Sunday, 18 March 2018

Moda, Moda everywhere....

Who got lucky at auction and won.

A fat quarter bundle of Moda Bunny Hill Designs Kindred Spirits.

This is going to be an ace collection for any of my baby quilts.  I loved the Lily & Will collection they did and have just ran out so this will replace it very nicely thank you.

Moda Bonnie & Camille Miss Kate.

A fat eighth bundle - I haven't decided what this is going to be used for yet but I love the colours particularly the navy blue - not a colour that you see alot of.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Tilda Sunshine Sewing by Tone Finnanger...

Who doesn't love Tilda - I love Tone's work and books, they are amazing and inspiring and this one doesn't fail on all those fronts.

From fruity quilts to whale quilts with matching pillows, patch cats to mermaids, scrap bowls and lemons, beach bags, Octopus and starfish.

You can use any of the Tilda fabric range for these patterns and I think that is why I like them so much.  Some patterns you buy just have to be completed in the fabric they use but that is not the case with Tone's book.

If you have your own She-Shed, cave, summerhouse or outhouse then all of the patterns in this book would not look out of place stitched up and showed off.

If you have all the other Tilda books then this one needs to be added to your collection, if you are new to Tilda and to sewing, it would be a great place to start for both adults or children and new or experienced stitchers.  Very easy to follow instructions and all the patterns included.  

My favourite pattern is the whale quilt and matching pillow, that is definitely on my to do list.

DMC Gold Collector's Tin...

Quite a few years ago my husband bought me the whole range of DMC threads and I slowly make my through them and occasionally have to replace some of the popular colours.

I knew that they had brought some new colours out and they do look gorgeous in the tin but I am a bit - oh where do I put the tin because I have storage for my DMC so hadn't bothered.

My family obviously had other ideas because this came through the post today.

This is the back of tin packaging showing the colours - 35 of them.

All 35 colours - they are lightly taped to a card which keeps them from tipping to one end of the tin if you want to store them upright - which is great because they take less room stored that way.

The booklet inside the tin that tells you a little about the company - in six languages.

Numbers 18 to 35

Numbers 01 to 17

The exclusive charts included with the collectors tin.

I have looked online and the tins vary in price so shop around.  I love them, the colours are beautiful.  I panicked when I saw the numbers but DMC officially start at number 48 with Blanc, Ecru and B5200 before them so these numbers slot right in to the already extensive range of colours.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Life is a Cabaret....

Our youngest son is studying all sorts at a Scottish University.  This is quite remarkable as he suffers from serious anxiety but yet has managed to get into his second year and has three to go and lives over 300 miles away from us.  We worry about him alot but he always keeps in touch on a weekly basis.

We know he joined lots of different societies and clubs and always keeps very busy with his reading, walking, photography, writing, reviewing the arts, climbing, board games and more.

Imagine our surprise when he shared this...

Our son in front of the camera instead of behind and in costume.  The suit is his because he wears suits whenever he can, along with pocket watches, hats, canes etc.

This is one of his photographs from a photoshoot at the University for the Cabaret Society.  

It was taken by Dan Mosley, what a talent he has with the camera.

The story behind the photograph is a secret agent from 2146 resting after a battle.

We were amazed with this - it is a brilliant photograph and there are loads more but I don't see how this can be beat.

It has been an odd week here - we are not top notch - our daughter now has the dreaded flu bug and has lost her voice so has spent most of the week in bed.  I haven't got any stitching done but I have shopped plenty which is a little naughty.  We also haven't had the energy for cooking so ordered in - also naughty.

Have a good weekend all and catch up soon :)

Friday, 9 March 2018

Gluten Free Sultana Scones

Makes 12


16ozs Juvela White Flour Mix
2 1/2 teaspoons GF Baking Powder
4ozs Margarine or Butter
2ozs Caster Sugar
4ozs Sultanas
2 eggs made up with milk to 270ml
Sprinkle of Caster Sugar


Set the oven to gas mark 7 with a middle shelf in the oven.

Place the flour, baking powder and margarine or butter in a mixer and mix well until it looks like a breadcrumb mixture.

Mix in the sugar and sultanas.

Start adding the milk and egg mixture a little at a time while the machine is on low.  Do not use all the liquid as you need a little for glazing the scones.

I use gloves for the next bit as I don't like sticky fingers.  Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and knead for a couple of minutes.  The texture will change as you knead.  Press out until one inch thick and cut the scone rounds with a fluted cutter.  Repeat with the bits that are left until you have 12 scones.  Brush with the remaining milk/egg mixture and sprinkle with the caster sugar.  

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  I like them dark golden brown but if you like them lighter then bake for 13 minutes.

As you can see from the picture these scones have a beautiful texture, very light and just as good as non-gluten ones.  Serve with butter or jam and cream.

These scones freeze well.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Creamy smoked haddock and king prawn risotto

Really tasty quick recipe for an evening meal or supper.  Serves 4


10oz Arboria Rice
1 large fillet of boned and skinned smoked haddock cut into pieces
16 king prawns or crevettes (cut in half as they are large)
handful of peas
handful of runner beans - sliced
handful of green beans - sliced
6 chestnut mushrooms - sliced
1 large onion - finely chopped

Olive Oil
knob of butter
750ml vegetable stock

chopped fresh herbs including mint, thyme, basil, sage, parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Double cream - optional
Grated Parmesan - optional
Crusty bread


Put the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan and heat.  Add the finely chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until transparent.  Add the peas and all the beans, as well as the herbs and mushrooms and cook for a further three minutes.  Place the risotto rice on top of the vegetable mix and stir well.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and start adding a ladleful of vegetable stock, stir through and let it cook.  As the liquid evaporates top it up and stir through, it should be slightly hotter than a simmer but not boil.  On average about 150 to 200 ml cooking for five minutes will cook the rice.  When you get to the last five minutes add the fish and stir lightly.

Once the timer goes off check the seasoning and if you want to add the cream, do so now and stir through but don't boil.

Serve in hot bowls, garnished with grated parmesan and a chunk of crusty bread/garlic bread.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Smocked & embroidered dress... Friday Night Sew In...

For the Friday Night Sew-In I completed the smocked and embroidered dress - Devotion from Australian Smocking & Embroidery.

I have put it on my 4 year old tailors dummy which doesn't quite do it justice.

The collar and sleeves are piped in the same fabric as the dress.

I changed the embroidery slightly on the design so it is individual.

The lighting wasn't brilliant for the photographs.

The sleeves gathered beautifully, I did expect to have to put sleeve stays in but they didn't need it.

The dress is for age 6.  I am not quite sure what I am going to do with it yet, I might put it up for sale if I can find a nice underskirt to match the style of dress.

I think I will hem it four inches up as it does look quite long.

The weekend of stitching including Friday evening didn't go all smoothly.  Our central heating decided to pack up and we have been freezing.  After realising the radiators weren't working we called British Gas and they came out on Saturday, fixed the problem and we decided to get the HIVE fitted so now we have complete control of heating, lights and plugs - all through the tablets, laptops and phones.  It has been lovely and toasty warm for the rest of the weekend, the quilts are now back in the cupboard.  Hope you all managed to get some stitching done and I will have a look through the posts over the next few days.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Smocking & Embroidery Issue 53

Devotion Dress
Square Yoke with piped collar and cuffs and smocked, embroidered front.

This is a project that has been on the go for a while and I have decided it needs to be on the OPAM list as finished.

I have quite a few Australian Smocking & Embroidery kits from when the magazine was being published - it only went up to number 100 and I really wished for more.

The kits had everything you needed, pre-pleated fabric lengths, co-ordinating fabric for collars and cuffs, interlinings, buttons, embroidery threads, ribbons and needles.

This is my completed embroidered smocked panel.

Blocked out for taking the pattern for the dress.  This piece will be attached to the bottom of the front yoke making a square yoke dress.

I have cut out the collar and cuffs and will be interlining them and then making the very fine piping that goes around them.

It shouldn't take too long to complete the dress as the hard work has been completed.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Jeanette Douglas Pinwheel from My Stitching Treasures...

This is the pinwheel from the Jeanette Douglas My Stitching Treasures pattern.  The front is an embroidered pineapple.  I am not convinced that I like it but it goes with the box and I want to complete the whole pattern.

The back has another pineapple pattern plus my initials.  I did finish it this month but I want the date to match the box so hence the 2017 and not 2018.

I now have the main piece mounted in the jewellery box as you can see from the picture.  I have stripped the box inside and purchased some matching silk dupion fabric to line the lid and base.  The colour is a blue/grey steel and matches the threads used in the whole kit.

Next on the agenda is the needle book.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Shepherd's Bush Sailor's Collar Sampler...

I picked up my newly framed Shepherd's Bush Sailor's Collar Sampler today and I am just in awe.  It looks so good now it's framed.  It is a sampler celebrating the marriage and life of my husband's parents Ejvind & Dorothy.

There are so many connections that can be made from this sampler to our family.

The three buttons at the top represent our three children.

The vast array of stitches used in this design is incredible and I cannot remember them all.  The original sampler design had the alphabet stitched into it but I changed that to my in-laws names and date of marriage.

My father-in-Law was a long time fisherman, who spent most of his earlier life at sea until he retired (I don't think he really retired, he just didn't work as long hours but still managed to get out on the boats from time to time, even if just to cook).

There are quite alot of beads through the design as well and I hope you can see the intricacies within the photographs.

It is going to hang in our hallway but our daughter has already made a claim on it and announced it's hers.

Anchors, crashing waves, boats, sunshine and fish.  I couldn't think of a better design representing a special Mum and Dad who are greatly missed. (1997 and 2007).