Monday, 31 August 2015

Still Having Fun in Wales

Another day dawned to the pitter patter of rain drops, but by the time I had winkled Ben out of bed and got him out for his walk the skies had started to clear. It was far from sunny but the rain had stopped and there was a clear band of brightness on outlining the mountains. The heather was glowing in the distance.

This is the best that my little camera and I can do, but a new model is still on my list.

I recorded The Lorax yesterday, I am a sucker for Doctor Seuss. I settled down after a frugal but delicious dinner and stitched my garland while enjoying the film. When I have had enough of this side I can turn it round and enjoy a different view.

Meanwhile I am still sewing oddments, scraps and orphan blocks together for a scrap busting quilt. Some of these are from the "Fugly" box, I just added a few brights to lift them and one I used the wrong side as I did not want to waste the squares. Some are sewn to give a whirly block within a block. There are a lot more scraps to go, some are too small for this type of block but all will be used.
One of the by products from having Francesca here for a week of TLC, was lots of leftovers in the fridge. None of these will be wasted, a few little treats will find their way into Bens bowl but most will end up on my plate.
My dinner last night was soup, I used the last of the veg from the fridge, added some tiny garlic cloves, bits of red and yellow peppers and red onion slices and some sad celery from the salad drawer. I soaked a handful of soup mix overnight and cooked the whole lot in chicken stock, this was from the carcase of the last bird that I roasted.
 I threw in some small plum tomatoes and fresh peas from the garden, oh and some runner beans. It all made a very tasty dinner and there is lots left for ron. That is later on.
Tonight it will be pizza, when I baked on Friday morning I made enough dough for 2 loaves and 2 pizza bases.  The topping will be leftover chili and what ever takes my fancy. 
 One loaf went to Cardigan and the other is sliced and in the freezer, it will last me a week at least.
The left over cooked veg was mixed together and turned into bubble and squeak cakes, I open froze them and then wrapped and bagged them. A quick meal with a poached egg on top when I am busy.
There was a large slice of Chicken and Ham pie, cut into small portions it will be lunch for a few days.

Now it is time for a brew and a quick look outside before I plan my day, I can see bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds through the window.

          TTFN                                                             Pam.

PS. Sarina, if you would like that pattern drop me a comment with your address, I will not publish it. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sunday Morning

Hi de Hi everybody, are you enjoying the weekend?  Having just caught the weather forecast I am so pleased that yesterday was spent mainly in the garden. 
My lovely neighbour told me that Home Bargains had some large Cyclamen for £1, and that there were some really fresh Autumn Heathers in Lidl for 69 p. How could I resist, when I shopped on Thursday the Heathers were very bedraggled so I passed them by. 
Anyhow, off I went and was soon on the way home with said plants plus a couple of large Asters. AKA Michaelmas Daisies. We had loads of them in the garden when I was a child, they were one of my Grannies favourite plants.  

They are spaced around to leave room for other plants, at the moment they look like currants in a cheap bun. Note the rogue Gladioli, I dug dozens of them out last year for a friend, I don't dislike them but the garden is open to strong winds and they end up broken and blowing along the street. Those few will be removed when the stems die back and go to join the others.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the rain stays off long enough for the lawn to be cut and some weeding to happen. Failing that there is a pile of ironing to plough through, and I can always sew.

Once the plants were in I took Ben on a foraging expedition, we went to the old railway line and I picked some green hazelnuts. They are sweet when this young and made a welcome addition to my muesli this morning. I only gathered a few to see if they were ready, and they are. I will be out to do some serious picking later today (fingers crossed). There are so many here that I will still be able to harvest more once they ripen off, those will be roasted and skinned for cakes. Ground down they are a good substitute for ground almonds, and virtually free. Hazelnut meringue makes a brilliant roulade, filled with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts.

There will be blackberries by the bucket load in a few days, I have been picking a handful most days for the past 2 weeks and popping in the freezer. I will not be picking stacks for jelly as my pantry is pretty full from last year.
I have been asked for some green tomato chutney so will make a small batch of that. I prefer a darker, spicier chutney myself.

Now I am off to kick start my day, it is getting on and all that I have done is walk and feed Ben and fill my face with breakfast.

I will leave you with some final pics from the Quilt show.

Love those hexies, I see one similar to this in my future.


My hands are fairly large, but these mini quilts are amazing, so much detail in such a small area.

This looks like a marvelous  way to decimate my scraps.

        TTFN                                                             Pam

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sewing and Shopping.

Thursday is my shopping day, I pick Maggie up at 10.00 and we go off to Pontardawe. A quick trip round Lidl, perhaps a saunter round Home Bargains and maybe Poundstretcher and Farm Foods. Then back home, shopping unpacked and put away by 11.30.

I do not always buy much, fresh fruit and veg, milk and butter usually, flour, yeast and pastry fat every 3 weeks or so. The few tinned goods that I use I buy a couple of months worth at a time and cleaning products every couple of months. When I spot a bargain I snap it up, my freezers are pretty full at the moment so I am trying to eat out of them now. I did buy a great deal of cheese a short time ago, I popped into Tesco and there was a pile of good cheddar reduced to less than half price. I will not need to buy more for several weeks.
Lidl have a few things on half price every weekend and I use my head on what to buy. Their ready made burgers were on a while ago, they are 100% beef and worked out much cheaper than fresh loose minced beef. Ready to freeze and portion controlled, I snapped up a stack and froze down in packs of 2. I have made many meals from them and there are plenty left for the next month or so.

I am just as thrifty when I sew, I was up early this morning and had these made by 7.00. The fabric was £2.20 a metre from the Fabric Guild, I always buy enough fabric at a time to get free delivery.

I used a different pattern and just added side seam pockets. They are low waisted and a perfect fit for me. Fran will need 3" off the legs and the pockets raising by 3".

Then I picked out the free pattern that came with a magazine this month.

I made the cross over back style, as I was unsure about the style I used some old fabric and lined it, if I like it I will make a fully lined version.

Instead of one button on the back I used four as decoration. I will probably not make it again, the front neckline is 2-3" too high and the front really needs darts. Fran very kindly modeled it for me. Made in a very light fabric it may well hang better but I like substance to my tops.

I had another surprise through the letterbox, a very lovely bookmark. I already have it in use, thank you Rachel.

I have been doing some scrappy sewing as well, most of my small orphan blocks and HST have been sewn into blocks and are being made larger with strips of fabric sewn around them. I will show and tell when a bit more is done. I am using mainly blue scraps and strips as I seem to have amassed another small mountain of them.

Dinner tonight is chili and I need to go cook some rice.

                       TTFN                                              Pam

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Dawn at Doing it for ourselves in Wales has just posted about preserving food. 

Do go and read this. Do not take risks with your life.
I worked for most of my adult life in the food industry, from growing fruit and veg to meat inspecting in a slaughterhouse to cooking in a Deli Factory.

Botulism is a killer, pure and simple. I have not seen the relevant post that Dawn refers to but know that it is highly irresponsible and potentially extremely dangerous.

If you cook vegetable sauces  ready for the winter, chill them fast and get them in the freezer or buy a pressure canner.

That's all for now, I will be back later with a post.

       TTFN                                                             Pam

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

What day did you say it was?

When I woke this morning I was quite convinced that it was the weekend. As I trundled round the village with Ben I was debating as to whether it was Saturday or Sunday. There was very little traffic, no one was about to talk to and I could not smell bacon from the little cafe. 
It was only when I got back and was getting Ben his food that it dawned on me that it had to be Tuesday. The road has been quiet all day and there has been nobody out walking, it has rained but there have been dry patches.

I had 2 birthday cushions to finish off and a pile of presents to wrap for Kaitlyn, clothes this year, she is growing like a weed. I did have a selection of things for her at the end of May but she has outgrown most of them.

This one is for Cerys, a bit late but not to worry. I have a huge "pregnancy" pillow for her as well, I just need to run up a couple of spare covers to go with it.

This is for Kaitlyn, there is a matching Elephant and a little bag as well.
I have been doing some EPP in the evenings, 3/4" hexies, they look minute in my big mitts.

5 solid flowers.

The reverse sides.

5 doughnut rings, all doubles
There is a handful of pairs ready to be slip stitched together. These are intended to become a garland for the sewing room wall.

These too are reversible, A two for one and the extra layer gives lots of body to the project. 

I received some very happy post today, a most unexpected treat dropped through the letter box. Thank you so much Rachel, I will put it to good use soon, very soon.

The garden is in need of some TLC, once this blasted rain finishes that is. Once the sun shines for a couple of days I will be picking shed loads of tomatoes to go with the cucumbers and spinach. The Apples are looking great, I had to prop 2 branches up as I thought they might pull away from the trunk.

The clouds have just swept away and the sun is shining, albeit weakly, I will get Ben out pronto, we got wet on the last walk and one soaking a day is enough.

                     TTFN                                         Pam

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Back Home and Playing Catch Up

I am home and soooooo happy about it. Francesca is with me for the week and is chilling out on the sofa with Ben in close proximity. 

I enjoyed my stay in Kent but home is best. I did take a few photos, 

The sun shone for most of the time and the sky was blue, there is just a taste of Autumn in the air though and a few leaves are turning.

There is a scattering here and there.

This climber is swathed along the wall that runs along a lane leading to the close that Francesca lives in.

Ben loved it there, the park is crawling with hand tame grey squirrels and semi tame pigeons, he regards them both as fare game. I have to keep him on a lead as he has tried to run straight up a tree in hot pursuit.
There are also a great number of water fowl and lots and lots of water to tempt a little dog. There were a few large dogs splashing around in the ponds and streams but a good swipe from an irate goose would do Ben considerable damage.

It was hot and sunny when we left and grey and wet when we arrived home, there has been a mixture of both over the last 24 hours. I have caught up with moving plants, stocking the fridge and the local gossip. Now it is blog time, I did skim through earlier and dropped a few comments. I am ready to read through and get up to date.

I did a Lamb roast for dinner, half a leg for £7.00 from Lidl, and absolutely delish, so tender that it just surrendered to the knife. Plenty for three and lots left over for another meal.
 We ate late as I made scones and we had a cream tea at 3.00, lovely.

I have done lots of EPP, photos to follow, once I have taken some :-).
I will just add a few more from the Festival of Quilts and then it will be time for a brew.

How cute are these.

Bathing in colour and pattern.

This is muted but stood out.

That will do for now.

                    TTFN                                                        Pam

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Still Away

I will be away until Friday when I will be bringing the patient back with me for a while to recuperate in the fresh air ( hope it does not rain all the time)
I managed to cadge a 'puter to borrow for a little while. I put all the entrants name into a hattish container ( Posh Biscuit Barrel) and got the patient to have a lucky dip.

Janice, from Jan's Jabber and Jo from A whole plot of love are the winners.
I will be posting the parcels when I return so, if you let me have your snail mail I will get them in the post by Saturday morning.
Either email or leave a comment as I will not publish them.

              TTFN                                                Pam

Friday, 14 August 2015

Away Again.

I have just received a cry for assistance, I will out of Wales for the weekend. I will post again when I get back, in the mean time here are some more quilty things to drool over.

Ben finds them irresistible too.

Check out those star points.

I loved the Alice quilts, it was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication.

This is so dramatic, it took a moment for me to spot the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar with the hookah. 

I watched a demonstration of this being made, they had sold out of the polystyrene forms so I bought the kit.

I have seen these rulers being used on tutorials, and as I sometimes struggle with joining the binding on quilts I was planning to buy some from the US. I was tickled pink to find a very yummy young man, with an American accent to die for, demonstrating these. I got a very good deal, US prices with no postage costs. Bargain.
As you can see they are linked to the Missouri Quilt Co. It would be marvelous to see Jenny Doan  at the NEC, perhaps I will be cheeky and email her to suggest it. I would happily go to a workshop or lecture with her.

That's all for today, I may take my laptop and post tomorrow, otherwise it will probably be Monday.

               TTFN                                                Pam

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Starting a Rag Rug, or Three.

Morning all, I was a busy bee yesterday and made a start on my rag rug. I spent  a happy half hour sorting through my stash of duvet covers and sheets. NOT the vintage ones I hasten to add, they are being saved for baby quilts. Just the ones that have been replaced over the years as they wear thin, and the ones that I have picked up for a song at the CS.
I thought about tearing them lengthwise, the traditional way, but the thought of trimming all the threads put me off. 
Lightbulb moment  and out came my big cutting board and a rotary cutter.

I took of the sewn edges and folded the fabric so that I could use my 24" ruler to make a straight edge. Then made a 6" cut.

Slid the ruler 1 1/2" to the left and cut again.

Repeated this twice more and Bingo, 4 strips cut in the blink of an eye.

Five bags of neat and tidy strips, now I am ready to add some darker colours. Then when I have enough I will start plaiting. I also have an idea to try out on the sewing machine but that can wait a day or so.

And now for some more Quilt Heaven.

I have not made house blocks yet but this inspires me to try one or three.

A sad quilt, so very cleverly done. Truly this is art.

The trees are formed by stitching over tint snippets of fabric and I will certainly be trying this technique.

A glorious riot of colours, a feast for the eyes.

More of my purchases, basic but essentials and all bargains.

I could, and have in the past, cut these paper templates myself, but it is tedious mind numbing work by hand. I could, and have thought about buying a cutting machine that would cut papers and fabric, The cost, waste and room to store it has put me off so far. I am careful when I EPP not to stitch into the papers so that I can use them several times. Perhaps one day I will change my mind. 

White thread cones, a bargain price to begin with and then an added 10% off for an early bird buy from Empress Mills. I picked up a small black one as I was getting low. This thread is 100% cotton and is as smooth as silk, does not shed and clog up the machine and is equally as good for hand stitching.

BTW Lidl have overlocker thread cones on sale 2 for £2 from today.

Just thought that you may like to know that, I have not bought these before but will be having a look later this morning.

Now I a,m off to have another cuppa before I winkle Ben out for a walk, he is in full lazy boy mode this morning.

                  TTFN                                         Pam