Thursday, 22 December 2011

Well that's it ..................

Christmas really has crept up on me this year, more so than ever before I think.  I had a list of things still to make but wasn't happy with the microfibre diary covers I've been working on the last couple of days.  Quick and easy isn't really my thing and I need to spend more time on them to achieve anything remotely pleasing so decided to spend today finishing something started over a year ago!

13 hours later .......... the Sunflower's wired silk petals and leaves can be arranged as one pleases.

The machines, fabric and threads are being put away early in the morning to concentrate on some baking.  The kids like the things we always have so we always have the same things at Christmas ............ it's easier than "where's this?"  "why haven't we got that?".  Stilton and onion quiche, a bacon quiche, puff pastry sausage rolls, chocolate log and the beginnings of the Mascarpone trifle are on the agenda for tomorrow!

Wishing everybody a lovely Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012

Thursday, 15 December 2011


I had a go at Gina's Almond Paste Mince Pies.  Having left the paste in the fridge overnight it was rather difficult to pipe.  A quick zap in the microwave made it really squidgy but much easier:

They are nice but my favourite mince pie is still the orange and cream cheese recipe I first used back in the 80s ...........

For anybody that would like to try:

1lb plain flour
8oz butter
4oz lard (I used Trex yesterday as it was what I had)
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
8oz cream cheese (I used the cheapy basics one this time)
2 oz caster sugar

Rub fat into flour, add zest and mix with some of the orange juice.  Roll out and cut into 24 linings and lids (I usually get about 32).  Add 1 tsp of mincemeat to each tart.  Mix caster sugar with cream cheese and dollop a teaspoon onto the mincemeat before adding the lid.  Glaze with milk and bake for probably about 20 minutes at 190 (I tend to check the oven rather than time them).  The baked pies freeze really well.

Looking for some oven mitts I found a tutorial for some novel looking round pot holders.   I think the addition of binding makes for a neater finish though ...............

Peering over my shoulder, my dad was very complimentary about the chicken ones I was stitching.  Now I'm not sure why he would be so interested in oven stuff so guess he liked the fabric!  Hmmmmm ............ a quilted wine bottle carrier would be just the thing!!!

I used this tutorial but constructed a bit differently, particularly the side seams where I only stitched the top fabric and wadding together leaving the lining to be slip stitched in place for a neater finish.  The chicken fabric is quite heavily printed so I found just the one layer of wadding (Insul-Bright to help keep the wine at the preferred temperature for a while) adequate.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Laundry Adventures

I had some vintage fabrics that needed freshening up but included in the pile was a large piece of magenta cotton which I just knew was going to bleed .........

The rich magenta coloured fabric is no more (bottom right) but I can still use it, even overdye if necessary ........

and I have two of the most wonderfully dyed "colour catchers"

Thankyou for all your lovely comments.  Everybody's name was duly written, cut out and neatly folded then my husband randomly picked Linda so a little package of goodies will soon be flying across the globe to Australia.