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Friday, 29 July 2016

fruit time

This is another block for Quiltmania BOM quilt - this one is no 12.

Now is a jam making time; I like making jams and I like to experiment with various fruit combinations, depending on which fruit is around. 
I already made a plain strawberry jam a couple of weeks ago, so now for something little more interesting - peaches, apricots and yellow plums jam. 
I made this jam last summer and we have just finished the last jar; it was a real success.

I make my jams in small batches; by autumn I should have a selection of various flavours.

I use a very simple method.
I cut up all the fruit, weigh it and then use just a half of this amount in sugar (I don't add any water).
I put layers of fruit and sugar in a large saucepan, cover and leave for few hours (usually overnight).
The fruit releases its own juices and then I simply boil it until it reaches a setting point.
Ladle into warm jars, screw the tops on - it is as easy as that.

In the middle of the winter, on a cold and wet morning, 
we will be spreading a little bit of sunshine on our toast.

 Have a wonderful weekend!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Saturday, 23 July 2016

cool flying geese and bubbles

Summers is with us at last! We even had a mini heatwave at the start of this week, 30C +, too much, but now the temperature has settled to more comfortable mid twenties, with lots of sunshine.

Despite the warm weather I managed to finish hand quilting my "Cool Flying Geese" quilt.
The design is from the first ever issue of the "Simply Moderne" magazine by Quiltmania; the minute I saw it I knew I had to make it.
I tried to use as many fabrics as in the original design as I could, mainly Kaffe Fassett's, because it was the colour combination which I like about this quilt.
This is the second large quilt I have finished this year.

Memories of childhood - in the summer my mum used to make Bublanina ( which could be translated as Bubble Cake), traditionally made with cherries and when cooked, the cake looks like it has bubbles in it. 
I do make it with apricots sometimes and it also tastes great.
Cherries are in our shops right now, so used them today.

Life got more hectic recently and I haven't been spending much time with my computer, but I promise to make my rounds of your lovely blogs soon.
Enjoy your Sunday!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Friday, 15 July 2016

July? Really?

And half way through! How did that happen? 
June wasn't a very good month, and I am not talking only about the weather!
But as a summer month - a total disaster, wet and cold, at times we even switched the heating on, in June!

A slight improvement arrived with July; at least drier and some sunshine at last, although the wind still comes from the north - cold. Last night the temperature dropped down to 6 C !!!
The drier weather gave me a chance to sort out the summer house and make it comfy again, a retreat from the wind for DH and me,  with a cuppa (or glass of wine), a book or some sewing.

There is a quite different view of our little garden from here.

A good place to dry few garden flowers too.

The lavender comes from the lavender bed in our front garden;

some of the plants did not survive last winter, strange, considering how the rest are doing so well.
I had to replant several of them.

"Queen of Sweden" roses like the front of the house.

What else is going in my garden?

 No stopping these two!

I had been hand quilting the flying geese quilt,

and now I am stitching on the binding. I like to be at this point; nearly there - time to think about the next project to tackle!

And another block for Quiltmania BOM finished.

I wish you all a wonderful stitching weekend!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Glastonbury, referendum and Tyntesfield

It has been a rather crazy week;

Wednesday - build up to the wonderful Glastonbury Music Festival (the largest of its type in the world) - after so much rain, the festival site was a sea of mud. OK, nothing new here, we had been here before, with English weather anything has to be expected. And yes, we always get a huge amount of traffic on the local roads.
But this year was much, much worse. With vehicles being delayed by the condition in getting onto the festival site, the local roads just clogged up. Some people were stuck in their cars for 12 - 14 hours, hardly moving during that time. The organisers were blaming festival visitors for coming too early, despite the fact they had asked them not to. 

Many locals could not get to work, school buses were running late or not at all, some students missed their A level exams. It took DH and me only an hour longer than usual to get from DD's house home; our knowledge of small country lanes saves us from being stuck too.
Glastonbury Festival is good for the local economy, but what happened on Wednesday wasn't good for anybody, locals or visitors. 
The Festival is well in under way now and all is forgotten, but the local council will want some answers, how to avoid the same happening in the future.

Thursday - THE REFERENDUM DAY - after all that campaigning by both for and against UK leaving EU,  we get to vote.
This hasn't been a clean campaign, many half truths or simply lies told by both sides. I have lived in this country for nearly 48 years, but it took me by surprise that so much hate and racism was being whipped up.
The murder of MP Jo Cox seems to had been a tragic result of that.

Friday morning - the results are in - UK voted to leave EU. A sad day as far as I am concerned.
Not a decisive vote  - 52% for leaving, 48% to stay - this is a very divided nation. And about 30% of those eligible did not vote. Generally there is a huge mistrust of the political establishment.
Our Prime Minister has announced his resignation.
 At the moment none us know what will happen next, and only history will show if UK's decision to leave EU was good one or not. 

I have tried to stay away from the politics on my blog in the past, because that is not what my blog is about. But my blog is also my journal, so I feel I have to acknowledge such an important day.
I have my blogs printed and hopefully my blog books will stay in the family; my 11 year old granddaughter is already reading them.
Apparently it was mainly the older generation which voted us out.  I want my grandchildren to know that this grandmother voted to stay in. As one who witnessed an invasion of my country of birth by foreign armies (not somewhere in the Middle East or Africa, or the other side of the world all together, but right in the centre of Europe), I wish for my grandchildren to live in a secure Europe. My believe is, that if we "play" together, we are unlikely to fight each other. Again, only the future will show...
OK, I am getting down from my "soapbox" now.

I was fortunate to be able to spend the rest of Friday with DD and grandchildren.
The children had a free day, because the teachers at their school volunteered to help out at Glastonbury (for a fee, which will boost up school funds). So we packed a picnic and drove to Tyntesfield (NT property - one of their most recent acquisitions ) near Bristol.
With the forecast rather unpredictable, we were prepared for anything. As it turned out, we had a lovely day. 
There are play areas for children in the woods;

               We didn't go inside the house this time, but DH and I have been here before and you can see some pictures  here .

It was a nice day after all; even picnic (between rain showers) was a success!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

Monday, 20 June 2016

more of Les Fleurs du Mardi

After a brief and oh, so lovely, summer spell, here we are again - rain and more rain, and it is not very warm either. 
So stitching in the garden is on hold, for now, but not for too long, I hope.

It is fair to say that the garden needed a good soak, but it is looking lush enough now, 
so can we have some sunshine again, please.

But some stitching indoors - block no 10 for Quiltmania's BOM, 
Les Fleurs du Mardi.

One of our small garden friends; this bee was clinging to the scabious flower for a long time, probably too cold.

 Just a quick note re my "followers" problem, mentioned in my last post.
It seems that this has more to do with my PC then Blogger, because when I view bloggs on my tablet, I can see my followers in my sidebar, but when I go back to PC - no show; strange. 
Why this should suddenly happen, I have no idea, but at least I now know that I haven't lost you!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2016

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