Monday, 25 November 2019

First time woes!

Time to reflect on the New to Me activities and experiences that I have attempted in November.

For a change this month, most of my New to Me's are actually sewing-related but as you can probably tell from the title of this post they haven't been entirely successful :(

First up, my local Quilters group hosted a Christmas themed sewing day at the beginning of the month, where we were making origami gift bags and hexagon star table mats. I didn't get to the group on the day as I was still furiously stitching away on my "Wynken, Blynken and Nod" piece for the Endeavourers Challenge, so I had a go at them both later at home.

This double-sided gift bag is made from two 18" squares and as you can see it turned out pretty well :)

So encouraged by this success I pulled some 10" squares from a long ago Christmas layer cake fabric swap and made these cute little bags!

On a roll now I pulled more Christmassy fabric to have a go at the Hexagon Table mat.

I thought it was all going swimmingly until I looked properly at the pieced top

and discovered that my prairie point stars were not quite as accurately placed as I had thought :( Time to get out the seam ripper! As of now the strips are all ripped out and I am debating whether to start afresh with new fabric or try and put this back together again with accurately placed points. Starting afresh is the favoured option as I type :)

Whilst I was debating what to do about the wonky points I decided to get a head start on the Christmas baking and set to making the first of several Christmas cakes needed for the festivities. My daughter-in-law has been following a gluten-free diet for most of this year so I decided to try out a New to Me recipe for a gluten-free Christmas cake.

The recipe sounded delicious with the dried fruit being soaked overnight in a dark stout reduction and chunks of dark chocolate added to the mixture before it was baked. All was well until I followed the instructions for baking rich fruit cakes in a slow oven in the AGA! Five hours into the cooking not only was the cake nowhere near cooked but some of the liquid from the cake mixture had leaked all over the oven floor :(( Not quite the outcome I was hoping for.

The second attempt is in the oven as I type, but this time in a hotter oven so that all that lovely dark stout goodness stays in the cake rather than in a pool on the oven floor. Fingers crossed for a better outcome this time.

So, that's my mixed New to Me experiences now it is over to you to share what you have tried for the first time this month, and as you can see it is not just about the successes we are also here to share the failures too! As ever the Link Party will remain open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to write up that post to pass on that hard-won knowledge with your fellow bloggers. Please keep the posts current we are not here to commiserate over past failures but rather to offer advice and support on current problems! As always too check out your fellow linkers posts as they could do with lots of encouragement and support for their bravery in trying something new.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. Those origami bags look great, Fiona! I hope take two of the cake went better than the first attempt :)

  2. Great going on the origami bags, Fiona. A Christmas cake with dark chocolate sounds divine - hope the second one worked out OK.

  3. Sorry I didn’t get around to seeing your post sooner. Your little boat in the moonlight is a fantastic job with all the detail of the hands and the faces and the gauze over the moon and everything everything is so well done. I like the look of those little gift bags do you have a pattern for them for directions because I have a lot of 10 inch squares. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Hi Fiona, your origami gift bags look great. Good luck on your table runner - I hadn't even noticed!


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