Weekly Catch-Up (Sewing, Reading, Watching, Baking)

Well the first week of school holidays is done and dusted. It's been cold and wet all week, so our plans for outdoor activities haven't really eventuated. Hopefully it'll be a nicer second week break and we can get out and about.

Sewing: With kids home, sewing time is quite limited. Well, not limited... it's the concentration which is limited. They're at the age where they've started arguing, bickering, and generally being mean to each other and then the next moment, it's all giggles and playing nicely together.

I've made a little progress on my Smitten Quilt. By a little, I mean one block. Only one - though I must admit, it's a pretty one. The centre is fussy cut from a range called Lulabelle. I loved this print, but honestly wasn't sure where I'd use it. This central hexagon is 3" on each side, which made it perfect.

I'm not usually a fussy-cutter. Most of the time, I feel that it's a waste of fabric. For this Smitten Quilt, I've been using mainly left over pieces. Fabrics which I've used on other projects - pieces larger than scraps, but too small to be much use on piecing another quilt (if that makes sense). Here's to overcoming my fussy-cutting phobia.

I created a couple of pillows for the Riley Blake Modern Blog Tour. I love bright bold colours in my home, so really enjoyed created these simple pillows, which really do have a lot of POP! Click the link to read about the blog tour and to see who else participated in the fun.

That pillow over on the left was actually inspired by a block which I created for Project 48. Have you heard about it? 48 blocks are created and shared in 12 months by two friends (Vinelines and Raspberry Spool) and some of their quilty friends. The project is at around the half way mark and it's been a lot of fun seeing the block tutorial and then seeing everyone's different take on it.  Visit project48quilt.com for more details on how to participate.

Reading: I'm sure I used to read a lot faster than I can manage these days. Perhaps there are too many distractions? Or I don't give myself the time like I used to? It took me 2 weeks to read The Guardian, by Nicholas Sparks.

I'm not sure why it took so long to read, because it really wasn't a bad book. It's a sweet love story mixed with a little bit of mystery/thriller. It's not his greatest work and there's a combination of characters with similar names (Julie/Jessica/Jennifer), which made me have to stop and think about which one he was referring to. Like most Nicholas Sparks books, it's and easy read and you can guess where the story is going - but you may need some tissues at the end - or maybe I'm just getting soft.

I took the kids to the library this week and we chose one book (novel) each. Well, I did sneak a couple of crafty books in there, but they don't count, right? Our aim is to read the books before we visit the library again in a few days to borrow another. I'm hoping that this will inspire them to read the book, rather than borrow a whole heap and not read any. 

I have just started reading "How to Fall in Love" by Cecilia Ahern. I love her writing and quirky style so hopefully I'll have read it by next week and can tell you all about it. I first discovered Cecila Ahern when I read PS I Love You and have loved every book I've read since. 

Watching: With the wet weather, the kids have had way too much time to explore Netflix. We sat down and watched Pee Wee's Big Holiday which they enjoyed. Pee Wee Herman takes his first holiday on an epic trip across the US. The jokes are suited to the 8-10 year old sense of humor and if your kids like a little bit of a giggle, they'll probably enjoy this film.

GoodWitch is also a new show which I discovered on Netflix. Starring Catherine Bell (originally starred in JAG) and James Denton (he was Mike on Desperate Housewives), it's a fun, easy to watch show --- and great for in the sewing room. It doesn't need much thinking and you can mostly listen and look at the screen every-so-often, and still know what's going on. 

Cooking/Baking: Too much time at home means too much cake baking! Do you find that too? I made a really yummy raspberry cake this week. It's originally a chocolate cake recipe, but I left out the chocolate and added a mountain of frozen raspberries. Most of them sunk to the bottom, but a few remained on top.

If anyone has a way of keeping the fruit from sinking to the bottom of a cake, I'd love to know. I'm sure there must be a tip or trick that we'd all love to know.

Cold weather = Soup weather. Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup has been a winner at home this week too. Best of all, it's sooooooo easy to make!

800g pumpkin, pealed and chopped
1 large parsnip, pealed and chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 stick of celery, trimmed and chopped
500g of stock (I use water which a tbsp of vegetable stock paste)

Cook for around 30 minutes on a low heat until it's all soft. Once the vegetables are cooked, whizz it up. Serve with a swirl of cream and cracked pepper. So yum!

Admittedly it may not be the prettiest soup, but gee it tastes good... and that's all that matters, right?

What's your favourite soup? 
What have you been up to this week?
Favourite new show discover?
And, how do you keep your fruit from sinking to the bottom in a cake?


  1. Hi Anorina,wow your block is so pretty and those cushions are amazing,well done .
    I also love Netflix and i like sci fi and thrillers we just watched Mist two nights ago which i thought was good,the grandies love Netflix and it is always on when they are here.
    Your sure have been busy with your yummy cooking,thankyou for sharing your recipe .....

    1. Hi Shez,

      Thank you! I enjoyed making this block but sometimes that I'm not sewing fast enough to keep up with everything that I want to make.

      This soup was really yummy and I think the huge parsnip made it a little thicker. It's a great thermo soup (for us lucky ones).

      My kids watch way too much Netflix! I made them have Internet-free time between 9am to 4pm and oh my gosh! I'm not sure if it was more torturous for them, or for me!

      Anyways, I hope you're well and enjoying these cooler months. I think it's nice to stitch and sew in the cool rather than hot weather,

      Anorina xx

  2. Roll your fruit in flour before you add it to the cake mix. Beat the mix as little as possible after that. Works well for glacé cherries too.
    Helen in France

  3. Rolling the fruit in flour is the only trick I know too

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you! I’ll try the flour trick next time, for sure!
      I can’t be baking too many cakes, otherwise I’ll eat them all.
      Hope you’ve been well and “enjoying” this cooler weather. It’s ideal for stitching in front of the heater

      Anorina xx

  4. I love your work, your patterns, your tutorials and look forward to seeing your name in my "in box." I have been trying to find your book "Handmade" everywhere with no success. I cut the clipping out from one of your tutorials that says "I'm published." It has a picture of Fresh Diamonds, which I have; but I cannot find your book anywhere. Can you tell me where I can purchase a copy? Many thanks.

    1. Hi there, thank you for your lovely comment. It's brightened my day :).
      No book as yet, but I have many projects published in crafty magazines (over 60 projects at last count). Perhaps one day, I'll publish a book. Was there a particular type of project you were interested in? I'd be happy to direct you to my publishers or to one of my free patterns.
      Regards, Anorina :)

  5. Very cool range of projects! It's the first week of the two-week winter holidays here, just started, so I'm onto my quilting to-do list (Yay!!) and will see what I can fit in amongst school-work (teacher planning and paperwork, without the distraction of students!), a couple of movies, a trip to Wellington for a seminar, and a catch up with some friends I hope!

    1. I hope you’re enjoyed your first day of holidays and managed to get some sewing time in there.
      We’re on to our second week here, and it’s just flying!

  6. I love the projects you've shared here Anorina!! What lovely cushions - and that quilt will be gorgeous once you've got it all together!!! ... I haven't ever heard of the "roll them in flour" technique (berries), but I find that as long as my batter is lovely and thick, they'll be nicely evened through them cake - more suited to muffins I think though. I have a lovely breakfast muffin recipe that I make regularly, that has frozen raspberries in, but that batter is super think in comparison to most of my cake recipes ... might have to try the flour trick myself one day :) Enjoy the rest of your school holidays!! We've already had two weeks here in Darwin, with two more for the kiddos (and one more for me who works at a school :/ ).

    1. Oh wow! Your kids have an excellent amount of holiday time. I hope you're enjoying it and getting lots of sewing time. Your weather is certainly nicer than ours.

      Mmmmmm muffins. YUM!


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