Monday, 25 September 2017

Grandma's are the best...

I was looking at Sheryl's blog and she has posted a delicious recipe for date and pecan cookies - who doesn't love cookies.  Anyway it reminded me that a month ago our youngest son went off back to university for his second year and of course, they can't go without food so my wonderful baking mum made him an assortment of delicious cookies, biscuits and shortbread.

A great assortment of shortbread, viennese fingers, ginger cookies, viennese whirls, almond cookies, Grantham gingerbread, chocolate biscuits, muesli cookies and what you can't make it is that there is another layer underneath.

Beautiful shortbread which is suitable for diabetics, even though you wouldn't think it.

Aren't Grandma's just the best.  Our son is so funny, we asked him if he was sharing, at the moment, they are all still in his room, just for him, it reminds him of home, the lovely smell of baking but he will bring the tin back at Christmas for a top-up ;)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

WOW Cake Company

We were lucky to be invited to a Coeliac bakery demonstration on Saturday by the WOW Cake Company owned by Susan.  It is based in Lancashire - the next county to us so we had to show our support being a local business.

The WOW Cake Company make Gluten, Wheat and Nut free cake mixes and Susan demonstrated chocolate brownies and a lemon drizzle cake.

The cake mixes include chocolate brownie, carrot cake and a sponge mix.  I bought the catering size pack as I do alot of baking particularly for family, night shift and my extended family and friends so they were good value.  I checked the ingredients for these mixes and was delighted to see that they use Callebaut Chocolate.  This is beautiful Belgian chocolate with a high cocoa content and makes delicious tasting chocolate cookies and cakes along with truffles.  The mixes only need butter and eggs added to them so they are really easy to use.  They are also bringing out a pastry mix - that can't be soon enough as gluten free pastry is a nightmare, I do manage to make it but it is not something I enjoy doing unlike when I used to make normal pastry and never had a problem.

I was also lucky enough to win four packs of the standard size mixes in the raffle which was absolutely brilliant, I don't win at raffles so I was really pleased.

This is what happens when you find a product that you believe in, when you have watched someone with a passion for good food and taste do a cookery demonstration.  30 eggs picked up at the farm on the way home and get the Callebaut chocolate out of the cupboard.

Today's sample is going to be Mint Chocolate Brownie. One pack of the Chocolate Brownie mix, 114 grams of butter, 3 eggs and a whole bar of Peppermint Aero chopped up into pieces.  The smell coming from the oven is delicious.

Oh My Goodness.  They taste divine, you can smell the mint before you even eat them.  The texture is melt in the mouth but also chewy, just what you expect from a brownie.  The packet says it makes 12 however I cut mine into 16, nine for Borge's work, seven for home.  When it comes to cost I worked out it was 5.67 for 16 making it 35p per brownie.  This is very good value as I only know one other brownie that can comes close to taste and they cost 1.70 each.

Many thanks to Susan and also to Peter and Jean Forster for holding the demonstration at Braithwaite.  We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours and also our gluten free lunch.  We look forward to meeting again and also to the Gluten Free Food Fair at Penrith on Sunday 8th October 2017. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

My Friday Night Sew-In...

Berries and Bluebirds Block 6

Another two turquoise birds for the quilt, couldn't resist, it is my favourite fabric in this collection.

I managed to line the backing fabric with weaveline and get all the applique pieces cut out, turned and glued.

Saturday will be a day of stitching the pieces on and then onto the seventh block.

Have a great weekend all :)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Friday Night Sew-In ...

Yes, it's here already, the third Friday of the month is on the 15th September, so if you want to join in and get some stitching done you can sign up HERE

Remember, you don't have to carry all that stitching stash, just pick something to work on and then share photographs of what you achieved over the weekend with all the other stitchers and crafters.

Enjoy and see you there :)

Surprise package...

Well I wasn't expecting this little package today.

I decided to purchase the new Lizzie Kate 2017 Mystery Sampler Kit from my local (addictive lol) quilting and embroidery specialist shop - Fobbles.  I got an email to say it was in stock, unfortunately while hubby is away with the car I don't have transport so decided to get it posted to me.  As usual Bev's customer service was top notch and my parcel arrived today beautifully packaged in tissue paper along with a thank you note.

I also added a couple of reels of the Aurifil 80wt thread to my growing collection.

I absolutely love the colours in this kit, the Heartland fabric is gorgeous along with all the buttons and beads and the little needle nanny - yes - I went all out and bought everything.

I am not sure I will get it done for this Christmas but I certainly will for next.  (Don't mind my iron for my applique and my gluten free goodies to have with a caramel latte - very naughty, but that is my one treat).

If you haven't had a look at the Fobbles website, it is well worth a visit.  Bev stocks most brands of hand dyed threads as well as the usual embroidery silks, beautiful sampler kits, Shepherds Bush Designs, Jeannette Douglas Designs and has a large selection of patchwork fabrics and Aurifil thread.  There are regular workshops for both quilting and embroidery.   Sign up to the newsletter and you will get the information on what is happening over the next few months as well as advance notice of tutors who will be teaching in the next couple of years.  Regular tutors include Patti Medaris Culea (Cloth Doll Making), Phillipa Naylor (Quilting/Patchwork) and Jeannette Douglas (Embroidery/Samplers).

Back to my stitching now, will post again later with an update :)

Monday, 11 September 2017

Gail Pan Berries & Bluebirds Block 5 ...

After a very hectic week last week and some unexpected appointments I finally managed to get back on track today.

Setting out Block Five.  It made me realise how near I am to finishing the quilt so I am going to carry on and get it completed.  (That's as well as getting the laundry done as it has been a beautifully sunny day today and got it all line dried.)

I love the colours that have been put together for this quilt, they all work really well together.

The vine for block five with trendy leaves.  I cut all the bias tapes so that I just have to put them through the bias binding maker which saves alot of time when moving from block to block.


After being diagnosed as Coeliac in April after many years of horrible symptoms I thought I was going to see the back of all those horrid illnesses once I took gluten out of my diet.  Unfortunately alot of my symptoms have come back and last week was a week of ecg's, echo's, blood tests etc with the outcome being I am going to have repeat ecg's whilst they keep an eye on things.  I am lucky that I have a wonderful hubby who looks after me so well, even when I am grumpy, frustrated and agitated.  Our daughter is looking after me this week whilst hubby got a few days off seeing his family in Lincolnshire who are also going through a bit of a rough time.  Here's hoping to some healthier times for all of us. :)

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A little set back...

'Good things come to those who believe,
better things come to those who are patient and the
best things come to those who don't give up'

Sorry I haven't been able to catch up with everyone from the FNSI...

I am dealing with a little health setback at the moment so not going to be able to post much about stitching or anything else for a couple of days.

Hopefully normal service will resume at the weekend.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Another year in and it's back to Dundee...

It's that time of year again and we are back at Dundee to drop our son off for another year at University.

The car was packed up very early this morning and we managed to get here for before lunch and get unpacked, lunch out at The West House Restaurant and then out for an hour or two shopping.

Chinese tonight including gluten free.  I am shattered so I am already in my pyjamas, dosed up and stitching out ready to go.  For my Friday Night Sew In I went back to my Gail Pan Berries and Bluebirds as it is easy to sit doing when surrounded by luggage and it doesn't take up much room so I can take it with me for a relaxing weekend.

Our view from the balcony this afternoon across the River Tay in Dundee, they are building the new V & A Museum which will open in 2018.  The Westport Apartments are just amazing, nothing to fault and the staff always look after us, we love it.  We have our own bathroom as well as all of the usual rooms and plenty of space.

The evening view.

Study area.

Living area.

Dining room.


I will post some more pictures of my Friday Night Stitching later after we have eaten :)

Monday, 28 August 2017

A busy weekend...

A day stitching in good company at Fobbles on Saturday, I managed, inbetween chatting, eating and shopping to get my son's Moda Blueberry Crumbcake jelly roll race quilt sandwiched together with a beautiful wool batting, basting gun in hand as I forgot the spray adhesive I normally use to save on the backache.  Excuse the creases, it was a blustery day whilst trying to photograph.

Goodies from my shopping included five new reels of the Aurifil 80 weight thread along with a layered storage tub and my Quilter's Patch BOM and basting gun refills.

I really enjoyed the weekend as it was the first time that me and darling hubby had the house to ourselves in more than nineteen years.  We get the odd day or night but never two nights and three days.  It was the little things I noticed, the peace and quiet, everything being tidy for more than a day.  Not having to wash up three or four times - just once, cooking for two and not five.  We had some wonderful food, steak with peppercorn sauce and delicious lobster.  Healthy food for Saturday in the form of salad (well, ok, it was nearly healthy, cheesy coleslaw, tempura chicken, jacket potato) followed by caramel lattes and chocolate cookies.

A very quiet Sunday baking for my hubbies friends who are holding a coffee morning for charity on Bank Holiday Monday at the Moresby Rugby Club.  Gluten Free Cheese Scones, Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake, Gluten Free Date & Walnut Loaf, Gingerbread and last but not least a Borrowdale Tea Bread.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Smocking for a dress...

I got the smocking block completed for the Devotion dress from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Magazine Issue 53.

I changed it slightly to the pattern and was pleased with the results.  I always try to make an alteration as it is good experience and also makes it individual.

I am also going to add some bullion embroidery to the collar and cuffs that will match with the fabric print.

It is time for it to be blocked out to the required measurements.  It takes a little doing.  The large ironing board, a good steam iron, pins and patience.  I need to take out all the cotton thread from the pleater.  This will then free the smocked pleats and it will stretch and conform easily to make the front dress piece.