Archive for September, 2011

September 18, 2011

Yay, a finished project

I’ve finished the baby blanket I started a couple of weeks ago, using some of my quilt festival fabric (and some from last year).  Here it is:

I’ve kept it simple using five by six, 5″ squares pieced together for the top and lovely soft polar fleece for the back (with no batting/wadding as the fleece makes it nice and warm anyway).  I found this tutorial from one of my favourite blogs to create a boarder/binding.

Boarder/binding pinned to the fleece backing

It works well but I found it a little fiddly in the corners and found I had to stop after one edge then re-adjust the material to do the next edge.

The corners

I was worried about the fleece stretching if I quilted across it so I did a square 1/2″ in from every other square which worked fine.

I love the snail fabric!

Finished size is approximately 25″ x 30″ so I’m thinking it will be suitable as a pram blanket.  I plan to make more of these with different fabrics, potentially for a craft stall at some point in the future.  Hopefully you will see more here soon.

Lovely fleece back

September 16, 2011


Last weekend I made some plum and ginger chutney.  It’s been ages since I last made chutney, and I seem to remember it taking ages.  But this was very easy and pretty quick.  I acquired some plums from a colleague who had a glut of them and then found this recipe and had about half of the plums required.  It’s very simple; put all of the ingredients plums, ginger, onion, garlic, sugar, sultanas and vinegar (chopped where necessary) in a sauce pan…

Chutney raw

…bring to the boil and then simmer for 45 mins.  I ended up leaving it for about an hour as it was still quite runny.

Chutney cooking

Then leave to cool and put in a jar.

It tastes good.  Not very gingery, if anything I would prefer it more gingery, but that’s just personal preference (I seem to love ginger at the moment, especially ginger tea and dark chocolate ginger biscuits, yum!).

I have also acquired a couple of cooking apples and a marrow.  I’m thinking crumble with the apples but I’m not sure what to do with the marrow??

September 10, 2011

Bits and bobs

Sadly not much creative activity to blog about recently.  I’ve been busy with work, my church holiday bible club last week (entertaining 170+ kids aged four to eleven for four mornings, awesome but shattering with work in the afternoons!) and various evening activities starting up after the summer break.

There have been a few food creations though.  I managed to make a Tagine one evening last week.  If you can call it a tagine as it wasn’t cooked in a tagine dish and I didn’t follow a tagine recipe but I did base it on one I have made in the past.  Here’s the basics of what I did:

1. Heated some oil in a casserole dish on the hob.

2. Added chopped vegetables roughly in the following order: onion (let them fry a bit), butternut squash, yellow pepper, a few new potatoes and an aubergine.  Stirring in between and letting them fry a bit.

3. I then added spices.  My supplies are limited at the moment so I just added come paprika, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  Just a few shakes of each, maybe a little more paprika.

4. Added two tins of chopped tomatoes, a vegetable stock cube in a little water and some tomato purée

5.  Finally I added a handful of dried apricots chopped and a couple of dried figs chopped (these virtually disappear but give a lovely sweetness)

6. Brought it to the boil then put on the lid and put it in a low oven whilst I went out to Zumba.

7. Back from Zumba (just over an hour later) and it was pretty much ready.

I had it with cous cous two nights and put four portions in the freezer.  Easy, and fairly quick for a week night if you exclude the oven time.  As you can see I slightly over filled my dish so it boiled over a little in the oven but that didn’t really matter, just a bit more cleaning up to do.

I also made a chocolate cheesecake using this recipe from All Recipes

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product or get to taste it because I gave it away.  But it looked pretty good.  It was a little too gooey, it could have done with being a bit more set and I used white chocolate instead of dark because that’s what I had and it lacked a bit of flavour strength (from what I could tell licking the bowl!).  It also dirties a lot of bowls…

Whipped cream, cream cheese, melted chocolate, cocoa powder mixed with water (off photo bowl for crushing biscuit and pan for melting butter)

My only bit of sewing has been at sewing group where I did manage to get all of the squares for one of my baby blankets pieced together.  The squares are 5″ and I did five by six.  Hopefully I will add the border and the backing tomorrow and take a better picture.

September 1, 2011

Another festival and another pier!

It was a windy day on Southsea seafront last Saturday which was a good thing because there was a kite festival on.  There was an array of kites fluttering frantically in the wind and it was a great site.

I particularly liked these bright coloured fish…

And this flamingo…

There was also a formation kite flying display; sixteen kites flown is synchronised formation.  It was incredible that they didn’t end up in one big tangled mess.

Later in the day there was going to be a display with 45 kites but the sky was looking threatening and the wind was relentless so we didn’t hang around.  We did walk along to the pier though.   It looks quite good from a distance but up close its a bit sad and disappointing.   It  lacks a buzz of activity and is occupied largely by an arcade.  Cromer pier definitely wins out of the two.


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