Saturday, 29 October 2016

Life: October 2016

I am loving the fact that we are now truly in Autumn, and am enjoying going on some local walks to embrace the change of season.



These were taken on a walk at Langford Heathfield, one of my favourite local walks. There is always something to surprise you - on this last walk I saw a woodpecker and these toadstools.

We have also been trying to make use of our fire pit in the garden, and attempted to make s'mores. We couldn't get the chocolate to melt, but someone on Instagram suggested using chocolate digestives instead of a biscuit and a square of chocolate, so that's a great tip for the future.


I am really cracking on with this retro boys quilt, which is a Christmas gift. I went for a nine-patch block,  the first time I have done this. All the blocks are now made, it is just a case now of sewing them together and quilting.

What are you up to this month?

Love,
Mrs Jones x



Saturday, 15 October 2016

Bake: Quick Pesto Palmiers

In my house, food waste is a sin, so I am always looking for new ways to use up leftovers. I buy ready made puff pastry if I am making a pie, and there is always some left over. I found this recipe for Pesto Palmiers as an alternative to the cheese straws that I usually make.

There are no measurements to my ingredients as you can adapt to what you have handy.


Ingredients
Puff Pastry (ready rolled is easiest)
Pesto
Parmesan

Method
1. Roll or cut out a long rectangle of puff pastry.

2. With the back of a spoon, spread a layer of pesto over the pastry.

3. Start rolling from opposite sides until they meet in the middle.

4. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes to firm up before slicing into pieces of about 1cm thickness.

5. Lay them on a greased baking tray and cook for 10-15 minutes at 200C.

6. While still warm, grate over a little Parmesan.

So quick, and so delicious!

Love
Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Travel: Bruges 2016

In the Spring, I took a trip to Bruges, Belgium with my younger sister, Amy and my Mum. We had an amazing time in this beautiful city: eating, drinking, shopping and sight seeing.




Eating and Drinking
 

Everywhere you look in Bruges, there are chocolates and waffles for sale. The waffles at Go.fre (above left) were amazing and covered in almost every conceivable topping imaginable! The best meal we had was at Sale e Pepe, which is a small Sicilian restaurant just off the centre of Bruges. The food was fresh and delicious and the service and atmosphere absolutely spot on. 

Amy and me (right), Sale e Pepe

We also ate more traditional Flemish food at  't Huidevettershuis which was a in a very picturesque spot by the waterway, but was unfortunately having an external makeover whilst we were there. We bypassed the famous Belgian beer in favour of wine (may have had a few too many wines in the photo above actually)!

Sight-Seeing

Climbing Belfort (below top left), the 83 metre tall tower at the edge of Markt is a feat not for the faint-hearted. There are a staggering 366 steps spiralling up to the top of the tower which affords amazing views of Bruges, and of the numerous bells which ring out their tune to square below. For obvious reasons, there are restrictions on the number of visitors allowed in at any one time so you will almost certainly have to wait. 


A tour of Bruges by boat is an excellent way to spend half an hour and to orient yourself, and these boats leave regularly from a number of places around the city. You have to be quick with your camera though as they are certainly speedy.

Some of the best times we had were just wandering the cobbled streets. 

Shopping

One of the benefits of a girls weekend away is the shopping (which I very rarely get to indulge in on a family holiday, without someone looking at their watch). At every corner, there is something to tempt. I loved Dille & Kamille, which is a small Dutch home chain, Hema (another Dutch chain) - a kind of amalgam of Ikea and Homesense, as well as numerous other independent shops. My purchases were restrained by the fact that we were hand luggage only, and I bought a lace snowflake, some sweet postcards, a couple of cat magnets, some stationery including a notebook with a calculator on the front cover (!), some waffles for the boys, a Tintin mug, some tiny handmade pottery olive bowls and a T-shirt for my husband.



Accommodation
We stayed in the Triple Junior Suite at the Jan Brito Hotel which was only a short walk from the centre. The room was very comfortable and the breakfast was wonderful - a buffet of cooked and continental.

Love Mrs Jones x


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Patchwork: Finished - Albert's Uni Quilt



My eldest son, Albert, went to university two weeks ago and this quilt was supposed to have been finished for him to take it with him. Unfortunately. as I work full time, my time for sewing is pretty limited and so it was inevitably not ready for him to take it with him. 


I let him choose the fabric (I pre-selected some fat quarter bundles on Pinterest), and he plumped for Angela Walter's Park Fragmental  I actually bought the fat quarter bundle from an American seller on ebay, and it comes with an amazing feature panel.

Mid quilting 
The fabric has a lovely modern Deco feel to it and comes in two other colourways (pink and yellow). I had such limited time to make this in that I kept the design very simple, with some white squares between the quilting fabric. 





It is really tricky to get a shot of the whole quilt without an able assistant! I played around with the placement of the feature panel. I originally thought I would place it centrally, but am much happier with it off-centre.


Again, due to time constraints, and the fact that quilting is not my or my machine's forte, I kept it very simple with stitch in the ditch in columns. It was great to spend the last few nights hand finishing the binding with the quilt to keep me warm!

This will be winging it's way up to Birmingham next week so he shall be nice and warm before the cold weather kicks in.

What have you been making recently?

Love Mrs Jones x