Friday, 28 March 2014

What I've been up to - March

This month seems to have flown by and yet by birthday seems ages ago now! You will be glad to hear we managed to fit the tap to the water butt.........
So what have I been up to this month? With spring finally on its way I've finally managed to sow some seeds indoors. Some summer cabbages - Bourbon - germinated within a week
They are much bigger than this now and starting to get their next set of leaves. I'll need to re-pot them soon I think.
We also sowed some tomatoes and leeks which took a little longer to germinate but they are coming along nicely too now.
Added to these were sweet peas this week. So the conservatory is looking a bit like a greenhouse at the moment.
The potatoes are chitting nicely and we're hoping to get at least the earlies in this weekend as the weather is looking very mild
I've been busy digging over the potato bed in readiness for planting them out but there has been a frost this week.
Cooking-wise I made a delicious cream of leek soup this week after a fellow plot holder gave me a few leeks and we harvested the first of the rhubarb a couple of days ago (which the cat promptly sat on)
and we turned it into rhubarb and custard cake (without cat)
It took forever to cook because I made it in a loaf tin but it tastes pretty yummy!
My sewing has consisted mainly of making blocks for a layercakesampler quiltalong which is great fun

And I have also gone back to making my City Sampler blocks. I thought I would try something different and use a striped fabric in each block together with some Kona solids which my parents bought me for me birthday
And while its working quite well
These are blocks 1 to 6, I'm not 100% sure about it. Mainly I think because I thought I would arrange the blocks in a barn raising style........which means most of the blocks are green ones.....
So I've also added to the taupe ones I started.......
I'm making these blocks as a quiltalong with a couple of quilting friends as it does help to keep you going with them
So quite a lot done in March....and its not quite over yet!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Full of the Joys of Spring part 2 - and a tutorial!

So the rest of my day yesterday was spent sewing.
And yesterday I made a quilt top! It was so quick and easy I've put a quick tutorial together as I'm thinking it has the possibilities to be as good as the #scrappytripalong that is all the rage online.
One of the marketing girls at the offices gave me a charm pack of thirty two 5" squares that are subscription gifts for a Sewing for Pleasure show the magazine is attending in a couple of weeks.
'What can you do with this?' she asked.
I wasn't immediately struck with inspiration but as usual the creative juices starting flowing and I have come up with this. It measures 38" square but if you kept adding blocks you could make a bed-sized quilt really quickly.........and use up a lot of scraps. You don't have to use one background colour either like I have done here, which would use even more scraps up!
I'm calling it a #scrappychurndash and here's how you make it.
What you need:
Assorted 5" square scraps or a charm pack
Matching background or assorted light or dark scraps. I used calico.
1. Cut 5" strips from your background and sub cut these into 5" squares.
1. Take one, 5" background square and cut it in half to make two, 2.5" x 5" rectangles.
2. Join these rectangles to opposite sides of one, 5" scrappy square. Press seams towards scrappy square.
3. Take one, 5" scrappy square and cut it in half to make two rectangles as before and join them to opposites sides of one, 5" background square. Press seams towards scrappy rectangles.
4. Cut this second pieced strip in half to make two, 2.5" x 9" rectangles.
5. Place these pieced rectangles on opposite sides of the first pieced strip.
6. Join the strips together to complete the block. It should measure 9" square (finished size 8.5" square) and the seams should nestle nicely because you have pressed them in opposite directions.
And hey presto one very quick and easy block!
What do you think? Want to play along too? If you do, tag your images #scrappychurndash

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Full of the Joys of Spring!

Had a really productive day yesterday and it feels good when that happens. I may even need to do two different posts about it - that's how productive it was!
The beginning of March sees my birthday and yesterday was a lovely spring-like day. The daffs are just coming out at the front of the house
One of my birthday presents was a water butt for the allotment and as it was a nice day TK and I decided to go and set it up. Amazingly it did fit in the back of the Mini!

And yes he is inside the water butt as we tried to work out how to fit the tap!
Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.........
We didn't manage to fit the tap but at least its in situ
It will of course now stop raining, in which're welcome!
After TK had gone back home, I returned and turned over Bed 4 which was starting to sprout a few weeds. Trying to keep on top of them but its not easy. Bed 2 is quite grassy again and Bed 1 that I am in the middle of digging over is quite wet at the moment so need a few dry days before I can do some proper digging again.