I woke up this morning thinking ‘Marmalade! I can show everyone the lovely jars of marmalade I made!’. Not so lucky: the MQA had already discovered it for himself, and scarfed half a (large!) jar. So, if you want to see it all dolled up, make some! I don’t know any easier jam recipe, or any less likely to fail.

Super-easy super-chunky marmalade: Cut four oranges and two lemons in half. Slice very thinly. Remove pips, place in a saucepan, cover with 1.5 litres water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 mins. While that’s going on, put 1.5 kilos white sugar in an oven dish, and bake at 180C for 10 minutes or until it starts to smell *just* caramelly. Add, stir to dissolve, simmer for another 45 minutes or until a sample placed on a cold plate crinkles to the touch. Ladle into sterilised jars and hide from your boyfriend until you have a pretty picture for your blog.

In more blog-related news, I received a lovely comment from Linda, who is quite rightly wondering whether I’m still making sampler blocks:

“Anne, I have made a mini Dear Jane (50 blocks) AND have made some of the blocks for the Sundial Quilt. Please continue to post about these quilts!!”

First things first — Linda, I’d love to see pictures! Send them along so we can all see!

Second — Linda’s comment came at a good time. I haven’t posted a sampler block in aaaages, and a general clean-up of my sewing corner last weekend shows why. I have works in progress coming out my ears:

  • Finish closures on Very Hungry Dress
  • Finish apron from Very Hungry Fabric
  • Quilt and bind cot quilt
  • Quilt the blue sampler quilt
  • Finish the big hexagon quilt
  • Continue with mini hexes and sampler
  • Make Mum and Dad two vintage sheet quilts

And that’s not counting things like my box of strawberry-themed fabric that I’d like to use someday, the box of 1″ squares, the folder with miniature blocks in it, or the hat box full of favourite bits for a happy scrappy. Oh boy, and it really doesn’t count the ‘someday’ fabric.

I get incredibly excited about new projects before I’ve finished the old ones. Nothing much to worry about — we all need variety, especially in a hobby. ‘Having’ to finish things is for working hours. More fixably, too much of this was to be done by hand, and I’m loving the sewing machine much more right now. Not to mention that having a million hand projects is intimidating. It’s all very well having something to make slow gains on, but divide the time by five and I rarely see any convincing progress. So, I think I might start making some of the sampler blocks by machine, and quilt the blue sampler by machine. Guild friends will cry heresy, but I’ll have two more pretty quilts before I’m in a retirement home. For the next little while I’ll pick a project and work it through to completion. This week: cot quilt.

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