Friday, August 29, 2014

Number 21

Patchwork, Quilting
Yes this is charity quilt number 21. Off to Hope Homes in the package. A real kids quilt. The centre Winnie the Pooh and the alphabet are a panel. The rest was some matching strips which I have added. But it all looks like it is one panel. I made this when I was on my quilting retreat recently. Started it, cut it, patched it together, sandwiched it, quilted it (some straight line quilting, some stipple and some outlining) and then bound it. All in about 4 hours. Yippeee!!! Was so intent on getting it finished that I forgot to take process photos.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Best Date ever

Well that is what he told me when I let him watch 20 minutes of the all blacks game while we were on our date night! I took a photo to prove it.

We had dinner out, then went for a walk in a nearby scenic reserve (very reminiscent of when we were dating), then went and had a cup of tea and viewed the Bledisloe Cup match for 20 minutes while waiting for the movie start time. Watched 100 step journey and came home. Great night out and I scored brownie points!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wow a Christmas present completed already

patchwork and quilting
 Way back here my Mother in Law decided to try making a quilt. It was gorgeous but when she finished I think that was it!! So I was the receiver of scraps. I have been pondering for ages about what to do. In the end I made two cushion covers to go on the spare bed with the quilt she made.

I do hope that she likes them! I am trying to branch out and do different quilting. So am quite pleased with the result on these. It is so much easier to practice FMQ on small pieces! Will have to do more.
The centre of each block

Two cushions ready for Christmas
Linking to these places

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Amazing chocolate cake

At work the tradition is that on your birthday you bring in a cake. Everyone stands around the office, eats cake and has a bit of time out chatting about non work stuff.

I made this cake. I don't normally use this recipe as only Jakob and I really like it and I do not need to eat a whole cake myself!! Plus it uses two blocks of chocolate. This is a super dense, very nutty flavoured cake. The interesting thing is that the nutty flavour comes from putting fresh breadcrumbs in the mixture. Yes there are some almonds which enhance that. But when I first tried this cake I thought it must have been packed with almonds.

This is Kris recipe. I miss her. She is a great friend and when your great friend is on the other side of the world it is difficult to keep up to date. So thanks for making this cake and sharing the recipe Kris.

Kris's nutty chocolate cake.
250g butter
250g plain dark chocolate (over 60% cocoa solids)
250g Castor sugar (fine sugar NOT confectioners sugar)
250g ground almond
6 eggs
125g  fresh bread crumbs (which is about 4 slices of toast bread)

icing - 150g dark chocolate
           1 Tablespoon clear honey
           75g butter
180oC for 45min-1hr  in a 10 inch round cake tin

melt choc, cool. Cream butter and sugar and add eggs one at a time. It does curdle with that many eggs, but don't panic. Pour in chocolate and mix. Add almonds and breadcrumbs and fold in until coated.
Cook. If you want, when it is out of the oven you can prick holes in the top and pour over 2 tablespoons brandy.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's not just me!!

refashion business shirts
When I was away on my yearly quilting retreat I sat by Colleen. Now that it not unusual in itself but it was really funny that we were in the same seating this year and we were the only two people using recycled fabric. I wished I had a photo of what Colleen made. She had all her husbands old business shirts that had worn through at the collar and cuffs and had cut them into rectangles and made it into the most gorgeous summer beachy look quilt. 
Colleen and I upcycling a storm
I was also using business shirts big time. My nightie had ripped as the back was just so worn. But the bottom material was still really good (it also had been a refashion). So I still needed a nightie as I was short. Add one blue and white pinstripped business shirt and voila, a new nightie. All the binding ws made by me too. The blue binding at the bust and sleeve was another cotton shirt and the neck binding was a stripe business shirt.

So for those who know the band "Flight of the Concords", due to the material this nightie is made from I have named it "business time"!
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Number 20 which I think is the best yet

Yes this is Number 20 Charity quilt for the kids at Hope Homes International. 23 is the goal at the moment and I am shipping in a couple of weeks. A few weeks ago I posted about Hazel gifting me piles of material and books for the orphans. In amongst it all were a few unfinished quilts.

Pining it all together

Stipple quilting
As soon as I saw this I knew I had to finish it and get it away with the others. There were two very large corners completed and some rows. So after a bit of unpicking, straightening and then sewing together, voila this amazing quilt. It took me a total of one day from 9am to 9pm to sew, pin, baste, quilt and bind.

To get it pumped out quickly I just reverted to large stipple quilting as that is my fastest technique.

Linking to these places.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Black currant jam

We have no Jam in the house. Wow unbelievable. So I rummaged through the freezer and found 1.5kg of black currants. Aaron is away for work, the boys are in bed, so I whipped up 8 jars of jam. Yummy. I used my recipe here

Had some of the end bits all warm over cold vanilla icecream, so yes!!!

I link to these places.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fabulous Birthday

Well another year older. I was really blessed by lots of people for my birthday. The girls made me cupcakes for birthday cake and gave me lovely homemade cards and a framed collage. My sister, niece and nephew sang me a gorgeous happy birthday over the phone, I wasn't as gracious as I could have been as it woke me and I was in a bit of a fog when answering!!

Aaron and I went out to Chillingworth Road fine dining and had an 8 course degustation menu. Wow it was amazing. I did try to convince him that the six course one was enough but we went 8. I could not eat the last one, but it was stunning food.

Then as a family we all went to live jazz at Freemans on Sunday afternoon.
Fine Dining at Chillingworth Road

Wearing my designer dress!

This is now a typical scene at family outings

Carmen and friends playing jazz

Older and wiser!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

It gets messier before it gets tidy

That is the conclusion I came to when trying to tidy my sewing area.
 With working full time I just do not have the time to get behind the sewing machine and when I do there are so many projects that I find it hard to start. So I did a huge clean up. Part of this is also inspired by a second hand sewing cabinet that I bought and want to use. But it does not have storage so I need to sort through my stuff first.

I think it is going to take another few sorting out days before I get there!!!
Poor old Jakob had to have four teeth taken out. They were wobbly and the adult teeth were protuding through the gum but somehow instead of pushing out the little teeth they went sideways. This is post extraction. He was so good but did find it a bit much.

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....