Tuesday, 27 August 2013


After finishing my log cabin quilt I wanted to do another quick(er) project.  I had a couple of charm packs I'd bought ages ago and not done anything with.  I thought I'd try and make a lap quilt for my Mother for Christmas.  So last night I got out the packs.
I've used here a block colour charm pack and a pattern one.  I've picked out the blue and pink ones and as I didn't have enough of both of those to make the size I want, I've put purple in to beef it up.
Here's Pippa choosing her favourite charms!  She is always curled at my feet when I'm quilting!  She's the perfect quilting company.

So I've laid out the colours that I like together.  I want one block colour and one patterned piece per pinwheel.

I saw a tip for doing pin wheels on Missouri Star Quilt tutorials  (which is a great source for quilting tips) so I've followed that.

You basically put your charms together, right side and then sew the whole way around the outside.

Then you want to cut them on the diagonal twice.

Here's all of mine cut up!

Next you fold these out.  I folded mine out to the colour block.  You want them all to go in the same direction so the pinwheels sit well together

I have about 18 pinwheels on my quilt top so it's a good idea to get yourself a system!  I sew all mine, cut them all together and then iron them all out.

Halfway through!  Man it's a lot of cutting and ironing!

You want them all ironed out and then you have to piece them together.  Be really careful here as it's so easy to sew them the wrong way!

Once you've sewn all the pieces together you should end up with something that looks like this!
And when they're all done - something that looks like this!!

I reckon all of that hard work deserves a cup of tea!

I shall finish these tonight and then start piecing together!  I'm not sure if I might put a lattice border through them beforehand! hmmmmmm......

Pinwheels are so fun tho and this method is so quick!  I just love to see the quilt top come up fast like this.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Log Cabin Quilt

Don't you just love those weekends when you have nothing to do!?  Well, for me they just don't come around often enough.  Between work, social commitments, family and of course the dog, I really have to work hard to squeeze in the things I love!  Like my hobbies.

I bought the fabric for this quilt when I went to Seattle Christmas 2012....I discovered JoAnn fabric store and fell in LOVE!  Why do we not have stores like this in the UK?  Hobby craft just pales into comparison.  And while we're at it - why is fabric just SO much more expensive in the UK and we barely get the range.  My local store is over priced and understocked!  No pretty patterns.

Anyway I think I spent like an afternoon in the store and packed a whole extra case to take home and even with the cost of the excess baggage I still saved probably £250/300 on what it would have cost me at home.  I bought some haberdashery products, more fabric than is in this quilt and honestly it was one of the highlights of the holiday for me!  I can't wait to go back to the states so I can go again.  I wish they'd start international shipping!

My first quilt was a double and it just doesn't quite hang properly on a king size bed.  I didn't know how hard this was going to be to do on my domestic sewing machine.  The top came together really quickly and log cabin pattern is so forgiving but when it came to the piecing - oh my lord - it hurt!  My arms are killing me!

So it became a version famous UFP in my house!  Not only was it tough to move but because it's light and dark I found it very difficult to get a suitable thread and ended up working with invisible thread which is really difficult!  Does anybody have any better suggestions on how to do this?  I love the contrast of light and dark fabric??

Yesterday I woke up and decided it was going to get done!  It took me from 1130am until 1am in the morning but I did it!  I'm so proud of it.  

And it's super cosy and now I intend to make some pillows from the scraps to go with it!

My next quilt project is going to be to finish off the Christmas table runners I started last year and then a lap quilt!

Blouse fabric?

I am going to make a blouse. Not sure which fabric to use. Light blue or dark blue? I think the light but maybe it's too summery for autumn?

I'm rubbish at making decisions and so in love with fabric. Ill probably end up buying both! 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Girls Best Friend

My lovely girl Pippa. 

The boyfriend is an Ass Producer so he's on the road filming A LOT! 

It gets lonely so last year I begged for a puppy. 

I truly lucked out with Pippa. She's the best!

She never leaves my side when he's away and she gives the best cuddles. 

She's just divine! 

Banana Pud

I fancied a wee supper before bed

I really wanted chocolate but I'm watching what I eat so I needed something sweet

I chargrilled a banana in a tiny squeeze of honey, threw on a few raspberries, added a dollop of low fat yoghurt!  

Craving sorted! Yum

Patisserie Course

I signed up to a patisserie course today with my friend.  It starts in Sept for 10 wks.

I'm so excited.  I recently got a kitchen aid so I am really looking fwd to giving it a proper workout.  

I'm thinking I'll be able to whizz up something as amazing as this Patisserie Valerie cake!

They've recently opened a store in Glasgow.  I used to eat in the Soho one all the time in London.  Scrambled egg and bacon from Valeries was the best hangover cure!  And if I had the money a slice of cake to take away for afternoon tea!  Yum Yum.

If I can make a cake half as beautiful as this after my 10 weeks I will be happy.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Adventure Puss

The cat came to us from a rescue shelter.  We love him.  He's been an indoor cat ever since we got him, but since we got the dog, he seems to want to go out.  We don't let him as he was found a stray and the rescue centre advised us against letting him out in case he's just a wanderer.

He's managed to get out on a couple of occasions, but he normally scares himself silly within seconds and runs back inside, which makes us think he has always been a house cat.

Anyway yesterday afternoon he must've climbed out the open kitchen window and went on an adventure to next doors garden!  Our next door neighbour is a dog walker and always has a garden full of dogs.  We could hear all the dogs going barking mad over something, and then Pippa started growling and the next minute Puss appears through the kitchen window!  Wherever he'd been he'd given himself an awful fright and I don't think he'll be going out again for a while.

He'll be sticking to his duvet now.

Summer Fruit cobbler

Do you ever manage to miss the 2 hours where fruit is perfectly ripe and then wonder what you're going to do with it?  If you can't be bothered standing over the stove for 40 minutes stirring jam, then I'd suggest a cobbler!

I threw this together for a week night pud.  It was stupid good!

I sliced up 3 apricots, 3 nectarines and 1/2 a punnet of raspberries.  The good thing about this is if the fruit is starting to turn, you just chop out the bad bits.

Put them all in a pan with a tablespoon of sugar - I used golden castor sugar, but any sugar will do.

Add a good splash of lemon juice and some cinnamon

And then just stir them all around on the stove until they go a bit gooey and look like this

Transfer them into a small dish and add the crumble

For my crumble I used all purpose flour, another table spoon of brown sugar and about the same of butter.  rub it all together until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add just a little bit of water.  Dab the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit and put in the oven until the topping browns.

I'd leave it a few minutes to cool down after removing from the oven as it will be too hot to handle.

Then serve with some good vanilla ice cream!

So simple, so tasty!  And you could do it with any combination of fruit!

Birthday Weekend

Last time I wrote, the boyfriend was in the kitchen making the dinner.  Seafood pancakes?  Well they turned out real good.  

I just love the combination of the soft pancake, the zinginess of the seafood and the crispness of the plain salad.  Yum!

I don't really get excited about my own birthdays anymore.  That stopped when I turned 30.  I've also been in a state of mind where I am 34 for the past year, so turning 34 feels a bit like groundhog day!  I'm not really sure why.  I just kind of skipped being 33.  So anyway I'm 34.  That's not to say my birthday wasn't lovely all the same.  The boyfriend gave me some lovely presents including tickets to go see The Band Perry in November when they play Glasgow which I am excited about.

Pippa gave me lots of cuddles!

I went to the salon in the morning for a lovely massage.  It was amazing as I hadn't been in quite some time.  Then we had a walk along Byres Road and looked around all the antique stores.  And we stopped at Kember and Jones for some birthday cake afternoon tea!

Chocolate and raspberry.  Delish!

Then there was just enough time to dash home, spruce up and go to the crab shakk for dinner.

Doesn't the boy scrub up well?

I've wanted to go to this place for such a long time!  I had langoustines and oysters to start with

The oysters were really good!

The boyfriend had tais and scallops - you can tell he enjoyed it.

And for mains he had the crab.  Which was done really well

He was going to make sure he got every piece of meat out of this bad boy!

I think a bit of that shell landed in the other diners bowl!

 I had some halibut in a thai sauce.  It was not good :(
It cost me £19.95 and here were 4 pieces of halibut and a burnt sauce.  They'd over done the spices and it just tasted scorched.  Quite irritating really.

Never mind :(  We really enjoyed our meal but I won't be rushing to go back.  I grew up on seafood at home.  We had our own boat, our own creels and we ate lobster and crab as often as we wanted, so I always grudge paying the prices it costs to get good seafood down here.  But it was a nice meal out.
Also - they didn't have a pinot grigio on the wine menu (!!!) Weird.

We then went for cocktails and drank a few more than we should have.

the next day I snuggled up with Pippa and ordered mexican food and watched movies!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Warning! The boyfriends cooking dinner

Friday night.  I'm knackered.  I did all the housework this morning as it's my birthday tomorrow and I've got the new diamond edition blue ray Jungle Book DVD cued up on the player ready to watch!  Oh how I've been longing to watch the Jungle Book and could not find it anywhere!

Anyway.... this is the scene in my kitchen at the moment..... I think every pot, every dish, every utensil has made its way out of the cupboard and is essential to use in this master piece he is creating!

To be fair to him - it does smell delicious and when it's right, it's one of my favourite recipes of his - seafood pancakes!  I've just heard an exuberant 'yes' bellow through - so it must have mean he's tossed his pancake successfully!  This was preceded by some expletives and a smell of burning so I think the others found their way to the trash.....

Does the same thing happen in your house?  sometimes it's easier to call the take away than rope them in.

Puss puss

Rarely do I get cuddles from the cat.  He's the boyfriends cat through and through, but when the boyfriend is away, the cat will play.

Look at him in this pic - he actually looks pleased to be snuggled up with me - or maybe it's just the flash in his eyes.

I love him.  He's so soft and furry and cosy warm and he's just the sweetest puss but I'm second best in his world...... and that's OK.