Friday, April 25, 2008

Holiday Project - That Quilt!!!

Two posts in one day - unbelievable!!
Some time ago I fell in love with a quilt design I found quite by chance on the internet. It was a design by Jane Sassaman, using fabrics from her 'Paradise Garden' range. It really caught my eye, so on impulse, I sought out the required fabrics and duly bought them. Very excited when they arrived, but my excitement was somewhat dashed when I opened the packages. Not me at all. Bright, gaudy fabrics, exotic flowers and twining vines - not at all what I expected and looking not at all like the quilt I had fallen in love with. I put the fabric away and forgot about it.
Needing a new project thsese holidays, I pulled it all out and decided to give it a go. The pattern looked easy, large pieces, simple construction. Should get it done in a day.
Well, from the start, things just did not go right. First I had to make templates as every piece was fussy cut. And fussy cut out of fabric with a black background - oh, my poor eyes! And those colours - iridescent green, orange, pink, red - just not me. Busy, busy, busy!! I hated it. Nearly every edge a bias edge, twining vines everywhere that just didn't want to match up, pieces going in the wrong way, unpicking, unpicking, instructions that did not tell me enough and my husband helping by popping in and saying,"NO, that just isn't you."
Finally, finally, I had it together except for the last border - still not sure about that. And, blow me down, when I finally laid it on the floor and stood back, it happened! It came to life! It actually looked like the photo!! Close up - no, no, no. But at a distance, it wasn't too bad at all. And it's growing on me.
Maybe I will put on that last border and finish it off after all. It's still not me, but it is different, it was a challenge and I am quite pleased with the result. I should be able to find a home for it. What do you think.

Two main blocks. The colours are not good. The yellow background is really much more yellow

The quilt minus its final border. OK, OK, I'll do it.

Chef for a Day

Despite my good intentions, I have not kept up with my Blog as promised - too much time on my hands. I seem to achieve so much more when I am under pressure and have to keep myself organised to get things done.
The holidays have been slow and pleasant and studded with several new experiences. My son has won himself a position as head chef in a new restaurant recently opened in the Barossa Valley. Before they officially opened, the owner arranged for a TV crew to film the restaurant. This entailed a mad rush as the kitchen, while equipped with new large stuff like stoves, didn't have any utensils etc. They had a head chef, but no menu, food, stores or any other staff. Mark had a week to equip, stock, hire and organise a luncheon for up to 50 people.
It was all hands on deck. Rush orders sent out, a sous chef and a kitchen hand found and a mother (me) co-opted to help in the kitchen preparing for the big day. I had a ball helping with the prep the day before, then actually doing some of the easier tasks, like salads, desserts, cheese plates on the day. I think Mark was a little concerned having me there to start with. Not because I wouldn't be able to cope with the work, but because I might not snap to attention when he said go orif he gave me orders. However, I did exactly what I was told, although I couldn't come at the :Yes, chef", "Certainly, chef" that the others did. The luncheon went off like a charm, everyone said great things about the food and the TV crew were very impressed with the whole day .

Mark in his kitchen

Since then the restaurant has had its opening and promises to be a great success and I have had a taste of what it is like to actually work in a busy restaurant kitchen - not just watch it on TV. This week Don and I went for lunch - every bit as good as we hoped.

Views of the dining area and the bar