Monday, April 28, 2014

The Artichokes' Revenge

Once again it is the season for Jerusalem artichokes, and despite my best efforts to remove every last tuber from the earth last autumn, they have returned with renewed vigour and determination to be the bullyboys of the strip of garden which runs along the front of the section.  Last year I suspected there would some stragglers but alas, there seems to have be just as large a crop this year as there was last year.  Having decided to make the most of a bad lot I cooked up an enormous gratin with some of the blighters, and Mr Shoestring very manfully washed the remainder and had a wonderful suggestion – take them out with us to the delicious marlin dinner we had been invited to, and give them away to unsuspecting fellow guests.  I feared that we may have to leave with as many artichokes as we had brought with us (or possibly more, was it my imagination or were they multiplying inside the dark confines of the bag we packed?), but fortunately the kindly Mrs Peaceable assured me that they had no ill effects on her gastrointestinal tract and that she would take some, and some of the other diners looked slightly interested (rather than downright suspicious and alarmed as I had feared).  We made our escape before the other diners left, in order to begin our trip back home, so the responsibility for finding homes for those little darlings is gone.  What a relief.  Then last weekend I managed to catch Madam La Poste out in the open and away from home, and eagerly pressed some on her.  I fear it may be the end of a beautiful friendship.  

A couple of weekends ago I finally did manage to get the latest quilt into its hoop and ready for quilting, after toiling away with such mixed results for so many weekends.  (Deciding to make it longer, then wider, then stitching a whole row on upside down were just some of the setbacks I suffered.)  The idea was to use variegated green crochet cotton for quilting this time, instead of the finer (and more labour intensive) quilting thread I have used in the past.  This was a technique I copied from the clever Madam La Poste and I had high hopes.  By using a thicker thread you can take bigger stitches, therefore make more haste.  Well, so far so good, it has worked a treat. 

 I suspect Mr Shoestring began to fear my hindquarters would become fused to the fabric of the sofa, so long did I sit and quilt this weekend, but the hexagons are looking good with the variegated green quilting and progress is so much faster.  I think this could be the way of all future quilts for me!

Apart from quilting quilting and more quilting recently, it was time for the monthly Matamata markets.  Disappointingly, the stall holders hadn’t turned out in great numbers, probably because of predicted rain.  I did get some good art deco bargains though, including this dress which has very deco looking motifs printed on the fabric.  I am planning to cut it up and remake it for summer deco but the idea still percolating through my brain cells and there will be a few consultations with art deco source books before I dare take the scissors to the fabric.  Luckily it is a most voluminous garment, and the skirt is almost floor length, so there should be enough fabric to create something “new” for next summer’s art deco weekend. 

These two plates will be pretty in the garden, though it seems a shame not to use them inside. 

The trees are almost groaning with the weight of the plates I have affixed to them - Shoestring Cottage may have a diminutive garden, but nobody could accuse it of being under-decorated!

No comments:

Post a Comment