelati in the sun, and the citrus pastels of this quilt reminds me of summer so I’m going to name it Citron Chevron. Yeah!


zig zag quilt lying on a double bed


So, I’m in love! I’m already planning my next quilt (pow wow by cluck cluck sew) in the same lap-size, because I’m too chicken to try and shove a full bed size quilt through my sewing machine yet! I’m going to make it with my precious scrounged Mendocino, and loopy loop quilt it (like this quilt by Amber) because I love how much it makes her quilt crinkle (look at those crinkles!) I will admit mine didn’t come out as crinkly as I would have liked, but maybe next time I wash it it will crinkle some more?

I’d love to see some of your quilts, or favourite quilt patterns! Lay ‘em on me, people!


I did knitting!

chunky rainbow scarf


Those of you who know me well or who’ve read this blog for a while will know that I am not very co-ordinated when it comes to the fiber arts. It took me a long time and many tries to get the hang of crochet – and that only uses one stick!

I’ve knit in the past before and it was pretty much a frustrating disaster, so until now my dealings with knitting have pretty much been the type where I re-pin lovely patterns on Pinterest and sigh wistfully.

But I am nothing if not stubborn, and with some veeeeeeery patient tutelage from my mama, I mastered the art of using two sticks at the one time (phew!) and knit myself a scarf!




It’s made from B.I.G by Panda, and when I can work out/be bothered with Ravelry I’ll put it up there, but in the meantime there’s a pattern on their website here.

It’s suuuuuper chunky, and extra cuddly, and reeeeeally long. And overall pretty perfect for this frosty winter we’re suffering through.



(PS: new glasses!)


I’m really excited, even though I’m well aware that knit 8, turn, knit 8, turn, knit 8, turn is not exactly the rocket science of knitting! I still find it so hard in a not-always-enjoyably challenging way, but I’m stubborn. And the enjoyment is growing. And I’m making a beanie! It’s my next step in my journey to being able to knit socks. One day, one day..!



365: June 2012

I’m a bit late in writing this up, but the end of the month is definitely my favourite time on Instagram because it’s when everyone posts their 365 monthly calendars!

I’m actually loving the discipline of taking (at least) one photo a day, and really enjoying having these calendars to look back on.


Calendar collage of projects started and completed in June 2012


In June I:


Far Flung Bee – June

It’s been ages since I’ve done any kind of swap, and when a bunch of us were talking about quilting bees on Instagram I thought it was about time we had one! And so the Far Flung Bee was born (so named because we’re all from different corners of the globe).

We’ve organised our bee a little differently, and actually I really like how it’s going to turn out. Usually how quilting bees go is that everyone makes blocks for one person each month – so you only end up receiving something in the mail for one month, and all the other months you’re making and mailing out.

For our bee we decided that you know what, we really like getting surprises in the mail! So each month we make blocks for our pair (for that month) and someone else will make blocks for us. So each month we are making AND receiving, and at the end of 6 months everyone has made for everyone, and received from everyone, and we should have 10 blocks! (plus 2 from ourselves, to make a lovely 12-block-quilt!)

June was my month to make for Erika at Guild the Lilly, and she’d requested Dear Jane blocks made from vintage florals and muted stripes.


Dear Jane block made from purple vintage floral sheets and grey striped fabric


I was so excited to make more Janes – and bigger Janes! These are 8.5 inch (whereas normally they’re 5 inch), so at this size I would almost go as far as to say they were a breeze! Almost.

It was also a lovely excuse to cut into the only vintage sheets I’ve managed to op so far. Luckily we’re only making two blocks per month because I only have 2 different vintage sheets! I just don’t have very good luck at op shops, but that’s ok because most of the fun is visiting often!


Dear Jane block made from blue vintage floral fabric and yellow striped fabric


Making these blocks for Erika has really reignited my love for my own Janes, and I’ve been spending my evenings watching TV and alternating between slow stitching with Jane, and the click clack of learning to knit.



My name is Holly and I live in Australia. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly quilts, stamps & plushies). Sometimes I also write about things that inspire me. Thanks for stopping by!


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I hope your visit here has been inspiring, but please respect my designs and idea as my own. You are welcome to use my patterns & tutorials for personal use (for you, for gifts, etc.), but not commercial use. Please feel free to link to my tutorials, but please do not reproduce them in full on your site. Thank you! © HOLLY McGUIRE 2008-2014

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