Dutch Pinwheel Quilt

The Dutch Pinwheel Quilt is finished and hanging on the wall above our shop counter. I’m really pleased with it. dutch pinwheel quilt It measures 38″ x 38″ and made with a white Moda charm pack, a Moda Ambleside charm pack plus some extra white for sashing and backing. The binding is also from the Ambleside fabric collection.  I kept the quilting simple, by just quilting in the ditch. It’s not brilliant but I’ve not really done much quilting myself, so not bad for a first proper quilt I suppose. I will be writing a tutorial for the shop blog on how I made it, in case anyone else wants to try.

I’m in the quilting mode now, so maybe I’ll get some of the other quilts finished now!

PhDs

A couple of weeks ago at Knit ‘n’ Stitch I was told that I have PhDs; not doctorates but Projects half Done! This was because even though I’ve not yet finished the back of the Hellebore cardigan that I started a few weeks, I started a new knitting project. This, in addition to the 3 or 4 quilts I still need to finish, qualifies me to hold such a title apparently!

Well the thing was, we had a delivery containing all the new yarns and pattern book from Sublime Yarns during the day and I really fancied knitting a new sweater from the new Natural Aran book, using one of the new shades of Sublime Natural Aran yarn.

Being Aran weight means this jumper is going to grow so much quicker than the Hellebore cardi which is in Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply. In fact I got a good chunk done in just one session which felt very satisfying. The back is just 2×2 rib so ideal for Knit ‘n’ Stitch nights because I don’t have to concentrate too much.

Dutch Pinwheels

I’ve been wanting to make Dutch Pinwheel blocks for a while, ever since I saw them on someone else’s blog. When the Ambleside fabric collection arrived at the shop, I thought it would be the perfect fabric to use.

So I took a charm pack plus a Bella Solids white charm pack and started making half square triangles with them.

Once trimmed to 3″ squares, it was just a matter of laying them out in the order I liked.

The first one I did I mixed the designs up. I didn’t think I wanted the colours to be too regimented. This was probably the best block I’ve ever made in terms of accuracy. All the points met… first time!!

My first Dutch pinwheel

The only problem though was once made, I wasn’t sure I liked the mixed up colours after all!

Today has been a bit miserable weather-wise, so I sat down and made another one and much prefer it because it’s not so random.

Dutch pinwheel block
I just don’t know if I can bring myself to undo the first one though because of how well it sewed up!

A Travel Tissue Cover – quick sewing project

I needed to do a quick sewing project. I just had a urge!  I recently came across a free tutorial for a Travel Tissue cover on the Two Brown Birds blog and had to have a go.

The fabrics were in my stash. The aqua coloured one was a free fat quarter with a magazine, Love Patchwork & Quilting or Quilt Now (I can’t remember which), and the red one is one we sell in the shop – part of Makower’s Chicken & Egg collection.

It was dead easy to do and I even overlocked the edges before turning right side out. Check me out!

Travel Tissue cover

Might make one for my Mum this weekend :)

What’s on my knitting needles?

Running a business takes a lot of time and my knitting time has been severely reduced recently. By the time I’m sat down of an evening, I don’t feel like picking up my knitting needles. However I’m making an effort at the moment to regain my knitting mojo.

I’m currently using the Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply yarn to knit this crossover top, called Hellebore, from the accompanying knitting pattern book and am really enjoying using it.

Hellebore from Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply Pattern Book

The pattern uses a chart and it took me a while to get into it. I had to redo one row 3 times and still couldn’t get it right, so fudged it and continued. I’m now on the third pattern repeat and it’s fine. I don’t know what I did wrong in the first pass, but never mind. The pattern itself has clicked now too, so I’m not having to read off the chart too much.

Hellebore knitting

A progress photo I published on Instagram

Incidentally, in my last post, I talked about using a day to a page diary that I was given at Christmas, to help me with my life planning and I’m finding it really quite helpful. I divide the page up so that I have any appointments or events on the left hand side and a to do list on the right hand side. I also add odd items that I need to pop to the shops to buy on the right hand side. I make notes at the bottom regarding what I might be cooking for dinner and things I need to remember to pray for. It’s keeping my brain clear now!

A new recipe and the search for a planner

I haven’t tried a new recipe for a while and the past couple of weeks I’ve just been taking the easy option at dinner time.

So last night I thought I would try another new recipe from the Mary Berry cookbook I had at Christmas. This time it was spicy schnitzels – pork escalopes in spicy/smokey breadcrumbs, with some new potatoes and salad.

It didn’t go completely smoothly. The recipe said to put the bread in the oven for 20 minutes, then put in a food processor together with the spices to turn into breadcrumbs. However the bread turned to dust, not breadcrumbs! So instead I blitzed some bread into crumbs, then toasted them in the oven for a while, then mixed with the spices before coating the pork.

It tasted good though in the end, and I liked the lemon and parsley mayonnaise to go with it.

  

 I’ve also been looking into planners. I used to love having a Filofax when I was a student but after Uni, the need for one lessened and I stopped using them.

However my brain feels very full at the moment, trying to remember everything I have to do during the week. Not so much managing appointments and events, but tasks and goals that I need to achieve. Having a planner seems to be a real craze at the moment, judging by the pins on Pinterest and photos on Instagram.  I’m not quite sure what style will work out best for me, so I’m going to take a daily diary that I was given at Christmas and try out a few ideas. I need a to do list, meal plans, shopping lists and maybe even prayer points and things to remember. I’ll give it a go anyway and see what happens…

A third quilt top…

I couldn’t resist… I started another quilt yet I still have two to finish, plus a mini quilt.

But the Whitewashed Cottage collection by 3 Sisters that we had in recently to the shop was just calling out to me. I saw this free quilt pattern called Layers of Charm which uses a layer cake plus some extra yardage and last Friday I just couldn’t resist the urge to get started. Work was put to one side and I inwardly groaned when customers came in the shop, because I just wanted to sew without interruptions!

I got almost the whole top done in a day. There were only a couple of seams to finish the following day. If I’d not had interruptions and had started earlier in the day, I would have got it all done.

This is how it was when I was trying to decide where to place the squares.

whitewashed cottage quilt blocks

I’ve chosen the backing and binding fabrics from the Whitewashed Cottage collection and now just need to quilt it. I’m going to machine quilt it on Mum’s Janome 15000 sewing machine using one of the stipple patterns that it does automatically. I want this to be a quick quilt! I’m going away this weekend to visit the in-laws, so it might have to wait until I have some time off over the Easter weekend to get it done!

The Mirabelle quilt top is now finished too, but I’m waiting for Fig Tree’s new collection Aloha Girl to arrive to see if there’s any fabric that might work for the backing and binding.

I still have the Somerset Mini Quilt to quilt too and the It’s Raining Cats and Dogs quilt to finish making, which I don’t think I’ve touched for a couple of years because I became a little tired of all the tiny appliqué pieces.

 

 

FO: Herbert’s Tank Top

At the weekend, I finished the tank top for my friend’s baby which due next month. They’ve nicknamed “the bump” Herbert for now, hence my calling it Herbert’s Tank Top.

I really enjoyed knitting this. There was some interest with the irish moss stitch top half and it came together really quickly. Had a it of a dense moment with doing the ribbing around the neck. Had to redo it 3 times because I was just making silly mistakes, but sometimes it just goes like that, doesn’t it?

herberts-tank-top

The pattern is Rico Knitting Idea 150 and the yarn I used was Rico Baby Classic DK in case you’re interested.

Cooking Success

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago, that I got some cook books for Christmas and I was going to try and cook a new recipe every week. Well, it hasn’t been every week, but I have tried three from Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect so far.

First I tried the Lemon Chicken Risotto which was alright and I’d do it again sometime.

Processed with Moldiv

The Lemon and Limoncello Posset was next and this was amazing!! So smooth and very lemony. It was so easy too. I’d happily serve this at a dinner part and think it would really impress, especially if accompanied by homemade shortbread biscuits. It was meant to have limoncello in it which we didn’t have so I just put some extra lemon juice instead.

Processed with Moldiv

And then tonight I made the Greek Lamb Pilaf with some leftover roast lamb. Didn’t have the Orzo pasta so just did some rice with it instead. Wasn’t sure about this one at first, but I would make it again… maybe without the feta cheese crumbled on top though.

Processed with Moldiv

It’s an excellent book. So many recipes that I want to try in it. Highly recommended!

Finally blocking the poncho

Having quite a productive day today. We went out for breakfast to a local cafe, I did some housework, some washing, guitar practice for church tomorrow and I finally started blocking the poncho!

Processed with Moldiv

Going over to Mum’s in a while and hope to get a bit of sewing done before dinner and then I suspect some knitting in front of the fire and a film tonight!

Phew! Busy day or what?!