Thursday 29 February 2024

February round up.

Another month is done and even though I had a dance with COVID I managed to carry on and sew.  On the one day that the virus made me too poorly to concentrate I was still able to get in some time on my daughter in law's crochet blanket. Her granny made it for her many years ago, it needed a little love. Many of the yarn ends have come adrift and need to be resecured. I got about half way through that.
There was no nice border or edge treatment and Lee agreed that I could add one, so I also made a start on adding a purple shell edge.
So if I did that on a bad day, what did I do on not so bad days and good days?
I pulled out a bundle of Debbie Mumm fabrics that I acquired in a box of scraps. There was an orphan churn dash block with them and I have taken inspiration from that.
I have continued to make churn dash blocks using the fabric scraps.
I've made six so far which means I now have a total of seven.
They are all different sizes so I'll have to get creative when it comes time to put them together. 
I've found time to work on my Black Cat cross stitch.
He has progressed further since this photo was taken. I was hoping that he would be completed today, but I don't think I will manage that.
I'm happy to say that as well as all of that I also managed to complete my monthly goals list.
So lets have a look at that.
Top of my list, the Chook shed challenge. This month Deanna picked #2 which for me meant I must focus on my EPP.
I completed the Facebook flowers.
This was a bundle I purchased from facebook. Some of the flowers had been sewn together, some were basted. There was no pattern, just basted hexies and a bundle of fabric.
I went with what felt good.
Now to get it quilted and bound.
Once that was done I started to sew together some diamonds I had basted.
I have to say I'm loving these bright colours.
I think this will be a very happy project.
I also completed my two RSC Kiwi birds.
I cross stitched a Christmas ornament and completed the finishing on it and Januarys completed stitching.
I managed to do more that 15 mins of something every day, even when I was ill.
I did precut a project to take along to quilting club, but couldn't attend as I had the virus.
And last but not lease I tried not one, but several new recipes this last month.
The latest two were courgette and cheese scones and also rhubarb and orange jam.

What a busy month.
So what's in store for March?
More of the same, but without the COVID.
Yes I will cut a scrap project for club day even though I didn't sew Februarys.
Maybe once I get my monthly ornament stitched I can complete the black cat.
I wonder what number Deanna will pull and what colour the RSC will be?
And here's hoping there will be some more new recipes to try.
How was your February?

Monday 26 February 2024

Busy, busy, busy.

So on Saturday I said I was off to make jam. And I did.
I couldn't find just the right recipe, so I mixed a few together and made up my own. 
I used the nectarines that a pal had given me. And also some home grown chilli.
Here it is, Nectarine and chilli jam. It's quite nice on toast and sure wakes up the taste buds in the morning. It's pretty good on a cracker with cheese too. 
So happy that I took notes about what I was doing.
I'll be making more.
I also found plenty of time to sew and tired of making tumbling blocks, I started to sew them together.
I'm not following the shade/colour value rule here, just putting diamonds together to create a happy spotty and stripey quilt top.
I think it looks happy.
I have lots more blocks to add and plenty more diamonds to sew together.
No grand children this week as Grandad had an upset tummy and didn't want to share.
This morning I have been busy with my Debbie Mumm scraps and created two more churn dash blocks.
I've also planned and cut another but I'll save it for tomorrow, or another day.
Hopefully once I am done with some chores and eat some lunch I will have time to stitch a little more on the black cat cross stitch. Later this week my cross stitching focus shifts back to the secret ornaments as we begin a new month. It will also be time to learn the new RSC colour and what Number Deanna picks for the Chookshed challenge.  
That is my news for today, I'm off to be busy for a while.

Saturday 24 February 2024

More new recipes, Zoom progress and making plans

I mentioned in my last post that I had two more new to me recipes to try out. And here are the results.
First a bakewell slice.
Not strictly new to me as I have made them before, but not using this particular recipe.
I would definitely use this one again, the sponge turned out incredibly light even if the image is somewhat blurry.
Hmm and it would seem that I didn't pin this particular version of the recipe. Good thing I printed a copy.
Next was a recipe Tony wanted to try.
We both enjoy a good stirfried Chinese style meal and have several go to recipes. This one has been around for a long time I'm not sure how we have never tried it before. 
This version is a keeper too as we both very much enjoyed it.
On a stitching note. 
Chooky called one of her short notice zoom sessions this morning. It only lasted a short time and was in full swing when I arrived. So I pulled out my EPP box and sat and sewed while I listened to everyone chatting.
I made eight wee tumbling blocks. My pile of completed blocks is getting taller. 
These are fast and fun to make.
In other news, time to show an update on my kitty cat cross stitch.
He has been snoozing since early in January when I put him down, this is what he looked like.
And after a couple of afternoon sessions this last week he is looking a little different.
He's still got his eye on me. LOL
My plans for the remainder of today and the next few days?
I have a bowl of stone fruits to use up. A pal gave me a bag of nectarines, there are also some more plums and apricots in there that need to be used.
I did find a recipe for Nectarine and chilli jam.....(Another new recipe).
Might have to give that a go and also make a batch of mixed stone fruit jam or maybe another crumble or cake.
I kinda want to continue stitching diamonds together, but the kitty cat is crying for attention too.
Our grand children are visiting tomorrow so I won't get much done while they are here, I had better get on with the hot jam making today and perhaps a fruit crumble tomorrow. 
Well there you go, I made a plan. 
I'm off to make jam.

Thursday 22 February 2024

Well that didn't go to plan.

So I went back to work yesterday, I don't think I lasted an hour.
The VID came back, my throat and my head started to hurt and my boss declared that I clearly wasn't well enough to return. Yet I felt well for the previous two days, I got about and did loads of stuff, then bam it comes back. So frustrating.
Oh well, a few more days of pottering at home.
I mentioned in my last post that my only monthly goal still to achieve was to try out a new recipe. 
And here it is, plum and oatmeal crisp.
Not terribly adventurous I know but the first time I have made it. 
I have to say it was delicious.
Tony and I have both enjoyed it.
In future I would add a little more flour to the filling as it was still quite runny, there was a note about this on the recipe.
I have two more new to me recipes to try out later today. I'll keep you posted.
On Tuesday I put the borders on to the red hexie top. I had thought to applique the top to the borders but when it came to it I just trimmed the hexies to a straight edge and sat at my machine and put it on with a quarter inch seam. Quick and easy.
Let me see what else have I been up to?
I did make time to work on the black cat cross stitch.
I put a final treatment on to the secret cross stitch ornaments.
I cut some more diamond papers for the spots and stripes EPP blocks.
So what's next?
I've been thinking about those Debbie Mumm fabrics again. Maybe I'll pull them back out of hiding today and make a few more churn dash blocks. 
But first a cup of tea.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Yesterday was a good day.

Thank you for all of your get well wishes and comments. I felt pretty good when I got up yesterday which I am sure is all down to your lovely comments. Most of my COVID symptoms are cleared and gone. Hooray!  I took myself off for a walk before breakfast and still felt good. 
After a few chores I ventured in to my wee room to see what fun I might get up to.  The other day Tony complained that there was a hole in his garden hat. I took a look and although I could patch it I decided to make him a new one. I had just the right fabric. It really didn't take long to do. And as the man himself wasn't here to model it Ted sat in for him. Yes I know that is nautical fabric not gardeney, but I know he will love it.
You can see more of the fabric from the back.
It's reversible!
But Tony tells me he likes it blue side out. He is delighted that I made him a hat. I might get around to making one for me too. 
I will repair his gardening hat after it has a good wash but until I do at least he has something to look after his head and then there will be a spare for times when I decide one needs a wash.
Once that was done and I had tidied up I pulled out the RSC box and the red scraps box.
It didn't take long to get two little red Kiwis made.
They are nestled in the box along with the background and beak fabrics and of course last months Kiwi.
Next I got on with some secret stuff! LOL
I mounted the two Christmas ornaments that I have stitched and just need to find a pretty trim for them. I also set up the stitching tin with everything I need to make the next couple. I'll start the next one at the beginning of March.
Once that was done I told myself I was going to cross stitch my Black cat but found myself playing with spots and stripes instead.
I made seven more blocks yesterday.
Yesterday was a good day.
Today is looking pretty good too, I've been out for my walk nice and early. I'm not due back at work until tomorrow. What to do with myself?
Looking at my monthly goals list the only thing I didn't achieve yet is to try a new recipe.  I found that last night and will tell you more once I have a photo.
I'm off to see what I can find to keep me busy for a while. 

Saturday 17 February 2024

A New Start....

Well I might have COVID, but I didn't let that stop me.
At times the virus wins and I have to stop for a while, but I'm happy to say those times don't last for long and in between them I can get on and do. I've had a busy enough week even though I was feeling under the weather. The weekend is no different.
On Friday I peeled and salted our little onion harvest. Tony had planted these especially for me to pickle. Saturday morning I rinsed them off and got them into jars.
Next job was to slice and salt all of those tomatoes I harvested last week.
Yes, that is more onions nestled in there with them. They have to sit in salt overnight before I can rinse and cook them up.  
After a wee snooze I picked up my EPP. I have been working slowly on this all week and really didn't have much left to do.
I was very happy to reach this point. It needs a good press then I will applique it onto a blue paisley border. A job for another day.
Time for a new start.
With plenty of day left I pulled out my next EPP project. These bright spots and stripes have been waiting their turn for a while. I bought them in February last year. 
You got to see them again in September when I did a little basting.
They have waited patiently in their project box until today. When I put the first few together.
They are very quick and easy to work with.
I'm going to enjoy this project in fact it may be difficult to set it aside in favour of attending to other commitments. 
I think it is safe to say that my Chookshed Stitchers Challenge for February is well and truly achieved.  I'll keep you up to date on my other commitments. 

Friday 16 February 2024

Tomatoes and RATs.

It's been a different sort of week.  I didn't manage to achieve all that I wanted to. On Sunday after the children had left I started to get a sore throat and a head ache. 
By Monday morning I felt worse, so opted to stay away from work. I did go for a short walk. A RAT was negative. I wasn't feeling too awful so I got on and did some EPP, sewing red hexies.  After harvesting our small crop of onions and laying them to dry in the sun and bringing in the ripe tomatoes and capsicum from the green house.
We had made too many mashed potatoes on Sunday so for supper on Monday we had tattie scones.
As I'm sure someone will ask....
Left over cold mashed potatoes, (I had about 1 cup full)  and flour. I'm not sure how much, I just add and knead until it feels 'right'. Knead until you have a good dough, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into wedge shapes , dust with a little more flour and cook in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they begin to brown then turn over. It must be a dry frying pan.
Serve warm with butter. They are great with eggs, jam, beans or on the side of an all day brekkie......I love them with just butter.
A great way to use up left over mash.
I've come across all manner of recipes for these on the internet, but my gran taught me to use just mash and flour.  And that works for me. 
By Tuesday I felt much worse, my poor throat was so sore, my nose was running and everything ached. I didn't go for a walk.  RAT was negative.  No sewing on Tuesday, but I did manage to fulfil my 15 min obligation with some very simple crochet.
I am rescuing this blanket for my daughter in law. Her granny made it many years ago and it is in need of some TLC. I also brought tomatoes in from the greenhouse.
I felt way better. Sore throat was gone, headache was gone, my nose was a little snuffly but much better. I walked in the sunshine, it was lovely then I brought tomatoes and capsicum in from the green house.  I also spent some time working on my secret Christmas Cross stitch.
RAT was negative, we went out for tea. It was Valentines day.
Yay! It was just a head cold, I can go back to work for my shift on Friday.
RAT was negative.
I felt great, I went out for a long walk before brekkie, visited the green house and brought in more fruit before heading out to grab some essentials from the store.
 When I got home I harvested the corn, that's 2 dozen cobs individually vacuum packed and tucked away in the freezer.
Lunch time my nose started to run again. 
By mid afternoon it was a river!
My headache was back.
I did another RAT.....
I didn't sleep much last night, I was up and down sneezing and blowing my nose.
My poor nose, I look like Rudolph.
No walk today, unless you count walking to the green house to water and collect the ripe fruit.
No work today either.
I think I'll spend the day sewing.
At some point I really do have to do something with all of those tomatoes!
I feel a batch of relish may happen, but not today.
I wonder what the weekend will bring?

Sunday 11 February 2024

Chookshed stitcher's challenge progress report.

Deanna pulled #2 for this month which means I get to work on my EPP. 
This is where it was at the beginning of the month.
I've made plenty of progress over the last week and a zoom session with Chooky was a great excuse to sit and sew some more. Toward the end of the session I got terribly excited as I thought I was adding the last flower.
Sadly I was wrong.
One more to go.
After the zoom ended I put it aside for a while and prepared some more red hexies
I also had a count and did some maths. I have plenty of red left to complete the quilt top, but not enough to make it any larger. But that's ok, it's a good lap size as it is or would even do as a cot cover.
Later in the day I was able to lift my needle again. The inspector appeared
And seized her moment when I put it down to go and make a cuppa.
After a quick inspection I was allowed to continue and here is where I left it at bedtime.
Just a few more red hexies required down the sides then I need to find a border fabric and decide how to attach it.
That means I can start a new EPP project soon.
But first I need to prepare myself, the house and Grandad for a day with Torstein and Charmaine. 

Wednesday 7 February 2024

New Scrappy Project and other news.

I've had a small collection of Debbie Mumm scraps for a while, I acquired them in a larger bundle. Among them was this one rather wavy block.  I unpicked it and tweaked things a little. 
Then added a border around it.
Next this wee image was precut and I turned it in to another churn dash.
Then I joined the two together with some cute wee four patches.
Two more pieces were cut from the remainder of a panel and they also became Churn dash blocks.
I managed to make them different sizes but that's ok, I can make them work.
That's all of the pictures used from the scrap collection, but I still have quite a few fabric pieces to play with. Once I know what to do with them I'll continue. 
That's not the only thing I've been busy with.
Boysenberry jam and Raspberry jam.
And lots of Rhubarb crumbles.
I've also made lots of progress on this months Christmas ornament which feels really good. 
I'm hoping to make progress on my Chookshed number 2 project this afternoon and tomorrow before work so hopefully I'll have some EPP progress to show you very soon. 

Friday 2 February 2024

February Goals.

Here we are planning for the second month of the year. My goals are pretty much the same as they were last month, they are listed right over there in my right side bar.
First up, the Chookshed Challenge. Deanna pulled #2 out of the hat this month which for me means I need to make some progress on my EPP.
I made a start on that last night, it looks a little different to the above image and I am hoping to get it finished before the month is over.
RSC this month is red, so there are two red Kiwi birds to be foundation paper pieced. 
Also on the agenda, a cross stitched Christmas ornament. Already started.
 I need to precut scraps for my club sewing day, already started.
I'm confidant I can manage to get in 15 mins of some hand work every day.
And my latest addition to the list, try a new recipe. I have a whole month to decide what to cook or bake. 
Here's to February.