31 October, 2012

Happy Halloween







Happy Halloween, we usually do get our costumes out and we have been trick or treating even in France which isn't that usual.
Past outfits have included :-





This year's outfits, well let's just say they didn't want the normal, we weren't even going to go and so had no outfits at 11am and by 3pm we were :-

 A witch in her cape, with stripey socks and witchy boots
(I was the only mum to bother dressing up at all)
 Jacques was a little red devil, his dad made the pitchfork and I made him a fabric devil's tail which had wire in so was bent and he could move it up and down on a piece of thread, waving it around :)
 Amelia was a bunny rabbit, a shower scrunchy makes a fantastic bob tail :)

During the Halloween meeting we made these cute little spiders, then we went on a treasure hunt and had an afternoon snack of pancakes with chocolate spread, jam or sugar and a big bag of sweeties... we came home to home made Tomato soup or witches stock :)


Have a great evening :)


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30 October, 2012

Days of Yore flimsy finish

The first time ever i've bought the exact fabric (well actually I'm telling a fib, i changed the pinwheel colours and put the yellow dragon blocks instead of black dragon blocks) and the pattern, I love Whistlepig Creek  stuff, the cat's are too cute. It was pieced with Aurifil 50wt in light grey and black in places lol...

I am thrilled with it, lots of challenges especially the mitred border, which was a first for me but with lots of twitter encouragement I managed it and actually really do like them and they were quite easy in the end.

The wall isn't big enough so we had to resort to the kids swing/slide and DH is hiding around the back and it looks like he was holding it on a border edge, there is a border on the right hand side lol :)







Yes you may notice there is a selvedge on the bottom, I had to leave it on otherwise when I bind it you lose the very bottom edge border which I didn't want to do.
It's a huge 86" square and I needed 8 yards for the backing, so instead I've bought a 100% cotton sheet, here in France
It's as bright as the quilt top so I think it'll go down very well in this family.

I'm not sure how to quilt it, any ideas ??? I thought a meander in variegated thread but it'll mean quilting over the dragons, I can't really leave them out, perhaps a large meander won't notice.
Another thought was monofilament thread but not sure how that works on the frame.

Have ordered black 80/20 batting and DH will move the frame into the lounge for me, it just fits in the sewing room but I really don't want to muck this one up.

So while waiting for deliveries, I'm going to start a christmas stitchery and try and load the Christmas top on the frame and get busy with that one.

Can see lots of hand sewing of binding for me in December ;o) but hopefully might get 3 quilt finishes WOOOHOOO !!!
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29 October, 2012

Mascarpone Pastry for mincepies

It's a bit difficult because I haven't made any for a year so haven't got any pictures, the pastry is delish it's like the baker's fluffy and crispy not soggy bottoms and filled with home made mince meat with an extra glug of brandy and life is great.




Pre heat oven to 200 deg C.

6 ozs SR flour

3ozs softened butter

250gram tub of mascarpone cheese cut straight across and use half.

Pinch of salt

For those who can, rub in the butter then mix in the mascarpone and keep working it until it looks like a ball of pastry.

For those who can't, stick the lot in the food processor put it on slow first and then work up to fast until it is all mixed together.

Make sure there is plenty of flour on your board and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick.

Shove in mincemeat, plop on a top or I cut little stars and then

Cook for about 20-30 mins


And while we're at it, I use Delia's mincemeat recipe
This recipe is adapted from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

Method

All you do is combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl, stirring them and mixing them together very thoroughly indeed. Then cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop. After that pre-heat the oven to gas mark ¼, 225°F (120°C). Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove the bowl from the oven. Don't worry about the appearance of the mincemeat, which will look positively swimming in fat. This is how it should look. As it cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all the other ingredients.
When the mincemeat is quite cold, stir well again, adding the brandy. Pack in jars that have been sterilised (see below). When filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. The mincemeat will keep for ages in a cool, dark cupboard but I think it is best eaten within a year of making.
NOTE: To sterilise jars, wash the jars and lids in warm soapy water, rinse well, then dry thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop into a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350F, 180C, for 5 minutes.
RECIPE COST: £3.65

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28 October, 2012

A new bag and a flimsy

Saturday afternoon and we'd been to football, had lunch, cleaned, walked the dogs and I felt like sewing something with those cute little russian dolls.
I went back to a tutorial I'd seen months ago and decided to get busy, verypurpleperson came up with an excellent completely reversible bag, I didn't quite have enough fabric to add on an additional 7 inches which is what I reckoned I needed to make the bag long enough for me.  At 5ft 10/11 short length handles are no good :) so I joined on some co-ordinating colour fabric and got busy.... it didn't take too long at all (there are no fasteners or pockets because then it couldn't be totally reversible and that's what I wanted) I did use interfacing on both lots of the doll fabric because I didn't want the hexagons showing through and I wanted it slightly stiffer.
I really love it and it's a perfect size for me, it'll easy fit in my purse, check book, keys, phone, lippy and anything else. 



Then today, I've finally got the Holiday Medley quilt to flimsy stage :)
I ran outside early evening to take a photo, I'll try to get some better ones tomorrow and once i've cut off stray threads.  It's quite a dark quilt for us but it's definitely christmassy, I did struggle with the wording to make sure I got it all facing the right way up, will get close ups tomorrow :)

So now, I've got 2 flimsy's to quilt (this and amelia's chevron) and typically i'm about 4" short of batting to get them both done, I'm going to measure again properly tomorrow and make a decision, I know I need to buy some (I usually buy precut  sizes from creative grids) but I also want to get some dark batting for the dragon quilt.  Am hoping to get that upto flimsy by the end of this week ;o) and then order more batting and get them quilted up.   All of them will probably be a meander so hopefully will finish quickly and I can see lots of sitting stitching on binding in November/December.

While I wait for the batting, I'm going to be busy finishing off this scarf, it's a lovely brown and orangey one, very autumnal :)

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26 October, 2012

TFIFF and a winner !!!!




Firstly, I've drawn the winner (Can I say how lovely and easy Rafflecopter is, you click a button and it chooses the winner, if there are more than one, you just add it, you can moderate entries if people have done things wrong)

As you can see the winner is Dianne who is a member of my Bee, the first person I met IRL at Fat Quarterly Retreat and she blogs at quiltova I just know she's going to be really happy with a Simply Solids gift voucher :)





a Rafflecopter giveaway




I'm also linking up with TGIFF because this week I am thrilled to have finished lots of WIP's, lots of Bee blocks and Round Robin blocks that needed doing.


The main thing was the pot holder, it was one of the classes that Brioni from Fat Quarterly ran at the retreat. I deliberately chose Christmas colours so I knew I'd have to get it finished. It was quilted and bound this week and is stashed now to put out in December :)

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25 October, 2012

Ta DA !!!!!

Super constructive day in front of the sewing machine, which is working like a dream and sewing straight with no tension problems (touch wood)

A Round Robin finished and shipped to it's final destination :)

My Sew Mama Sew inspired key fob, I started sewing the petals last night and finished it off first thing this morning. It's already gone in the post :)




For the Sew Euro-Bee-an October block we had to make (I hope, not 100% sure at the moment) a strip and whack kind of block.




I really really enjoyed making these, some of them were scraps from Lynne's magic box, some were my scraps and yardage was cut into.

All of my sewing commitments are done now until the end of the month lol, I'm expecting the valentines round robin and I expect November block for the bee...
Tomorrow is Medley day :) and don't forget tomorrow is last day to enter Anniversary giveaway



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24 October, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Following on from yesterday's catch up, I've got nothing new to show, the kids don't have school on Wednesday's so it's generally a day of shouting, feeding, getting kids to football and tonight an unexpected trip to the garage.

But.... here is my starter block for the Quilt U Be Mine round robin



It's a cute little stitchery, reminded me of my two little angels NOT !!! (the Janome was playing nicely the other day) with a border to make it the required size.  It now gets sent off and someone has to add two borders to it, get's sent to someone else for 2 borders and it should come back to me for Valentines, it doesn't need to be lovey dovey but the main colours red/pink...
Here's my yummy postie arrivals from yesterday


and lots of webbing and ribbons to make some key fobs for Christmas and quick gifts


My new ironing board cover, isn't it yummy, I'm almost frightened to iron on it incase I spoil a funky flower

oh and look what arrived, I bought a scrap box from Lynne@lilysquilts and it was sent to my aunt, my uncle arrived this morning with this box of delights, I've just spent an hour sorting through it all and there are lots of lovely fabrics, so I've got squares to cut, some strips, hexis... wonder if my girl will help during the holidays
Being Wednesday, stroppy madam gets the sizzix out and the dies and cuts circles and hearts from felt, she also swiped my friskars super sharp scissors only to be replaced rapidly by mean mummy with the purple papery cutting scissors lol...


And finally, the pot holder that was started on Retreat, actually got pieced on retreat has finally been quilted and bound.  I started a crafsty course on Machine quilting and since I was waiting for the  Janome's new bobbin case to arrive, I got the Brother PQ1500 off the frame and had a practice stitching freehand circles with the walking foot, I've never really bothered before but I quite like the effect, each are approx 1/4" apart.  I have decided that I love the Janome for it's adjustable needle which the brother doesn't have.... so it's gone back on it's frame and the Janome is back in it's true home (along with a new bobbin case and it now seems to be sewing straight again)

Tomorrow it's Medley quilt cos I've called off my french lesson, I seem to have caught the feeling unwell, achey, tired, flu type bug and have a raging sore throat so best to stay at home and sew eh :)



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23 October, 2012

Catch up


It's that time of the week, i've been fairly busy over the weekend. Do you remember my Holiday Medley fabric that I won, well I don't need another wall hanging and wanted a smallish lap quilt for when the kids want to watch tv over Christmas. I'm adapting the Fat Quarterly Cub quilt that Quilt dad made, it's slightly wider and coming together nicely. It's all cut out, blocks made up, the kids and I scrabbled on the floor and arranged it and it's now waiting to be ironed and sewn into rows and then flimsy.

I actually have got my large ironing board out of storage (it's sat there for 4 years) and bought a cover and have recovered it ready to iron this one and the hugeeeeeeeeeeee Dragon quilt.

Piccies of Medley hopefully tomorrow :O)

Oh look what the lovely postie delivered to me, yummy, yummy in my tummy :-



Friday I made a noodlehead wide bottomed pouch (well attempted it) it came together fairly well except next time I need longer zips. This is a pressie for my mum so shhhhh...it's filled with nice little goodies for Christmas






Have you seen these lovely little key fobs's, Liz of Dandelion Dreams ran a tutorial on them, I've made two without the flowers as test's for the kids and I'm planning a Mama said sew one to send with the final Round Robin border which needs to go in the post by Friday at the latest.

wow, what else have I been upto, ohhh I made and mailed another block which i'll show tomorrow and I've quilted the placemat I made at Fat Quarterly and am currently sewing on the binding.

Things, namely kids, husband and animals have been taking up my time, Bonnie is doing well and allowed outside on the lead so we've been having lots of short walks (labs only allowed 5mins for each month, so 15 mins max)  and our oldest cat Daisy, is failing, we keep hoping she'll fall asleep and not wake up, she's 13 years old, she limps because she can't retract her claws and lately she's lost quite a bit of weight, been vomitting up her food and sleeping lots, so we made an appointment for the vet :O( and today she's jumping up onto worktops for food, fighting with the others when they try to get some and hasn't vomitted, so we cancelled and will wait and see.  Keep her in your thoughts please.


So this week I would like to :-
Finish fat quarterly placemat
make Flower key fob
Finish round robin block and get it in post
get Medley pieced and ready for quilting
ohh and if I get time, another border on dragon quilt ready for final border.

Don't forget to enter my anniversary giveaway here

Have a great evening


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19 October, 2012

my first blog anniversary + giveaway






I've been blogging for a year now, it's my blog anniversary !!!!!!
I started blogging because I'd been reading other people's blogs and wanted a record of my crafty adventures and things that happened in my life during those adventures.

Lots of finishes in this year. I've finished cushions, quilts, wall hangings, blocks, pouches and have taken part in giveaways, blog hops and round robins.  Ventured to UK for quilting retreat and met many fellow bloggers.


What a wonderful world we live in, technology is generally a fantastic method of communication, without technology I would not have met my husband, would not be able to be a stay at home wife and mother (DH is a techie lol) and wouldn't be a blogger :O)

I'm very lucky to be able to offer a special giveaway and another first :O)
Simply Solids has very generously offered a £10 gift voucher for the winner of my Anniversary giveaway and I'm using Rafflecopter this time.  Let me know if you like using it because it does look an easier option for a more complicated giveaway. The giveaway ends next Friday and is open to International peeps




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Have a great weekend
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