Sunday 7 October 2012


All I want for Christmas is a bottle of confidence. Now many ladies who attend my classes might be surprised to read this!
My week has been full of uncertainty regarding my sewing and I have ended it on a cooking low.......I wonder how many of you have been watching Nigellissima?
Although I find her much changed from years ago, I still watch her programme. I thought I might try to cook along and try her take on Italian dishes. So today it was to be her Italian roast chicken with peppers, served with Orzotto.
I started off by running a bit late, but the chicken was to be cooked at quite a high temperature - my oven is fairly fiery at the best of times so why I thought it would be any different today, defeats me. I should have taken a photo of the charred, nay, cremated peppers.......the chicken was edible.
The Orzotto was Nigella's twist on risotto, made with pearl barley ( have only ever had this in Scotch Broth, which I am not fond of) - however, it was ok.
Not sure I will buy the book.
What surprises me is how flustered I got cooking this - there was a time, not all that long ago when I could cook up a storm for guests in double figures - so what happened??

But back to my sewing.
I have a small waiting list of folks who for one reason or another, were unable to attend my beginners course that started in August. I planned to run a couple of day workshops to accommodate them - booked the dates this week - set about making the sample. I decided it was to be a small quilt, suitable for a baby. It is pieced with 6" squares, a couple of HST patches and will have some applique. This covers most of the bases  
to get going. I had bought the fabric, trying to be reasonably economical and made the top on Thursday.
I hate it, it's far too busy....looked at it for a couple of days and then yesterday spent quite some time unpicking the whole thing.....I plan to ditch the alphabet patches and replace with a solid cream. The pinwheel blocks look a bit silly at the moment but make more sense when the applique is set. I'll show you later.
Meanwhile, Mouthy Stitches - for this swap we have to make a Tote Bag.- we are all following the same pattern, easy peasy. I stalked my partner and decided on my design. I was quite happy, until I scrolled through all the others and felt my confidence seep away...............
 The main part of the bag is made from Essex Linen in quite a bright olive green - the apple theme was inspired by some apple fabric I had and the tree is a bit of texty fabric.
My real doubts are about the lining - this bag is reversible and I would love to have used all apple fabric but didn't have enough - nor did my LQS - so I teamed it with some natural calico................but now I feel like I didn't try hard enough...............................
So I am now offering my partner a choice. I haven't top stitched around the top edge yet, so happy to remake the inner bag - would you prefer it as is, with a combo of the apple and the solid orange, or the orange print??
Now just in case you think I am in a miserable low place, fear not!
I awoke this morning to find I had won a giveaway, hosted by the inimitable Katy - a 6 fat 1/4 bundle from Backstitch, how good is that?
And then , how could anybody be miserable when they have this little 'un for company?
I can't see you.

These last two pics are for Archie - say hello to Wilson, my friend Janet's "Grand-puppy"

Did somebody say grub's up?
Obviously not!!


  1. I wish I could pop over and pour you a nice glass of wine and have a laugh. I think the bag is wonderful, I have some of that linen in that green and I love it. You did the right thing with the quilt, not every idea will work but remember you have hundreds of great ideas a year. And the dinner, well I would just order pizza and call the oven repair guy next week. I think you are wonderful to have tried and should try again soon (after the repairs). It is miserable when it all happens in the same weekend, but don't let it get you down.

  2. I don't reckon Nigella even makes her own toast, so ignore her for a start!

    Busy quilts can be corrected.

    The tote is lovely - how about a simple bit of embroidery - a big apple outline on the back? Or would that tip you over the edge!?

    And winnings and cute little girls are the best xxx

  3. I used to be the most confident person in town who could do 100 things at once. The menopause changed all that, but not all for the bad! I quite like the new me, if only I could make a decision! And tv chefs are over rated. I can never make Delia's recipes work. I have a theory she does it on purpose to make her look good and we look bad. Just a theory!

    The bag is lovely just how you made it!

    Please could you send that small dog to me - he is gorgeous

  4. I love those apple appliques you've added!

    And Wilson is the cutest dog I've seen this year, including my own- sorry Fletch!

    (for some reason it won't let me sign in with my OpenID so commenting on an account I never check the email on, just so you know...)

  5. I stick to nigella's chocolate recipes. Love her chocolate fudge cake, and chocolate pavlova. Most of my cooking is done recipe free, going with my gut and knowing what flavours work together. If you cooked lots before then you have the knowledge inside you. Just go with it.

    And the tote is gorgeous. Love those apples. And you've got a granddaughter and new fabric. Hell, life is good!

  6. Barley risotto is lovely, I figure I don't need anyone to tell me how to roast a chicken (except my mum, but that's different ;o) )

    Bugger on the mini, but the bag is looking fab!

    As for the wee one, were you hiding her from the chicken? ;o)

    Love the grand puppy :oD

  7. Not keen on Nigella's recipes, so there! The bag is lovely and the apples at the bottom are so nice. I know that the bag is suppose to be reversible but I reckon that this one won't be reversed so stick with way you've done, I say!
    Di x

  8. the tote looks great and those appliqued apples are really cute. I am sure your partner will love them. I wouldn't undo the lining- too much work! Although if you feel you must, I like the orange on the left.
    Cute baby and cute dog!

  9. Oh don't undo the lining - it is great as it is and to be honest I'm unlikely to ever reverse it. Love Leanne's comment - she says it the best, so I won't say any more.

  10. I'm a disaster every night in the kitchen, and my family are still alive (just!). Perhaps you just need more time to play and fun-sewing time! Jxo

  11. I'm a disaster every night in the kitchen, and my family are still alive (just!). Perhaps you just need more time to play and fun-sewing time! Jxo

  12. I'm a disaster every night in the kitchen, and my family are still alive (just!). Perhaps you just need more time to play and fun-sewing time! Jxo

  13. Oh don't unpick it!! I didn't make my tote reversible for my partner and don't expect my partner to for me. In my humble opinion the plain lining with apples is perfect because plain & light linings make for easier finding stuff in a big bag of cr$p.
    the outside of your tote is lovely and the is the main thing.
    In regards to the cooking... I share Leanne's sentiments, pour a glass of wine & order pizza next time. It's always annoying and disheartening when disasters happen but we all have our off days. Even I bet Nigella ;)

  14. Aw Sheila. The bag is great, dont stress! And seriously, you should have seen the trainsmash I made of poached eggs last week... awful!! Baby looks like a good mood lifter, and omg that dug is sooo cute!! lol Congrats on your delicious bundle wins, now off and make yourself a real Martini!!

  15. I don't like Nigella - it's not her recipes it's her and her stepford approach to cooking. All that I'm not trying to make you feel inadequate - honest - but I am really.

    I love the bag you made. I won't be reversing a bag as pretty as that on the outside so I@m find with what you've done - no need to cut into more fabric to do it differently! Spoken like a true Brit Stingy bee-er ;-)

    Baby and doggie are very sweet.

  16. I think we all get days like that, it'll pass :-) I really LOVE the bag you have made for the swap, it's perfect just as it is in my opinion.
    Such a wee cutie to put a smile on your face and congrats on the fabric win - see things are looking up already!

  17. I saw that you had won a bundle from Backstitch: congratulations
    I don't think you should change anything about your tote: it looks fantastic
    And as for cookery programmes, apart from the bake off, I don't watch any, as I always end up feeling inadequate!

  18. Doesn't look like Archie is reading this post . . oh well I am ! and that baggie inny looks fresh and perfect...I wouldn't change it. Lucky recipient I say. 'Course . . not as perfect as that munchkin. Totally kissable and better breath than Wilson. Some days I am at the bottom of the seesaw too . . stops us from getting tickets on ourselves (my Mother would say!)

    All your lovely karma will have you bouncing back soon!

  19. I love the bag - did you decide to leave it as is or alter it? As for the cooking...I love to bake but I can't even time potatoes and carrots to be ready at the same time, never mind a complicated recipe that requires a book. I once cooked pearl barley (to have instead of rice) and it was foul (turns out I only like it in soup!) and it took days for the smell to get out of the kitchen - see? I'm a really bad cook!
    I hope SCD cheered you up last night if a cuddle with the gorgeous A didn't. Oh, and Wilson is gorgeous and he has feet like dinner plates! xx

    Dear Salley,
    Oh yes I am, I'm just very, very late!!
    Archie x



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