Saturday, 16 February 2013

I made a feather!!!!

Today has been one of those productive days I haven't had for a long while. I did the supermarket shop early and fitted a quick trip to Waterperry Gardens to get some pot grown crocus (I can see no sign of any coming up in my garden and suspect the wet weather we had last year has rotted the bulbs in the ground.). Then it was back to run a few errands before making up a big batch of Somerset Sausage Casserole for lunch. A big batch means I have some to freeze.  After that I decided I needed to pull up my big girl pants and get on with the January Bee Block.

Lucy requested the feather block by AMH. The first time I'd read the instructions it seemed to be written in a foreign language. Mainly because the pattern assumes you're making a quilt worth of feathers, not a Stingy Brit trying to make it out of scraps. I couldn't get my head round working out how to get the feather strips to run in the right direction. Di helpfully sent me some pictures. The best tip she gave me was staggering the scraps and I went with this method for making one side of the feather.


I really struggle with my left and right so reversing something can really challenge me.  Then I hit upon an idea. I flipped over the pattern piece and traced through the directional lines.  I lined up strips and kept adding enough until I could fit the pattern piece on in its opposite orientation.


Then in no time at all it seemed I'd made a whole feather block. It wasn't half the drama I was expecting and it does mean that I feel less guilty in getting back to adding some more squares to my lovely vintage sheet quilt. I still have bee blocks to make, but they are at least February ones and it is still February!

Super Saturday Production

I hope you like it Lucy? Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my last post. I'm off to answer more of them. My Mojo may not be back but at least I was smiling as I sewed up this feather.

Friday, 15 February 2013

No Sew Mojo

So what do you do when your Mojo decides that it really really doesn't want to come back?

It feels like my sewing mojo has been gone for months. I thought it was coming back when I received those wonderful vintage sheet fat quarters. However, a stinking cold seems to have driven my mojo back into hiding. Even though it's on it's way out my mojo is showing no sign of wanting to return.  I may have felt more inclined to finish my vintage sheet quilt if I had managed to find anything suitable online to back it with. I bid on a couple of sheets on ebay but the prices went way higher than I was prepared to pay for a used sheet. So it lays discarded over a chair in the dining room.

I think it's not helping that each month I'm feeling a huge pressure to sew bee blocks. I still have a January one to complete before I can even think about February. I'd joined the bee's in such enthusiasm and now they feel like a huge chore.  I no longer window shop at online fabric stores and even the lovelies that pop up over on flickr don't inspire me to get sewing.  I'm beginning to wonder if I've fallen out of love with sewing. It's a scary thought.

What I have been doing a lot of is cooking and reading. I've read over 10 books this year already and I'm not even speed reading. I also had book club this week too. Next times choice is a real tome of a novel. So it's as well as I'm the mood for reading.

I've also not missed a day of project 365, even though some days I am challenged to find some good inspiration for a photograph.

Chief got down here last weekend. It was a flying visit. (In other words over four hours of driving for him to spend three hours with me.) I hadn't seen him since early December so it was lovely to see him and give him his Christmas presents.  I'm still waiting for mine as he's not been shopping yet. I teased him I may get extra as I'm having to wait.

We have our fingers crossed that he can get down next weekend and stay for a whole night. We have talked about getting a night away, but that seems unlikely so we'll keep the money in the kitty for another time. He tells me Paris is still on the agenda for the warmer weather and when his Valentines card arrived he asked me if I noticed the French script on the card (I had).

Valentines Day

I'm hoping I can at least get the January Bee block made over the weekend. How will you be spending your weekend?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Country Mushrooms

After seeing this picture on flickr as part of my project 365 a couple of you have asked me to blog about the recipe.


I first had this many years ago at a neighbours when they did this as a starter.  We often increase quantities and have it as an indulgent lunch. Our neighbours reproduced the recipe when our village did a recipe book as a fundraiser. Originally I think it's a Michael Barry recipe.

  • Large Open Mushrooms. If you're doing this as a starter you may just want to do one per person. Above was for two of us for a lunch time snack.  (The big flat open ones are better than the ones you often see stuffed as in Portabello Mushrooms.)
  • A tablespoon of double cream per mushroom.
  • A generous knob of butter per mushroom.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • A table spoon of freshly chopped parsley per mushroom.
Remove the stalks of the mushrooms and place gill side up in a large oven proof dish.  Place a table spoon of cream in each mushroom. Some may run out but don't worry about that. Add a generous knob of butter to the centre of each mushroom and then season well with salt and black pepper.
Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 425F/220C for about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the parsley and serve straight away with some lovely crusty bread to mop up the juices.  

Not good for those on a diet! But as occasional indulgent lunch I love it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Since I started coming down with it on Friday, I've had the most stinking cold. (Probably along with half the population at the moment!) So I have spent hardly any time online. No time on Facebook or reading blogs, very little time checking emails or looking on flickr. It's felt strangely liberating only not. I start to miss seeing what everyone is up to and catching up with other people's news.

On the back of so much illness over the last few months I need a cold like I need a hole in the head. Chief didn't risk coming down at the weekend as he's only just getting over a lurgy and the last thing he wanted was whatever I've had. Which actually sounds worse than I think it is. I'm sure that anyone witnessing one of my prolonged coughing fits would want to keep as far away as possible!

So just as I was getting on top of my stitchy commitments I have slipped behind again.  I have fabric to show you though.


The top fabric - An Architextures charm pack is my one fabric splurge for months and was justifiable because I have a small amount of birthday money which I chose to spend some of on this. I've decided this birthday money should be spent on fun things so I'm not just putting it towards every day expenses but choosing things as I see them that would be a treat and a little outside my new thrifty way of trying to live.  

The second pile of charms arrived in today's mail. When I was told I'd had fabric come in the mail I couldn't think what it could be as I'd not ordered any other fabric. It turned out it was my 5" Charms from the Low Volume Charm Swap. There is a lovely selection and I especially like the birds in the top charm. 

So that's what's been happening around here of late. I'm hoping to have a give away soon to thank you all for your support and kind words over the last few months. I just have to work out what!

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