Annie's Ramblings 16 July, 2014
Hi there. Well, I am back home again after a whirlwind couple of weeks which most recently involved heading over to Sydney for a few days catching up with suppliers and friends and attending the Quilt and Craft Fair.
The show was great with some fabulous quilts on display, but the highlight for me was meeting a fascinating lady who had retired from being a well known Australian fashion designer to run several other textile businesses and travel the world sourcing these treasures. She also had the largest collection of antique and Victorian lace that I have ever seen, and was happy to part with some of it. Needless to say I came home with an bulging suitcase and an extra carry-on! So keep an eye out in the shop in the next couple of weeks, as I will need a little bit of time to get it sorted and priced.
It was also great to spend time with my American friend and quilt designer Bonnie Sullivan (All Through The Night) and we had a great time exploring the antique and collectables market at Rozelle, as well as eating and shopping our way around parts of Sydney.
Anyway.......back to the shop and I have been playing catch up for the past couple of days with lots of parcels arriving including the new Creative Texturing book from Sue Spargo. This is a fabulous book and follows on really well from her Creative Stitching book. It has lots of design ideas, combinations of stitches, and the use threads, ribbons, beads as well as full colour pictures to take you through the process of developing your own designs step by step. It is $48.00 and is pretty much a 'must have' if you are into any kind of needlework or applique.
We have also had lots more wool fabric arrive as well as more indigo sashiko panels, and of course more fabric!
I also thought I would show you this little sample of crazy patchwork that I prepared for the class I taught recently in Karamea. This was using the large size of Clover Clamshell Accessories Case. These packs are available in three sizes - small ($6.00) medium (7.50) and large($8.50), and include the pattern and plastic template inserts. The other one pictured with the embroidered monogram is the medium size. They are ideal for carrying small change, make up or jewellery items or your needles, thimble and sewing essentials.
Well, that is all from me this week, apart from the recipe. I am really into pearl barley at the moment. It is nutty, delicious filling and cheap. This dish can be served on it's own as a vegetarian meal or a side dish, or with the addition of some chorizo or spicy sausage to satisfy the meat eaters. Aside from that it is so easy that the kids can cook dinner!
Pilaf with Tomatoes
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 c pearl barley
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/4 c water
- 1/2 c Italian crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 freshly grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- basil leaves
Cook the onion, garlic, oil and 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan and cook gently until the onion is softened. Add the barley and cook for one minute (stirring) and then add the water stock and tomatoes.
Bring to a gentle boil and cook gently with the lid on for about 45 mins or until tender. The pilaf should be quite sloppy. Beat in the remaining butter, parmesan, salt and pepper. Tear some of the basil leaves and mix in and garnish using the remaining basil leaves.
(As a guide one cup of pearl barley will swell to about 4 cups when cooked)
Take care and happy stitching.