Sunday, 24 June 2012


Kevin & I recently went on a bit of a road trip. Amongst other things we were lucky enough to be given tickets to the State of Origin in Sydney. This is our son Chris proudly displaying his support for the Queensland team. We weren’t victorious that night, but the next match - in a couple of weeks will certainly prove interesting.  Even though our team didn’t win it was wonderfully entertaining just being part of the crowd of 83101 (I’m pretty confident that at least 83000 of them were NSW supporters)!


Co-incidentally for me it just so happened that the game was on in Sydney on the opening day of the Sydney Quilt Show!  Winning quilts can be found on this website -  But all the quilts were wonderful.  I particularly liked seeing those from the featured quilters – Judy Hooworth & Shirley Gibson.  I remember some of the fabrics in their quilts - I think I may still have some in my own stash.  It was great to see their progression through style & colour to the quilters they are today.

One of my favourite quilts – because really I admire both the quiltmaker and the subject, was a quilt made by Jenny Bowker to honour Margaret Rolfe.  In glorious bright gold & yellow it really stood out.  I’ve unsuccesfully prowled the internet trying to find a picture I could share, the best I can offer at this time is the following link to Jenny Bowker’s website where the quilt was under construction -
Another highlight of my brief trip to Sydney was the chance to visit Material Obsession.  I had no trouble getting there by public transport and it really was worth it!  I wasn’t quite sure where to look – so many gorgeous fabrics and quilts, and to top it off Wendy Williams was there and remembered me from the workshop I attended with her in Toowoomba!  I happily showed her photos of my own Growing Up quilt and promised to send her a picture whenever I finally complete it – as the saying goes I must pull my finger out….

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

While I’m At it….

The nights here are cold (days are lovely) and there's nothing better as the day closes than to come home from work to the wonderful aroma of a meal that's been slow cooking all day. So prompted by Chookyblue's post a few weeks back I thought I'd share one of my favourite winter recipes. It's from the book Slow by Allyson Gofton - mouthwatering recipes for the slow cooker & crock pot.
Chicken & Lentil Curry - serves 8
cooking time low 6-7hours, high 3-4hours, plus extra 20 - 30 minutes
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp (I could only buy tamarind puree at the local, so I use this)
8 chicken leg & thigh portions - I use chicken lovely legs &/or skinless thighs
1 - 2 red onions, peeled & thickly sliced
1 cup red lentils
400gram can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander, optional
2 teaspoons ground cumin, optional
3 - 4 bunches fresh spinach
If you'd prefer a curry with more kick add 1/2 -1 tablespoon of chilli powder.
Scatter the onion and lentils into the slow cooker. Put the chicken pieces on top (I put mine in straight from the freezer, and then cook it on slow for the day. The chicken holds it's shape and it doesn't become overdone or stewy, as it might if the chicken wasn't frozen.)
In a jug, stir together the tamarind & chicken stock then add tomatoes, curry powder, garlic, ginger, coriander & cumin. Stir and then pour over the chicken and cover with the lid. Cook on low for about 8-9hours (only if the chicken is frozen, I’d reduce the cooking time if it’s fresh or defrosted).
Tear the spinach leaves from the coarser stems. Rinse and stir into the curry. Cook on low for a further 20-30 mins until the spinach has just wilted and the curry is hot. The recipe advises, you can then serve it with a little chopped onion & chopped fresh coriander or toasted cashew nuts (but I don't bother, by this time I'm hungry and can't wait) before serving with plenty of rice on the side. It is delicious and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too.

Who likes half square triangles....

Sorry, I know it's been a while - Peggy keeps reminding me!  I have been busy - a bit of quilting, a bit of travelling, a lot more work and suddenly I realise it's a couple of months since I've posted. 

In between times I've been ditch stitching this quilt - a real favourite of mine.
For those of you who might not know, back in 2009 I owned a Patchwork shop with my friend Peggy (which we closed in 2012) - Peggy and Bev's Place.  For fun, we decided to invite our friends and customers to join us in a mystery we called the White Elephant Swap.  The rules were simple, no-one was told or shown the design until the day of the swap only that if you wanted to join in you would need 28 fat quarters to make the quilt,  14 dark & 14 lights.  Further, we then asked all participants to choose 7 each of their darks and lights and package them in 2 brown paper parcels marked either light or dark which were then swapped randomly.  Whatever fabrics you received in the swap must be used in the quilt and finally, somewhere in the design you had to incorporate an elephant.
What a leap of faith.  It surprised me that not many joined in, in fact most of our friends decided not to participate giving lots of reasons but mostly I think because they weren't comfortable with the uncertainty not knowing beforehand what the pattern was to be, and not able to trust that all that was required to consider was whether the fabric was light or dark.
It really was a great exercise.  Peggy chose well when she decided on the design as it simply worked!  In the end we only had 7 participants and to my knowledge only three of us have completed our quilts, so far.  This is mine and it really is special to me.  (I  admit that I was one of the doubters, but I decided to go along anyway).  The lunch when we swapped our packages and the pattern was revealed was a very fun occasion - I especially remember my friend Christina who had decided to make hers in just blacks and whites, she loved the fabrics she'd chosen and decided to hide the parcel in a special place so no-one could get them!  Being the multi-talented lady she is, she did eventually relent and the exchange was made.  Peggy received what I considered to be some especially ugly fabrics in the swap, but wow she made them work beautifully.
Here are the three completed quilts - Peggy on the left, Christina in the middle and then mine:

and the elephants (mine is pieced into the bottom corner):

It's taken me some time, but I really wanted to quilt this one myself, so here I am only a few more rows and then I've got to decide what to do with the outside border.