Sunday 24 February 2013

A little spice

A rainy, dull day and a surplus of tomatoes begged for some chutney-making today.

This is my favourite recipe, warm and spicy, with a peppery kick. Red or green tomatoes can be used with equal success. The tip of the day comes from my youngest child - "Mum, if you're going to chop up kilos of onions, you'd better put my swimming goggles on"! Her suggestion worked a treat - not a tear was shed. But there was great amusement at the sight of a be-goggled Bloom in the kitchen!
tomato chutney

1kg tomatoes, chopped
500g brown onions, chopped
200g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 tbsp sea salt
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
½ cinnamon stick
300ml cider vinegar
225g brown sugar

Place tomatoes, onion, apples, garlic, ginger, salt, spices and half the vinegar in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring, for one hour. Add remaining vinegar and the sugar and simmer uncovered for 90 minutes or until thick. Stir regularly to prevent catching. Spoon hot chutney into sterilised jars and cover with airtight lids for one month before serving. Recipe makes enough to fill approximately three salsa jars.

Monday 18 February 2013

Flannel panel quilt

The new school year has commenced with a bang. With the first of our three children heading into her HSC year, there is an imminent sense of a whopping great mountain ahead to be conquered, mostly for her, but for us all as a family! 

During the parent orientation for my youngest girl, starting Year 6, the following clip was shown:

Man, if I wasn't feeling the pressure of parenting teenagers before seeing this, I am now! I mused that it would be interesting to gauge the state of mental health of Generation X parents; the ones like me who are floundering to keep up with the extraordinary pace of change. I only hope the medical authorities are making ample provision for us all when we finally crack under the pressure ... or perhaps it's just me :)

I think I'll just go crawl into a corner and quilt for a few years! It seems the only sensible alternative, surely :) To this end, I have finished the flannel version of my 'Spin to Play' quilt.

It is made with a 3 x 3 panel of 'Pretty Paisley' flannels by Lesley Grainger for Robert Kaufman which is cheerfully heavy on birds, blooms and hearts.

These fabrics were kindly given to me by Marally Craft, who will also have a limited number of kits available.

Fabric details: (left to right, top to bottom):
  1. Brown on Tea Dye Stripe from Alpine Fabrics;
  2. Green circles from 'Love Birds' by My Minds Eye for Riley Blake Designs;
  3. Red and white spot from 'Pretty Paisley' flannels by Lesley Grainger from Robert Kaufman Fabric Company;
  4. Aqua paisley fabric from 'Pretty Paisley' flannels by Lesley Grainger from Robert Kaufman Fabric Company;
  5. Orange fabric from 'Mumbo Jumbo' flannels by Laura Berringer for Marcus Fabrics;
  6. Dark brown fabric from 'Shaded Oaks' flannels by Holly Taylor for Moda;
  7. Yellow and white spot from 'Pretty Paisley' flannels by Lesley Grainger from Robert Kaufman Fabric Company;
  8. Red circles from 'Love Birds' by My Minds Eye for Riley Blake Designs;
  9. Pink paisley fabric from 'Pretty Paisley' flannels by Lesley Grainger from Robert Kaufman Fabric Company.

The backing is a bright and happy check from 'Della' flannels by Valori Wells for Free Spirit.

Quilting details:
Machine quilting was once again beautifully done by Belinda of Eucalypt Ridge Quilting.

The quilting design is 'Song Birds' by Anne Bright, which conveniently repeats the bird, blooms and heart motifs. 

This little quilt is cuddly, comforting and and just the ticket for one overwhelmed, Generation X-er to crawl into the corner with! 

Wednesday 6 February 2013

'Spin to Play' panel quilt - the details

This post is for those of you interested in the fabric and quilting details of my 'Spin to Play' panel quilt.

Fabric details:

Panel fabric: 'Animal Party Too' by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman. One full panel includes the eight images shown. Very cute, and great for boys or girls.

Arrow fabric: 'Scarlet' from Celebrate Seuss! by Dr. Seuss Enterprises for Robert Kaufman

Coordinating fabrics (left to right, top to bottom):
  1. Blue, Green & Yellow Check from 'Button Up Bears' by Kylie Kreations for South Sea Imports;
  2. Yellow spot fabric from 'Animal Party Too' by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman;
  3. Green spot fabric from 'Little Critters' by Diane Eichler for Red Rooster Fabrics;
  4. Red Daisy from Delighted! by Amanda Herring, The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs;
  5. Black print from 'Folklorika' by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics;
  6. Ground cover in blue from 'Pretty Bird' by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics;
  7. Shell Swirls in blue from 'Classic Jurassic' by Viv Eisner for Wilmington Prints;
  8. Leaf fabric from 'Animal Party Too' by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman;
  9. Unknown mustard stripe.

Quilting details:
Machine quilting was done by Belinda of Eucalypt Ridge Quilting who I can't recommend highly enough!

The quilting design is 'Foxy Friends' by Anne Bright. It has the perfect critter mix for this quilt :)

Kit availability:
Marally Craft will have a limited number of quilt kits available with identical fabrics. They can be contacted via their website or phone: 02 6362 3860.

Pattern availability:
In the Bloom shop as a PDF download.

Sunday 3 February 2013

'Spin to Play' panel quilt

I finished this bright and happy little quilt over the school holidays.

One of my local quilt shops, Marally Craft, generously provided the fabrics for me to play with. The quilt incorporates a pre-printed panel fabric, with eight cute animal images from Amy Schimler's 'Animal Party Too' range.


For some fun, the central panel has some appliquéd detail, and a rotating red felt spinner!

I'm guessing the spinner is strongly weighted towards 'play' :)

I will add some further details about the fabrics and quilting in my next post.

I have written up a pattern for the quilt which is now available as a PDF download in the shop.

I'm busy stitching the bind onto a more girly, soft and cuddly flannel version of the quilt. Hoping to have it finished this week.

It is back to school time in Australia, so I'm looking forward to some serious stitching time in the next few weeks. Thankfully the weather has cooled a little, after what has been a scorching Australian summer. My thoughts are with the many Aussies who are suffering terrible loss through fires and floods. Bloom x
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