16 March 2020

Last week....


Last week I have made a concerted effort to not get distracted and spent HOURS pattern writing.  It's one of those jobs whilst being a rather an essential part of the business, is the one that I do not look forward too.  That being said and in all honesty once I get going, it is never as bad as I think it's going to be and question why I just did not get on with it sooner!   My main focus was to break the back in The Spring Sampler...which I did achieve....hooray...I have just a little bit more to get done this week.

I also months and months ago, decided that I would like to turn some of my block of the month quilt patterns into cross stitch samplers... as you do!  In recent years I haven't had much time to do cross stitch, (can't think why) but I was heavily in to it in my 20's.   Last week, I finally completed my first chart.  I picked my Happiness is Home Sweet Home quilt as my first design.... and I've sourced all the elements I need to be able to create kits in the future..but for now I've added it to my 'to be stitched' list and I can not wait to get started.  Obviously, it will be some time before I can release the sampler kits..but good things are worth waiting for....don't you think.  I did however, also chart and complete a new 'Happy Stitches' design which I have used in a Pocket Pin Cushion design... kits will be coming for this and also a red gingham version very soon!

With all the current bad news, we found ourselves with an inevitable quiet weekend, with both Poppy's football and Jamie's rugby matches cancelled.  I could have opted to spring clean the house, but to be honest I was feeling a little weary.  Instead I picked up my Floral Alphabet Sampler and worked on this, interspersed with lots of mugs of tea and cake.  Poppy is becoming a very proficient baker for her age and she made chocolate cupcakes.  It's amazing how therapeutic stitching is and I feel totally refreshed for the week ahead. By Sunday evening I had completed:

A for Angelica
B for Bluebells
C for Crab Apple Blossom
D for Daffodils
E for Erigeron
F for Foxgloves
G for Geraniums
H for Holly
I for Ivy
J for Jacobs Ladder

Edited to add: The Floral Alphabet Sampler will be available as a new kit once I've completed stitching mine.

It would be amiss to gloss over the main topic of news.  In Lincolnshire there are at present only a small number of cases.  We have however been advised by Poppy and Jamie's school, that the teachers are nearly there with home schooling packs...but they will not close until they are told that they have to.  Understandable, Jamie is worried about the impact this will have on his GCSEs.  Poppy's main concern was, would she have to call me 'Miss' if I was home schooling her...obviously I said yes during school hours.. ha ha!!  Yesterdays news that over 70's could be on home isolation for a lengthy period of time, has definitely been the most unsettling news for us as a family and would impact both mum (Penny) and dad and Andy's parents.  In terms of Pretty Fabrics and Trims, we will carry on as normal until we are told or are prevented for whatever reasons from doing so.  However, we are trying to look on the bright side and focus on all the things that we can do, should isolation become a reality.  Did you see the postcard idea on social media yesterday?  The idea is that you post a postcard or card through an elderly neighbours door to offer assistance in case of need.  I thought it was a lovely idea and whilst I always talk to my elderly neighbours, they don't all have my telephone number, something I rectified this morning.

Following on from last weeks, Behind the Scenes post, I thought I would share some of our family favourite one pot wonders, that make life so much easier and allows for those all important extra minutes for happy stitches..that's got to be good..right?!

Years ago I was given the large white cast iron casserole dish and it is the best thing ever for batch cooking.  I've also got some Pyrex dishes which have got plastic lids...again I've had these for years, I remember saving my coop divi points for these when I first left home and was setting up house.  I invested again years ago, in some quality Tupperware style containers from Lakeland Plastics ...these and the pyrex are what I freeze my extra portions.  Lakeland also did/do 'freezer' friendly stickers, that do not peel of when they get cold...they come on massive roll, so they keep you going for years.

First up and everyone's favourite are Chilli Con Carne and Bolognese sauce for pasta.  I always cook large batches of these and then portion them up in 2 people and 1 person servings.  I don't follow a recipe, but they always start the same, chopped onion, garlic if I have it in the fridge, low fat quality mince...fried off, then I add for the Bolognese dried oregano and thyme, for the Chilli, dried cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli ...then I add as many tins of tomatoes that will ft in my pan, salt and pepper and then I tun the heat down and let it cook for hours (at least 5).  Half way through I add chopped mushrooms to the Bol sauce and a tin of kidney beans to the Chilli..super duper easy!

Another easy win, is of course mince for Cottage Pie.  I was able to freeze down a 4 person and a 3 person portion.  I tend to freeze the meat only and then add the potato topping fresh.  Sometimes, I also make a colcannon style potato topping and I've even been known to add a tin of baked beans to the mince when the kids were younger.

Other one pot favourites are Spanish-style chicken bake by the Hairy Bikers, Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken by Nigella Lawson both of which we have with salad.  A real cheats dinner, is a whole chicken marinaded in a Nando's Sauce, which is then covered and cooked for a good couple of hours.  We have this with the Nando's style Spicy Rice recipe by Pinch Of Nom and salad.  Jamie absolutely loves this and the left over rice and chicken is great cold in pack ups for lunch the next day.

There are of course lots more...I must tell you about 'Cheese and Onion' another day, a family favourite I grew up on.  There's also our one pan Sausage and Tomato Sauce for pasta and Andy's favourite Pork and Apple tray back....gosh I feel hungry now.

Anyway that's all for now, wishing you all a healthy and happy week full of happy stitches,
Sarah xo



  1. I love your floral alphabet! What pattern are you using?

    1. Hello Wendy, thank you....it is my pattern and I will be releasing it as a new kit once I've completed my sampler...watch this space :) xo

  2. I am wondering how do I get your delightful design `Happy Stitches`.

    1. Thank you so much Clare...it is going to be a new pin cushion kit and some point in the future...watch this space xo


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