Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bits and bobs

I'm pleased to say that the quilts (and teddies) have gone to a new home. Sadly I didn't have any contact details for the women's shelter where my mam's quilts were originally intended so just thought I'd try and find someone who would take make use of them.

I'd found a place and was about to email them when I thought I'd try one more time on the internet to see if I could find the shelter. Still no joy, but I wasn't giving up, so rang a women's shelter here in Sunderland to see if they could help.

I briefly explained about the quilts and was totally expecting the woman on the other end of the phone to say she'd never heard of such a thing. However she replied that she knew all about them and could remember receiving quilts from my mam.

They would love to have them, and the comfort teddies as they give every child who comes into the shelter a gift, and gave me the address of the shelter where my mam's quilts would have been sent, so we could drop them off.

Whilst I would have happy for the quilts to have gone to another charity, I'm delighted to have been able to donate them to the place where they were meant to go.

Following my last post I was asked what new project I was going to do now that the quilts were finished. Being me I wasn't going to settle for just one !!!! So here's what I'm working on at the moment and what I've got planned for the coming weeks.

A laptop bag. There's still the wadding, linings and the handles to attach.

Next on the project list is some Christmas bunting. I'm making two - one with large and small snowmen and the other spelling out 'let it snow'. While I was waiting for the fabric I'd bought online to arrive I made a start on cutting out the felt snowmen and 'let it snow' letters.

Once the bunting is finished I'm planning using the left over fabric from my laptop bag and the other Scotty dog fabric to start building up a stock of bags ready for when my new business venture goes live next Autumn.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Finished !!

I've done it !! I've finally completed all of my late mam's unfinished projects.

Out of all of her projects this one was the easiest to finish as she'd done most of the work already. All I had to do was finish outlying a couple of squares and do the binding.

I'd like to think that she would be pleased with how they've all turned out. If you want to have a look at them just click on the various links: comfort teddies,  little girls quilt, little boys and baby quilt.

I certainly really enjoyed finishing them. They kept me busy during the summer whilst I was immobile from my hip op, though hand stitching a quilt on one of the hottest days of the year probably wasn't one of my brightest ideas !!

Once I've washed the quilts I'll then find a good home for them and the teddies.Whilst they may not go to the original destination that my mam had intended them to go (I don't have any contact details for the lady who was organising them) I'm sure whoever gets them will be most grateful.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

October's bake of the month

After a short break the ‘bake of the month’ returns to a new mid-week slot.

I came up with the idea of these after eating lemon muffins from a well known supermarket. Those muffins had large pieces of sugar on the top which gave it a lovely sugary crunch.

As I didn’t have any sugar cubes to crumble over the top I improvised by making a syrup using granulated sugar and lemon juice. When the sugar syrup hardened it provided a wonderful sticky lemony texture.

The muffins are best eaten within two days as the sugar top goes a little soft.

Sticky lemon muffins
  • 5oz/125g caster sugar
  • 9oz/250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3oz/75g butter or margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7fl oz/200ml milk
  • Grated zest of one lemon

  • 2oz/50g granulated sugar
  • Juice of one lemon

  • Preheat oven 200ºc/Gas Mk 6. Fan oven 180ºc.
  • Using a muffin tin line 10 (or 12 if you want to make them smaller) holes with paper cases.
  • Melt the butter/margarine in a pan or the microwave then leave to cool.
  • In a bowl add all the dry ingredients and give them a quick stir.
  • Add the eggs to the milk, beat together, and then add to the melted butter/margarine.
  • Pour the liquid to the dry ingredients then gently mix until just combined. Don’t be tempted to give it one more stir as over mixing will make the muffins tough.
  • Divide the batter into the paper cases. You can use a spoon, or better still, an ice-cream scoop.
  • Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until they are golden brown.
  • Shortly before the muffins are due to come out of the oven put the granulated sugar and lemon juice into a tea cup and stir. Heat in the microwave for approx 10 seconds until all the sugar has dissolved. You can do this in a small pan over a medium heat if you prefer – I just use the microwave as it saves dirtying a pan....
  • Once the muffins are cooked, using a large pastry brush, brush the tops of the muffins with the sugar syrup.
  • Leave to cool completely so the tops can get lovely and crunchy.

Gertie xx

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Another two down, only one to go

I've been busy with my mam's quilts all week. I just want them finished so I can start on my ever growing list of things to make.

When I asked my sister what mam had planned for the back of the quilts she told me that the baby quit just needed a plain backing fabric. She also gave me a tip about the binding - cut the fabric slightly bigger all round,  fold it over then stitch it down.
That was the theory anyway. Putting it into practice was a little different..... It would have been so much easier if I could have put the fabric and the quilt on the floor and measured it there. Unfortunately my new hip isn't agile enough at the moment to let me creep around the floor so that method was out. As my workroom table isn't big enough to lay it out flat I had to measure everything with a tape measure. Big mistake !!!!!

I measured everything twice (like the old saying measure twice, cut once) and got the same figure each time so cut out the backing fabric. However when I came to put the two bits together there wasn't enough fabric to make the folded binding. URRRRRR !!!!

When I told Mr Gertie he replied that this some times happens to him too. Has this ever happened to you? We suspect we have phantom tape measures which take great delight in moving their numbers around when we're not looking.....


Like the little girls quilt I made a reversible backing for the little boys one. Looking through my mam's stash of fabric I found something which would be perfect for a little boy, though it would have to be pieced like the girls quilts.

This time I decided to piece it in long strips, alternating between pattern and plain fabric.

Three quilts down only one to go.....

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

One down, three to go

My sewing machine has been busy this week stitching one of the quilts that my late mam had made a start on.

I wasn't sure what my mam had planned for the back of the quilt so rang my sister to see if she had any ideas.

'Just use what ever fabric you think goes', she suggested, 'that was what mam was going to do'.

Looking through the stash of fabric I inherited from my mam I found some pink butterfly print, which although there wasn't enough to cover the back completely, there was enough for five large squares. I teamed that up with some cream and used what was left of the main fabric to make some binding.

So, one quilt down, only another three to go !!!!

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.