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We had some friends over for dinner this weekend, and I decided that was a perfect excuse to do some baking. I had been imagining something tangeriney (we have a ton of clementines on our tree this year), but not too sweet. After looking in vain for the perfect recipe, I decided to do a spin-off of a classic pound cake, add a little tangerine and some booze for good measure (I mean, what’s not better with whiskey?). It came out pretty delicious, if I do say so myself! ūüėČ Here’s the recipe:

 

Cake Ingredients

3/4 cup good butter, room temperature (plus a bit more to grease pan)

3 cups flour (plus a bit more to flour pan)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup milk, room temperature

1 – 1/2 tsp. tangerine zest (zest from 2 large or 3 small tangerines)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup whisky

3 cups sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

 

Glaze Ingredients

3 Tbsp. butter

1/4 – 1/2 cup whiskey

1/2 cup tangerine juice

1 cup sugar

 

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan and set aside. If desired, peel 2 small tangerines or clementines and slice thin, placing the slices in the bottom of the bundt cake pan. This will give a subtle design to the cake top.

Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine milk, vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until very fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add in the 3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and blend until very smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, blending well in between. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat well. Then add 1/3 of the milk mixture, and beat well. Continue,  alternating between the two, until all the ingredients have been added, and mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake. Check after 1 hour to see if a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If not, add 5 minutes at a time. Remove cake and allow to cool.

 

While cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine glaze ingredients and stir until the mixture simmers and sugar dissolves. Simmer for about 10 minutes. You may adjust the whiskey to taste – 1/4 cup gives it just a hint, 1/2 cup will have more of a zing. (Note that most of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking of the sauce, but there may be some percentage remaining in the sauce.) Let sauce cool.

 

Once both the cake and the sauce have cooled, place cake on a plate or cake stand and use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and sides of the cake. Carefully spoon the sauced over the cake, allowing it to saturate. Much of the sauce will pool on the plate, but if you allow the cake to rest, it will absorb most of the extra. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. Yum!

 

 

 

Our new Journey collection is on the way! It’s scheduled to land at port on February 21st, and we’ll have it in stock as soon as it makes its (sometimes slow) way through customs. Perfect for spring, the collection includes 11 prints on our premium organic cotton poplin, and 6 prints on our light and drapey organic cotton lawn.

 

This collection is a partner to our Wanderlust collection from Spring, 2016, and follows the theme of Southwestern imagery, with succulents and cacti, coyote and blackbirds, and even a desert night sky, as seen in the Moon Phase print. The collections were inspired by an unexpected two week adventure I had in Arizona years ago, and you can read the story about that trip here.

 

 

I’ve been itching to work with the sample fabric that we received a couple weeks ago, and have projects in mind from quilts to summer dresses, and even some summer-weight, rolled edged scarves from the new lawn prints. I got a little start this morning, and am planning to carve out some stitching time over the long weekend. Here are a few projects that I made from the strike-offs before market. They were perfect for scraps and small pieces, and I love the way the colors worked together, but I’m looking forward to some garment projects too. I’ll let you know when we have them in stock!

 

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Happy (almost) Valentines Day! I’ve been itching to work on some fun Valentines projects the last couple of weeks, but my weekends have been taken up with a more daunting project: we’re building a chicken coop! Of course, I thought that project would take only the last Saturday in January, but instead it’s dragged on and taken up the better part of the last few weekends. Still, it’s been fun, and it’s going to be an awesome chicken palace for our girls. (Photos coming soon… :)) So instead, I’m going to mine the blog and revive some oldie but goodie project ideas for you.

 

Last year, I came across a tutorial for this little bag on Gingercake, and stitched it up using a variety of pink organic fabric scraps from our Bloom and Haiku collections. It’s quick and easy, and makes a super cute Valentines gift for little girls. You can get our Valentines 2018 bundle with these fabrics and more on our website here.

Patchwork Heart Bag

 

Several years ago, I got crafty with the Valentines and made these little fabric cards. They are really fun to make, and can be as simple or as intricate as you like (or, in my case, have time for). Anabelle was just little when she got this one, and I still find it on her bookcase or in with her dolls, and it’s nice to have an enduring sentiment. My husband like his, too.¬†You can see the tutorial on the blog here.

 

 

 

When I was a kid, my mom would always make these amazing Petit Cherry Cheese Tarts for Valentines Day. They were one of the highlights of my childhood. Apparently, my grandmother was the one who made them originally, and the recipe calls for tart Michigan cherries, which were easy to come by in Michigan, where she lived. I’ve found them to be more elusive in the Bay Area, so this year I tried to make them with Oregon Dark Sweet Cherries. They’re still delicious, but the color came out more purple, and lacked the bright flavor of the tart cherries. I’m going to continue my search for a source, but I realized I could get the right cherries on Amazon, so now I know where to go if I can’t find them locally next year. The full recipe is on the blog here.¬†

 

At the very end of November, amidst the holiday hubbub and retail busy-ness, our beautiful new Simple Life Knits arrived in the shop. Now that we’re revving up our spring sewing, it’s time to give them the spotlight! These beauties are unlike anything we’ve carried before – all the luxurious softness of our Anya Knits, but with 6% spandex, which makes them extra stretchy and perfect for active and play wear. They’re jersey knit, so they’ve got the drape and the characteristic curl, and they’re 100%, GOTS-certified organic fabric!

 

 

One of the really lovely aspects of these knits is their generous width – at 63-64 inches, you have plenty to work with, and a little yardage goes a long way. The prints are crisp and graphic with a bit of a Scandinavian vibe, for modern projects that span all age groups. The collection also includes 3 versatile solids that coordinate perfectly.

 

 

The medium weight of the Simple Life Knits makes it suitable for sewing projects all year long. It makes an ideal warm weather T-shirt, but can also be stitched into a snuggly wrap. They’re great for babywear and kids clothes as well as active dresses, skirts and even yoga pants. Here’s to a new year full of made-by-you cozy, comfy clothes!

 

 

Happy mid-January, everyone! I hope your new year is off to a good start. I spent the first week of 2018 down with a flu, and then, desperately craving a blank slate from which to make a fresh start, spent the second week organizing every aspect of my life. Now, easing into late January, I feel ready to start the new year. Here’s to new beginnings!

 

 


The holidays are here, and we’re all looking for the perfect presents for our loved ones. Here at Monaluna, we love to give unique gifts that support makers, and the maker in all of us! Here are a few of our favorite picks for the creative and eco-conscious.

 

Stocking Stuffers for Sewists

We carry lots of beautiful, specialty tools that are perfect gifts or stocking stuffers for the sewists in your life. A few of our favorites:

Merchant and Mills Tailors Thimble, Seam Ripper, Sewing Gauge, Tailors Beeswax, and Finest Needles, and Tulip brand Glass Head Pins and specialty needles

 

More great ideas for stitchers include the Merchant and Mills Sewing Kit, packaged in an oilskin canvas roll, and Reds Extra Sharp Shears. See more great gifts for sewists here.

 

 

Beautiful Books

Craft and sewing books make great gifts for creatives of all sorts! We carry lots of titles, from beginning sewing books for kids, to specialty quilting and sewing titles, and even some beautiful embroidery guides.

Bath and Beauty

We love giving the Handmade LaConner range of lotions and scrubs, including some masculine options like the Shave Soap, and the woodsy scented lotions. All of these products are handmade in Washington by a small team of artisans using only natural ingredients. 

Jewelry and Scarves

We carry a curated range of jewelry, including pieces by Larissa Loden, Ethic Goods and Johanna N from Sweden. Our Monaluna infinity scarves make great gifts, too!

Craft Kits and Supplies

Craft kits and supplies make great gifts for all levels of makers. We offer some great products for making adorable sewn and embroidered stuffies, cross stitch necklaces and cuffs, looms for weaving, pompom and tassle making, puppet and soft toy kits for kids, felt creations supplies and sashiko supplies and kits, among others.

Kids + Babies

Don’t forget the kids! Natural products like Eco-Kids Eco-Crayons, Earth Paint and Natural Face Paint are great gifts for the creative children on your list. We also carry a range of organic cotton and recycled wool baby products for the littlest ones.

Happy, Healthy Home

Finally, we have some lovely products for the home, like Betz White’s Eco Throws, Andr√©e Jardin natural wood brushes, Savon de Marseilles Olive Soap, natural beeswax candles, Scandinavian ceramics by Camilla Engdahl, maple bread boards and grow -your-own herb kits in cute ceramic cans or natural paper packaging.

 

All of the products we carry are handmade by small makers, or made by companies using natural materials and sustainable manufacturing processes. Can’t decide? We also offer Gift Cards, so you can let them choose the perfect thing. ¬†Explore our whole site to find just the right gifts for your favorite people!

 

 

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We want to help you hold on to your creative spirit amidst the crush of holiday shopping this year, so we’re giving away a free e-book with every order from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. The e-book includes 3 exclusive sewing patterns: our Reversible Raglan Pullover for kids, our Patchwork infinity scarf, and our Chevron Quilt, reworked in a herringbone pattern. We’ve also included 4 embroidery templates for some cozy stitching by the fire.

To make it even more craftastic, we’re taking 20%-off all our Canvas and Lawn using the code BLACKFRIDAY17, good 12:00 AM Friday through 11:59 PM on Monday. Skip the malls this year and get your stitch on instead!

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we’re looking forward to a short break with some of our favorite people. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, and I’m feeling especially grateful for the small gifts as well as the big ones. Health, peace where we can find it, warm November sunshine, the wealth of friends and loved ones in my life. Thanksgiving has always felt like a creative outlet for me – I love getting real in the kitchen, making beautiful and delicious dishes from all the bounty of the season, feeding people. This year we’re celebrating with friends who feel like family and we’re taking our pie show on the road – our contribution to the feast this year. I wish you all cozy and creative Thanksgiving, a short break to give thanks before the crush of holiday hoopla.

Threadfollower Kangaroo Kit

We recently got in 6 new Threadfollower kits, each featuring it’s own animal design. Today we are going to help you through this precious Kangaroo kit. It is simple, fun and can be completed in an afternoon.

The kit included: beige felt (2 small, 2 large squares), beige embroidery thread, embroidery needle, stuffing, directions, and pattern

You will need: scissors and pins

To start, the directions will help you prepare your thread. This is done very simply by splitting the thread into two 3-ply pieces. Next, pin the pattern to the appropriately sized felt pieces and cut along the edges.

After cutting all your pieces (2 big body, 2 little body, 2 big ears, 2 little ears, 1 tail, 1 pouch, & 1 base), thread your needle and begin by sewing the two large body pieces together, using a whip stitch.

Once you’ve made it almost to the end, place the tail in-between the two body pieces and continue sewing. Refer back to the pattern for placement guidance.

Once the tail is attached, finish stitching the body. After knotting the thread begin stuffing the kangaroo. I cut a smaller piece to push into the head and stuffed the remaining. Don’t forget to leave some out for the baby’s stuffing.

 

Once stuffed, attach the base using a whip stitch. Attach the pouch to the front of the belly, leaving the top open.  Make sure to allow room for the baby to fit in the pouch. I found it easiest to position the pouch by pinning down the sides.

 

Next, add the ears by pinching the pieces together and sewing one on either side. The little baby body is a quick sew. Whip stitch all the way around leaving a small hole to stuff. Once stuffed close off the opening and attach the little ears.

 

 

Lastly, sew the baby’s nose using the brown thread and the mother’s eyes using the black thread. TA-DAH! The sweetest little kangaroo pair. Perfect for any pocket, lunch box, backpack, or windowsill.

 

 

 

 

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August is coming to a close and, at least in our area, all the kids are back in school. Are summers shorter than they used to be, or does time just fly that much faster when you’re an adult? I still have stacks of summer sewing projects that I wanted to do, but it’s time to move on to fall. We’ve stitched up some darling drawstring backpacks, perfect for light loads for school, sleepover kits or a hands-free carryall for grown-ups.

Sew Can She¬†¬†is always coming up with great patterns and tutorials, and¬†we spotted¬†this one, available for¬†free for download. It’s also easy to modify to suit your needs. We decided to make ours a bit bigger and use grommets instead of fabric tabs for the securing of the straps. The pattern includes fabric straps, but you can just as easily use rope-like cording, like we did, ribbon, or any other strap-link material.

There is also an option to add a ruffle accent at the top to add a bit of flare. The ruffle is added by cutting the fabric at 6″ instead of 3″ at the top. Then sewing a stitch an inch away from the seam allowing the trim to attach to the main fabric.

Adding grommets are much easier than you may think. You can purchase a grommet kit at most craft stores or online. They come with easy to follow instructions and the only additional tool you will need is a hammer. We really enjoyed how the grommets and cord finished these backpacks. They are also super adjustable for all sizes and fits.

This backpacks were made using¬†Cottage Garden Organic Poplin and Simple Life Organic Poplin, but you could easily use canvas for a studier finish. Overall, these backpacks only need about an yard and a quarter of fabric and take no time at all to sew up. Don’t forget to tag @monalunadesign and hashtag #monaluna on Instagram so we can see how you put yours together. Happy Sewing!

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