Monday 29 September 2014

Sewing and Books

  • Two envelopes for a SWAK side swap (try saying that quickly)
  • A pile of beautiful cookbooks - I am especially intrigued by the fruit butter recipes in Tart and Sweet and Food in Jars.  Finally My Darling Lemon Thyme arrived for me at my local library, I have loved this blog for a while, so am looking forward to savouring this book and trying some recipes.
  • My current bed time read - I love reading about Eleanor of Aquitaine, she seems to have been ahead of her time, and it would be interesting to see what she would be like as a leader today.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Wednesday WIP

This time of year, the secret sewing starts for me.  There are Christmas and birthday gifts to be made and a swap or two  also.  Maybe a lot of photos of works in progress, but not a lot of detail about the actual items, especially since some of the intended recipients read my blog.  

Such is the case with the first two photos. I can tell you that the fabric is from Dear Stella, and the solids are actually a deep cerise and coral, which match the tiny blossoms perfectly.  Unfortunately the colours haven't quite come out in the photos.  

There has been a wee bit of sewing going on for my SSM6 swap as well. These 48 x 1.5" x 6" strips have been sewn together and trimmed down, ready for the next stage of my plan.

I have just got this book from my library.  There are some fabulous quilt ideas in here.  In fact I love this book so much, I have just purchased it as a reward for mowing the lawns today.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday 22 September 2014


A wet blustery weekend.   Just Mr J and me at home, while The Scout and Miss B were camping. Election Day too on Saturday.
Here's what I got up to:

  • Homemade pizza for Saturday nights's dinner, made by Mr J - I love it when I don't have to cook.  He did learn that less is better when it comes to putting jalapeno's on pizza.
  • Baking - One Pot Spiced Apple Cake from Annabel Langbein - here's the recipe
3 large apples, peeled, cored, quartered and then sliced
250g butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 ½ cup plain flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup sultanas
½ cup walnuts

Have a large pot ready on the stove top – big enough for melting butter and mixing the cake batter

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Prepare a springform cake tin by lightly greasing the sides and bottom with butter, then line the bottom with greaseproof/baking paper.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the apple pieces.
  3. Stir to coat apples with butter.
  4. Add sugar and eggs, and stir lightly to mix.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  6. Also add sultanas and walnuts.
  7. Stir to mix until the mixture is wet – do not over mix but just enough so that the flour and mixed through and wet. The mixture should not be ‘smooth’.
  8. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin, level the top out and bake for 1 hour and 20 mins, or until the cake is cooked (test by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake – cake is cooked if skewer comes out clean).
  9. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before removing onto a cake rack to cool.  You could dust the top with some icing sugar once the cake is cooled if you like.

  • Read Paris Letters, a beautiful autobigraphy about a woman who packed up her life in America to travel,  met a Polish man in Paris, and discovered life in the slow lane.
  • Started cutting and sewing for SewSewModern 6 - yes I joined another swap, this one is due to be posted in the New Year.
  • Hand sewed the binding down on the ironing caddy and attached the buttons.  One Christmas present finished.
  • Played with all the envelopes I have received to date in the SWAK Swap, only another 10 or so to arrive.
Hope you all had a fabulous weekend - one week to go and then it is school holidays here.  Looking forward to slowing down a little.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

A Drawstring Bag

Last night while The Scout, Miss B and Mr J, were all out at scouts, I took myself out to my sewing room, determined to do a little sewing.  Using the  two 6" blocks, I made back here, I decided to make a drawstring bag, for a friend to use as a project bag for her crochet. I used this tutorial from Svetlana of Sotak Handmade.  Her pattern uses fat quarters which would certainly make a quick and easy bag. Mine took a little longer, because I had to piece extra fabrics to the blocks, to get the desired size. I am really pleased with how it has turned out, This is a great pattern and I would definitely make it again.  The bag is not a big bag at approximately 8" x 10", but I think it will comfortably hold a crochet hook or two and some wool.  All going well, this will get posted to it's new home later this week.

What are you making at present?

Monday 15 September 2014

It's in the Post

Over the past week, there have been some lovely packages in my mail box.  I do so love getting "Happy Mail".   First up was my Fox Swap.  I received a beautiful mini quilt and drawstring bag, filled with treats from Lisa.  I love all the bright fabrics and printed panels she used. This was her first mini quilt too, and she was apparently rather stressed over sending it. She did a fabulous job. I certainly didn't waste any time hanging it in my sewing room.

I also received some more envelopes and fabric stamps from my SWAK Swap friends.  This is slowly coming together.  My envelope quilt/cushions will be a WIP for 2015 I feel.

Sunday 14 September 2014



Getting a copy of the latest cookbook, by one of my favourite New Zealand cooks, means that some new recipes have been tried and tested this weekend. I also enjoyed watching the first of the accompanying television series which started last night.  On the menu has been:
  • Turkish Red Lentil Kofta
  • Lumberjack Cake
  • Peanut Satay Chicken Salad - enjoyed today with my mum and dad who came to visit.
A little sewing has been done also - this is going to be a portable mini iron caddy and mat - destined for my mother in law for Christmas.  So nice to make a start on that sewing list.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

A Fox for All Seasons

My fox swap cushion is finished.  Four 5" foxes, with differing backgrounds to represent four seasons.  Winter is top left, and spring follows clockwise. Approximately 18" square, it is sashed in a sand coloured solid, bound with Julianna Horner fabric, ready to be posted.  I love how this has turned out, and I hope my partner will too.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Wednesday WIP

The last few days of winter have knocked me about with hay fever, coughing fits, very sore ribs, and sinus pain.  Today it feels as though I am starting to get better, just in time for spring.

There has been a little sewing going on though.  I have finished the last of my paper pieced foxes, for The Fox Swap.  I now have a fox for all four seasons.  They have been sashed and straight line quilted, into a pillow top.  I quite accidentally found the perfect backing at Spotlight too, so just the zip to install and binding to make, then it is done.

Also being worked on rather slowly is my embroidered label for Mr J's shirt quilt, comprised of  an inspirational quote and the date it was made. This will be a slow project, cos I find I can't see well enough at night to do the tiny stitches it requires, so it must be done during daylight hours, fitted in around work, cooking, gardening, reading and housework.  I did this for Miss B's Granny Square quilt too.

Fox Pattern from here

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.