Tuesday 30 June 2015

BBQ Weather

Today was hot - for England that is. Around our house it's about 28C and humid. Most definitely BBQ weather. So me and Pinterest got busy last night making up a shopping list. Today I shopped.

Tonight, at Emily's request we are having - 

Chopped Greek Salad with -

Very Greek Grilled Chicken Breasts, and pitas, and tzatziki. 

Then I filled the freezer. I did the meat and sauce prep for Dan Dan Noodles.

Some Vietnamese Pork Meatballs

Some Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Thighs

And some Asian Pork Tenderloin with a Peanut Sauce

So that us fed, bar a few salads, for the rest of the week. It will be me outside by the grill, cold drink in hand enjoying this summer weather. Silly not to. 

All the recipes above are on my Pinterest Savoury Foods board found under Susan Standen. All these recipes are new to me. Hope they're nice.


Friday 26 June 2015

Little Stitches

Just doing a little embellishing on my mini.

The letter 'M' is my favourite. Clockwise from the house I used chain and satin stitch, back stitch, running stitch, and finally, stem stitch. I'm only going to add a little colour to the background. I don't want to detract from the rainbow river of hexies. And as I stitch I consider how I am going to quilt it. Thinking about keeping it simple. 


Wednesday 24 June 2015

A Reveal

I love when the new issues of Love Patchwork & Quilting come out. I love it more when I have a project in them and I can finally show you what I've been working on. 

You all know that I fell in love with the Lighthearted line of fabric so it will come as no surprise that I begged Jenny (the editor) to let me make something with it for the magazine. She's super nice so she said yes. 

I made two cushions - one epp and one pieced - to suit people who had preferred methods of sewing and different skills. I have to say the epp one is my favourite. 

I had fun making a very traditional epp project and then appliquéing it to navy linen and using some 12w Aurifil to give real impact to the quilting. 

The second cushion has a bit of a look of an epp project but is indeed completely machine pieced. 

I wish I had bought more Lighthearted than I did, because I just know these are fabrics I will want to have in my stash for a long time, taking a fussy cut here and a fussy cut thee as the mood strikes. The fabrics also have fabulous borders on some of the prints and I utilised these when I was making the ba Kings for the cushions. 

I pieced borders onto other fabrics for contrast.

Ha! What a difference between the professional magazine photography and mine! But it is what it is. 

Anyway, I really loved the first cushion in particular so am very happy to finally be able to show you. As I've said before, having commissions is fabulous. Not being able to show you progress shots when I'm making them sucks. But it does seem to give me regular ta-dah moments. And those are fun. 


Tuesday 23 June 2015


There's been a five year old staying here. I'd forgotten what it was like. Fun. Laughter filled. Energetic. Sweet. And chaotic. 


Sunday 21 June 2015

Onwards and Upwards

So I finished one project.

And I'm really happy with it. Love that bold, colourful binding against the monochrome backing. But there was no time for sitting around. I needed to pull the fabric for the next project.

Another colourful one then. When and how did I get so busy? But it's all good fun because I get to do what I like doing in this busyness so no complaining here. 

Meanwhile, its been all about the housework this weekend, and cracking the whip to make two certain someone's clean their rooms too. Yup, visitors again. If we never had visitors goodness knows what on earth this house would look like. It's the only thing that keeps us in line. 

Oh and Father's Day. I did my duty and cooked a full English breakfast this morning. The girls showered him with love, etc. Here's to all the dads out there who do a great job and us lucky people who get to be a part of their lives. 


Wednesday 17 June 2015


I've been piecing...

And basting...

And quilting and binding.

That's what I'm doing right now. Sewing down the binding on the back. Almost got another finish. 


Wednesday 10 June 2015

Adding To My Stash

Since me and fussy cutting are best friends you just know that when Vintage Market by Tasha Noel came out that I would have to buy some. In my fabric stash I have a special drawer just for fussy cutting. Doesn't everyone? 

Well, maybe everyone doesn't but fussy cutting is a style of quilting that I love and my yard of the above fabric will happily sit in my stash for years I'm sure, little pieces being cut away bit by bit.

I didn't have the budget for the whole fabric line so I picked and chose and got half yards of the following prints as well. 

Obviously there are more fussy cutting opportunities in these fabrics too. But those strawberries just may be too gorgeous for words. 


Tuesday 9 June 2015

I've Been Bored Lately

Not with sewing. I'm totally into my sewing right now and going full tilt most days trying to get things done. No, the sewing is great.

The cooking thing? Bored. I just seem to be out of inspiration. This from the person who has over 200 cook books and pins recipes for entertainment. I like variety in my diet and I've never had a problem catering to that desire. I'm lucky that I have a husband and two children who totally enjoy my love of different foods and participate in the devouring of said food happily. And, with the girls, enthusiastically learn to make interesting food themselves. 

But sometimes I just can't be arsed. I think it's the over fourteen years of motherhood and producing meals almost every day of the year. I go through slumps when I just do not want to do it. I want a variety of takeaways to choose from like we had long ago in Toronto. The Indian takeaway in the village is nice, but that's it for choice. Or else it's a drive and the food is cold by the time you get it home, and certainly no one in town delivers out this way. No one. 

So I've been scrolling through Pinterest looking for new ideas. Pretty pictures work for me. I'm a visual person. 

Tonight I made falafels for the first time. Seriously good. 

The recipe is here (http://pinterest.com/pin/14918242492783359/) on my Pinterest if this photo of mine inspires you. Easy to make, tasty as all get out and - thankfully - a crowd pleaser. There was a yogurt tahini sauce to go with them in the pitas. And I also made tabbouleh for the first time too. 

I probably went a little light on the parsley in relation to how much the recipe specified but I just prefer the balance of flavours this way than the predominance of herbs. The salad went down equally well. We are a salad kind of household. 

So I've had a momentary respite from my lack of enthusiasm for cooking and it all went well. But that's not to say they won't get baked potatoes with baked beans on top tomorrow. I have got sewing to do after all. 


Friday 5 June 2015

A Bit Of Hand Sewing

Slowly, slowly I've been getting on with making a mini for a giveaway I did a while ago and then got overly busy and I postponed making it. 

Some fussy cutting and colour. Sums up my style really.

So I made a few more. Then I had doubts if the aqua one was a bit too subtle a leap in the colour chain. So I asked for opinions on IG. The consensus was keep it, but it was suggested I add a few more graduations of colour to the mix.

So I had a dig around. And I pulled some fabrics. And decided that a few more hexies wouldn't go amiss. Not all the fabrics shown above made the final pick. Some were culled. I'm making more hexies and the rest of the mini is taking shape in my mind. I have an idea. Stay tuned.


Wednesday 3 June 2015

End Of A Bee Year

Today I concentrated in making bee blocks. I still had my May blocks to make and then I did my June blocks too. And this brings a full year of Stitch Tease to an end. It has been a fantastic year, such a lovely group of ladies who - if they weren't friends before - are friends of mine now. 

First up I made eight Jacob's Ladder blocks which will finish at 6". 

These took a while to make but chain piecing, a Bloc Loc ruler and a rotating cutting mat aided things along more quickly than it would have been. I love the colours that were chosen by Val. 

June blocks were for our esteemed mama Di (Random Thoughts of Do or Di) and I loved her colours too. More vivd contrasts. 

I am now debating whether I will be able to stay in the bee for the next round. Commitments are at an all time high right now and are going to suck up all my time for the next couple of months thee are some fun projects though and I am looking forward to making them. But I will have to lose the procrastinating gene and get on with it.

I have seven stacks of things on my dining room table to get in the post tomorrow. Seven! That is so embarrassing. But they are the first thing on the list to get in with tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, this is what my drive looks like. 

My landlord is running the services through to the houses he is building behind us. It is just a hop, skip and a jump to my car right now, literally!