Sunday, 29 July 2012

Think Christmas blog hop ...

... starts tomorrow.
It was Mme Samm who had the idea for this, and Lesley, The Cuddle Quilter is the host for this event.  Every day for the next 7 days, there will be people all over the blogiverse who will be showing you all sorts of blocks and things they have been quietly and secretively making.  You can find the full schedule by clicking on the button on my sidebar that looks like this:
You know me, I am almost as big a fan as Lesley, so, of course I am taking part.  My day is Wednesday 1 August, so come back then to see what this
really looks like.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Santa ...

... came to my house yesterday.

He brought me the fabrics I won from Lynn in last month's Christmas QAL.  Look, aren't they gorgeous?  I know just what I'll be doing with them.  I am going to use them to make a quilt Lynn designed called Country Charmer and I can hardly wait to get started on it.

Lynn also sent me this cute mitten and the strips of fabric to make more.  I loved the mittens when she showed them and was generous enough to offer us the pattern and now I have the fabrics to make more for myself.
Thanks again so much Lynn, and of course thank you Zinnie for picking out my name.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Only I ...

... could be this stupid.

For the past 4 weeks I've been taking some knockout pills at night for my shingles.

They were so good that I only had 2 sleepless nights in that time, and that, for an insomniac, is amazing.  However, I have now finished them and last night was my first night without them so I wasn't sure how I'd get on, as I had been warned that they could be addictive.  So what happened?  I kept waking up wondering if I had slept!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Post Christmas QAL post. . .

Remember OzSue who is currently blogless but who has been hopping around (hopping, kangaroos, get it?) making the Festive Mystery quilt with us?  Well, here is her finished top.  Isn't it lovely?

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Post Christmas QAL post ...

Edited to add a link to Lynn's recipe for the shortbread.  I'm sorry I forgot to do that earlier.

... First I want to say WHOOPPEEEE cos I won the giveaway yesterday on Lynn's blog.  I must thank Zinnie for picking out my name, and thank you Lynn for a great giveaway.

Thank you Lynn for the recipe with the not so delicious sounding name of Polar Bear Farts.  I made some today, and the verdict from Mr Fixit and I is that they are delicious.  The recipe is on Lynn's blog, here.

They had just come out of the oven and been put on this plate with their dusting of icing sugar when I took this photo, and Mr F was hovering over them waiting to try them. There are significantly less of them now!

Several people asked me for the recipe for meatballs that I used last night, so here goes.  It is based on a recipe from the Hairy Bikers, but I tweaked it a little bit.  Sorry there's no picture - we ate it all!

250 gms minced beef
1 tsp (approx) of fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1tbsp stir fry oil for frying the meat balls

  • Mix everything together in a bowl, except for the oil.  It's best to use your hands for this to make sure it's all mixed together properly.
  • Divide the mixture into 10 evenly sized pieces and roll into balls.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the meatballs.  It is best to slightly flatten them as they cook better like that.  Turn them over from time to time.  Fry them for about 5 mins.
Tomato Sauce:
  • I used a carton of passatta with basil, but a can of chopped tomatoes with your own basil would work too. 
  • 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes can also be added 
  • Put this in a pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 5 mins to thicken and reduce it a bit.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce to heat through again.
  • This can be cooking while you're doing the rest!

To serve:
  • Put the pasta in a large bowl, spoon the meatballs and sauce over the top, sprinkle some parmesan over the lot.  Serve it and eat it.  Yummy.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Christmas QAL - post 4

Oh boy, I am soooo full up.  I tried a new recipe for meatballs today, and they were great with a tomato sauce and pasta.

I am about to go and sit in front of the TV now, but I just wanted to say what fun it is today seeing all the quilt tops being finished and displayed in all their beauty, and just because I like the result so much, here is my finished version again.
Thank you so much Lynn, for being our hostess today.  I can't wait to make some Polar Farts, which I think I'll be doing tomorrow, and also some Mixie Mittens that Lynn has designed for us.  They might have to wait a while though so I can buy some more Christmassy fabrics.

Christmas QAL - post 3

Hurrah!  I've finished my top.

Mind you, I really do need to learn to read the instructions more carefully.  Make 60 quarter square triangles, they say, so how come I made 63?  Sew them into 20 groups of 3 they say, so why did I sew 21?
Cut 72 squares of background, so how many did I cut?  63!!
Still, I am happy with the top, and am looking forward to quilting it.

All this has taken me far longer than I thought it would, so working on my Think Christmas blog hop blocks is not going to happen today although I might get the binding made in a short while, but then again, I might not. .  I am tired, and have stopped for a coffee.  By the time I've finished that and looked to see what everyone else is up to it will be time to prepare dinner.  

Christmas QAL - post 2

Here is my centre in all it's glory.  You'll maybe notice that it is not one of the layouts I suggested last month! After lunch I'll do the final step.

Christmas QAL - post 1

Good morning and Happy Christmas everyone.  Our hostess, Lynn  won't be up for hours and hours and hours yet, but Hazel and I can't wait, so we're starting now.  After all, it's 11a.m.  for us right now.  I know that I owe replies to loads of you for comments over the last couple of days, and I will answer you all sometime today, but right now I want to go sew.

What am I going to sew? 

Well first off I will sew all the blocks together for the Festive Mystery quilt.  Yes, I know I should have done that already, but I blame the shingles for taking away my quilting mojo for a few weeks.

When I've caught up on that I plan to make my blocks for the Think Christmas blog hop that Lesley, our very own Cuddle Quilter is hostessing.  (My day for that is 1 August, by the way.)  You can read more about the hop on Lesley's blog, here.  I won't be able to show you the blocks, but may give a sneak peek.
By then I reckon it'll be dinner time for us and then I shall settle down in front of the TV with Mr Fixit and do some work on a gift for someone.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Christmas in July ...

... yes, it's that time again.  Tomorrow is the July Christmas Quiltalong day and the party is over at Lynn's place, Sew'n Wild Oaks, here.  I know that Lynn has some fun planned for us, including a competition and a really fun pattern, so, join me and let's all dance on over there tomorrow.  
Have you missed me by the way?  I've been down south having fun.  It was DGS's 6th birthday, and also his end of year school concert, and we went out for a celebration meal, and also to a barbecue, so it's been a busy few days, but I'm back now.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Lone Star - post 5

So what did I learn today?

1. take it slowly.  Normally my style is pedal to the metal, so this is quite a revolutionary thought for me.

2. cut the squares and triangles about one inch larger - it's easier to trim down than make a mistake and have to start again.

3. draw a line a quarter of an inch from the two sides I'm going to sew, then I have the intersection clearly marked.

4.  pin through the intersection point to the intersection on the star itself.  (If you remember, I sewed to within a quarter inch of the point when I was joining the diamonds together, and that is the place where I start and stop sewing.)  This is not easy to describe, but hopefully the photo below will help:
5. start sewing away from that point towards the edge, then turn the whole thing so I'm sewing towards that centre point again.  Stop exactly on the marked intersection point, turn everything again and sew to the outside edge.

Lone Star - post 4

It still needs squaring up. but I couldn't wait to show you:
and here's a closer-up view of one inset seam:
I'll be back in a while to share a couple of tips with you.
Edited to add:  looking at that photo, I should have taken a bit of time to smooth it out properly before |I took the photos!

Lone Star - post 3

Just popped back in to say that I've had Cheryl's permission to add the Lone Star quilt she made for her son to Mr Linky.  It's wonderful and I love the black background.  Also have you seen Granny Judy's lovely version?  Thanks for sharing them both of you.  

Lone Star - post 2

I did it!  Sorry about the fuzzy photo, but I was trying to get as close as possible so you can see my beautiful inset seam.  Now I'm off to try and repeat this on the quilt itself.  Four squares and four triangles - wish me luck.

Don't forget, Mr Linky is here.

Lone Star Day post 1

... right, all the cleaning's done, washing's on the line, now I can play.

First, I'm going to do a test run, to make sure I can do an inset seam OK.  Hmm, on thinking about it, I'm not sure what I'll do if I can't do one!

Below is Mr Linky, sitting patiently, waiting for you to sign in if you're sewing along with Jayne and I today, or if you've made a Lone Star quilt before and would like to share your photos with us.

I'll be back soon to report on how I got on.

Friday, 6 July 2012

It's that time again

I don't know where the time goes, but tomorrow is our Lone Star quiltalong day again.  I am the hostess this month, but do remember to bring your surgical masks along, so I don't pass on my shingles.  I think I am going to be making my first attempts and doing inset seams, so do come along to have a laugh.  The other thing I am planning to do is work on a quilting design for those huge great setting squares and triangles.  I am thinking, you see, that I can do that whilst watching the Ladies final at Wimbledon on TV.  So, see you tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Ssshh ...

... haven't I been quiet?  Bet you're all wondering why, aren't you?  Well the reason can be given in one word:  shingles.  You remember me whinging a couple of weeks ago about the side effects of the pills I'd been given for a kidney infection?  Well, it seems most of them weren't the side effects at all, they were the start of shingles.  So now I've got anti-virus pills, painkilling pills and knockout pills for the night and I think I'd rattle if I was shaken.  Still, they're all helping I think.

Of course, the other reason for my silence is Wimbledon.  The first week of the tournament is finished, and Andy Murray is still in it.  Wimbledon lasts a fortnight, and I can be found in front of my TV every day from lunch time onwards if anyone wants me.

Actually, I did feel a bit better again this morning so I did some sewing.  I paper-pieced a whole block, which I'm not showing you!  Oh, OK then, maybe I'll just show you this one picture.
Teehee, in the words of Rolf Harris, "Have you guessed what it is yet?"
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