Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 3 - the process of an Elefantz design (and scones too!)

It's day 3, and time to show you how I've appliqued and stitched the four feature blocks.
As I wrote yesterday, I fussy cut the little circles from two fabrics as a design element for the daisy centres.
I've decided to use just three embroidery threads in the design as there are only three colours in the fabric palette - pink, grey, and turquoise. 

HINT: Start with a NEW size 9 embroidery needle.
Believe me, when doing applique you notice how much easier it is when you start with a brand new needle!

CHOOSING STITCHES: I don't plan what stitches to use until I actually have the needle threaded in my hand. 
A few people have asked why I don't get others to stitch my designs for me, thus freeing up more time to plan more projects and write more patterns. 
Honestly, it wouldn't work for two reasons. 
1. It's only when I am actually stitching a block that the design tells me what stitch or colour thread it needs, and...
2. I enjoy stitching a new creation myself! I have a stitcher's heart, you see.

With these daisies I thought I'd either backstitch the petals or chain stitch them, but it didn't feel right once I held my needle threaded with pink over the block. So blanket stitch became the star of the moment!
Normally, as you know, I use white hanky linen or soft cotton sateen in pale solid colours for my block backgrounds. This project was different because the cream background fabric was patterned, so I needed to choose stitches that wouldn't get lost amongst that pattern. The blanket stitch stood out, as did the leaves which I loosely fly-stitched...

For the bees I used a variety of stitches - chain stitch, stem stitch, backstitch, running stitch, and satin stitch...

When all four feature blocks were finished, I traced a 4 1/2" square around each one with my red heat erasable Frixion pen to centre the block before cutting it...
When I was happy with them I used my rotary cutter to separate each one into their 4 1/2" squares, ready to be pieced...
Tomorrow I'll piece the table runner and explain my fabric choices, and why I made a small change to my original graphed design. Sometimes the fabric speaks louder than the design.

Designing, sewing, writing and formatting patterns, stocking my shop, emails, blogging, and writing my e-zine takes me 6 full days a week. Recently I've been lamenting the simple things I used to do each day, so I've made a start on changing things.
That is why I made THIS household planner.
You see, I'm an organiser and planner by nature, but I've strayed badly the last few years and have decided to 'do what I know to do' and get back on track with time and home management, as well as proper business hours.
So far this week I'm feeling quite empowered!
Today I even made made a fresh batch of scones - I haven't made them in almost a year and yet they were a family favourite found in the weekly menu for decades before Elefantz became so busy and I stopped being organised with meals and snacks.
Want to take some time out of your own busy schedule and make some too?

~Jenny's Scones~

Pre-heat your oven to 200C (400F).
Sift 2 1/4 cups of self-raising flour into a large bowl.
Beat together 1 egg and about 3/4 cup of milk.

Rub about 2 tablespoons of soft butter through the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and pour in 3/4 of your milk/egg mix. 

Important : Using a knife, cut through the scone mix to incorporate all the ingredients. Nana taught me to always use a knife as it helped the scones rise higher because you weren't 'beating' the mixture around with a spoon.

 Pour in the rest of the milk/egg mix, and cut it into the mixture until all combined.
The whole process of 'cutting' the mixture together will take no more than 50-60 seconds.
Turn the mix out on a floured board...

Pat it down gently, and mould into a circle about 1" high.
Lift it off the board and place in the centre of a baking tray lined with paper. Score it across the top with a large floured knife to make eight sections...

Bake for 15-18 minutes.
We like ours slightly browned...

Break apart and serve with lashings of butter and spoonfuls of your favourite jam (mine is Ananoth Boysenberry from New Zealand!)...

And don't forget to 'butter and jam' the little broken bits that fall off the side. 
They deserve respect too, and besides, they are my favourite bits!

see you tomorrow,


Terry said...

I've never made scones, but I believe I'll give these a try tomorrow! They look yummy! :0)

Melody said...

Those scones look delicious. I might just whip up a batch today.

By Neymes said...


Darlene said...

Scones with butter and boysenberry jam = YUM. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

I've really enjoyed your design tutorials this week. And, that background fabric is adorable.

Capi said...

Last week my daughter and I made orange pistachio scones and blueberry scones for a tea for my mom's 80th birthday. I will try your recipe in the morning! Thanks for sharing it with us.



Anonymous said...

Your scones look delicious, Jenny. I will have to try them on the weekend; I also remember being told to use a knife when mixing scones, thanks for jogging my memory.

It's very interesting watching how you design and bring it all to life...hopefully one day I might try.
Sue xx

Anonymous said...

Have really enjoyed watching your design come alive this week - thank you! May I ask what kind of thread you use and how many strands? I'm new at stitcheries and never quite know which thread to buy.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Your stitching is so precise and your designs are always so happy. I'm having morning tea right now and a scone with jam would be lovely. Just one please. :o)

Jo in TAS said...

Design is comng along nicely Jenny and where's the cream, can't have scones without fresh cream!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Janet, I am using DMC in this design, but I like Anchor and Cosmo too.
Actually, Anchor are my personal favourite.
It depends on the design as to how many threads I use but if you embroider with 2 strands you'll be fine. :-)

e said...

Your table runner is coming along beautifully. Can't wait to see the end result.

I've never made scones but have always wanted to try. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Granny B said...

Oh, have mercy, I nearly licked the computer screen when I saw that delicious jam and butter on those warm scones.

There goes my resolve to eat healthier and lose some weight. Well, there is always "tomorrow"...

Yum, yum, I must try this recipe. Love Nana's rule about the knife, and will try that with my biscuits (similar to your scones).

Best Wishes, Happy Cooking and Happy Stitching.
Granny B.

Tammy said...

I haven't made scones on years. Boy do they look yummy

Anonymous said...

That looks like the easiest scone ever! I've copied the recipe out so I can print it and prop it up in front of me. It will be a nice change tomorrow from the all-day tomato canning today.

CharlotteT said...

Jenny, thank you so much for writing this tutorial for us. I am new to this and I hang on every word because I am trying to get my design process more uniform and not so scattered. I have copious amounts of paper everywhere on one design and am looking to simplify. I just got in on this because of thunderstorms the past two evenings I couldn't get online.

Robin in New Jersey said...

Thank you for the hint about the needle. I really need to not be frugal when it comes to needles. I try to use them as long as I can, but I have come to realize that a new needle is a must in my hand stitching as well as in my machine!

I am really enjoying watching the process you go through to make a pattern.

~Carla~ said...

Truly you are incredible!! Thanks SOO much for sharing this!! I've been a reader for a quite a while and mostly just "oooh & ahhh" over your beautiful creations!! Now that I see how you create, i'm definitely going to have to try it for myself!! I'll be taking a peek in your shop and trying out one of your e-zines I think! :) Thank-you again for your generosity in sharing with us! Blessings!! xo

María José Belmonte Mondéjar said...

You are a perfect woman,.María José from Spain.Thanks for the recepe

Anonymous said...

Love it all Jenny, must try this type of scones