Friday, 28 November 2014

A Friday Finish for me at last!

Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American quilting and knitting friends. I hope you are having a wonderful time with your families and friends gathered round. I am a teeny bit jealous and then again a teeny bit glad I don't have to organise another family feast. Christmas is probably enough for me.

Tuesday was the last class of our cutting mat bag course. It has been great to sew with some lovely ladies and a shame it has come to an end. I have spent this afternoon putting the final touches to my effort and I am just waiting for the varnish to dry on the handles to take a photo. They should be dry by the time I post this on Friday. The bag has pockets for a 24x6" ruler, a 12' x 12" ruler, a rotary cutter, a notebook and a 24' x 18" cutting mat. All the pockets are lined and quilted before attaching to the bag. We have appliqu├ęd, patched and foundation pieced the various blocks before embellishing them. It was a lot of work but I am pleased with the result. I blogged about the bag here.
Guess who likes Kaffe Fassett and saturated colour? - me! I used Kaffe Fassett shirt stripes for the linings and binding, Benartex Essential Gradations for the maple leaves, Wickerweave for the background and various Kaffe Fassett prints for the flowers and stars.

Mike has made the sloe gin this year. We picked the sloes (blackthorn berries) in late September. Blackthorn has lethal thorns and they have to be picked so carefully. They were frozen then put in Kilner jars of gin until this week. The freezing means that the sloes do not have to be pricked for the gin to penetrate and for the flavours to mingle. The colour is glorious. The recipe does not need the best gin. We used bog standard supermarket brand gin. Mike added the sugar after decanting the gin from the berries and warmed it slightly to dissolve (Do NOT boil the alcohol off!) This saves the shaking of the sloes every few days and the sugar is added to taste. I find most commercial sloe gin too sweet so our is just sweet enough. Very fruity and warming. It is all bottled up and we might give a bottle or two away as presents.

Tomorrow I am attending a class on machine and free motion quilting. I have been practising and I think I am getting better but I need all the help I can get.

Have a wonderful weekend, especially to my dear friends Margaret and Colin whose son is getting married.


Linking up to: TGIFF and  Can I get a whoop whoop?,


  1. Congrats on such a lovely Friday Finish! Have a happy weekend :)

  2. Wow! That is super cute and so useful. Your cutting mat will be riding in style! Nice finish, Catherine!

  3. What a cool bag! I think that would be very useful.
    Also very cool about the sloe gin. Is that something you just sip by itself then? I've heard of sloe gin fizzes, (whatever they are) some kind of drink.

  4. Oh wow, your bag is amazing! Love all the different patterns and the colours and prints are gorgeous. That sloe gin sure does look purdy in those bottles....and I bet it tastes delish!

  5. What a fabulous bag Catherine, you will certainly be carrying your equipment in style now :)

    I am not normally a fan of gin but your sloe gin sounds (and looks) delicious.

  6. The bag looks great, and so useful! I've never tasted sloe gin, I don't like normal gin so that puts me off

  7. I prefer my own sloe gin too, but hadn't considered freezing the berries, must try that and the warming of the sugar in the juice too, great ideas thanks! I made elderflower gin this year for the first time and its got a real taste to it rather than the Gordons commercial one. Also an interesting rich colour too.
    Don't know if you've tried it but I generally keep one bottle of sloe gin back each year and add the next years berries to that and trust me, leaving abit loner means you get almost a liquer and its yummy!
    I also last year mixed sloe with blackberries and that too was delish!

  8. Wow, you cutting mat bag is grand, practical and PRETTY!

  9. Wow, you cutting mat bag is grand, practical and PRETTY! Sloe gin, have not tasted it, sounds interesting though!

  10. Oh, my gosh!! This is so cool - my cutting mat is insanely jealous. :D

  11. what a gorgeous finish - I love the bright colours :-)


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