Cake, Découpage and Quilting …

I’ve not posted for a while for various reasons but mainly because I started a fantastic new job at the beginning of September and more importantly, my Dad was taken seriously ill a few weeks ago and whilst it’s been a huge roller coaster of emotions and worry, there are some hopeful signs. Needless to say, I’ve not really been feeling particularly creative.

Over the past week though, I have had a go at my very first quilt and whilst some of the stitching is somewhat random, I am quite pleased with it as a first attempt:

IMG_0398-0.JPG

IMG_0400-0.JPG

Whilst trying to take a decent photo of it, someone decided to ‘help’:

IMG_0399.JPG

I’d really like to make a large quilt for our bed but think I need to practice on some more smaller projects first.

Baking has not featured much here recently apart from the cakes made for my sons’ birthdays – they are just over 3 weeks apart, with mine thrown in the middle for good measure! My younger son loves cheesecake and he chose a raspberry ripple cheesecake as his birthday cake:

IMG_0404.JPG

My older son’s cakes are coming in 2 batches, the first were salted caramel cupcakes, he chose these because he was out on the evening of his birthday and is away this weekend, we will have the last 4 when he comes home later today. The 2nd/proper cake will be made next week when we are all home to enjoy it:

IMG_0403.JPG

I’m finally posting about our découpage fireplace. I did this way back at the end of the summer holidays, it took me over 5 hours and it was one of those things where I really wasn’t sure whether it was going to turn out ok or not. Originally, the tiles were a green/grey muddy colour and looked horrible, having lived with them for 13+ years, I decided to do something about them. At first, I was going to spray paint the whole fireplace purple, fortunately, I decided against this and went for découpage instead. I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste but I love it. The fireplace looks so much better now, we never have a fire in there – it’s in our dining room and anyone sitting next to it at the table would severely overheat !! The fireplace now looks like a proper focal point of the room:

IMG_0402.JPG

IMG_0401.JPG

Francophile Fabric …

I decided against the baking route today – there will be more of that this weekend – and instead focussed on sewing. I found some lovely ‘francophile’ fabric yesterday and have used a small amount to make a ‘wall hanging desk tidy’ – as you do !! I’ll nip in to work tomorrow to make sure it works but it should end up with various pens, rulers, pencils, glue sticks, stickers, post-it notes etc inside:

IMG_4606.JPG

IMG_4607.JPG

The backing material is lovely linen and I really like the quirky style of the French inspired fabric.

Some of the stitching wouldn’t pass close inspection and the pockets are not all completely level however, I am really pleased with the end result and my desk should be a lot tidier for it.

Life’s a beach (hut) …

I had some of the lovely beach hut material left over from when I made some napkins a few weeks ago (click here to see them) and decided to use it to make a panel for our bathroom window. Now that we are experiencing some warm weather it’s lovely to open all the windows and let the breeze through the house – we can now open our bathroom window but maintain privacy, a plus for us and our neighbours!!!

20140615-120258-43378732.jpg

Bank Holiday Weekend …

Our bank holidays here in the UK have a bit of a reputation for bad weather and traffic jams, I think that this one has been the exception here in Bristol. The sun has shone throughout and the furthest we have driven has been around 3 miles.
On Saturday, I made 10 napkins with some very summery beach hut material, perfect for picnics:

20140505-133024.jpg

20140505-133033.jpg

20140505-133042.jpg

Whilst the sewing bit was very straightforward, the measuring and precise cutting that were needed did take some concentration!

Yesterday one of my boys asked if we could bake something together. I passed him my Paul Hollywood book and asked him to choose something. His choice was a fruit loaf (or rather, 2 fruit loaves):

20140505-133331.jpg

20140505-133340.jpg

The result is a delicious, moist, fruity bread, perfect for tea last night and breakfast this morning!!

Today, we went to the BBC Food Festival, we arrived quite early which was just as well because it became really busy by the time we left. It was a great foodie treat with a huge range of artisan producers. I really liked the fact that at most of the stalls, food was cooked to order and was definitely worth the wait. The boys (including my husband) tried scotch eggs, sausage rolls, Jamaican jerk chicken wraps, BBQ chicken, a selection of samosas, cider (produced just a few miles away from where we live). I had a lovely latte and treated myself to this beautiful water jug:

20140505-133937.jpg

All in all, a great bank holiday weekend – hope yours has been just as good wherever you are and whatever the weather.

Table Runner …

Yesterday, I began to make a table runner, based on an idea that I’d seen in the Liberty, Simple Sewing Book.
It involved aerosol paint and doilies as well as some squares and circles of complimentary fabric, having found some lovely material at the weekend, it was time to give it a go.
I’m very pleased with how this has turned out, I’m wondering whether I could use this style to make some curtains …

20140422-172357.jpg

20140422-172405.jpg

20140422-172412.jpg

I especially love the balloon fabric!