Saturday, 28 December 2013

Holiday Roundup

All vegetables fromthe allotment, Christmas cake courtesy of my Mum and Christmas T-shirt customised by me (modelled by M)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Birthday Bear 2013

Remember,  remember second of December; a birthday not to be forgot.
Remember,  remember to mark the occasion with an offering of finest tricot -
For a personal bear with a wardrobe now so extensive,
To make something novel will need thought most intensive.

So with thinking cap on and with strong coffee by the mugful -
To arrive at a solution that's chic, in vogue and thoughtful.
Ideas swirl around in the knitter's tight brain: oh poor Mummsie!
What solution emerges? Oh gosh it's a..................................

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Diagonal decisions

A snapshot of my current work in progress. Deciding between sewing all the hexagon strips diagonally to form a diamond or whether to create a square - before adding borders and quilting.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Patty Pan Party

We are now entering the time of the year when the allotment is being really productive. For a few years now, we have had a summer squash plant. The resulting vegetable is eaten willingly by M who won't stomach courgette - even if they are very similar. Now that the summer squash, but I prefer the name patty pan, are in full production mode I am resurrecting some of the recipes that I used last year as well as discovering a few new ones. Unsurprisingly I am using courgette recipes.  First a little help from Nigella, with her Happiness Soup or try some fritters. (also found in her book Forever Summer). More recently, I had been waiting impatiently try Thomasina Miers's summer tacos with courgette and corn, found here in The Observer Food Monthly (but also in her book Mexican Food Made Simple). Sadly the corn is not ready so I had to cheat and use frozen - but still - deeeeelicious!

Circle and Spiral Quilted pencil case

A small little project to use a practise quilt sandwich from the BOTM quilt.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Jungleberry Jam

In the midst of various berries and currants needing picking, I save time by making a mixed fruit jam.  Some people call it tutti frutti, some mixed berry.  I found the name "Jumbleberry" appealed to me and so I always made Jumbleberry jam when I had a small amount of red gooseberries from our solitary bush, threw in some blackcurrants, the last handful of red currants that I would pick and the throw in some of our prolific raspberries for good measure.  M misheard me - so "Jungleberry Jam" was born!

2kg of mixed currants and berries (redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries and red gooseberries)
2kg granulated sugar (its way cheaper than jam or preserving sugar if you are not fussy about clarity or setting)
optional: bottle/packet of pectin

1. Warm fruit in large preserving pan and slowly heat, letting the berries burst and juices run.
2. Meanwhile warm sugar in a low oven (& don't forget to warm those dishwasher clean jam jars)
3. Add sugar and stir to ensure even melting of all the sugar.
4. Bring to the boil, keep stirring and bring to setting point (105 C / 220F or passes the wrinkle test).
5. If in doubt stir in the pectin (I used Certo) - if your fruit was acidic enough you may not need it - in my house this jam needs to stay on the toast otherwise I end up treading in jam all the time because SOMEBODY considers plate use optional at times.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Craftsy BOTM 2012 Quilt finished

Made by me, started on 23rd January 2012, finished on 26th April 2013.

This is the project that has consumed most of my creative time in the last year.  I have learnt so much and it has given me the hunger to continue with quilting.  I now find myself torn over some of the clothes sewing projects I stopped myself from starting or starting another quilt.  I have a few little projects on the go just using up some of the scraps and leftovers from this project as well.
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