Friday 5 April 2019

Quilting, Soap making and fruits from our garden

A few weeks before my new granddaughter was born, I started making her a little quilt for her cot, so she could have something a personal gift from Granny.

I bought quilting squares with pink colours and a pink backing material, watched a couple of "Youtube" step by step videos on how to make a simple quilt and away I went. 
It's not perfect and I don't think I'll be taking up quilting as it's far too fiddly for my liking.
I hope little Elli will treasure her baby quilt 😊

The pink backing
The finished quilt
Usually once a year I make home-made soaps to use at home and to give as Christmas presents, using the Cold process method with involves combining oils with sodium hydroxide lye which causes a chemical reaction called saponification. These soaps should then only be used about 6 weeks later.
Recently I've been working with the Melt and Pour method where the soap ingredients that I purchase have already gone through the saponification process.

I'm loving this method as I find it is more compatible with my artistic vein and I can use soap dyes and fragrances and my imagination to make all sorts of different soaps.

Coconut and honey soap (left), Gelato (top),  Oats and Brown sugar (right)
Summer berry lollies, tiny butterflies to be used in glycerin soaps (left), a cupcake soap and Seascape soap

The soaps on the second photo were from my second soap session and I've got lots of ideas and more soaps to come with transparent glycerine where the tiny butterflies above will  be inserted.
Right now I've been giving a couple of soaps away as gifts, but eventually I would like to sell them at Christmas time or as party favours for weddings, christenings, etc.
What do you think, do you like them?

                                                               * * * * * * * * * *

In our garden some of the fruit trees are fruiting, others have just finished and others are just starting...
The fig tree in our front garden is still going, and I think I can still pick enough fruit for my third batch of fig jam Recipe here.

Fig Tree which I had to cover to prevent birds from eating the figs

Fig Jam

The passion fruit vine is flowering and fruiting (yellow ones). I have a purple one too, but that one is still just starting to flower.

Passionfruit vines

The mango tree, that only gave us 4 mangoes last year, has this year given about 30 mangoes! 
A few were picked on by birds which made me very angry, so I covered the remaining with newspaper to hide them. Eventually they started falling onto the grass and I would quickly bring them indoors.
I've just picked the last one on Tuesday this week and I've still got 4 in the fridge (slightly green) hoping they will last until Jose comes home on the 18th so he can taste what he planted. They are delicious and the aroma is amazing.

 And the 2 Papaya (paw-paw) trees are bearing plenty of fruit, but since we are in Autumn already I'm not sure the fruit will ripen.

Papaya trees


  1. The quilt is beautiful. My favorite colors.

    The soap is awesome.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

    1. Thanks Sandee :) Have a lovely day too.

  2. My goodness! This lady is talented!!
    Eu, confesso, não tenho jeito para essas coisas.
    Nunca tinha visto uma árvore que dá papaias! Até me admiro, mas, sinceramente, nunca tinha tido curiosidade de ver na net esta árvore de fruto.
    Gosto de comprar sabonetes de artesanato. Cheiram muito bem.
    Tem estado muito ocupada!!

    1. Obrigada Catarina. Sempre fui artistica e tento arranjar hobbies que involvam cores e creatividade.
      Penso que em Portugal as papaias nao sao muito comuns, sao mais comuns em paises Africanos e da America do Sul.

  3. I like the soaps. You are being quite the domestic goddess, quilting, jam making and soap making.

    1. Thanks Andrew. Well I try to keep busy and do some of the things that bring me joy - and that's not organizing the Marie Kondo way :)

  4. Your quilt looks pretty perfect to me, Sami. I don't measure or cut anything, so this quilt is a gem.

    I have never used the melt and pour method, only the cold process method. I probably will stay with that method because I get such great results from it.

    You have a plethora of trees and fruits. Lucky, lucky you!!!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I was proud of my first effort :)
      The last 3 or 4 years I've only made cold process soaps, but had a lot more fun with these. We are lucky we have a lot of fruit in our garden, for as for vegetables we're not as lucky, they seem to die off when the hot Summers arrive.

  5. Dearest Sami,
    WOW, you are quite brave for indeed tackling the quilting! That is one thing I've never felt an urge for trying... for the same reason you mentioned.
    About the soaps, they look fabulous but with a new grand daughter growing up soon, those Summer berry lollies would scare me. They would end up in an infants mouth as they might thing them being real.
    Love the roses and they make precious hostess gifts, presented on a shallow basket for guest soaps.
    You no doubt will find numerous uses.
    And your exotic garden fruits are something else! Annoying for birds having to peck on so many fruits. It looks as if they do it on purpose. Why not continue to eat one and move away?!
    We had the same Papayas in Indonesia, and fresh mangoes... oh fond memories of paradise. At least if you love fruits as much as I do.
    Hope José the planter will indeed get to taste his yield of fruits.

    1. Be assured I won't give my grandchildren the lolly soaps as they could easily mistake them for real lollies :)
      The birds are very pesky, I don't mind so much them eating the figs are there are loads of them, but was upset about the mangoes are there weren't many.

  6. Congratulations on your little Elli! Be assured that she will cherish your gift of a handmade quilt. You did a great job on your first effort. I suspect more of them will join her as she grows!
    Your soaps are so appealing! Very colorful and so cute and useful as gifts. I think you'll do well selling them!

    1. Thanks J. Elli is just 2 weeks old, but I'm sure she will treasure her quilt.
      When I make more soaps I'll have a go at setting up a website to sell them :)

  7. You are brave - I have always wanted to try making soap but have been too scared. they look lovely. You have a wonderful selection of fruit! Is Jose coming home for good?

    1. Thanks Gill. The cold process soap making is a bit tricky with the lye, etc, but once you make it a couple of times it't fine. But the melt and pour method is so much faster and I like the colours and smells I can incorporate.
      A friend of ours who has "green fingers" gave us lots of fruit trees and other plants when we bought our house, and luckily they've done well.
      Unfortunately Jose won't be coming for good yet, just for 10 days over Easter. He's been applying for jobs but nothing yet. Hopefully by mid-year there should be news on new projects in Perth.

  8. That´s a beautiful quilt, bet your Niece´ll keep it for life, always thinking of you :-)
    Beautiful soaps and they make the skin so soft (thank you again). One or two years ago Ingo bought ingredients to make soap, too.
    He bought. He never did. Maybe these will inspire him again.
    I think you can definitively sell them, they are cute and artisitic - too cute to use!

    Your fig tree is amazing! As are the others, my, 30 mangoes, you could go into the fruit business, too!
    18th, oh, my, still some time to go...

  9. Thanks Iris. The quilt is for my granddaughter not my niece. Don't think I would go to all that trouble for a niece, lol.
    The soaps are good and because of the glycerine are much better than the mass-manufactured ones from the supermarket.
    Counting the days...

  10. Replies
    1. Obrigada Francisco. Bom fim de semana.

  11. Tenho a certeza que a mais pequena da família saberá um dia dar valor ao belo trabalho da avó. Escolha de cores fantástica!
    Impossível não pensar na minha mãe ao ver tão belos figos. Era o seu fruto de eleição! A compota deve ser fabulosa!
    Inclino-me para os sabonetes azuis - fabulosos!!!!
    Um beijinho

    1. Obrigada Paula.
      Tambem gosto imenso de figos, mas sao muito caloricos :) As compotas dou-as quase todas. Os sabonetes azuis sao os mais bem cheirosos, com uma frangrancia de brisa marinha.

  12. All your beautiful fruits are so delicious looking, especially the passion fruits, which I love and never see here in the north (have had them in Hawaii).

    Another big difference between the US and Australia is that in the US there are two distinct fruits called papaya and pawpaw or paw paw, which come from two different species of trees. In Australia there are two or more types of fruit from the same species, which are called papaya and papaw or pawpaw. Totally confusing! I have never had the American paw paw but love papayas which seem to travel well and are available in markets here.

    best... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae. I had no idea they were two different species of trees, just thought they had different names in different parts of the world. I checked the pawpaw and papaya tree here and the fruit and tree seem similar.

  13. O quilt é lindo e assim se aproveitam pequenos retalhos. Os sabonetes devem ser bem cheirosos! Que belas frutas e as compotas serão deliciosas com certeza. Beijinho Sami e bom fim-de-semana.

    1. Obrigada pela visita Sandra. Bom fim de semana para si tambem :)

  14. Sami the quilt is gorgeous, she will love it. Looking forward to seeing more photos 😊 Your fruit trees are amazing and I can confirm your fig jam is delicious! I have one big mango on my tree which I've been guarding, not sure at what stage I should pick it?

    1. Thanks Grace. The mango will get a bit of an orange colour then you can pick it. Some of mine just fell when ripe. Enjoy it :)

  15. Such a gorgeous quilt, I'm sure Elli will treasure it.
    Your soaps look beautiful.

    Enjoy the weekend.

    All the best Jan


  17. I bet that fig jam is to die for! And so is your quilt! I love the pink. What a lot of work you have put into this little gem. It will be kept and loved forever!

    1. Thank you Jeanie. Yes the jam is delicious, and I hope the quilt will be treasured...a lot of hours spent on it :)

  18. Congratulations to the whole family!
    Your soaps look beautiful and I could almost feel the smell through the computer. I would definitely buy them, so go for it.
    The pictures of your fruit trees always make me jealous. Those figs look so yummy!


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