Sunday, 31 January 2016

Daily Bread

Despite my good intentions to live on veggie smoothies (I tried it once), I have started making bread on a daily basis. I have phases of home made bread baking and this usually means that I cultivate a batch of lively sourdough, buy every type of unusual flour that I can find and bake relentlessly for weeks before slipping back to shop-bought bread. It is very easy to get into a bread making habit with the help of the Kitchenaid stand mixer and before long I don’t even need to consult the recipe book. This week we have enjoyed white farmhouse, seedy half and half, light rye, sourdough, ciabatta, and focaccia! The leftover crusts are stored in a bag until I whizz then bake rustic breadcrumbs. I even fruitlessly wasted an hour late one night trying to find a personalised loaf tin like an old Hovis tin. I have resisted joining any bakery forums because I could easily spend a lot of time trawling through recipes and learning new words such as “autolysing”.

I decided that I could not possibly begin the custom Civil War Sampler quilt until I had finished with Purdah 3 so I spent almost 2 days doing precisely that after adding far more woodblock prints. Some of them did not show up as well as I imagined but I decided simply to print other designs on top. Gaps inside hexagons were quilted with a subtly variegated pink thread then any remaining unstitched areas were filled in with my  favourite multi-fluorescent thread.  I decided that if this was the final quilt under all of the sombre Purdah layers then it might as well be outrageous. It took a while to hand stitch on the shisha-mirror-style crocheted rings and sequins with impossible to see invisible thread but I am pleased with the effect. The whole quilt is very distorted by all of its stitching so I think it might be a good idea to dampen and block it before I add painted highlights and crystals.

While I was waiting for more fabric paint to arrive by post, I had to face up to the Civil War Sampler and make a start. I don’t often do much traditional quilting so I had to mess up and unpick the corners before I really decided where I was going. The mistake was silly - I quilted right into the corners forgetting that the binding would chop off my motifs. The first day was slow while I worked out how to get from one side to the other with minimal stop-starts. It is hard to know where to draw the line with a quilt like this - I decided not to stitch down every single ditch since some of the squares are only 1” across. Many quilters would choose custom feathers for this type of quilt but I have convinced myself that I suffer from Pteronophobia (ha-ha!) so I only quilt individual down feathers, not great big wing feathers;) At least I have now overcome my fear of this quilt, made a start, regained my confidence and set myself up for a marathon of quilting in the week ahead, slightly regretting the natty but labour intensive border…

No comments:

Post a Comment