There has been rather a lot of cake in my house this week. I was busy in my workshop for a couple of days so the children decided to have a go at baking which was great until they spilled a large bag of caster sugar on the kitchen floor. This took several attempts with the hoover and mop before all crunchy or sticky traces were removed.
We threw away the silicone cake tins that seemed to taste soapy and bought some new heavy-duty traditional ones. These were well road tested after making blondies, flapjacks and chocolate cake. The whole family enjoyed watching the final of BBC’s “Great British Bake Off” and really admired what the contestants were able to produce in a limited time. We made a pink velvet cake for Fenella’s 10th birthday the day before so that it would cool down and could be sliced more easily to add jam and butter cream. She requested that it should look like a rose but Freya and I have limited sugar-craft skills so we simply covered it in LOTS of rich buttercream icing. It was delicious but made your teeth hurt!
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been back on the telly with Channel 4‘s “River Cottage to the Core” and inspired me to have a go at traditional Cornish pasties. I don’t know why I had to make more than twice the recommended amount of pastry but they were pretty successful - it looks like this could be yet another recipe that I will need to tweak until it is perfect.
I kept telling myself that I should be dutifully planning for the next term at school but the only school related activity that I did was to quilt and bind the 3 small quilts that my class sewed together. They turned out well; I managed to flatten the wonky seams and fix one obvious hole. I think they will be impressed with their efforts and want to make a few more Linus quilts this term. I tried to get a hand-crank Singer running for them and I had it stitching well for a while before the feed dogs just stopped moving. I now have three seized antique sewing machines that I would like to get working again.
In complete contrast to those cranky old machines I have been lent a super Bernina 710 by Bogods of Bernina UK. I will use it for the video clips on my Ebook and so far I am really impressed. I love the fact that the whole foot detaches easily to be swapped for another one. It does all sorts of things that I don’t know about yet so sometime I hope to visit David Drummond’s shop in Edinburgh for a proper lesson. It did not come with a 1/4 inch foot but I adjusted the position of the needle and used it for the first two Beltane/Spring stripsets. I have not got used to the knee lifter yet but I daresay that will come with practice.
I managed to complete a small customer quilt that I should have kept quick and simple but as it was for a friend I could not resist experimenting a little with leaving gaps in between more intense quilting. I also wanted to play with machine embroidery around the blocks after quilting. I really like this look, a little like crazy-quilting but it always takes far longer to do than planned. If I ever get around to tackling BzB I plan to add embroidery around some of the large quilting motifs. However, it is a huge quilt so could take quite some time!