24/02/2013 § 32 Comments
Traditional Scandinavian colours, and over 50 quilted hearts …
Songbird was my Valentine’s Day gift to my husband – made with love, for the one I love!
Songbird is a very special quilt. When I saw the signature fabric, I loved it straight away – flowers, pretty little birds and soft colours. I’m much into the Scandinavian influence at the moment and am quite obsessed with using pure white. When quilted, the patterns look like the purest snow! Songbird is backed with white flannelette so it’s very soft and snuggly.
The close-ups of the quilted blocks play tricks with me sometimes – do they with you? Instead of looking puffy, sometimes they look concave! They are definitely puffy! I quilted all the pure white blocks with a contour heart surrounded by free-motion quilted pebbles to remind us of our favourite holidays by the sea in Cornwall. All the white borders are the same but on the outside borders I quilted little hearts and ribbons in a band all the way around – almost 60 hearts in total!
Songbird will have to double up as all my happy:smiley post too, this week. I loved the time we spent in Cornwall, I loved walking the dogs on the beach at sunrise, I loved coming back home to a quacky welcome from Flora. I want to quilt long into the chilly nights then drift to sleep and dream of fabrics, new designs, future plans and warmth, beneath a quilt full of hearts! Long, long live love!
What have the Handmade Monday gang been up to this week? Pop over to see them at Wendy’s Handmade Monday No 105.
I’m also linking up to New to Me in 2013, as my free-motion quilted pebbles and contour hearts are both new quilting techniques.
Have a lovely week
PS just remembered that I wanted to say that I finished another, smaller Scandinavian design quilt last week. At least, it’s pieced but not quilted just yet. I was sidetracked by a cushion that I simply HAD to create. I’ll post some photos when the sun’s out and the quilting’s done!
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.