Saturday, 22 November 2008


A lovely bit of post this week. My much awaited little quilt from Kates swap. And here it is

Gorgeous ! As my favourite block is log cabin and I love blue and yellow together this suits me down to the ground. The maker of this little beauty is Sharon from Canada who did a fantastic job of this. Perfectly sewn with amazing hand-quilting. A couple of extra gifts of a great notebook and some Laura Ashley sticky notes too. Thankyou Sharon - another successful swap. I have some lovely little mini quilts now and I absolutely love them all.

I have done a fair bit of sewing this week although I have been naughty and not done any quilting on the sampler. I will try harder next week. I would love to have it gone to it's owner by Christmas. I have been sewing a new project and an old one. I want to do a bit more before I show photos though. Next time . .

By popular request here is the recipe for the chocolate beetroot cake. Measurements are in metric as that is all the recipe stated. I usually use imperial ( pounds and ounces ) and I know US cooks use cups. I think there are probably conversion tables lurking about on the net somewhere. As promised the cake was very moist and although you could not actually taste the beetroot it had a slightly earthy taste. Very good cake and if you make it I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake
125g butter
100g dark chocolate ( at least 70% cocoa solids )
250g beetroot - cooked and obviously without vinegar
3 large eggs
100g cocoa powder or hot chocolate drink mix
225g self raising flour
200g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan/Gas4 and line tins. I used 2 8 inch square tins.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave til melted and stir to mix. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside.
3. Puree the beetroot. Beat the egg and stir together. Sift the chocolate powder and flour together into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and beetrrot mixture.
4. Divide mix into the tins and level out.
5. Bake for about 35-40 mins until cooked through i.e until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
6. Make some filling. I made a fudgy chocolate crean with some melted chocolate, a little butter and some icing sugar. Sandwich cake together with this and dust top with a little icing sugar.

Our weather has been very cold this week and my cats have stayed in a lot.
Here are Marley and Tizer giving my new quilt a try.

And here they are a couple of hours later.

Tizer ( the tabby ) loves Marley and follows him around like a shadow when he is in. I thought this was so funny. Seems like he's copying his sleeping positions too - lol !
Have a great weekend !

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Doing my bit . .

. . to help the global economy - lol ! What's a girl to do when she has birthday money burning a whole in her pocket and the worlds in financial crisis ? Spend it of course - here's a few goodies

Helping out Amazon in case they run into difficulties.

Spreading it internationally. Order from Thousands of Bolts.

A few plains from my lovely fabric seller who comes to our local quilt group once a month. I would miss her if she had to give this up through the recession - lol ! Not much chance of that.

A few bits from a local shop or two.

So there you go - I can sleep easier at night knowing I've helped out all these people :-) Who am I kidding ?

Anyway do you remember these blocks ?

To recap these are for a quilt for my DH Jason to keep him warm through the winter. Well originally I planned to make 35 blocks and set them 5 by 7. BUT after sometime of making these I couldn't bear it. Each block seemed to take forever and I was itching to get them finished. After a quick count I only had 18 blocks. Almost half of what I had decided to do. Not nearly enough. I had a think and wondered how to make these into a decent sized quilt. Maybe I could set them on point or make BIG borders. AHA - what about doing both these things ?

Job done..

This is now a great size - actually bigger than I thought by quite some way - lol ! Will try and get this quilted soon. Just gearing myself up to struggling along with my domestic sewing machine. I can feel my shoulders aching just with the thought of it.....

A couple of non-quilting things to end with. If you have been wondering about the little rescued cat - Tibbles ( Susan and Margeeth have been enquiring amongst others ) here's the latest. A couple of weeks ago we went off to see him at our local rescue center only to be told he wasn't there as we had been led to believe. I was perplexed at this and made further enquiries at the vets we had taken him to. Apparently for whatever reason he had been taken to a centre run by the RSPCA about 50 miles away. I tracked down the phone number ( would have been easier to get the number of the Queen I think ) and gave them a ring. Yes he was there under a new name of Oliver and was doing very well. He is being assessed soon and will be re-homed when he is ready. The very nice lady I spoke to said he will be better going to some-one in a new area as that is something they usually do with stray cats. I asked her would she do me a favour and let us know when he has found a home and she has promised to do so. However I know they are busy so will probably ring soon to find out the latest. We were all a bit gutted that we never got to see him - I so wanted a photo of him but at least he is safe and sound and will make a great Christmas gift for somebody. I am just pleased we managed to get him sorted before the cold night hit us.

One last thing. Here is a cake I made earlier in the week from a cookery magazine. I am always searching for a good recipe for a moist chocolate cake and this one promised just that due to an added secret ingredient. I made it when no-one was in and then asked them to guess what the secret thing was. They all enjoyed the cake - it was rather yummy but they didn't guess that it contained pureed beetroot. Strange but true. I am the only one in my family that likes beetroot and I don't think they will eat it again now they know what's in it - lol ! But I had a laugh watching their faces when I revealed all - ha !

See you soon xx

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The good - The bad . . .

Not sure about the ugly - lol !

Life is running away with me just now and I am a bit behind on lots of things. Behind on blogging and answering emails. Behind on ironing - but I can live with that. This week I'll be playing catch-up I think.

Anyway first the good. It's a great feeling when your son asks " Mum - are you expecting a bloggy parcel because the postman is coming down our path with a box ?" And even nicer when that parcel is a complete surprise from a lovely lady called Karol-Ann. It was a slightly belated birthday present and is absolutely the best bag I own.

Here is son very kindly modelling it for me. ( No of course your face isn't in the photo Patrick - just keep watching The Simpsons - lol - bad mum ).

I cannot tell you how lovely and gorgeous this is in real life - so well sewn and I'm very impressed with the magnetic fastenings. Thanks KA - you are a star ! There were also some sweet little candles in the box and some fantastic threads which are very beautiful and unusual.

Now onto the bad... I mentioned last post that I am working on something NOT fun. It is this.

It is not mine and I don't even know the lady who owns it but here's the story. Two of my friends from my small quilting group ( who happen to be sisters ) first discovered quilting 15 years ago when they did a sampler quilt for beginners along with another lady they know. My two pals duly finished their quilts and made others and joined our quilting group etc,etc. The third lady however got so far and abandoned her quilting career in order to take up other hobbies. So this poor quilt has been sat in a bag for almost 15 years waiting for some unfortunate soul to take pity on it and finish it. Yes - that some-one is me. I was persuaded to take it home and finish it off. Now the lady whose quilt it is had started hand-quilting it and although my friends said that finishing it off by machine would be fine I just thought it would look so much better finished off the way it was started. So hand-quilting it is.

I have umpteen projects myself that I would love to hand-quilt but instead I'm finding myself working on this. A bit musty-smelling ( well wouldn't you be if you sat in a bag for all that time ? ) and absolutely not my colours. I'm doing my best quilting on it but my heart isn't in it - in fact I can't wait to get shot of it. I'm trying to do at least an hour a day on it but there is still a way to go. Lesson to self - Just Say NO !! One day I will learn. Meant to say my friends have assured me she will pay me for my time but not sure how much. She is quite an elderly lady and would love to see it finished. You know the saying - There's one born every minute - lol !

Quick last photo - there were no cats in sight when I got this opened up to take a photo - quilt magnets !!

I have been doing a bit of fun stuff too but have no photos just yet. I got shut of some quilty stuff on Ebay last week too so that was good - made a little room for more :-)

See you soon.

Quick update - Patrick came in and rumbled me - he saw his photo and said I was a terrible liar - lol ! He doesn't mind really...