Thursday, 27 September 2012

New Thread!

Superior Threads has just come out with a new line of threads called Magnifico!I included a few cones in the September order so I could try it out. I love the silky glow of this thread. I followed the sunshine around the house this morning to try to capture the glowing sheen. It's made of trilobal polyester. This means that each stand of every fibre is trianglular shaped so it reflects the light. Bob explains how it works on the link above.

What's unique about this thread is the strength. Most pretty thread is a bit tricky to work with for professional long arm machines. But Magnifico is designed to handle the stress. Magnifico is the newest range from Superior Threads. It's available here in the UK from Machine Quilter. Use the American site as a shop window and ring or email Martha with your order.
Magnifico available now in  the UK
 for the amazing price of £9.99 
call 01526 378057

  • available in 200 colours
  • ideal for embroidery and quilting
  • high sheen reflects colour vividly and clearly
  • heat set which eliminates shrinkage
  • made up of 192 micro filaments resulting in spectacular sheen and strength

Friday, 21 September 2012

Happy Hobbit Day

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of  The Hobbit 
by JRR Tolkien. First published in 1937, the Hobbit has captured the imagination of readers young and old just about everywhere. For all intents and purposes, this book and the Lord of the Rings triology which followed, created an entirely new genre of literature.

I read The Hobbit for the first time when I was 17 on a cross country trip with my family. We'd made it from Baltimore to Colorado in a pretty small station wagon/estate car, with all the arguments that come up when you put 4 teenagers in one back seat. I found a box set of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings at a gift shop in Estes Park, Colorado.

Estes Park, Colorado

During the day, while we were driving I read the books out loud to my twin sister and two younger brothers. It was magic! All the irritations ceased as we listened to the story and looked out the car window at the magnificent scenery.  At night in the hotel room, the three oldest read ahead silently, sharing the only book, so we could find out what happened. I've gone on to read the book many many times, for my own pleasure, to the children I taught at school and to my own children. Such a memorable first reading and it delights me still.

illustration by Michael Hague

To celebrate Tolkien's enduring legacy people are invited to enjoy a second breakfast today. Here's a little quote just in case you're not sure about second breakfasts.

Aragorn: Gentlemen! We do not stop 'til nightfall.
Pippin: But what about breakfast?
Aragorn: You've already had it.
Pippin: We've had one, yes. But what about second breakfast?
[Aragorn stares at him, then walks off.]
Merry: Don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?
Merry: I wouldn't count on it.
Breakfast is my favourite meal, besides dessert. So I'm rather fond of having it twice.

Here's our family's Flapjack recipe. I sent the kids off to school with some of these this morning, so they could have their own second breakfast. Now all I have to sort out is, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper!

Flapjacks from Lincoln-SHIRE

In a saucepan
 melt one slab of butter (8oz) and
 4 rounded Tablespoons of Golden Syrup. I used a maple flavour version here.

Take the sauce pan off the heat and add:
add one cup of brown sugar
32 oz rolled oats or (two pint sized measuring jugs)
4 pinches of salt

Stir all this together. This is the basic recipe and you can add all sorts of things to make it interesting. Today I added chopped pecans, raisins and chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture in a suitable baking dish, I used a 10 X 12 inch pan and cook in a medium oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Try to catch it just as it is turning golden. Let it cool,  cut into 'fingers' and enjoy.
I'm going to enjoy mine with a nice cup of tea and a chapter of The Hobbit.

Source: via Martha on Pinterest

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Leaf Butterfly

This project started out as a leaf card. I cut out leaf shapes from some new and old fabric and stitched them to brown card using a raw edge appliqué technique. Then, I started stitching some designs around the leaves but they just didn't turn out the way I'd hoped they would. So I cut the leaf shapes out of the original card and realized that they'd make a lovely butterfly.

Here I'm stitching down the centre part of the butterfly on my JUKI Exceed 600. I use this machine for all my piecing and crafting work.

I've used a variegated thread from Superior Thread's LAVA range on top and a pre-wound bobbin of Bottomline in the bobbin. I've got a 100/16 Topstitch titanium coated needle in the machine. It goes through multiple layers of fabric and card with no problem.

The finished card all ready to fly away to my sister in Baltimore. The butterfly card is a good example of how mistakes can morph into something unexpected.

Source: via Martha on Pinterest