Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Monday, 10 September 2012

Do Chip In...

Following the excitement of the Christmas Quiltalong last weekend, I have cleared up all the party poppers and biscuit crumbs, put all my fancy dress outfits back in the wardrobe and have made a little progress on big sister Helen's son & daughter-in-law's baby mat.

I will show you a tiny peek.  I still need to attach a border, then it's a quiltin' we will go.

Oh - talking about the Christmas Quiltalong, I still want to hear about your oldest or most treasured Christmas decoration - I'll keep it open till the weekend then sort out someone for a small giveaway.  You don't have to have been quilting along with us - even if you've just been peeping in, I'd love to hear from you!

It might take my mind off Lynn's rather odd cat-stocking tale...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Christmas Quiltalong, September - pt 5 - goodnight!

Right then, girls, that's your lot from me - I have cats to gather and chivvy up to bed.  In fact, I have one right here trying to type with me, so please excuse any glitches that get through.

I have had such a fun day today!  I might admit to not having done as much sewing as I should have, but hey - I have cookies to eat, and tomorrow is another great day for quilting!

Thank you so much to you all for joining in my fancy dress party!  And do let me have your Christmas decoration stories, I'm so enjoying reading them!  I'll tell you about mine tomorrow too.

And I'm going to leave you with one of my favourite seasonal songs....

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Christmas Quiltalong, September - pt4

I know what I meant to ask you all, but in between clearing up all that sticky honey in the kitchen and prancing about in my cossie, it totally slipped my mind.

I wanted to hear all about your oldest Christmas decoration and the story behind it - or your most treasured, if you wish.

I might be able to rustle up a little something for the best tale.

(note: best tale does not necessarily mean one most likely to tug the heartstrings - funny/interesting carries as much weight as tales of orphan matchgirls or deathbed aged great-grandparents).

Right - I'm off to attach borders.

Melomakarona - Honey Cookies

Ok - so who's hungry?  Time for some Christmas Cookies?  Yes? Thought so!

So, here's the tale: Mrs P sometimes has these great international cookery nights with her family where a letter is pulled out the hat and they have a meal based on a country beginning with that letter - what a hoot!

I like cooking and recently took an international cookery course at our local adult education centre.  When the course ended, I wanted to do more, so every Wednesday evening I have my very own international cookery night, taking one country at a time and putting a few typical dishes together.  It was 'G is for ... Greece' this week, and one of the dishes I cooked was 'melomakarona' or honey cookies with nuts.

They are typically eaten at Christmas in Greek homes, so that makes them pretty spot on for our quiltalong day!

Ingredients for the cookies:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, ground coarsely
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

  • Ingredients for the syrup:
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 1-2-inch piece lemon rind
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

  • Combine the orange zest with the sugar - use your fingers to rub and combine to release the orange oils into the sugar. Add to the oils in a large bowl and beat.  Add the orange juice & brandy and mix well.

    Gradually incorporate the flour, sifted with baking powder & soda
    Pinch walnut sized pieces off the resultant dough and roll into ovals (like a small egg) and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork then bake at 350F  for 25-30 mins ill lightly browned.

    meanwhile, make the syrup but simmering the ingredients in a small pan for 10-15mins.  Remove cinnamon stick, clove and lemon rind and pour the syrup into a shallow bowl or dish.

    When the cookies come out of the oven and while still very warm, float them in the syrup and allow them to absorb syrup on both sides.  Fish the cookies out with a fork or spatula, place on a platter & sprinkle with ground nuts & sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

    Store in airtight container (not in the fridge).

    Make these!  They are lovely!

    Christmas Quiltalong, September - pt2

    How are you getting on, girls?

    I've more or less finished getting ready for the party - the washing is out, the house is clean (or more so than it was at any rate).  I'm coming to this Christmas quiltalong party as a BEACH BABE because the sun is shining!

    I'm going to have to get some cocktails or some punch on the go, aren't I? Perhaps I shall do that once I've baked some Christmas cookies - I'm on my way to the kitchen now after FINALLY finishing the mystery quilt piecing.

    Then it's on with the borders, and getting it sandwiched.

    Christmas Quiltalong, September - pt1

    Good morning, good morning! And yes, Lesley you are quite right, it is a great day for quilting!

    Here in the middle of England, the sun is shining, the cats have had breakfast, and so have I - and it is time to get jiggy with the Christmas Quiltalong! Whoop whoop!

    We're here on the 8th leg of the 2012 Christmas Quiltalong - can you believe that? - where we have been either piecing a Mystery Quilt - courtesy of QuiltSue - or any other Christmas related stitchery - the plan being to not have a massive 'AGGGHHHHHHH' moment at the beginning of December when we realise that all those good intentions of a delightfully quaint home made Christmas are disappearing faster than a glass of sherry in Mother's Union meeting.

    So have we got a busy day ahead? Oh yes, I think so! I want to hear the sound of happy fabric being pieced, and sewn, and pressed and sandwiched, and quilted and bound - phew!  And let's see if we can have a whole heap of fun on the way!

    First up, however, are our thanks to Sue for making the Quiltalong happen this year with her Festive Mystery Quilt, and to everyone who has played along so far this year -
    I kicked things off in February (yeah, yeah,, I'm back again - what of it??);
    then we had so much fun with Joanna, dancing the night away in the March installment;
    with Lesley's pajama party in April;
    Sharon's wonderful angel tree decorations in May;
    Paulette's fabulous Nanaimo bar recipe in June;
    Lynn's pretty mittens pattern given away in July;
    Cathi's wool extravaganza and Christmas chocolate nibbles last month.

    So that is more than enough to get you in the party mood!

    Right, it's about time I got this place ship-shape - so if you could get signed up below to Mr Linky, and perhaps let us know what you'll be working, and what fancy dress you are wearing to the party...

    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Christmas Quiltalong Eve

    I really wasn't sure what sort of party to have tomorrow for the Christmas Quiltalong.

    Lesley has already had a pyjama party when she hosted...

    I know that I'll be cooking...

    And there'll be some entertainment...

    But I didn't want it to be too formal...

    Or too posh...

    But not too casual...

    So it's fancy dress - what will you come as?

    Party Alert!

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    This is turning out to be an exciting week!

    First of all I received a brilliant package all the way from Canada - I was lucky enough to win a package of goodies in Mrs Pickles prize draw.  Thank you, Hayley - those fabrics are wonderful, the chocolate has all been gobbled up, the seeds will be sown in the Spring in my allotment.

    Next up, it is the second Saturday of the month this weekend, and that can only mean one thing - it is the Christmas Quiltalong! Hurrah!  Now the hostess for this month was going to be Maureen, but following a health scare, she should be convalescing and not having a great big Christmas party going on - so it's all over to my place instead.

    There'll be sewing (of course), and maybe some baking, and perhaps a quiz, and some music - all you need to do is come back here when you can on Saturday with your Mystery Quilt (unless you are clever-clogs who has already finished it) - instructions for all parts are at Lesley's blog - or another Christmas project to work on, perhaps, and be prepared to have a bit of a giggle.

    Actually, I might make the dress code fancy dress, so be thinking on what you want to come to the party as!

    And I might show you just a tiny bit more of the baby mat I'm making for big sister Helen .... but only if you promise not to tell!

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