Wednesday, 29 February 2012

FW blocks - 6 more

Here are a few more of the farmer's wife blocks I've made recently.

Cups and saucers:

Gentleman's fancy:

Postage stamp:


Wedding ring:

And snowball. This one worried me slightly because a snowball should be white all the way through. Why would it have a dark centre? Unless they were "Snowballs with rocks in. Them poor little dears. Sobbin' buckets of tears". Name that film! :oD

I actually made myself stop sewing the blocks today so that I would make a start on the 2 blouses I cut out last week. I've got one up to the sleeve-putting-in stage and the other is at the collar-putting-in stage. I might get them finished tomorrow. Maybe. :o)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

happy things

I decided not to show the next FW blocks today as that's all I seem to have shown on here for a while - apart from the sunrise/sunset thingy yesterday. So, what else could I show? Well, I just went around with my camera and snapped a few things that made me happy and here they are.

First of all, I bought a HUGE plastic jar/container thingy this morning where I've put all my cake cases. I took several poses of it just because it's such a happy thing! :o)

Next I went outside and took photos of some crocuses/croci. I had to go and check that I was spelling that properly and, yes, "croci" really is one of the versions of the plural!

The pulmonaria is just getting going:

The forsythia looks a bit leggy:

A couple of lovely bright heathers:

A pot of primulas/primulae:

The daffodils are going to provide us with a great show again this year ... hopefully soon:

In the meantime, I'll just buy some cheap bunches from the supermarket:

And, finally, a couple of pepper pots I bought on the sale shelf last week.

It made no difference to me that they were both pepper pots and not a salt and pepper - I just collect them, I don't use them! :oD

Monday, 27 February 2012

sunrise ~ sunset 27 February

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 11 hours and 47 minutes (32 minutes more than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 10 hours and 31 minutes (32 minutes more than last week)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

double biscuits recipe

It's a while since I made these - I might have to make them really soon! :o)


7oz plain flour
½tsp baking powder
½tsp ground cinnamon
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
rasp jam
glacé cherries

6oz icing sugar = just over 1 cup
1½ tbsp warm water

180ºC (160ºC in fan oven)

Sift flour, baking powder & cinnamon into a bowl. Rub in butter. Add sugar and mix to a stiff dough with the egg. Roll out to ¼" thick and cut into 2" circles.
Place on greased baking trays and bake for 10-15 mins.
When cold, sandwich together with rasp jam. Ice and decorate each with half a glacé cherry.

Friday, 24 February 2012

even more FW blocks

I made a few more Farmer's Wife blocks today.

Practical orchard

Prairie queen

Puss in the corner

Rainbow flowers


I've also cut out a couple of blouses this week. There won't be any sleeve dramas with these as I'm using a (short-sleeved) pattern that I've used loads of times and I know fits me. I had thought I'd make the blouses as soon as I cut them out (on Monday) but the FW blocks sort of grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go! I might get the blouses made over the weekend - or I might not. There's no great hurry for them - it's not as if I don't have anything else to wear! :oD

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

more Farmer's wife blocks

I've been busy making a few more Farmer's wife blocks.

Autumn tints:

Basket weave:

Big dipper:

Broken dishes:

Churn dash:

Country farm:

Friendship star:

And Broken sugar bowl: (I'm not completely convinced about these colours together but we'll go with it for now. If I hate it later, I can always make another one in different colours.)

I've got another 4 cut and ready to sew and I have a list of the ones I'd like to make so, if I don't get bored with it - which doesn't look likely any time soon - I've got plenty to keep me out of mischief! :oD

Monday, 20 February 2012

sunrise ~ sunset 20 February

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 11 hours and 15 minutes (31 minutes more than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 9 hours and 59 minutes (31 minutes more than last week)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

fruit loaf

I got a very lovely e-mail today from Jan in Illinois. She had come visiting from Pammy Sue's blog and she stayed and read some of my blethers. She asked me if I had ever posted a recipe for the fruit loaf I had shown (way back in 2010!) and, to be honest, I was surprised that I hadn't. So, for Jan, and anyone else who's interested, here's the recipe.

Belgian Loaf

Put into a pan and bring to boil:
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup sultanas or raisins (I believe, in the US, what we call "sultanas" are called "golden raisins"?)
4 oz marg
and leave to cool.

2 cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg

Mix well. Put into a 2lb loaf tin and bake at 180ºC/350ºF for 1 hour.

I have no idea why this recipe is called "Belgian Loaf". I asked mum, who gave me the recipe, and she hadn't a clue either! :oD

I'll have to dig through some of those old birthday tea posts and see if there are any other recipes that I missed. If there are, I'll dig them out and post them soon. :o)

Friday, 17 February 2012

some farmer's wife blocks and a pinny

I messed about in my Photoshop yesterday evening and managed to get the templates for the Farmer's Wife blocks on to 16 pages of paper instead of the 133 if I'd printed them straight from the CD. I printed them all out and used some of them today to cut out some more blocks. I then started sewing them together.

First I made the bowtie block:

Then I made the box block:

The attic windows block:

The calico puzzle block:

And last for today I made the contrary wife block. The title of it made me laugh! :oD

And just to show that it all didn't go quite to plan, here was how the first attempt at the bowtie block turned out.

I obviously wasn't paying attention as I'd already had to rip out 4 seams when I attached all the purple corners on the wrong way around! Woops! :oD

And for the pinny in the title - I didn't make it but Pammy Sue's mum made one for her following my pattern. Here it is: (photo taken from Pammy Sue's blog)

Isn't it lovely? And, I just have to say, look at the wee doggy doorstop!! :o)

Pammy Sue shows more photos of the pinny in this post. Thanks for showing it, Pammy Sue, and for linking up to my tutorial. :o)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

a new long term project

Last year I bought the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book:

I didn't do anything with it other than read it - no cutting out or planning or sewing of any of the 111 quilt squares took place.

Today that changed. I cut out the bits for 4 squares and bagged them up with their names in the bags so I'd know which square they were for.

There are a few more that I'd like to make but I need to print out the templates that came on the CD which accompanied the book. The only thing is, all those templates are on separate pdf files. How silly is that? I mean, it'd be okay if there were only 10 templates but there are 133 of them in total so, if I just printed them out as they are, that'd be 133 pieces of paper going through the printer and only using, like template 1 does, a 2½" square of that paper. Not going to happen.

I'm going to make good use of my Photoshop abilities and get the templates on to as few pages as I can and then I'll print them out. If I can get 6 to a page, that'll be (if my arithmetical skills are still up to speed) 22 pages instead of 133. 22 pages still sounds a lot but not compared to 133!!

I'm not going to make this a speedy project. It's a long term project. Actually, all that means is I'll be making a square now and again when I feel like it and I'm not going to make any rash promises about when it'll be finished! My kind of project! :oD

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

sewing room and weird hyacinths

It took me 2 whole afternoons of folding and refolding fabrics but it's done now and I can't get over how fab my new shelves look in my sewing room. I just *love* them. I'm almost worried about using any of the fabric in case I make a mess of the piles! :oD

I've even created more room by folding everything so neatly so there is room for more! :oD

And, just for something a wee bit different, here are some hyacinths which I bought last week. They are the most peculiar looking hyacinths I've ever seen!