Friday, February 10, 2017

Never ending strip quilt - Finished

Finally another patchwork top finished for the Orphans at Hope Homes International. I still have one waiting to be quilted and bound but decided to do some simple sewing instead.  Over my two convalescences I have found it very hard to concentrate on projects etc. So I wanted something that would fill a need but help me to be creative without being taxing. 
I emptied my entire bag of leftover strips. slowly over weeks I put them into piles of their respective widths. Then I chain sewed them together. From there I used the technique that Missouri Star Quilt Company call - The jelly roll race.
It is a very quick assembly, though because I had different sizes I had to put it together in sections rather than one whole. Using a whole bag of leftovers has been great - BUT there are still some leftovers so that might be the beginning of the next quilt!!!

Thrilled to have a finish, it has been great being able to craft without it being taxing. This is a finish for FAL2017 and I link to Crazy Mum Quilts and these places.

2017 FAL

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An upcycle finish

For a while now I have been upcycling shirts into other clothing. The one I consistently do is to make business shirts into nighties. I choose linen and cotton so they are lovely to wear. This is three shirts into one nightie.
I actually had it cut out before I went into hospital last time, but did not get it made. My other ones are wearing thin so I had to hop to it.
I started with these three shirts
It has been a good time to sew as the summer weather has been like winter. Colleen and I at the river on a day which was meant to be 26 degrees C but, like all other days, ended up cold and windy.

Linking to Crazy mum quilts and these links as well as being my first 2017 FAL.
2017 FAL

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cooking from the books - Annabel Langbein

We have a lot of pork mince at the moment as we grew a pig on Aaron's Aunties Farm. So when Aaron gave me Annabel Langbein's latest Celebrate Summer magazine while I was in hospital, I noticed this recipe: Banh Mi Burgers. We love Asian flavours and I had all the ingredients.
I did not want to do burgers so I chose one of her "go free range" options on the page - turn the meat into meatballs.
recipe, Banh Mi Burger
As it was going to be a meal on rice I made a slightly larger quantity of the salad and added some finely shredded cabbage to the veges when marinating them. 

It made a gorgeous meal which Aaron and I loved. One of the boys like the salad but not the meatballs and the other boy liked the meatballs but not the salad. I would definitely make this again.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Another Maker in the family

Although I encourage both my boys to be doers and makers of things, it is only my youngest who is really interested. This year he has decided to be retro and make his own skateboard. It has taken a huge amount of work. Pattern drafting, template making, sanding, a big mistake with the holes for the second set of trucks.
The back
The front

The pose!!
He has persevered and with a little help from Pop to fix the mistake - WOW. Diligent, persistent and consistent in applying himself. I am so impressed.

Friday, January 20, 2017

What the Elves made at Christmas

In mid December I posted about how hard the elves and I were working on a present for Aaron. I could only reveal the making - but now that Christmas is over and presents are received. Ta Da... here it is.
coffee mat
Our new leather sofa had such large arms that you want to put your coffee cup and cake plate on it. But we did not want that to happen and we did not want piles of little tables everywhere. So the boys (elves) and I made this. 

The back covered in soft bamboo

The front. A main big piece of wood with smaller on the sides

I had seen an ad on facebook for something similar at $50. But this was just two pieces of wood from the local hardware shop, stapled gross grain ribbon at the top, middle and bottom and then covered in bamboo batting so the leather would not get scratched.

This fits on any sofa or Lazy boy in our house. A great alternative to cluttering the place with lots of tables.
Stapling the ribbon on
Gluing on the batting

I link to these places and crazy mum quilts.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cooking from the books - Cordon Blue Cookery book

I don't know about you, but I have a pile of cookbooks and magazines for inspiration. But a lot of the time I just don't get around to using the recipes that I mean to. But I have decided to occasionally cook one of the recipes.

The first recipe is .... Berry fruit flan - Pate Sucree... from Cordon Bleu Cookery book page 389
sweet pastry

Page 389
Page 390
Years ago when I did my OE in my 20's I completed the Introduction to Cookery course with Cordon Bleu at 114 Marlybone Lane, London, England. At the time there were only a few places you could do Cordon Bleu courses and Marlybone Lane was the original school. I loved it. This is my cookbook from my time there. This sweet pastry we turned into Tarte aux Fraise. (Strawberry tart). Today I turned it into a raspberry and strawberry tart and glazed it with some sieved left over raspberry jam, instead of the traditional apricot.
Although the cookbook advises to use a pastry board or slab, I have only ever used the kitchen bench and there seems to be no impact to the sweet pastry because of that. You use the first two fingers and your thumb held together to blend the sugar, butter and eggs before gradually bringing in the flour. 
Chilling in the fridge is mandatory. Do not miss that step, or make the pastry the day before. 
When rolling out the pastry I put it onto the baking paper that will sit directly on the oven tray and I use the cling film from refrigerating the pastry on top so that it does not stick to the rolling pin. You do not want to add any flour when rolling as it will completely change the pastry.

Watch the cooking time. I forgot mine and it became a bit beyond golden but was OK.
Once the pastry has cooled, brush it with a thinned jam. This seals the pastry and stops it getting soft. Cordon Bleu always taught us to use sieved apricot jam thinned down with lemon. But I had leftover raspberry jam which I used and it accentuated the berry taste. Place the fresh fruit on top and then use your brush and jam and glaze all over. It was as delicious as I remember and I can't think why I have not been making this, I think the last time I did it was when in London while on the course.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Scrap quilt for charity.

charity quilt
 In October I finished this scrap quilt top for the Orphanage that we support - Hope Homes International. I am calling it "red line". Most of the materials are donated bits and pieces from people who I quilt with on a retreat once a year.
The red material was cut to 1 inch strips and I nearly threw it out. But then sometimes scrap quilts need some sort of item making it cohesive and I decided that would work. Now I need to sandwich, quilt and bind it. But really happy with the outcome.
Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts

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