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Sunday Sevens #91

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series thought up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins – click on the link to find out more and how YOU can join in.

1. Back from Spain in the early hours of Wednesday morning (7th June – I’m still catching up), I had to get organised pretty instantly. The school fair was in four days time and I still had loads to do as, not only was I making things for the school,  but was also having a stand for The Stitch Academy AND running a fashion show for my students. 

I started by making samples for the Summer workshops which I would be advertising on my stand – Pyjamas and Sleep Mask, and an Owl Cushion/PJ Case.


2. Next, I made the Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons, also a future workshop or maybe weekly lessons. Raspberry coloured linen which hangs really well for this style.


3. The woman who loved my cross-body bags but wanted one in grey with a star on it had her wish granted! Luckily, she turned up at the fair wearing a grey T-shirt with a star on the front and snapped this bag up straight away.


4. The Elderflower cordial that had been brewing while we were on holiday was bottled and labelled. Here they are on the stall at the back on the far left. They all sold. Two one-litre bottles at £4 each and four 75cl bottles at £3 each, for anyone who is wondering how to price things at a school fair. It cost £2.74 for the sugar and lemons (the bottles were old lemonade ones) and sold for £20 – a nice little profit for their funds and SO easy to make.

The bunting I made for our wedding is hanging at the back of the tent:)


5. Mr. H-L actually made the marmalade this year as I was busy sewing. They’re the jars on the tray with the blue fabric ‘hats’. Ten small jars (half normal size) all sold for £1.50 each. They cost about £3 in total make and, again, the jars were recycled.

I also made forty scones on the morning of the fair so they were nice and fresh.


6. Oh, I almost forgot – after making the scones, I quickly traced off and made a Coco top as the fair wasn’t until one o’clock!!

7. My stand at the fair which was a huge success, enrolling more students and premiering my new adult classes to the villagers. A Tilly and the Buttons Margot Pyjamas workshop is almost booked up! (Thurs 14th July if anyone is interested).


8. A dozen of my students took part in a fashion show at the fair which they absolutely loved, showing off the things they had made over the past nine months since The Stitch Academy started.


9. No.3 Son stole the show with his antics!

10. He certainly made the most of his moment in the spotlight!


11. In other news….this cardboard city is a window display in a boarded up solicitor’s premises. Random, but brilliant.


13. N0.3 Son wanted to make the butter this time.

Here he is squeezing out all that lovely buttermilk which made some scones later in the day.

14. My Victorian butter paddles do their job nicely.

15. There, finished!

16. Perfect spread thickly on some Date and Walnut bread still warm from the oven!


17. ‘Chalky’, our Chalkhill Blue hen, laid her first blue egg!

18. The next day she laid her second, both of which were massive for such a small hen and this is the reason why – both were double yolkers!


19. Teaching pattern drafting to a student, this week, a basic trouser block.


20. I had almost finished a cardigan as a Christmas present from leftover yarn (thrifty, as ever) but ran out only to discover that it had been discontinued – oh s**t! 

I ended up unravelling four inches of a scarf in order to scavenge enough yarn to complete the cardigan. Luckily, the scarf was a) for me and b) REALLY long in the first place so no harm was done.


21. I got out all the components of my July make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network – but never got around to starting it. Next week, maybe.


22. Three homemade cards amongst those sent from our six (between us) children to Mr H-L on Father’s Day.

23. A pair of Star Wars flip flops, bottle of malt whisky, a coffee cake, homemade brandy truffles and, from his girls in Brighton, a dozen rock oysters!

24. What a great end to a hectic week!


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Homemade Bread and Butter

I’ve had a very productive day today – not in the studio this time, but in the kitchen. If I’m not in my studio bent over the sewing machine, then I will be found in the kitchen conjuring up some culinary masterpiece (I wish!) for my family.

I cook from scratch pretty much all the time, so baking a couple of loaves was nothing new, but today I really went back to basics and decided to have a go at making the butter too.

I bought this gorgeous book through Country Living magazine (UK version) last year, as much for the lovely photography as for the content itself.

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Butter has always been a little bit of an enigma for me and one of the few pre-packaged foods that I buy ready made. If I’m completely honest, making my own has been a scary prospect and shop bought butter (not spread/margarine) has very little in the way of additives so I’ve been happy enough to buy it until now.

The chapter on ‘Dairy’ has been thumbed through plenty of times, and the pictures make it look so simple that this morning I decided to take the plunge and make my own butter.

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I have the requisite KitchenAid (in Pistachio Green, no less!) so beating the double cream to the stage where the liquid and solids separate took under a minute. Then it really was just a case of squeezing the butter under a cold running tap to get rid of as much buttermilk as possible and putting it in a dish in the fridge.

That’s it.

Virgin unsalted butter ready to use – amazing! The whole thing took less than five minutes; add another if you want to knead in a little salt to taste.

We tried it immediately on some olive bread that I made yesterday – delicious! And soooo quick and easy that, not only do I wonder why I have never tried before, but I will never buy ready made again. I just need to remember to keep a pot of double cream in the fridge at all times.

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You can buy the book at Amazon UK. (I was not asked to review this book, it’s just so great I had to tell you about it:))

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Ebay now, to try and find a pair of vintage butter pats and stamps…