16/02/2013 § 4 Comments
I forget which week we’re in now, but here goes …
- Feeling much better. It was a case of kill or cure and I’ll share the recipe that I think cured me!
- Finished Carnival and Songbird – here’s just a taste. Which one would you like to see Ta-Dah’d first?
3. Seaside and sunshine – yes, we’ve just arrived in Cornwall and the sun has got his hat on!
4. Anemones – some of my very favourite Spring flowers, fresh from a little market stall in Truro on the way.
Now, for the cure-all recipe – I hope you like ginger! You know that feeling? Heavy, aching, very sore throat, hot then shivering – well, that’s how I was feeling a couple of days ago. Very unhappy! I sat back one evening and thought that if I listened to my sore throat, what would it say it needed – yes, I know it’s a funny thing to do, but I really, really didn’t want to be ill. It said it needed GINGER and lots of it.
So I blitzed 2 mega pieces of root ginger with a splash of cider vinegar then added the paste to the remains of a jar of honey. I popped in a few cloves then put the jar into a bowl and let it stand in boiling water, to melt. I gave it a quick mix around and had a few teaspoons full (minus the cloves) and then decided it would be really good as a drink. I dolloped a few teaspoons of the sticky, gingery, vinegary paste into a huge mug, added some just-off-the-boil water to about 3/4 full and then topped it up with some fruit juice – pomegranate – only because I like the colour!
I had loads and loads of these drinks and amazingly they seem to have worked. We’ll see, maybe it’ll come back and get me, but for the moment I’m feeling so much better and I’m just off to walk the dogs on the beach.
Lots of crochet and quilt photos in the next couple of posts – stay tuned!
03/02/2013 § 18 Comments
a strange combination?
Oranges first then …
Very satisfying indeed. 10 Seville oranges, turned into 10 bottles of Dark Ginger Marmalade. I love making marmalade and have a method that’s evolved over many years …
1 wash the fruit then cut in half and roughly into segments
2 barely cover with water in a deep baking dish, add a sprinkle of cloves, a couple of cinnamon sticks, some root ginger cut into slices and a couple of bay leaves. (I adore the flavour and smell of bay).
3 stick it in the oven for a couple of hours on a medium heat and then allow to cool down a bit so it doesn’t burn your fingers
4 get stuck in – with your fingers – remove the juicy bits from the orange skin. Put the skin to one side. Put the liquid and juicy mush through a sieve. Pick out the bay leaves, a couple of slices of ginger and the cinnamon and pop them into the preserving pan with the liquid.
5 slide a sharp knife along the underside of the skin segments, to remove any remaining pith, then slice orange skin into slivers. Add to liquid.
6 measure (or guess, in my case), how many pints of liquid you now have and add 1 lb sugar to every pint. Dissolve the sugar slowly over a medium heat, stirring gently
7 add some glace ginger if you like it and my secret ingredient, to make the marmalade good and dark – 2 tsp black treacle
8 boil it up until it reaches ‘jam’ on the sugar thermometer, remove bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and large pieces of root ginger
9 sterilise jars & lids in the oven, on 100 degrees, then using a wide necked funnel and jug, bottle it up – fill jars right up to the top
10 place a waxed circle on top and seal tightly while still hot
11 write your labels and pop them into the cupboard to set
Voila – Dark Ginger Marmalade – that’s the oranges done!
Now for the Songbird …
Songbird is the name of a new quilt. Inspired by Scandinavian colours and style – simple, modern & functional …
This isn’t a ta’dah moment as there’s a long way to go with this massive king-sized quilt. I bought just a scant half metre of the patterned fabric in Sherborne a couple of weeks ago. I could hardly wait to get started. It’s such an unusual and subtle pattern despite the strong colours. It needed vibrance and contrast but I didn’t want to detract from it, so settled for a narrow palette of reds & white and there’s a touch of sage at the sides, but you’ll have to wait to see the full reveal.
I’ve been busy practising free-motion quilting too and have progressed from my happy stippling pattern to a simple heart and pebbles. I bought my first fabric pen yesterday in Bath, and have tested it – it sponges off easily, leaving no trace.
Bath was marvellous in the winter sun – lunch with our lovely boys and the quickest buzz around my favourite shops. A new cloche hat from the antiques market too!
Have a lovely week – I’ll be wanting to quilt, in every moment that I’m doing everything else!
What’s everyone been up to over at Handmade Monday? Do pop over to see.
02/09/2012 § 7 Comments
just a taste of the quilts that I finished over the summer …
Phew! I did a lot of quilting in my holidays this year. I’m completely addicted to the whole process as I was back here in January, and have found some stunning fabrics here and there when jaunting, as well as discovering a fair few that I’d forgotten about when I sorted out my room into a proper studio space.
I’m going to a post about using larger prints in patchwork – watch this space! Hopefully next week. Just working on a tutorial, as requested by Sarah for the pattern for Gypsy Rose, too. As you may know, I seldom follow a pattern or recipe, but I’ll work out what I did easily enough – Gypsy Rose spent last night warming my toes in bed! It wasn’t chilly enough for a full blanket like Ripple 1 or Misty Morning, but toes definitely needed some extra warmth – Autumn has arrived!
Hope you all have a lovely week. Pop over to see Wendy’s Handmade Monday get together and share what everyone’s been making and creating.
PS I didn’t get to the Vintage & Retro market today for complicated reasons, but all is well now so I hope to be in Alton next weekend, as planned.
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21/04/2012 § 14 Comments
We’ll make a start, down on the farm …
Buttercup the cow lives happily on a magical quilted farm with all her friends. There’s Percy the Pony, Petal the Piggy, dancing lambs and lots of ducks and chickens, too numerous to name. Fields of bright folky sunflowers bloom all around the pastures and cheerful gingham farm tracks divide up the land! The back is vintage striped flannelette, bordered with patchwork, a name label & date, to boot!
What a pretty quilt, for a cot or chair in the nursery!
Then, there’s the Wildflower Meadow – a double-bed sized quilt that I have Soooooooo loved making …
(These photos are in a gallery, so click and they’ll open up much larger, so you can see all the stitch & pattern details).
I’m totally into free motion quilting and the difference in texture between the quilted vintage, pure white cotton and the bright florals really make this quilt sing – not too loudly, just a gentle lullaby! It’s so soft and drapey too- if that makes sense.
I’m working on another one as we speak (well not at this precise moment, cos I’m typing away whilst waiting for one of Flora’s eggs to hard-boil for a lunchtime sandwich)! I’ve just treated myself to one of those wire egg cutter contraptions so I can have perfect, slim eggy slices – yum. Have visions of a slippery egg flying across the kitchen – will let you know how I get on!
Winchester was lovely this morning – just for an hour, I wandered about the little streets, mainly avoiding the bustle of the High Street and weekend market. The Cathedral was magnificent in the Spring sunshine and I simply enjoyed mooching around knowing that I live here. Although sometimes I think my heart is still in Wales, I’m beginning to accept that after over 30 years, Winchester is feeling more and more like home!
Enjoy your weekend.
End Note: The egg slicer worked a treat. Toothache is soul-destroying and I’ve been in agony for what seems like eternity, over most of the weekend. I’m waiting to hear back from a local dental practice to see if they can fit me in and put an end to my toe-curling agony.
Have a good week everyone.
20/01/2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been making lap/cot quilts …
There are 3 of them here ..
I love making quilts of this size – snuggly over your lap and knees or perfect for a tiddler’s cot.
There’s a quilted cushion hiding in amongst the quilts too. There are a couple more cushions to finish and then it’s on to some freehand embroidery I think. We’ll have to see what patterns emerge!
Have a lovely weekend.