Monday, 18 November 2013

Real food Weekend

There is something about this time of year, long chilly walks and good old comfort food that just go hand in hand.

We've had a very relaxing weekend.  We went out for dinner on Friday night.  Woke up Saturday and took Pippa for a long walk in the local park

Then we came home and made sausage with onion gravy and mashed potato with mustard and creme fraiche!  Real comfort food.  And I made enough so there would be leftovers for Sunday!  Don't you just love it when you have left overs?

Then on Sunday (today) it was pretty much the same thing.  We went for a walk.... this is us in the car on the way to the park...

We bumped into another tri colour in the park.  Well actually 2 other tri colours.  Which was very cute.  Pippa likes to make friends with other cavaliers

After our walk we came home, took a nap on the sofa whilst watching a movie and I decided to make a apple crisp for after our leftovers

It was de-lush but unfortunately we didn't have any vanilla ice cream or cream to go with it! :(  

And I finished off the weekend with a quick blast of sewing.  I'm getting all my charms ready for the falling charm quilt which is my next quilt top project!

Monday, 11 November 2013

First Attempt at freeform quilting

I've been meaning to try this for ages.  I'm a firm 'stitch n the ditch' kinda girl and that's worked for me.... but it's always good to broaden our horizons.  So I bought myself a free form quilting foot, installed it, watched a few videos on youtube, got a scrap square sandwiched up and thought I'd give it a shot.  It took me a while to get the tension right (it had to go high, 9 on my Janome) and then I got going.  

It may look like a mess - but I'm pretty proud of this ol mess!  I can see how one might get into this.  I think I need quite a bit of practising before I do it for real on my quilts.... I chose dark thread on light fabric so I could see all my mistakes.  Not that they're hard to spot here! :)  

We've all got to start somewhere!


I bought these rather lush charm packs and I've found the perfect pattern!

Missouri Star Quilt Company have a tutorial for a pattern called Falling Charms Quilt.

This is definitely my next project.  I'm just waiting for some pretty white fabric to arrive and I'm set!

Sewing room

So my next project is going to be sorting our my sewing room.  It's a bit of a riot.

Nothing coordinates, I don't have enough storage and everything is just lying all over the place in various jars and drawers.  I need some organisation in my sewing!  I want, no!  I need to see my stash.  I want my books and patterns to be easily accessible for when I need inspiration and I don't want to forget about my yarn!

So I'm going to have to trawl the antiques shops soon and invest in some more furniture!

What I've been sewing...

So with Christmas fast approaching, the sewing machine has been super busy.  I finished off my Mother's lap quilt.  I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out.  I wasn't so sure about it when I was in the middle of it, but it looks OK.

And I've managed to make a lap quilt for the boyfriend.  I made it from imported fabrics.  He's a bit of a sic fi geek, so I've used a combination of star wars, star trek, spider man, wonder woman fabrics. I think he's going to be made up with this.

And I've also been finishing off the pin wheel table runners I started last year!

Pippa, as ever, keeping me company

I just love this reindeer fabric.  I wish I'd had it a bit sooner as it's too pretty to be on the back - but I guess at least I will know it is there.

They've turned out pretty good

I have a few more to do.  I figure I'll keep one - I made a mistake on one of the corners, so I'll be keeping that one - and give the other away as presents to our family.

It feels good to have actually started and finished these projects in a fairly timely fashion!

Things I've been eating

Did I tell you about the bread?  We did bread in our class one week and I have never seen so much bread!  Each person made approx 40 dinner rolls then we made sour dough bread, soda bread it was endless.  We had cheese and bread for tea that night and then I had the most ridiculous bread bloat!

Bread, bread, bread

I have to say a lot of it went to the birds as there isn't enough space for me, for bread!

We had some fish mix one night and rather than just make a fish stew (which is always a winner) we decided to make a Goan fish fury.  It was really yummy.  There's something about fresh flavours and fish.... lemongrass, coriander, chilli, coconut milk.... so good.

After the bread the class went up a notch and we made genoese sponge.  This was really difficult.  We had to make the egg mix over a bain marie and the first time I scrambled my mixture... but then it paid off in the end and when others cakes were coming out of the oven as flat as a pancake, my sponge did have a little rise - albeit not what it should be - I managed to make a fairly edible cake in the end.  

And when I came home - the boyfriend had made us pumpkin harvest pies!

With sweet potato fries. You can't get better comfort food that pie and fries!  Carb overload but you gotta indulge yourself every so often!

To balance it out at the weekend we just got a nice n simple seafood mix from M&S and ate it with crackers.  No cooking = no dishes - hurrah!  And this has to be healthier than a saturday night take away

And finally, this little piece of heaven.  I recently tried The Pioneer Woman aka Ree Drummond's Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing   Divine, delicious, devilishly good!  Yum.  It was so good.  Ate it warm out of the oven and it was just perfect.  I have to confess, I had slightly more than the 2 slices you see evidence of here.  but again... you've got to indulge yourself every so often right?  Maybe just not every night.

So I think it's nil by mouth til December!!