Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did you know I bake Bread

I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma, it makes my mouth water. Every day of the week I bake bread (apart from when I am at college on a morning)for me and dh to have at lunch time. Now, your probably thinking why do I make it. When we first moved here the one thing that I really did not like was the bread that you by at the store. In England in every small village or town there is always a bakery where you can buy fresh bread. Here where I live you can buy the standard packaged bread that tastes like it was made with sugar and vinegar and you can in some places buy fresh bread, but not as fresh as what I used to get back home in England.

So I bought a bread machine. This was not the first bread machine I had ever owned. I had one in England that was such a novelty when I first bought it, then after a couple of weeks it sat in the back of the cupboard never to be seen again. The bread that came out of the machine was too dense and not only that you had a big hole in the centre where the blade had been. So dh looked surprised when I came home with this 2nd machine and remarked how the last one had just been a novelty!

After many weeks I had finally cracked the perfect recipe for making what I would consider the perfect loaf, it has a lovely crusty crust to it and the inside is so light and fluffy, just perfect, to the point that dh comments every time how this is the best bread he has ever eaten LOL. I must admit I agree (head getting bigger as I type LOL). This loaf is a 2lb loaf (so quite large for just 2 people, but what we don't eat at lunch time, my strapping young teen aged son will eat when he gets home from school) and the dough is made in the bread machine. but is then taken out of the machine. proofed and then baked in the oven, so no hole and a lovely crusty loaf. So if you are like what I used to be and have a machine sitting around idle then let me know and I will gladly share my recipe with you. I bake bread so much that I am now on the 2nd machine since moving here,the other one went and died on me, so I just got a new one last week, (we had to go without bread for a whole week, can you imagine that, while waiting for the new one to arrive) I guess making bread everyday can be tough on the machine but it is well worth the money I spent.

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Union Jack No2 - Right way round and traditional colours

Another Union Jack paper piecing, this time the traditional colours and the correct way round. I like the traditional colours,and to keep my dh happy ........

However, I do think my 1st flag was much more fun, dh commented that it was the wrong colour and didn't look right, what does he know about design!!!???

So here is another UJ that I paper pieced, this time because I reversed the flag on the computer before printing out the pattern, when pieced together it meant that instead of being a reversed image of the union jack it would be the correct way round. Be aware that this was not the case with the pattern that I got from the four twin sisters site, the flag has not been reversed so when you piece with this pattern it ends up the wrong way round. The reson I keep mentioning this is so that if you decide to do this pattern, be aware of it. I was a little peeved when I finished my 1st flag only to realise after that it was the wrong way round.

I imagine with a lot of images this does not tend to be much of a problem, but I think to be true to the UJ this needed to be right or it would just have bugged me every time I looked at it.

So I need some input, I am going to make a pillow with this union jack and I am not sure about the border should I do a single white border, or triple border in red white and blue or just blue or red border what do you think?? The size of the UJ is 8.5 x 11 inches.

had to remove one of my pics as it was stolen !!!!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Just wanted to share this picture I just took of a cardinal through the window of our family room.

When we first moved to the US from England it was June and I was out in the garden and saw a red bird fly past me, I went running into the house to tell everyone that there were parrots flying around outside!!!!

I obviously had never come across a cardinal before! I think they are such pretty birds, its nice to see a splash of colour in the winter, it brightens up my day.

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Union Jack

If you read my previous post, you will know all about the frustration I encountered the other day. Well, I don't give up very easily, it could have something to do with the fact that I can be very stubborn. Well I wasn't going to be beat by this Union Jack. So I have spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how to do paper piecing, I should have practised on something else but I just wanted to do the UJ, I have learnt quite a few things!!! This UJ is not perfect by all means, but it was a practice piece, if you look at the second photo you will notice I didn't cut my fabric big enough so I have a gap, can you spot it? The other thing I realised after putting the flag together is that the pattern on four twin sisters site is not correct for paper piecing a union jack. Can you tell what is wrong with it?

Look at the thick white lines they are not correct on my paper piecing, because the image is reversed when you add your fabric to the wrong side (the non printed side). Below is how a union jack should look

My little hole, lesson Number 1 - Make sure you cut your fabric big enough, don't scrimp....

So here I am doing the union jack in the colours its meant to be. This time I went online and found some clip art of a union jack and reversed the picture, because if you didn't spot it with the other union jack the white stripes are all wrong, this is because what your getting is a reversed image and the other pattern I used was wrong, so I corrected that this time, or at least I think I have, I will know when I have finished the whole thing, my brain does not do well at thinking in reverse!

I am not sure if I like paper piecing, however there is no way that I could of done a union jack by doing it the other way as my lining up leaves a lot to be desired, at least this way it will be straight!

Monday, January 24, 2011


One of the reasons I got into quilting last month! was because I had seen a fantastic quilt online made out of union jacks.
To get me started on quilting I am in the process of doing a simple 9 patch quilt and I am enjoying doing it. However, in the back of my mind is that union jack quilt that would be perfect for my sons, especially as we are all British.

Check this flickr group
and look at this on diary of a quilters blog
But last night in my wisdom I was blog hopping and came across that gorgeous quilt again. I would love to make it but everywhere I look I just can't find the pattern for it. So I came across an asterisk (Astrix - spelling unsure) pattern and this morning I adapted it and started trying to make a union jack, 5 attempts later and I still can't do it! It turned out very wonky and uneven, lots of unpicking happened. So I gave up on that, I had another search and found a paper piecing pattern on twin sisters for for the union jack. Thinking this would at least make sure everything is straight and lined up, which my previous attempt wasn't I had a go. I printed the pattern out even though its much smaller than i wanted, I thought that at least if I could do a practise then I could always enlarge the pattern. So I have now had 2 attempts at it and I just don't get paper piecing and I am so confused and frustrated................I have looked at YouTube examples and I still don't get it.

Has anyone else ever made a union jack flag block by paper piecing? Any suggestions, ideas. Maybe this is one block I should save for another time.

Thanks for the moan, frustrated

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm Back

Sorry I have been MIA, but I am now back!!!

Its been over a year since I posted to this blog!!! WOW Too many spam comments, I am hoping that they have stopped and I can conntinue to post on this blog. I also added a couple of other blogs to my list, one about gardening called my Wisconsin Garde and the other one A Cup of Tea and a Slice of Cake, this one is about my new founded hobby quilting. So if you still want to keep in touch with me, follow my other blogs too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stash Collection

I am slowly trying to build up my fabric collection, I really do not have much at all. So as promised yesterday, here is the result of my little trip yesterday.
Hobby Lobby does a very small collection of jelly rolls, charms and fat quarters. I really love the colours of these so couldn't resist. This bundle of 5 fat quarters was $9.99 but I also had a 40% off coupon so used that to buy it! I just love coupons. I plan on going back and buying some of the jelly rolls and charms for this collection of fabric.

I spotted some fabric on the bolt that I thought would go with these colors so bought half a yard each of those too.

I am a sucker for the clearance sections, so I always end up checking them out and find the brown and aqua fabric. I am hoping that these fabrics will be for my next quilt in a green, white aqua theme, and I might just add the brown and aqua fabric for a little bit of contrast.

I found this fabric in the home d├ęcor fabric aisle I spotted the beige material for only $4 a yard so I bought a yard of that too, I have plans on making some sort of tote or bag with it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review - The practical guide to quilting by Elizabeth Hartman

Wow, I can't believe how many visitors I have had to my blog so far.
If you do stop by, please leave me a comment.

No sewing today, but I did have a little trip to Hobby Lobby and Michaels!!! I will post pics of what I bought some time over the weekend.

I wanted to tell you about one of my favourite blogs that I have just discovered.
It is the blog oh fransson, belonging to Elizabeth Hartman. I absolutely lover her style of quilting and ended up buying her book The Practical Guide to Quilting.

It was delivered yesterday, what a great book. I just love Elizabeth's style of quilting, I love modern quilt designs, and this book has lots of them. Having two teen aged boys the quilts in this book will certainly be the type of designs that I want to quilt. I think this book will be enjoyed by many different levels of quilters. If your a beginner and new to quilting like myself then I think this would be a great buy. Elizabeth explains things very well, even I understand what she means LOL

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It is very cold in Wisconsin at this time of year!! So I decided to make myself a scarf. What could be simpler. I absolutely love this minky/minkee fabric that I saw in Hobby Lobby the other day,it is so soft you just want to touch it all the time! the floral fabric was on sale so I thought why not. The minky fabric is not the easiest of material to sew but I managed to keep my seams straight enough. This is what I ended up with.

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Here is my 1st quilt with the sashing on. Next the borders

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Monday, January 17, 2011

No pictures to post today. I have now done all the blocks and sewed the sashing on, when I get some time I will post a pic or two.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The start of my 1st Quilt

This is the start of a new obsession of mine. Quilting! I think I was a bit ambitious when I started cutting the squares for this quilt. It is going to be a queen sized quilt.

Not a problem you might say, but I have never quilted in my life, never taken any classes and I also do not know another soul that quilts. So with the help of the Internet I am learning, So far so good, My squares are lining up quite well, but I may be speaking to soon on that part. This quilt will be 5 rows of 4 blocks with white sashing in between and then I am going to add a double border to it in red and blue.

Wish me luck

See I spoke too soon, notice the mistake in the red block, I have two plain suares together, so I unpicked it and started again on that one. Other mistakes is not sewing the wrong sides together, all this unpicking eh!!!! but I am having fun, and at the end of it I hope to have something beautiful.

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