Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Red Cross

I think that is what I will call the red and white quilt that I am working on at the moment.
I quilted a little sample the other day  to help me decide how I wanted to quilt it. I knew I wanted to do some cross hatching on the white background but wasn't sure which colour; red or white?
This is the sample

The scale of the cross hatching is 3/4" which is the same as it will be in the quilt.
Top left corner has horizontal red lines of quilting and white vertical lines. Top right corner has all red quilting and bottom left is all white quilting.
Both threads are solid King Tuts.
I decided I liked the mix of red and white threads together; it toned down the strength of the red. Weirdly if I rotated it so that the red lines were vertical, they seemed more dominant than when they are horizontal.

So I went ahead and started working on the quilt. It's going ok so far. Just hope I can keep my lines straight as there isn't any room for error!

And here's the whole quilt

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Something Different - part two:Veg

Last year I thought I would try and introduce more of a variety of veg into our diets, by trying a new one each month. This was a bit of a failure and only lasted a couple of months.
So part of the new year's resolution for not buying food in the supermarket was to get a vegetable box delivered each week. I hoped this would also force us to use vegetables we wouldn't usually buy.
I had tried veg box deliveries in the past but they were fortnightly and the problem was the potatoes and carrots ran out really quickly and we ended up with masses of onions.
So this time I signed up for a small weekly box from a local farm. The first week was fine, although there were too many types of veg - eight - for us to get through in a week.
The second week I downgraded to a very small box of 6 types of veg and added a small fruit bag, to keep us over the minimum order level. The veg were ok. I made a squash soup with the round squash; although when I cut it open it did smell like a melon and I suddenly worried about whether it would go with the onion and garlic I was already softening in the pan! As luck would have it the farm shop phoned me at the precise moment I was wavering about whether to continue and confirmed it was indeed a squash!
I was already building up a stash of onions so I made an onion soup for lunch one day which was rather yummy.
The fruit bag was a bit of a disaster; apples and a grapefruit so that was scratched off the order and replaced by a box of eggs each week. Might as well do some baking each week?!

Week three was not good. No delivery! They had a box for us but we weren't on the delivery list. They did offer to deliver the following day but I was away last weekend and when I heard what was in the box I said not to worry - didn't like half the things in it!

Week four was nearly a disaster - left the empty box out for them to take away with them when they delivered  - but it was still there when I got home late afternoon. Was beginning to think I had been forgotten again when it arrived at 6.20pm! It didn't have the parsnips I was hoping for/thought were coming unfortunately.
So after a month, I'm thinking it isn't really being successful. It's a bit hit and miss so I'm going to cancel it and visit a farm shop instead. I have about three or four in a 15 miles radius of here. Spending £10 a week on veg and not really liking or getting through half of it, doesn't really make sense does it?

I have the day to myself today which means it's a sewing day! I have a little quilting experiment I want to try and will blog some photos of that next time


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A little different - Part one:meat

I've been meaning to blog about my shopping habits for a little while now. Not the most exciting of topics I guess, so this will fall under the 'and other stories' part of my blog!
This year, I decided I would make it a New Year's resolution to try to avoid going to the supermarket for my food shopping.
It took me a few weeks to actually put this into action, and then another week or so to pluck up the courage to go into the local (award winning) butchers and buy something and then another week or so to arrange for a vegetable box to be delivered from a local farm shop. I even bought some fish from the market last week.
The problem is, I live in a town where the main shop on the high street is a massive Tesco and it's a lovely building.
And the other problem is having a son there are certain store cupboard type things that I still need to get, like ketchup and baked beans and the cats still need catfood.
So at the moment I am still visiting the supermarket but haven't bought any meat or veg in it for a number of weeks now.
Every little helps as they say?

A few weeks in and it's going reasonably well and in light of the recent meat scandal, it was a wise decision; not that I used to buy many ready meals anyway. However this week, I nearly wavered and didn't feel like walking down the high street to my butchers. But I did and I'm glad I was strong.
I'm starting to feel that if I can educate my son that buying fresh local produce from independent shops is better, it will be something he takes into adulthood with him. It may be an uphill battle though as he asked the other week if we were poor because I wasn't shopping at the supermarket anymore. Interesting thought process going on there!
As a society something has gone wrong somewhere. We are buying processed mass prooduced food and losing the skill of cooking. It's time to draw the line and get back to basics. We have gone too far.

 It would seem I am not the only person trying to live without a supermarket. I'm enjoying reading this blog written by a guy living in Cornwall who is trying to give up using a supermarket for more than just Lent. He admits as he's single it's maybe a bit easier for him to #shoplocal but I have real admiration for this family blogging about doing it too.

Part two will be about my veg experiences,,,,,,,,,,

Saturday, 9 February 2013

What I am doing now - Feb

I had a free weekend last weekend..........and used it wisely; well it was Groundhog Day and I was kind of hoping that would mean I would be very productive if I spent the day sewing and had to relive the day over and over again!
I managed to make a few more scrappytripalong blocks in my red and white fabrics. I'm just making them as and when. Here are the first four
As I make more I am realising that whilst I thought it would be quite clever to restrict my fabric palette to red and white fabrics, it is also quite limiting and a little bit of me wishes I had continued with making a totally scrappy one like this.

I'll keep persevering with the red and whities for now though.

I've been doing a bit of quilting this week on my Kaleidoscope quilt. As this isn't a traditional quilt, each stage of the quilting needs a bit of thinking and every now and then I hit a bit of a brick wall, but then it's a fantastic feeling when I break through that wall. I'm quilting some parallel lines for some background quilting at the moment.

The other thing I have been working on the last week or so is a red and white challenge quilt that my mother has issued to my sister and me: to make a quilt 1m square using a bag of red and white fabrics she gave us at Christmas. My first reaction was "oh". I was already making a New York Beauty style red and white quilt, had started the red and white scrappytripalong and really didn't want to make another red and white quilt. Plus I don't have much time for making quilts for me so any time taken out making this challenge quilt was going to be time taken away from my own quilting. So I have compromised, kind of. I've made something quickly by machine but will probably hand quilt it.
It echoes a modern minimalist phase that I am going through at the moment.

I foundation pieced the fabric strips to ensure they were accurate and straight. Each one is 3/4" wide. They would have been all over the place if I had just pieced them by machine!
I'm thinking about quilting it with cross hatching, possibly in red and white threads. Might experiment with doing the cross hatching vertically in one colour and horizontally in the other.

Seeing as I was working with my red and white prints I made a start on the next block for my NYB quilt, really want to crack on with this now!
Linking up with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day post and Small Blog Meet
Lily's Quilts
Lily's Quilts