Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve plum cake

Merry Christmas! May you all have a blessed time with your loved ones, celebrating the birth of our Wonderful Saviour, and Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. 

I just made some festive German plum cake for the Christmas celebrations. I made an apricot version too for the first time (right cake). Here is the recipe, its very easy to make and very delicious!


1/4 lb. butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup milk (or more)
2 1/2 to 3 lb. small plums, depending on size of pan
cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and milk. Grease a jelly roll pan (or a pie tin) and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spread dough on pan. Halve, pit and wash plums. Lay plums on dough with cut side up and touching one another. Sprinkle plums with sugar and cinnamon. Then dot each plum with a little piece of butter. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

More shirt-stripe boxes

I'm about half-way now with cutting and assembling the shirt-stripe boxes. They are looking quite chirpy.

I've been doing some hand-quilting in the evenings before bed, still have a long way to go.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Hand-quilting pinwheels

I'm now trying out a few quilting options, using normal Mettler quilting thread and crochet perle cotton (no. 8). I think that the thinner Mettler quilting thread makes the design stand out more, but its going to take a while to finish.

Friday, 16 December 2011

My first quilt sandwich

I assembled my first quilt sandwich yesterday, it just fitted on the tiled floor in my bedroom (90" x 90"). Thank you Oops-lah for the tutorial link Making-the-quilt-sandwich. I basted the quilt using the helpful techniques shown by Exuberant Color. Its wonderful to have so much invaluable information available in blogs!
I spotted a vivid rainbow over Stellenbosch yesterday. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Shirt-stripe boxes quilt beginning

I've made a couple of the shirt-stripe boxes, what fun they are to make! The squares can come out quite differently from the same fabric, depending on how wide apart the stripes are and where you start cutting. These are only 4 of the 29 striped fabrics that I have, so I have a long way to go...

Oh yes, and I have decided to hand-quilt my pinwheel quilt. I was able to get some lovely wool batting from Beary Quilts in Cape Town yesterday. I will tackle the basting once I've done some reading up on blogs on how to do it correctly. Any suggestions would be most welcome :)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Planning a shirt-stripe boxes quilt

I've decided to make a masculine shirt-stripe boxes quilt with the shirting fabric that I've been collecting for some time now. This quilt is inspired by the shirt-stripe boxes quilt pattern in Kaffe Fassett's book "Passionate Patchwork" (shown right).

This week I gave away a quilt to my brother and his wife as a Christmas present. It was a quilt I made last year using Tula Pink's Parisville fabric range, using a simple brick pattern to show off the pretty fabrics. They like French things, so I thought it would be perfect for them.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Homemade Christmas tree - African style

I decided to "make" my own Christmas tree this year, since I don't own a plastic one and fir trees don't grow in South Africa. 
Step one: I went for a walk in a nearby eucalyptus (Australian blue-gum) plantation and found a nice fallen branch. I chose eucalyptus because it has a smooth bark. 
Step two: I painted the branch white with some PVA paint I had lying about. The really fine branches took a while to paint...

Step three: I "planted" the branch in a terracotta flower pot using river stones, and added a few beach pebbles on top to finish it off.

I then added some baubles hung using fine, silver organza ribbon.

And also strung a few white LED lights and there you have it: an environmentally friendly (and free), African Christmas tree.