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The Homemade Heart
Central Scotland
Recent Activity
I started making this quilt during the Christmas holidays of 2015. I was itching to do a hand stitched project, and found a couple of 'Moda' charm packs in the cupboard, which I thought looked okay. I used them quite indiscriminately, only adding pieces I bought specifically for this project when I realised it was going to take a lot more fabric (and time, and effort!) than I initially thought. I have not worked on it continuously; it has lain fallow for months at a time, but I finally finished it yesterday. Now that I know how much time, and work, it took to complete, I would have chosen my fabrics much more carefully, as some of the patterns and colours are not fully to my taste. This is all part of the learning curve of sewing and quilting, and a lesson learned for the future. Starting a project now, fourteen months later, I am much more choosy about fabrics. However, I am very happy with the quilt over all; it has a happy, family, colourful vibe, and has been a joy to stitch. My plan is for it to knock about in the sitting room, to cover cold legs in the winter, and provide comfort and warmth to out-of-sorts family members, or even those who just want to feel cosy. I wanted to stitch a large hexie quilt, after my very first attempt at quilting when I made this, and wondered if horizontal lines of hexies would work, stitched on to a backing fabric. Alternating rows of blues and reds sounded bright and cheery, and as well as the aforementioned Moda charm pack (I think I used two packs, rejecting some of the fabrics as I went along) I used an old shirt of Derek's; a couple of fabrics from John Lewis, and a few pieces bought online, mostly from eBay. I backed them on to white cotton with a small blue dot pattern. Truth be told, I am not mad on that fabric, but I wanted something fairly neutral, but not completely plain, and chose it in a rush one day in John Lewis. I stitched down the long strips of hexagons to the background fabric, removing the templates one by one as I went along each row. The quilt ended up measuring about 60" x60" and quilting was hard on my fingers; with the haxagons being appliqued to the backing fabric, there was an extra layer to go through with each stitch, and my poor needle-pushing finger was in tatters. I can't work with thimbles, but found this handy little device which worked brilliantly, albeit after a little getting used to. For the quilting, I decided to simply outline each hexagon, using Perle cotton in white No 12. Being less than crazy about the background fabric on the front of the quilt, I was very careful when choosing fabric for the backing and border, and really love both. I bought them from my local sewing shop, which is a small oasis of beauty in the otherwise arid desert of our local small town. I decided half way through making this quilt (you can tell I was making it up as I went along, can't you?), that I would try some needle turn applique, and plunged in to making a written motif to run along the bottom of the quilt. I hadn't the faintest idea of what I was doing, but managed, after a fashion, to cut out and stitch down the letters. I found it so satisfying to have something to read on a quilt. 'I ignored the ironing and made this'. The ironing baskets full to overflowing with neglected ironing will testify to this being factually truthful, though in all honesty I ignore the ironing for most things. The family also snorted in recognition when they saw my efforts 'Yea well that's true Mum' was Jacob's summation. Unfortunately it has not been possible to photograph this quilt outside. Where I would usually clothes-peg a quilt to the garden fence and photograph it 'whole', the weather currently is so stormy, and the garden fence so wet, that my newly finished quilt would instantly acquire a 'vintage' look. I will finish this post with a few more photographs of it on the 'big bed' as Jacob and Isaac used to call it, before they had double beds of their own. That's where quilts are really supposed to be, after all. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Homemade Heart
Thanks Katie. I am lookimg forward to cooking from it! X
Thank you Barbara, I just hope it is useful! It becoming an heirloom would be an unexpected honour! X
I hadn't thought about that- will need to be extra careful now! X
Thank you so much Marion, you are too kind X
Thank you Gina, I hope it will at least be useful X
Oh that sounds so nice B. I will need to pop round and see it before you give it to her. We are long overdue a cup of tea and a catch up X
Not quite a mortgage, but yes, they are expensive. However, they last and last, I am currently wearing a pair that I bought two or three years ago, and I wear them most days. They are still in great condition, so for me that is a good buy. X
This winter I have been joining with Jennifer at Thistlebear, in her cosy Winter Project Link Party. Bloggers gather monthly to share their current wip's and generally support each other through the long winter evenings of knitting, sewing, crocheting, and much more. Do pop over to Jennifer's blog, it is a lovely place to visit at any time. This month I am sharing a knitting project. We have a new baby coming into the family in March of this year, and I am knitting him or her a baby blanket, which may or may not be finished in time. Thankfully new babies are unaware of lateness in gift giving, so I am not too stressed about it being ready exactly on the day. The blanket pattern is called Peek a Boo, which I think is an adorable name. It is very plain, with just a tiny bit of texture on it for interest. There are two sizes of blanket to choose from; I chose the bigger one (finished size 75cm x 103cm), which I hope means it will be in use for longer. Each row has 183 stitches, and one row takes 5 or 6 minutes to knit (I am not a fast knitter). There are more than 300 rows, so this project will take a while. My preferred yarn is mercerised cotton; for this project I am using Drops Muscat Mercerised Cotton, double knitting weight. I like the very slight sheen from this yarn, and enjoy the clean, crisp feel against my fingers as I knit. It gives a smooth, tactile finish, and I will I hope be beautifully comfortable against the baby's new born skin. I have chosen classic white to make the blanket, which is of course suitable for both pink and blue varieties of baby. The border is garter stitch, and the middle part is stocking stitch apart from the texture rows, which are very simple to do, thankfully. I am using a circular needle. Initially I was concerned that I would end up unwittingly joining the ends together at the end of a row, and I spent some time at the end of each row figuring out how to turn the work and restart, but I am used to it now, and find the circular needles easy and comfortable to work with. The double knitting weight of this yarn would usually indicate a 4mm needle, but I have chosen a 3.5mm instead, as I want a firm texture, and find smaller needles more comfortable to use. The blanket is still very portable, being only 50 or so rows deep at the time of writing, so it has already had a few outings. It has been with me to Isaac's guitar lesson; to a fund raising coffee morning, and on the school run several times (those minutes waiting in the car are too precious to waste). I keep it in a drawstring bag which originally came with a pair of Camper shoes. I have several pairs of shoes from there, and have made good use of both canvas and carrier bags; both are strong and well made (I like the shoes too!). I have had to temporarily lay aside the crochet scarf I wrote about last month, as the baby blanket will be needed before the scarf. I am also hand quilting a colourful hexie quilt, which I am looking forward to finishing; I feel I have been making it since dinosaurs roamed the earth; hopefully it will be finished in the next week or two. I hope I will have it finished in time to share on another Winter Project Link Party post. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2017 at The Homemade Heart
Mm, lovely. I didn't think of steamed rice, that would have been delicious X
That would be lovely Deanne. I am a vegetarian too (though not a moral vegetarian, I just don't like meat), and I totally understand the logistical difficulties of being a veggie in a carniverous household! X
Yes I am very familiar with the Signe Johansen books! They are great, I have baked a few things from them over the years. trinhe Hanehman's books are very atmospheric, I think you'd like them. Yes let's not mock the 'single product' recipe books, the Oxo one is an absolute treasure trove! X
Hello Jo, thank you for visiting. It would be so nice if you could join me in March, it is a nice, easy, fun challenge, and always interesting to see what others are cooking and eating! X
Hi Christina, I just tossed thenpork in plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper x
Thank you Amy x
Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for February. If you would like to join the challenge this month, please take a quick look at the Cookery Calendar Challenge page, which will tell you everything you need to know. My chosen book for January was 'The Oxo Cookbook'. All the recipes use Oxo stock cubes of course (though for the record I always use Knorr Stock Pots). I have owned several similar recipe books before, based on single products (a certain well known cream cheese comes to mind), and have never been impressed by them. This book, however, is delightful. It is full of easy, tasty family recipes. It is written in a straightforward manner, and the recipes are very reliable and varied. The first dish I cooked was Lamb Keema Curry. This curry uses minced lamb, and a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, fresh ginger, fresh green chillies, and garlic. It is quick and easy to make, and is an attractive dish when finished, as frozen peas are added at the end for colour and sweetness. Served with basmati rice and flat breads, this was a success, and will undoubtedly become a regular dish on the repertoire of family meals. The second dish was Pork and Apple Stew. Again, easy and quick to prepare, and then it simply bubbles on the stove, or in the oven, until it is ready. Diced pork shoulder is tossed in seasoned flour, and fried off until brown. Celery, apples and onions are chopped, fried off and then cider and stock are added. I thickened the sauce slightly, making a little roux, and adding it to the stock and cider. I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans, and again, it went down very well. This book is a simple, straightforward and reliable. It punches well above its weight, scoring me two double green ticks from the family, and has found a permanent spot on my recipe book shelf (currently nestled alongside Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Notes From My Kitchen Table'; , who knew there could be so much innocent fun in arranging cookery books?). My selected book for February is 'Scandinavian Comfort Food' by the inimitable Trine Hahnemann. Trinhe's book 'Scandinavian Baking', published in 2014 is one of my favourite baking books, and I have high hopes for 'Scandinavian Comfort Food'. If you joined me last month, thank you. If you would like to join the challenge this month, this is what to do: The challenge is simple: the first week of every month, select a cookery book from your shelf, and cook two new recipes from it. The recipes can be for any meal. Cakes and bakes are excluded, but puddings are included. Don't worry about photographs; if you haven't taken a photograph of the dish, post a photograph of the recipe book you used. Similarly, you are welcome to share a recipe if you wish, but there is no pressure to do so. This project is more about the process of reconnecting with your cookery book collection, than about recipe sharing or food photography.At the beginning of the following month, blog about the recipes you have used, and announce your chosen cookery book for the month ahead. This is an ongoing project, it's never too late to get involved, and everyone is very welcome. I would appreciate a link back to this Cookery Calendar Challenge post in your post. Grab the Cookery Calendar Challenge badge to display on your blog too, if you like (just copy and paste the code on to your dashboard to display). You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart ). An InLinkz Link-up Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at The Homemade Heart
Thank you Joy, how nice of you to drop by x
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
Hi Christina, I can understand that a wet West of Scotland winter can't match a feeezing continental one, and in truth a lot of my love for winter stems from the really freezing, snowy, dark winters I experienced as a child in the far north of Scotland, No rush to reply to my email, I know how busy life is X
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
Thank you so much Marion. It is a great thing to do a daily walk, makes you appreciate the outside world, and then comimg home is lovely and cosy in these colder months X
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
Thank you so much Katie, you too X
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
That's what I think too Frances; enjoy each season for what it is. I look forward to reading about what you plant in those containers come spring X
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
Hi Tracy, what a great idea to walk with your friend. Dog walking is particularly nice because te dog loves it so much, and their happiness rather rubs off on to you as you all go along! X
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
Oh me too! I am useless in the heat! My top limit for comfort is 23c, I am not good when it gets any hotter X
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
I know, my Spring/Summer loving friend! X
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart
Thank you so much Amy. I know this year has bot started off well for you, I do hope the rest of 2017 is happier X
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2017 on winter pleasures at The Homemade Heart