Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food glorious food

We really do like our food around here. I made these today:


The original recipe came from Sophie Gray’s (I mentioned we like her books didn’t I?) 100 + Tasty $10 meals.

However I have tweaked the recipe a bit. Here is my version:

Maharaja Pies

Juice of one lemon

1 Teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 boned and skinned chicken breasts cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon of oil

1 tablespoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

1/3 cup tomato paste

¼ cup plain flour

½ cup chicken stock (I use 1 teaspoon instant chicken stock)

½ cup coconut cream

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 sheets puff pastry

milk for glaze

In a non metallic container combine the lemon juice and ginger, add the chicken and stir to coat. Leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate if leaving longer.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook until the chicken is sealed all over. Add the spices keep stirring and tossing for a minute. Add tomato paste and flour then stir in stock and coconut cream to make a gravy. Add the brown sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before next step.

Turn the oven on to 210◦C .

Divide each pastry sheet into quarters. Brush around the edges with water, put a spoonful (I use a table spoon) on to each piece, pull the corners into the middle and pinch along the joins to form raised seams. Brush with milk. Bake until golden and puffed.

These are nice served hot with rice and vegetables in the winter or warm with salad in the summer. Left overs nice eaten cold.

I have just discovered some videos of Sophie on YouTube

You may like to pop over see her in person

Sophie makes fresh Pasta


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

…….and the winner is…….


Jean! at All Points of the Compass.


Jean and I started our blogs about the same time. We have enjoyed talking and sharing tips about blogging. If you have visited Jean’s blog you will know that she has an interest in things Japanese. I am sure she will enjoy the rugs.

Thank you for all your comments.


The promise of Spring

Don’t you just love this time of year?
This is what I was busy doing yesterday
Freshly turned soil, not a weed in sight and loads of pansies and violas. This is a difficult garden to select plants for as it faces South and receives very little sun. It did have some pansies in it when we came here and we noted how they flowered on bravely even in winter. So we thought “pansies it is.”
Now we look forward to a glorious mishmash of colour. Natures patchwork quilt, at our feet as we dine.

PS Can you see the mountains reflected in the windows?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Butterflies are free

My good friend Debbie is a prolific quilt maker. When she made this garden trellis quilt featuring some super Hoffman butterfly fabric she asked me to quilt it.



Debbie's quilt 2


I loved quilting over her pretty fabric selection.

In return she restored an old oak chest of drawers for our Mother:


Don’t they look fantastic? Debbie is such a talented person. One of those amazing people who can turn her hand to anything. I’m real glad she’s our friend.


PS Don’t forget to comment on my giveaway!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sun seeker

Isn’t it amazing how cats can follow the sun?

We had a wee frost on Wednesday. I found Kaiser around 9am in a little sun spot.

No, he shouldn’t be up there on the TV unit, but could you move him?

Kaiser sun chasing

Yes of course he’s a Coro fan too!

Cat quote of the day:

I think it would be great to be a cat! You come and go as you please. People always feed and pet you. They don’t expect much of you.You can play with them, and when you’ve had enough, you go away. You can pick and choose who you want to be around. You can’t ask for more than that.

-Patricia McPherson

Time for more hand quilting and World Cup Rugby


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweet Peas

Another happy gathering of Sweet Peas at our house on Wednesday. Numbers a bit depleted this time but still lots of chatter and goodies to show.

Moira was busy stitching the binding down on this Christmas Runner.

 Moira's Christmas runner

Isn’t it nice?

Maxie shared with us this quilt which she has made for her Grandson’s girlfriend Gemma who is undergoing treatment for Leukaemia.

 Gemma's quilt

It will be so nice for Gemma to have this lovely quilt to snuggle under when she’s not feeling too good.

Once again great food and great company.


Friday, September 23, 2011

100 Posts Give away !!!

Yea, I’ve got this far! To celebrate I’d like to share a nice little Japanese treat with you.
The owl pictures came from a Japanese wrapping cloth. We have a native owl here in New Zealand. It is called Morepork (ruru).If you go here you can listen to its call which it is named after. The yellow flowers over the owls remind me of our spring flowering tree the Kowhia.

The blue fabrics are all Japanese indigos. Isn’t the one with the little turtles cute? The backing is fabric from a yukata robe I found in an opshop.
It was all hand stitched and when deconstructed yielded yards  of  13” wide fabric. If you ever spot one of those snap it up, good quality cotton at a great price. The quilt stitching is done with Sylko thread. Any of you remember that? I have quiet a collection of Sylko threads on wooden spools. I love that they have the colours named rather than just numbered. This thread is Scarlet. So much more exotic than just a number.
I save them for special little quilting jobs like this. 100% cotton with a lovely sheen.
Leave a comment and I’ll pop you in the draw to win these four fun mug rugs. I’ll be making the draw on Wednesday (NZ time). I will post anywhere in the world!Please feel free to mention my giveaway on your blog.
Thank you for your support and encouragement.

PS You too can make mug rugs like these – check out my tutorial.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yummy cheese scones

These are simply the best cheese scones I have ever made:

DSCF1468The recipe is from Sophie Gray The Destitute Gourmet. We have been using Sophie’s recipe books since her first book was published. A lot of her recipes have become firm favourites at our house.
Please try the scones, they are so YUM.

Sophie Gray’s cheese scones

Turn the oven to heat 200c

Mix together:

2 cups self raising flour

2 cups of grated tasty cheese

(I like to add a little cayenne pepper about ¼ teaspoon and ½ teaspoon salt)

Mix with 1¼ cups milk.

This is a wet mix I just scoop it with a table spoon onto the baking tray. Sprinkle extra cheese on top.Makes 12 good sized scones.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Happy munching

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sometimes simple is best

I have been reminded of this whilst working on my Rugby World Cup hand quilting project.

I am particularly pleased with how this Bear Paw block has turned out:


Just a few simple diagonal lines and a few curves look so good. I love the way the straight lines create another pattern on the block.

I think all the whole  blocks are finished now. Perhaps a bit of completion on some blocks and then it’s onto the borders. It is coming along nicely.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lemon Dusters

Now that’s an exciting title isn’t it?
Truth is I love these things. That’s pretty amazing as I so don’t care to dust! I read about these in Wendyl Nissan’s “Domestic Goddess” book. Today I took some wee jars of dusters in to my fellow volunteers at The Op Shop.

Peggy printed up the recipes for me. I laminated them and tied the cards on with raffia. This was a pretty clean green exercise. I bought an old flannelette sheet for the dusters and the jars from the op shop. Clean, green, recycle and all that jazz. If you go to Wendyl’s site the recipe is there.
We use her recipe for laundry detergent and spray and wipe. Saves money and so nice to use.
I haven’t forgotten about the Dream Balls. Perhaps tomorrow I will have time to get onto it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

No I haven’t been driven…..

to drink by my Rugby World Cup project
It is just that like the Teaspoon sometimes the simple things make great quilting tools.
Thanks for popping by

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bring on the big guns

No I don’t mean


I mean this


My floor quilting frame. I haven’t used this for many years but I decided it was perhaps the best way to proceed  with my Rugby World Cup quilting challenge.

Quilt going on


How about this for an outlook as you stitch?


I’m making good progress now. I can really move along as I can spoon quilt.There are all sorts of gizmos around to help you quilt but a good old teaspoon takes a lot of beating!


Friday, September 16, 2011

A cat’s life

If you believe in reincarnation you may like to think about coming back as a cat to our house.

We seem to spend quite a bit of the day dancing attention upon our 3 fur persons.

What would they like to eat?

Would they like a hottie?

Would they like a drink?

Would they like to be zoom groomed?

Would they like a cosy lap to sit on?

Would they like to go out? (The cat door you understand is only for decoration)

Would they like to come in?

Would they like to be wrapped in an eiderdown?

Kaiser Snuggles up    ……………a nice quilt to lie on?


  ………….flowers and garden decor to match your coat?

Certainly no probs.


This is the quote on our cat calendar today:

There are people who reshape the world by force or argument, but the cat just lies there, dozing; and the world quietly reshapes itself to suit his comfort and convenience.  -Allen and Ivy Dodd

Think about it – could be a good option.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dream Balls

Here we are as promised my patchwork covered balls. I learned how to make these about 15 years ago. Peggy sent me the instructions from an online quilting group she belonged to. Sorry, I can’t give credit to the creative person who shared the instructions. In those days it was written instruction only. I have made many of these over the years.


These ones are showing their age – spot the Hoffman pansies.

They are a good way to use up scraps (fabric and batting) and provide a nice little portable project.

 A few of these sitting in a basket make a nice Christmas centre piece.


Isn’t Santa cute?

Just one ball with a decorative wee card attached makes a nice present for a special friend.

When I lived in Thames I had  these little wooden crates made for me to display them in. They make an interesting ever changing decorating feature. Every few days you can turn the balls around and get a different look.


I am wondering if you would like me to write a tutorial for these?

Bye for now

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vintage Hexagons

Time to share some more Hexi goodness


Here’s the quilt label which tells most of the story:


I think this quilt has a very 1970s flower power look to it. It has every sort of fabric you could think of in it, corduroy, velveteen, old ties, old table linen, woollen plaids, needle cord, cottons, silks, it’s all in there. Even some of that horrid fabric from the seventies that looked like wool but was synthetic and had a kinda knit nylon on the back of it. Oh and there some of the dreaded crimpolene in there to! Gosh was that stuff ever indestructible. I bet it’s still lurking in landfills. I tried very hard to make my inserts look like they belonged. I think I did a good job as I have trouble finding them now!


I know I did that pink centre one in the top row and the pink centred one below to the left. See that flower top left orange? I’m sure it’s made from an old linen table mat. I used to have some just like that.

This old quilt is like a jar of buttons – everyone who looks at it has a story – “oh I remember that fabric, my Mum made me a dress with that.”

I quilted it with straight lines on the diagonal through the centre of the flowers. Interesting, this created another hexagon pattern all over the top of the quilt.

Here’s a bit more to enjoy:


By the way the sides of the hexagons measure 1”. How the sewer ever managed some of theses horrid fabrics on such small hexagons I don't know


PS Did you spot my Patchwork balls in the foreground of the top picture? I’ll tell you about those tomorrow.

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