Saturday, June 30, 2012

Echino Pillow

The sun finally came out again today so while I had the chance, I took a few photos of the pillow I have made for my Mum . 
The main fabric is Echino "Chelsea Lion" aqua double gauze, along with some matching blue linen to make a fairly basic pillow as I could not bring myself to cut the fabric up any further.
I used a decorative stitch with some variegated yellow Gutermann thread to sew along the edge of the linen - I wish now that I had done a few more rows of stitching in the linen.
And of course Simba came to investgate what I was doing he is giving the Echino Lion the evil eye:)

Fresh Poppy Design

Linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Zakka Style Pot Holder.

I made a couple of pot holders earlier this week using a Granny square block, as I was not sure if I would do the round ones that are part of the Zakka Style sew-along.
But, feeling overly confident after completing the square ones, I decided to have a go at the round ones. I used scraps from my Echo bags and sewed the strips down onto the Insul- bright in a QAYG method . I am ready to stitch the bias binding down on this one and I hope that it will lie flatter when I am done than it is now:( 
If I get a chance later this week, I may try to make another one using some lovely "A Stitch In Colour"  fabrics that Debbie very kindly sent me. If you haven't seen the pot holders that she made from these fabrics, please go and have a look here and also here - they are all so gorgeous!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Granny's pot holders

I have wanted to make the Granny Square block ever since I first saw them on Jolenes blog. And as I thought they would be great to use as a potholder.
I used a few Denyse Schmidt "Aunt Edna" fabrics to make the blocks, and used Traceys method of using setting Triangles for the corners - a lot less wastage, and no bias edges.
I had some Insul-bright from Spotlight and used this for the middle of the potholders - the secret is to place the shiny side down but it is still a bit slippery to sew with.
I just did straight line quilting and bound the potholders in matching pink and grey linen.
 They certainly brighten up my kitchen on such a dreary winters day here in Australia.
Linking to Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations, Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory, Little Quilt Monday with Elizabeth at Pieceful Life and  to Tuesday at the Summer Table with Debbie at A Quilters Table (buttons in left sidebar).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tuesday at the Summer Table - Desserts

One of our favourite desserts in summer here in Australia is Pavlova, which is a sweet dessert with a lovely marshmallowy centre! 
My daughter is doing cooking at high school and she has made a few of these individual pavlovas now, but you can also make a larger one to cut up into serves. This is a recipe for a larger "Pav"  from Donna Hay.

150ml eggwhite (approximately 4 eggs)
  •  1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  •  2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  •  2 teaspoons white vinegar
  •  1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
  •  ½ cup passionfruit pulp (approximately 4 passionfruit)
  •  250g strawberries, hulled and halved

 Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pavlova, top with passionfruit and strawberries and serve immediately. Serves 8–10.
It is  really nice with kiwi fruit, strawberries and grated chocolate (or Cadbury "Flake")on top tooGemma used raspberries, blueberries, passionfruit  and dusted with icing sugar on the individual pavlovas - and we seem to have misplaced that recipe, so if I find it I will add it in later:)
A Quilter’s Table
Linking to Tuesday at the Summer Table with Debbie at A Quilters Table.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

INXS Live in Lismore!

Last night my husband and I went to see an awesome Aussie band which some of you may have heard of........INXS!! They played a lot of their hit songs as well as a few new ones. 

Their new lead singer, an Irish guy named Ciaran Gribbin was really great too! I first saw INXS live back in 1985 when I was at University in Brisbane - they have been around for a while so there weren't many people aged under 40 in the crowd last night. 

(I am somewhere in the crowd here as I was in the third row from the front for the encore)

I found another video of one of the songs they played last night - a slower version of "Don't Change" one of my favourite songs by INXS.

The backup vocalists are "The McClymonts" - three sisters from a town about an hour south of here. I also bought a T-shirt and an autographed CD where their songs are sung by various performers - Ben Harper, Dan Sultan, and Rob Thomas to name a few.
 So I am going to listen to the CD this afternoon while I finish sewing up my "Granny square" pot holders. I am using some new Denyse Schmidt "Aunt Edna" fabrics, and have a piece of Insul-bright ready to use for them. 
I am using Traceys method of making the Granny squares with setting triangles as there is a lot less wastage and very little to trim.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Echino Pillow

This week, I am trying to learn how to use my new sewing machine, so I am making a very simple pillow for my mum using some Echino Lion fabric, paired with some matching royal blue linen.
I am using one of the decorative stitches with some yellow variegated Gutterman thread.
One thing I really love about this new Singer machine is that there is an automatic needle threader :)
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday at the Summer table - Chorizo & Haloumi pasta

It is "Grilling" week at Tuesday at the Summer Table this week, and although I have posted this recipe before, it is such a perfect BBQ dish that I thought I would do it again. Whether on it's own as a quick meal or as a side dish for a BBQ this is a great recipe. The unusual texture and salty taste of the haloumi really makes it special!
You need: 
-chorizo sausages (2-3): sliced
-250 g haloumi cheese: cut into thin strips
-punnet of cherry tomatoes: cut into halves 
-spinach leaves
-black pepper
-olive oil 

Cook the pasta and drain. 
Fry the chorizo on the flat BBQ plate, or pan fry in a small amount of olive oil.
On the same flat plate  or pan, cook the haloumi for a minute or two on each side until it is golden in colour. After it cools, cut into bite sized pieces.
Add both of these to the pasta, along with the cherry tomatoes and mix through. 
Serve, garnishing with spinach leaves and cracked black pepper.
This is a photo of a typical Aussie bloke cooking a BBQ - note the bottle of beer in hand which is sometimes used to pour over the steak or onions and gives them a great flavour. And you can even cook a chook (chicken) on a beer can:)
A Quilter’s Table
Linking to Tuesday at the Summer table with Debbie at A Quilters Table.


Monday, June 18, 2012

A mini by Anneleise @ mail from the Cheeky Monkey!

I was looking through some photos on flickr the other day, and found a lovely mini quilt that Anneliese (who blogs at "Mail from the Cheeky Monkey")  had made using the HST tutorial I wrote as part of Sarahs {sew} get started series
 She has made such a beautiful mini quilt from the HST's, which all line up perfectly.
It is so nice to see something so lovely that has been made from the tutorial - it made my day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Echo "Go Anywhere" bag

I had a bit of time today to finish off my "Go Anywhere" bag  from Annas great pattern.
I think this one was a lot easier then the 241 bag as the curves are a lot gentler to sew.
This is also a larger bag and I love the size of the side pockets - one side has a large open pocket....... 
The other side of the bag has another large pleated pocket divided into 3 which is perfect for carrying a phone and sunnies.
And there is a slip pocket on the inside.
I am entering this into the bags and accessories section in the Summer sewing contest at Ellison Lane quilts, along with this in the quilts section, and this in the homewares area.

Linking to Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge creations and to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIP Wednesday

After cutting into the Echo Blooms fabric for the 241 bag last week, I realised that I would have enough fabric to also make a "Go Anywhere" bag which is another great pattern from Anna at Noodlehead.
So I have all of the pieces cut out and the pleats sewn - I did use a light interfacing although this is optional in the pattern.
And I also made all of the remaining sets of HST's for my Swoon blocks. I just need to trim these back to 3.5" now and them I am ready to sew the blocks together, as I have already made the geese units.
I have only made 3 of the 9 blocks so far and really need to finish them before I start on another quilt!
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday at the {Summer} Table - Wombok Salad

Debbie is hosting a month long event for summery recipes and this week it is all about salads.
This is a salad that we make quite often when we have a BBQ as the kids really like it too - and the recipe which can be found on the back of the packet of the Chang's fried noodles.
Oriental Fried Noodle Salad/ Wombok salad

½ -1 Chinese Cabbage/wombok, or ¼ savoy cabbage, or baby bok choy, or baby spinach 
6 Green Shallots - chopped 5mm length
100g Lightly roasted slivered Almonds or Pinenuts
1 pkt Chang’s Fried Noodles 100g (Original or Onion Flavoured)


¼ cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Castor Sugar
1 tblsp Chang’s Soy Sauce
2 tsp Chang’s sesame oil (Optional)
½ cup Olive Oil

1. Chop chinese cabbage finely
2. Combine all dressing ingredients together and stir over low heat in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved.
3. Mix cabbage, green onion and nuts , then our dressing over the top 
4. Just before serving add noodles and toss through.

You could also add shredded cooked chicken, chopped capsicum (red pepper) or grated carrot.
Linking to Tuesday at the Summer table with Debbie at A Quilters Table.

A Quilter’s Table

Monday, June 11, 2012

Echo 241 bag

This is another 241 tote bag that I finished this weekend. I really love the navy Echo Scattered Blooms fabric - it is the only print I have been able to find locally so I bought some with this bag in mind.
I paired it with a navy linen/cotton blend and another Echo print for the outside pockets, and used a square of the Blooms print for an inside pocket.
The lining was just a remnant piece but was similar to the Navy woven/cross hatch print in the Echo range so it was just right for the inside of the bag.
This is a belated birthday present for my sister-in-law - her favourite colour is blue so hope she likes it!
Linking to {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations, and to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.