I was recently given some enormous, if somewhat bruised, windfall quinces. So as a great lover of cheese I decided to make some quince jelly, sometimes known as quince cheese. Suffice to say as soon as I wanted to make the jelly I couldn’t find a recipe. Then I found buried amongst all my other cookery books a slim volume called WI Book of Jams and other preserves written by Pat Hesketh and published in 1984. It has over 100 recipes tried and tested by the women’s institute.
So I turn to the page for Quince Cheese, on the same and facing page were recipes for cumberland rum butter, apple butter, marrow orange cream and bramble cheese. Fruit butters are a softer consistency than cheeses and are usually spiced and should be hermetically sealed. They are usually served as a spread. Cheeses are cooked to a stiff consistency and set in small moulds so that they can be turned out for serving and cut into wedges.
500g quinces chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
Wash the quinces and cut up into pieces
Place in a pan and barely cover with water.
Cover and cook until reduced to a pulp.
Pour through a sieve and weigh the liquid. (discard what is left in the sieve).To each 500g of liquid add 500g of sugar.
Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.
Continue cooking until a thick consistency is obtained.
When a spoon is drawn across the base of the pan, it should leave a clean line.
Pour into prepared moulds. I used small glass pots used for ‘Gu’.
Make some fabric tops by cutting out circles with pinking shears.
I loved this “Joseph” sweater, I bought it second hand when my daughter was a baby. I had worn it to death and washed and washed it. In the end it was so felted I got a very talented lady to knit me a new one and I made a cushion out of the original.
You will need
needle and wool
Old cushion pad
Using the seam un-picker, open up the side seams.
Cut two rectangles from the front and the back of the sweater, and with right sides facing, pin and then using a 1 cm seam allowance , sew them together round 3 sides. Leave what was the bottom of the sweater open, as they are neat edges.
Turn the cover through, insert the cushion pad, close with an over sew stitch.
Second Hand September aims to raise awareness of fashion’s environmental impact
Create a twenty first century version of a nineteenth century, Smoking Cap from an up-cycled 1980’s jacket. I made this for my brother who loved wearing smoking caps. Here it is modelled by the beautiful Elsa.
The embroidery on the Jacket was beautiful but the style was somehow lacking. So I chose to turn it into, what used to be called, a Smoking Cap. This is in essence a pill box shaped hat often with a central tassel.
You will need
Old lined jacket
Pen and paper
Optional a tassel
Instructions .We made a pattern with the crown, top of the hat having a 18cm diameter. The brim of the hat is 8cm deep x 59.5 cm long including the seam allowances. Cut a paper pattern and then cut a calico pattern and sew the calico brim onto the calico top. Try it on for size and adjust as needed. It should be a little bigger than the finished hat, as the finished hat as a layer of wadding in it.
Cut the jacket into pieces and then lay the pattern pieces on them so they use up the best parts of the pattern. Pin and cut out the pattern pieces. Remember to add more seam allowance if you need to make a join.
Cut the interfacing so that it is slightly smaller than the pattern pieces. Pin it onto the wrong side of the hat’s crown and brimSew the wadding onto the brim. Pin the crown onto the brim, and sew them together, including the wadding around the crown
Using the jacket lining, make a lining for the hat as you did the one from calico. With wrong sides together, and the bottom edges turned under to neaten, sew the lining into the
outside cap. Sew a tassel into the centre of the cap.
Being very aware of all the plastic and rubbish that lands up on many of our beaches, and in our parks and roadsides, I thought I would come up with a project that could put some of that plastic to good use. The result is pom-poms created from plastic bags. I suggest you use and reuse the bags until they start to get holes. When they are finally of no further use, make pom-poms out of them.
need very little in the way of materials, just scissors, plastic bags,
cardboard and string or twine. You will also need something to draw round to
make a large circle with a smaller one in the centre.
Draw round a small saucer or a large roll of tape onto the card to create a circle. Use something like an eggcup and draw round it to make a circle in the center. Cut out the two cardboard shapes, with a hole in the centre. Cut the plastic bags into a long strip about 1cm wide.
one cardboard circle on top of the other and then start to wind the plastic
strips round the two circles as in the picture. Carry on until the whole of the
cardboard is covered. The more strips you add the fluffier the pom pom will be.
a piece of string or cord and put to one side. Holding the plastic covered
discs, insert the scissors between the two outer circles and start to cut. This
is the tricky bit as you don’t want to end up with a load of plastic on the
floor. When you have cut all the way round the outer ring insert the cord and
pull the two ends together, drawing together the pom pom at the same time. Tie
the string ends together.
We used our Pom poms to decorate a basket, but you could use them to decorate anything. Have fun creating crafting and recycling.
Three things inspired this craft project,
the sea, gulls and the effective but random looking stitching currently used by
many fine art embroiderers. They in turn appear to have been inspired by Asian
quilts made out of recycled Sari’s. I embroidered the cushion front in free
hand stitches. I wanted to create the curls where the waves turn over themselves
and also the subtle changes of colour in the waves and the sky. To achieve the
turbulence of the weather I used two background colours of felt and also
different colours of the embroidery floss. The changing direction and sizes of
the stitches helps to suggest movement.
If you are not happy just doing freehand
stitches using a water erasable pen, draw your design onto the cushion front, embroider
over the pen lines. To get rid of the pen marks, dampen a cloth and rub quite
I expect, like you, I am forever taking photographs
when I am by the sea. I took the images of the gulls using my phone. I
increased the size of them and then printed them out quite large. Before
cutting out in felt, I placed the paper gulls onto the stitched front and
arranged in a pleasing composition. I then drew round the gull images onto the
felt and cut out and then pinned and tacked the grey felt gulls onto the
You will need
Piece of felt 100cm x 100cm x 3mm deep in
pale blue felt for the cushion cover
36cm square cushion pad
Felt squares or oblongs in Grey, marine
blue and purple
Embroidery floss in light grey, white, mid
blue and turquoise (Korbond)
Printer and images of flying seagulls
Water erasable pen
Dress makers pins
For the back opening cushion cover
Cut the cushion front 37cm x 37cm and cut
the two cushion backs one 22cm x 37cm and the other 30cm x 37cm in pale blue
Work on the cushion front, leave a 2 cm
border round the edge, and using brightly coloured thread, tack a piece of dark
marine blue felt onto another piece and onto the cushion front so it measures
22cm x 32cm
Thread the whole six strands of a piece of
white embroidery floss into a tapestry needle and sew random sized running
stitches from the left side of the felt to the right and back again, creating 7
uneven rows of stitches. Change colour and sew 7 rows in pale blue.
Repeat step 1 using the purple felt. Make
sure it joins onto the blue felt and will measure roughly 32cm x 11.5cm. You
don’t need to cover the whole of the cushion in stitches, the effect you are
after is the waves of the sea. Print images of gulls, draw round and cut out in
Arrange, pin and sew the gulls onto the
cushion front. Using turquoise thread, blanket stitch along one long edge of
the cushion back. Make an envelope opening for the cushion pad. With the two
back pieces over lapping in the centre of the cushion, pin the cushion backs to
the cushion front and sew together round the edge using blanket stitch.
Recently a friend was throwing out a very
old wooden child’s chair. It had been left in a shed for the last fifteen years
and the seat was lifting up from the frame and the paint was peeling.
To restore the situation and to make a suitable chair for my grandson, first of all we tacked the seat back onto the frame.
Then my grandson and I sanded the chair.
Next we painted it with Annie Sloan pure chalk white , and once it was dry we painted it with Annie Sloan Antibes green paint. To finish off and give it a smooth finish, we gave it a coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint wax clear.