I’ve been taking the klosjes with me to sit and sew for handwork and now I think I’m done with them. I’ve attached a Kona coal border and I really like the way it sets off the colours. I’m not sure if this will be the finished size; if I’ll make it into a quilt, or a tablecloth, or what but I thought you might like to take a squiz at the way it looks so far.
I’ve been ploughing on with the blanket that wanted to be a quilt. I’m at the quilting stage now and so I’ve taken a few photos of the odd few blocks that I’ve finished.
On Tuesday I had to go into the city and while I was there I went to the Quiltsmith. I’ve signed up for two of the workshops for January and I wanted to get the requirements list and take a look around. Guess what? They had a 30% OFF sale. If you live in Sydney then it’s still on. I think it finishes at the beginning of December.
The two workshops I’ve signed up for are KANTHA PEACOCKS, PARROTS & PAISLEYS and EMBROIDERY EMBELLISHMENT TECHNIQUES and I’m really looking forward to learning some new embellishment stitches, especially since I enjoyed the Traveller’s Blanket process so much.
While I was at the Quiltsmith I found the perfect fabric for the binding on the GAZ Quilt. It’s black with red spots. I also bought some gorgeous Japanese fabrics. My favourite, the woodcut one, is a Moda fabric called Kasuri. Anyway here are my purchases.
This weekend has been busy but satisfying. I managed to sell my chest of drawers on eBay which meant I could buy the IKEA STENSTORP kitchen island I wanted to use as a cutting table for the sewing room. While the eBay buyer couldn’t come until Sunday we decided to go to IKEA on Saturday to pickup the bench. Good job as my poor husband succumbed to the lurgy on Sunday and had to spend the day in bed.
On the way to IKEA I stopped in at a lovely button shop in Newtown called All Buttons Great and Small. I didn’t have my camera with me otherwise I would have taken some photographs. It is just wonderful. A whole Aladdin’s cave of buttons in all colours shapes and sizes. You can peek through their shop window on the website. I didn’t buy any buttons this time but I spied some lovely shawl pins and as I have more shawls than anyone I know and I always have problems with them falling off my shoulder I treated myself to these three pins.
Of course after the visit to IKEA came the heavy work. Lifting all the bits into the house and the dreaded flat-pack assembly! For a spatially challenged person like me these picture instructions can be a bit of minefield but we prevailed and here is how my sewing room looks now.
The blackboard decal I bought as a roll. Boy am I glad I didn’t use the whole 2m as I originally planned. It was so hard to get it on without air-bubbles and even once it was flat when you come back in a couple of hours air-bubbles have appeared from nowhere!
On the top shelf I have stored all my rulers, cutters and templates and on the bottom one all my solids, marbles, painter’s canvas and shot cottons.
While it wasn’t cheap I’m very pleased with my purchase. It will also be good when it comes time to baste quilts.
As you can see I’m on a salad kick at the moment. Here’s one I made last night to have with the leftover roast lamb.
2 cups couscous
2 cups of water
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
A little butter or margrine
1 red capsicum
1 yellow capsicum
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander roughly chopped
1 large Roma tomato diced
1/2 cucumber diced
Your favourite French salad dressing. I cheated and used Praise fat free French dressing.
Slice the eggplant into thick slices, brush with a little of the olive oil and place on a griller pan. Turn regularly so you don’t overdo the char. You want the eggplant cooked and with a little of that nice caramelisation. Slice the capsicum sides so you have wide strips, probably 3 or 4. Char grill these too.
While the vegetables are grilling cook the couscous. Use whatever instructions come on the packet. The one I used is very simple. Bring 2 cups of water to the boil, add a little salt and a splash of olive oil. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of couscous with a fork. Put the lid on the pan and leave OFF the heat for 5 minutes. After that time fluff up with a fork, add a dollop of butter or margarine and stir over a low heat for 2 minutes.
In a large bowl or on a large platter place half the couscous. Slice the cooled, cooked eggplant and capsicum into thin strips and then fork through the couscous.
Add the rest of the couscous and then the chopped tomatoes, cucumber and coriander. Mix the whole salad well. Then sprinkle over your French dressing to taste and gently mix again.
Yesterday I roasted a rolled loin of lamb and some new potatoes and a little pumpkin and I rustled up this yummy salad to go with it.
Ingredients for the salad
5 small beetroot
1/2 punnet of rocket/aragula
1/2 a small cos lettuce
A large handful of mung bean sprouts
6 spring onions
Ingredients for the Dressing
1 tablespoon of Pukara Estate Fig Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1 tablespoon of water
Method for the Salad
Scrub the beetroots, rub a little oil on them and roast for 40 minutes at 180C. Turn them every 10 minutes. Check they are done with a sharp knife. While warm, being careful not to burn yourself, peel the skin off and chop off the ends. Cut the beetroots into eighths and place in a bowl. Make the dressing while the beetroots are cooking and pour all of it over the cut, warm beetroot.
While the beetroot is marinating wash and drain the rocket, mung bean sprouts and the lettuce. Chop the lettuce. Chop the spring onions. Place the Rocket, lettuce, mung bean sprouts and spring onions on a serving dish and mix up. Then place the beetroot on top and spoon over the rest of the dressing. It’s lovely warm or cold.
Method for the dressing
Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk with a fork until the ingredients are emulsified.
First up, this is NOT a sponsored post. I’m just excited to find a basting spray that works beautifully. Previously I tried 101 and I was disappointed with it and almost swore off spray basting ever again. However, I heard many people say that they had spray basted even large quilts with no problems so I did some research on the web and found good reviews for 505 and decided to try it.
The GAZ Blanket has had to become the GAZ Quilt because the minky I’m using for backing shows through the white on the top so I’ve had to add some batting. I’m using the Freudenberg Quilt Lite that I’ve used before because I don’t want it to be too heavy (I have to post it to England after all). So I have used the 505 to baste it and I found it so easy to use and it actually sticks!
I’m plodding along with the GAZ Blanket. I’ve made three star blocks and sewn them together. I haven’t decided where to place them just yet but I’ve taken a photo so you can see them in one possible position.What do you think?
The Clapper Board Block
I designed a clapper board block in EQ6. I have to say I wish someone would come up with a really intuitive easy-to-use quilting app. I’ve written software for a living and I find EQ very un-user friendly. Maybe that’s just me, maybe you really like it – horses for courses I guess.
I foundation paper pieced this block. Oh my goodness!!! You all know I’m spatially challenged and I can’t tell you how many seams I undid and re-sewed. I need to find a better way of doing this. Anyway here is the block. i plan to embroider on it.
Where to from here?
Hmmm. That’s a good question. I’m not sure really. This is an improvisational quilt which is hard because you have to try to fit stuff into spaces that can turn out to be strange measurements but I like a challenge. I’ll keep you posted.
I don’t mind washing. I’m not saying it’s my favourite activity you understand but it has it’s compensations like seeing my favourite quilt swinging on the line in the sunshine.
As you can see even my outdoor cat, Roscoe, likes quilts. So much for the joys of wash day but the sorrows… See that white sheet? Well it and 6 pillowcases, and a Doona cover were all glistening in the sunshine when a family of those pesky Indian Mynah birds pooped all over them!!! To look on the bright side, at least they missed the quilt and I’m told bird poop is good luck so I must be in for a bucket load. Something to think about while I rewash all that laundry. 😦