Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The secret order of the lunch time revellers.

We went to Rowfant House, which is very local, for a great lunch with some friends this weekend. It was held by a branch of a branch of a masonic arm, and as we were being told what it was, all I could think of was Harry Potter! We were standing in a huge hall with two long tables set for dozens of people and on the wall was a draped cloth decorated with ivy and lights. I half expected Dumbledore to shuffle in!

However, it was a really good day, even without wizards. One can become a member and John and I are looking to do that as it is a lovely place to take friends for a meal. They even have a pudding club on Wednesday afternoons.....sounds good.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


The first potatoes are ready, in fact have been for a while...but we are not short of supermarket ones for now, so the home grown version are still in the ground.
I picked the first golden courgette this week, it is a huge thing, have to eat it soon while it is still fresh. Pity that most of the family are not really fans of them.
There are about 5 carrots ready to come up and the tomatoes, bless them are plodding along. Frustratingly, as I have been tending to their every whim!

Monday, 13 July 2009

The gift quilts

Here they are on our bed. Ohio star and the pale little hexagons. I am working on the latter at present and aim to make it lap/single bed sized. I am also adding some slightly more vibrant colour combinations to give it some energy.

Unfinished Objects----UFO's

Here are mine:
A large Hawaiian quilt cut for me by Kathy Nakajima in Kamakura. Those of you in Japan may know her as a 'talent'...but she is probably better known for her quilts.

It is monsterio leaves, protea flowers and other flora that one finds in Australia (and Hawaii...)

You can see that I have started quilting it from the centre and have a long way to go.

The second one is a quilt I machine pieced from pieces of antique and new Japanese indigo fabric. Some of it belonged to the girls' great grandfather. It is pieces of his jimbei! This needs wadding and a back and the quilt lines are waves....one day!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Daily thread

Since the quilts have arrived there has not been a day when I have not sewed...bliss. This weekend I am driving John and the girls to Dorking in Surrey to practice the drive for when Francoise comes. There is a quilt shop there, but to be fair, it is a pretty looking market town and we want to take the girls shopping.
Plan to post some pictures of the quilts this weekend.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Bitten by a bug

It has been years since I have done any sewing, despite just buying a second hand Singer!! There are two unfinished quilts at home and some fabric that I have carried with me from Japan, but until last week it was all in the loft.

The girls and I went to a boot fair at Marsh Green in Kent and before going, went through the fabric stash to see what we could sell.
There are pieces of their great grandfather's jimbei (pajama like men's wear) with tiny patches stitched into them where the cloth wore thin. There are obi's and a wedding kimono and lots of bits intended for various unfinished projects. We had a good day at the boot sale and got rid of many clothes, but no one wanted the material.

Not preturbed, I then went off to Tunbridge Wells with a friend and bought a pattern and something to make some trousers with!!!! (Still haven't tested the machine yet!)

It gets worse. I have also been on the look-out for a full sized floor frame for hand quilting as both my quilts are very large, and just for luck I advertised for unwanted, unfinished quilt tops.

Yesterday a woman and her husband dropped over to the house when I was at work and John was at home and left for me two beautiful tops and her fabric stash. One is an Ohio Star pattern, almost complete, double bed sized in navy and pinks and blues. The other is a hexagon strip of 'flowers' in pale lilac...even if the colours are not ones I would have chosen, the work is beautiful. All the pieces are on paper and the stitches are so small and neat I thought they had been sewn on a machine. The lady has lost the sight in one eye and is losing the other eye as well. She wanted the work to go to someone who would get joy from it and would not take any money. I was completely moved by the gift and am really looking forward to sewing the remaining pieces together over the next few months.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Heat goes on

Loving it. Last night we were hankering after fresh cool soya beans for our salad. I think the Japanese do 'hot weather food' so well.

We toyed with the idea of growing eda mame this year, but frankly they look as if they need a lot of space, at least to get enough of them to really enjoy. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Little Gem

I adore poppies and this one blossomed yesterday in the front garden. It is a ladybird poppy, aptly named with those black spots. It is far smaller than expected, some varieties are big and blousy, but not this little thing.

Hot English Summer

It is fantastic. It feels like Australia, those bright, bright days, warm before breakfast and swealtering by lunch time!

Last night we were all craving something cold and sharp to eat, and the thought of cooking was not pleasant, so we made hiyashi chuka...cold Chinese noodles.
I even found a reciped for the dressing and it was so good the girls said it was like being in heaven!
Fired up by this nostalgic culinary success, the next sauce on the agenda is ponzu!