Monday, 9 May 2011

Better Late etc

Some months ago I celebrated my 60th birthday with a 7 course degustation and wine matching dinner cooked in my kitchen by local chef Dean Wong. He had offered to cook to cook and serve a dinner for eight people as a fundraiser for the local school and we were the lucky highest bidder for this wonderful prize.

He and his apprentice arrived at 9.00 am on Sunday and took over the kitchen until about 12.00. The team that came back at 6.00 that evening included Dean's father - chief washer-upper! It was a fabulous meal and a very exciting way to celebrate a milestone birthday. We were all treated as though in a very high class restaurant with wine chosen to go with each course and each course beautifully presented. As well as the 7 courses detailed below Dean provided THREE amuse bouche offerings: Asparagus Velouté and Steak Tartare and a third which I am ashamed to say I cannot remember. Certainly a night to remember!

The Menu:
1.    Trio of mushroom soup french, field & brown or button
Johanneshof  Dry Gewurztraminer 2008

2.    Seared snapper with avocado potato crush, asparagus hollandaise sauce
Domain Road Riesling 2009

3.    Smoked cured venison with mango-kumara salad & red wine reduction
Okahu Chambourcin

4.    Double Lamb Cutlet with potato rostie & broad beans lamb jus
Locharburn Pinot Noir 2008

5.    Medium-rare roast duck breast with potato tian, turned courgettes & cherry compote
Cottier Pinot Noir 07

6.    Angus eye fillet of  beef with potato puree, french mushrooms & green beans
Barwick Black Label Shiraz Cabernet

7.    Chocolate & olive oil mousse with raspberry compote
Okahu OBJ Port

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Some Success

Remember this quilt?  It was done for a challenge for our club quilt show. The Quilt Show was a couple of weekends ago and this quilt won first prize in the challenge to my genuine surprise. I thought the faces were a failure as, close-up, the close quilting makes the little girls look like old ladies with wrinkles.

Now this quilt, which also won first prize in its section, I did think had a chance. It was done for a different challenge in the same quilt show. We were to choose a magazine ad, in any magazine except a quilting magazine and make a quilt inspired by the advertisement. I chose this ad:
And here is a closeup of the very close quilting and the edging which I made by cutting bias strips with a wavy edged blade on my rotary cutter and then I zigzagged it onto the edge of the quilt.
To develop the idea for the quilt, I scanned the picture of the ad and took it into my art programme on the computer. I then played around with various filters and chose one to use as inspiration. There were a few that looked possible:

 The middle option looked like snippets which is a simple technique so that's what I chose to do but I'd like to have a go at the first option sometime! Maybe with fuzzy wools appliqued to a surface....

Nursery Quilt Part 1 made

So, the first part is completed.  I know the cat is facing the wrong way but it didn't really matter and it saved getting my tracing box out. Oh, ok, it was a mistake - alright?  I haven't sewn the edge of the applique down, I will do this at the quilting stage and at the moment I intend to machine blanket stitch the edge of the applique because it is a nursery quilt. Making this section took an hour from choosing fabric to a final pressing. It doesn't look pressed does it?

I actually chose fabric for the whole quilt - I am going for a scrappy look but keeping to mostly primary colours with a little cream and green. I'm going to keep track of the time taken to make the whole quilt just so I have some idea of what to say next time someone ask "How long does it take to make one of these?"

Friday, 25 March 2011

Nursery Quilt Part 1

Part 1 - Centre blocks: Cat, Flower and Checkerboard
Cat - finished size 8" x 10"
Cut background fabric 8½" x 10½". Cut one cat from the pattern (download link below). Cut one circle from the pattern (this circle pattern will also be used to cut the centre of the flower). Use the picture below as a placement guide.

Flower - finished size 6" sq
Cut background fabric 6½" x 6½"
Cut four hearts from the pattern download link below. Cut one flower centre from the circle on the pattern.
Use the picture on the downloaded pattern as a placement guide.

Checkerboard - finished size 4" x 6"
Cut three2½" x 2½" squares in one colour and three in another. Sew together in checkerboard pattern.

Pattern and instruction files can be downloaded from here

Please let me know if you are making this along with me. Warning to those in the USA - applique patterns must be printed out on A4 size paper otherwise they will not be quite right. And set Adobe Reader to print to A4 and not scale the pattern as it prints. I know we can get Letter size paper here, I'm hoping you can get A4 size paper there!

Monthly Nursery Quilt Project

I know, its been a long time but I'm not making apologies or excuses. I'm just going to post you a free pattern.

I am the newsletter editor for our quilt club and part of what I do is a monthly pattern that eventually makes a quilt. I thought you might be interested in playing along at home. I might even make it too!

Here is the EQ7 pic of the whole quilt:
I will be publishing the blocks to complete this nursery quilt in eight or nine parts over the next few months.
I have designed the quilt in EQ7 using two teddy bear blocks (with permission) from Denise Russart’s quilting site: Just Quiltin! This project will be available for download from her site as an EQ7 file and she has other projects available to download for EQ6 or EQ7 also.
The other blocks used in the quilt are all available in EQ7.

Part 1 - Centre blocks: Cat, Flower and Checkerboard
Part 2 - Spring in Baxter’s Garden
Part 3 - Pinwheels
Part 4 - Flower in the Grass
Part 5 - Large Setting Blocks
Part 6 - Baxter at the Beach
Part 7 - Sailing Boat
Part 8 - Strip Blocks
Part 9 - putting it all together - but I will only publish this if I get requests to do so.

The applique patterns used in this quilt are shown with a dotted line seam allowance. Cut on this if you plan to do needle turn applique. If you are going to use raw edge fused applique cut on the solid line.