Sunday, 9 September 2012

"All in a chutney"

This may be a bit of a sloppy post as we've been making chutney over the last four days.  Mr T does all the prep and I do the clearing up.  The fruits, spices and vinegar are left to soak for 24 hours and then it is simmered for hours and hours until it is thick and sticky.  It is easier than jam as there is no setting point, but you simmer it until 'dropping' consistency or when you can see the bottom of the pan when you stir it, like parting the red sea.  We both take it in turns to stir it and it is my job to do the bottling. But I must say Mr T does the hard graft - peeling all those onions!! Unfortunately our fruit trees let us down this year, no pears or plums, although we have got apples.  We love the pear and plum chutneys so much and our friends do to, that we went out and bought some.  We also had to supplement our home-grown shallots, as we are great pickled onion eaters too.  However we have lots of beetroot growing and they are next for the pickling process.

14 jars of chutney plus a couple of small ones, plus eight jars of pickled onions of various sizes.

 Meanwhile, although I have been doing some work on my C&G, I have been a bit fed up and realised how little of my own work I had done lately, so this week I have been working on some of my own projects.  Firstly this is page from my sketchbook showing some pencil drawings of different  seed heads.  I'm afraid it is not very clear, but no energy for better photography today.

I have reproduced the drawings with some free motion machining on some scrap strips of felt, as they are stable enough to stitch on without stretching.
Below is some pieced strips of my fabric with some tracings of the plants which I want to sew onto some cotton organza I dyed and layer up - not sure yet, don't hold your breath.

Here's another sketchbook page.

I also have decided to join The Sketchbook Challenge which offers a theme each month and the opportunity to post your contribution on their Flickr site.  I thought this would also give me a bit of a kick start.  There is no pressure, and the whole thing is up to you. This month's theme is ''Pattern'.  I have a Gustav Klimt  calendar in my kitchen which has some beautiful landscapes as well as his more decorative ladies.  I love looking at the patterns, but hand't really looked that closely, so I thought I would take a Klimt theme for a page in my journal.  I shall write over the pale section eventually.

Finally, last weekend I work on my next bit of piecing for C&G. This task was to stitch a Courthouse block using a template to stitch on. This was much easier than trying to piece together the triangles,
I just stitched this smaller sample without a template, hence the narrow strip, but included some prairie points.
Below is my course piece, I think the block using straight strips is called rail fence and is usually made with contrasting fabrics,mine is some of my hand printed fabric with organza prairie points.

It has been a glorious week weather wise, I do hope you have been able to make the most of it. 
Wishing you the best for the week to come,