27 April 2013

A Patchwork Cushion

I've finished L's quilt top and because it originally started out as a larger project for someone else I've got some panels left over. I also had a cushion pad that needed a cover so I decided to use one of the panels to make a cushion cover. L isn't sitting yet so I thought a matching cushion for her quilt will be useful. (Mind you by the time I've finished the quilt she'll probably be leaving home!) 

I didn't have a pattern for this (or a zip!) so I made a cushion with an envelope opening based on the measurements of the cushion that I had. Because it was all straight lines it was very easy to sew and, even with having to make some adjustments to ensure it fit the cushion pad, it took me less than an hour to make. This doesn't include the time it took to make the patchwork pattern though but if I want to make some plain cushion covers in the future its good to know it won't take me long! I've also got some ideas for presents so this was a good practise! 

(Please excuse the creases on the cushion - it was used before I got a chance to take pictures!)

I really do plan to get the quilt finished soon. I did start to machine quilt but I haven't got a walking foot for my machine and after a brief attempt I have decided to hand quilt it. My plan for the quilting will also look nicer with longer stitches. Watch this space!

12 April 2013

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chip Cookies

After the success of my Zebra biscuits last week, and my mission to work through the many recipes I've highlighted in my cookery books, I decided to stick with biscuits and made these peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies from Jo Wheatley's 'A Passion For Baking'. 

This was a really easy recipe to follow, made with store cupboard ingredients. I've never used peanut butter in baking before but I was very pleased with the results! I baked them in two batches because  the recipe warned that the cookies would spread during cooking and you can see from the picture that first batch came out darker than the second. I really do need to replace my kitchen timer - with two very young children I do get easily distracted! 

Does anyone know if you can freeze cookie dough? I know it tastes lovely in Ben and Jerry's but can it be baked once it has been frozen? 

6 April 2013

Zebra Biscuits

I've had quite a productive week this week with my new things. The Great British Bake Off has been repeated on BBC2 during the day so I've been getting all inspired again! I've been through all my baking books and have put post it notes in all the recipes that I want to try. With only 4 books gone through so far you can see there is lots to be getting on with! 

These Zebra biscuits are lovely or 'very moreish' as D said! It starts with a basic biscuit dough which is them split into two with melted dark chocolate added to one half and melted white chocolate added to the other half. The doughs were then rolled out between two layers of cling film, chilled, layered one on top of the other, cut into a very precise 15 x 20 cm rectangle, cut into 5cm strips, layered again, chilled and finally cut before baking. So not difficult to do and I think they look quite impressive. I'm already thinking of some different flavour combinations I could do! I'd also love to work out a way to actually cut them with a zebra shaped cutter - I think they'd look fantastic. 

(The circular biscuits were made with the left over dough after I cut the rectangle shape. I just kneaded the doughs together, rolled into a cylinder and cut! I don't think I should have had so much left over though!)

To help me get through some of these recipes I also attempted my first sour dough starter yesterday. The instructions say to leave it for three days to get going so I'm trying very hard not to look at it for another two days! I forgot to take a picture of it when it started but it has got a line on the box so I can see how far it has grown. Hopefully I'll be able to make my first sour dough loaf next week!

I've also made a lot of progress on a play mat quilt for L this week. I'm hoping to get it finished over the next couple of days and have a picture to show you all. It's more complicated than the quilt I made for T and I'm really pleased with how it's looking so far!