Wednesday, 29 October 2008

York Trip

We started out with great plans for a family weekend in York, a visit to the Quilt museum for the girls and the Air museum for the boys. However my DH managed to get an abscess on his tooth, then he was allergic to the antibiotics and just generally feeling awful, the whole trip was abandoned. Well not quite...

When the boys went back to work on Monday, my DD and myself set out for the early train for a day trip to York. It was a lovely bright morning and walking in from the station we were greeted with this lovely view of the sun shining on the boats and the river Ouse.

The Quilt museum and gallery are shut on a Monday so there was nothing else for it but to shop til we dropped!!! We will have to go back again when the Quilt Museum is open (and the bank account has recovered). We found a lovely wool shop in The Shambles which had Rowan cotton yarn reduced to £2.40 a ball, so I purchased enough to knit a cup cake. With a pattern from Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits, I started knitting last night.

I am quite pleased with the result, and doesn't it look lovely sitting on this glass cake stand. The cake stand and table cloth both came from my granny. She was a great knitter but never bought quite enough wool. As children we grew up wearing cardigans with a mismatched band around the neck, where she had run out of wool and couldn't get quite the right wool to match it. Anyway she had also made this lovely embroidered tablecloth at sometime. Here is a close up of one of the flowers.

I have had a bit of a house wifely sort of day today. Carrots in Tesco were on special at 50p for a 1kg bag so I bought a big bag and made carrot and coriander soup. My DH is starting to worry about me now, when he had to wait until I took a photo of his soup before he could eat it. Perhaps am taking the blogging too far?

But here is the recipe anyway because I like to see recipes on other peoples blogs.

Carrot and coriander credit crunch soup.

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 med onion peeled and chopped
4 large carrots peeled and chopped,1 large potato peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
750ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Heat oil in large pan, add onion and cook over low heat til soft. Add carrots and potato and stir again, Cover pan with lid and cook gently for 10 mins. Stir in ground coriander and stock, stir and bring to boil and cook for about 25 mins, blitz soup with hand blender (Note this is a new blender because the last one melted the last time I blitzed hot soup!)
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with a swirl of fresh cream and a sprinkling of fresh coriander or parsley.

And finally a sneak preview of Jenny's pumpkin lantern,ready for Halloween on Friday.

Happy Quilting xx

Monday, 20 October 2008

Good intentions...

The weekend started with good intentions. On Friday at the Fat Quarters we were all working well being looked after by the lovely Anne in Kim's absence. I have started on Beaut, the little Koala. Perhaps I ate too many muffins or Tunnock's tea cakes but by the time I got home I felt awful. I have been fighting off a bug all weekend, just lying about feeling grotty. No more sewing got done but lots of reading. I am enjoying the new book by Ian Rankin, Doors Open, it's just unfortunate he gave a hint as to the ending on the One Show tonight.

Then there was the new book from Jamie Oliver, Jamie's Ministry of Food. Well he's got a lot to answer for, making us working women feel guilty about feeding our families convenience food. Tonight I set off on the first recipe, Quick SalmonTikka with cucumber yogurt. It looked good and tasted lovely. Unfortunately the cucumber yogurt had a life of its own and wouldn't stay on the fork. Each of us in turn dropped the cucumber yogurt down our clothes so as well as cooking I have had a load of washing to do!! Jamie just wait til I get my hands on you! My recommendation, if you make it, is to make the portions twice as big and issue everyone with a pelican bib.

I had a nice parcel in the post, a pattern from Buttonberry, Apron Strings by Leanne Beasley. I have plans for Christmas pressies with this pattern so watch this space.

Because I haven't been far this weekend a photo from the archives to remind us what spring was like. A sharp clear day at StAbbs in May.

Happy quilting xx

Monday, 13 October 2008

Koalas and conkers

The fine weather has brought all sorts of wildlife to the garden. Meet Bonzer, found hiding in the apple tree. The first Koala from Melly and Me was finished at the weekend and I was quite pleased with him. Next is his girlfriend Beaut, then we will have to watch out for baby koalas in the garden. I have a couple of clumps of bamboo and have always been on the look out for pandas lurking but didn't expect to see koalas this far north.
The creative crafts started early this weekend with a special hooky and proggy workshop at The Herb Patch. Linda is running a variety of courses on crafts and complementary therapies in the cafe during the Autumn. As Hooky and proggy matting is something of a local craft here in the North of England, Julie, Hexham Helen, my DS and myself were all keen to learn more.
What we did learn was that it is not as easy as it looks and having gone with grand ideas ( Helen's stair carpet) we got going on more realistic projects for the evening.
These small samples were all we managed but I finished mine off at home and made it into a corsage /brooch sort of thing.

Jenny too has been busy this weekend and finished her second bag with the crazy patchwork panel . As Christmas presents for friends , she still has lots more to make.
More sunshine again this weekend prompted Jenny and I to get out for a walk. I love the Autumn colours and conkers are my favourites. We collected a few from this tree in Bywell while the sheep looked on.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Using up left overs

On Friday at The Fat Quarters, it was Irene's turn to show off her finished works. She has made this quilt to use up leftovers from a couple of quilts she made using Jelly rolls. The big blocks are simple but effective and the overall effect is lovely.I am still addicted to the needle turn applique and the second Summer garden cushion from Rosalie Quinlan's book is now well underway. I thought the circle would be difficult but with a dinner plate to draw a circle and the bias strip maker it actually came together quite easily. It is just nice to sit cosy, as the nights are drawing in, in front of the TV with some sewing on your lap, being creative but not too energetic. The finished cushions are quite big about 22" square so I have had difficulty finding a big pad to fit. Some serious shopping was called for, so, on Saturday with the help of 2 Helens and Julie, I managed to find some in Dickinson's store in Hexham. I put the first cushion in pride of place on the bed, half an hour later I came back upstairs to find my DH watching TV with his head on it!!! Its just for admiring, not for lying on!!
My DD had been bored while I was out so I bought all the ingredients for a banoffee pie which she made that evening. The tin of toffee alone has over 1000 calories so heaven knows what a slice of pie is, but who cares? It tasted delicious.

Happy Quilting

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Letters to the Editor

Well I'm nearly famous!! I nearly forgot to tell you all that I had a letter published in British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine this month. Way back in May I made a bag for Margaret from a pattern in a previous magazine, took a picture and emailed it off with a quick note. I got a nice email back from Dianne Huck but didn't think about it anymore until I opened this months P&Q magazine. I suppose it would have been better to be featured in "Profile of a quilter" but we all have to start somewhere.
Not much sewing done this week but the next project for the Fat Quarters Club is out. Meet Bonzer and Beaut. Aren't they cute.

The weather was too nice at the weekend to be sat indoors sewing so after gardening for a while I picked the first of the Autumn crop of apples. Now they are sitting looking at me in the kitchen calling out to be made into an apple crumble or pie.
Unfortunately I am laid low with a rotten cold and the most I have made in the last 2 days is a cup of tea. My DH and DD have had to fend for themselves while DS lives on buffet food at work. My nose is like Rudolph's and my head is like a pumpkin, sort of hollow feeling but filled with mush.

Happy Quilting