Monday, 30 September 2013

A Gentle Slide into Autumn

I have spent an unhurried day finishing the laundry, all is ironed and put away. Rootling through the larder and cupboards planning meals. Reading emails and blog posts, dipping in and out of a few books and boxing up another batch of donations and taking them to the local Charity shop. I also changed my library books, all chewing gum for the brain easy reading fiction.

As the season moves on I am slowing down, this is creeping into my awareness like the smell of a bonfire slides sneakily round the gardens. I like it, lots. I tend to rush around like a headless chicken, ticking things off my never shrinking list of must do chores. It can be tiring but it is how I am, most of the time.

I believe that the reason behind this is mundane. I have realised gradually that my night vision is deteriorating quite alarmingly. I can not sew in the evening without bright lights, I struggle to read unless I position a lamp to shine on the pages and night driving is a nightmare. I found myself with my nose up against the equipment screens at work,last week, squinting to read the numbers. I have an appointment with the Optometrist on Wednesday and I am scared witless. I have been paranoid about my eyes since I first wore spectacles at 9 years old, I have my eyes tested regularly and never postpone or cancel a sight test. I had a detached retina 11 years ago and was catapulted from the local doctors surgery to Lynn Hospital and on to Addenbrookes where I had the damage repaired by laser within 24 hours. It was instant and dramatic and I was lucky not to lose the sight in that eye. This has been hanging over me like the sword of Damocles and combined with the health concerns for Michael's Dad has made me slow down. I can not bring my appointment nearer by rushing and all the running in the world will not help Michael's Dad.

I am at work tomorrow night so intend to have another slow day, a little baking, some gentle sewing and an hour on the sofa with a new book and a long cold glass of my cordial. A couple of village walks with Ben and maybe a gossip along the way. I will hope that there is nothing seriously amiss but will cope with whatever comes up. I may need replacement lenses, if so perhaps I can get my Myopia dealt with at the same time, even if I have to pay for it myself.

No time for any more, Francesca has just arrived home.

                           TTFN      Pam

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Roundup

It has been a busy few days since I last blogged. Michael,s Dad is very ill and we have been to visit him and his wife who just happened to have a birthday on Friday.
Michael spent time with his Dad while Francesca and I took J out to lunch and for some retail therapy, she had some very fetching frillies.
Dad was in need of some PJs , at least he wanted some bottoms. We were in Matalan and I spotted some Family Guy and some Always Grumpy ones in bright colours, so of course I bought him a pair of each, much better than boring stripes, and he laughed and promised to wear them.

I went through the jumpers and cardies and was sorely disappointed, flimsy and dull dull dull. A pop over to the menswear was more fruitful, I picked up a turquoise and a purple v neck for £14 the pair, very soft and fairly thick. While I was pootling about I spotted some really thick socks for Michael, he has feet like dead frogs, and picked up some of those.

I did not break the bank, I used some of my vouchers from work.

I have stocked up on our tea and coffee, thanks to Cottonreel who tipped me off, I went to Asda and hauled in this little lot.

7 jars here and 7 more in the cupboard should keep us going for a while.

2 each of these means that we are set up for quite some time. I topped up the loose tea about a month ago and that will see us through to next year.
I made a second batch of mincemeat using this recipe.

2 x 450 gm packs of mixed dried fruit.
1Kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped finely.
450gm shredded suet.
700gm dark brown sugar.
juice of 1 large orange.
juice of 2 large lemons.
8 tsp mixed spice.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp grated nutmeg.

All this went into the slow cooker, had a good stir up and was put on a low setting for 4 hours. Once the suet had melted I removed the pot and put to cool down, stirring every now and then to keep that melted suet covering evenly. When cold I stirred in 10 tbsp brandy, put into sterilized jars, put the lids on tightly and stored away in my cupboard.

I made Bubble & Squeak and very tasty it was too.

I made large "patties" and dusted them liberally with flour, then pan fried them in a little vegetable oil.

The flour gives them a nice crisp shell and a lttle salt and pepper mixed into it helps the flavour along. We had them with some bacon that needed using up, and I made blackberry and apple sponge pudding, yum.

I used the rosehips along with 3 apples from the garden and a bowl full of elderberries to make some syrup, neat this will soothe a sore throat and help a tickly cough. Diluted it makes a pleasant hot or cold drink and is loaded with vitamins.
I remember going out with my Granny picking pounds and pounds of rosehips to be made into syrup, it was started during the war and she carried on for many years after.

An eclectic mix of containers but my flip top kilner bottles, all bar that one, are in a box right at the back of the understairs cupboard. i put them there when I tidied it out, at that time I did not plan to make the syrup. I will dig them out and sterilize a few and decant into them, some will find their way into Christmas Hampers.

Once the juice had been strained off, sweetened, boiled and bottled I turned my attention to the pulp. I pushed it through a sieve and got 1 pint of smooth thick puree, I stirred in the juice of a lemon, a grated cooking apple and 1lb of granulated sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice and 1tsp cinnamon. This gave me a good amount of gloop which i brought to simmering point and, stirring every now and then, let it burp and belch away till it was almost the consistency of chutney. This went into hot sterilized jars, I got 2 full and a taster.

I owe this to DC at Frugal in Norfolk, once again it is something that I used to do out of necessity. I chose to do it this time and after scraping the saucepan out with my index finger, in the interest of economy, I will be doing it again. I expect to go foraging tomorrow.

I have raspberries that need picking so will add those in as well. I did wonder whether to make some raspberry vinegar but as I am the only one who likes it will pass this time.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Francesca has found a house share for November, she just wants to go and have a look at it. She can almost taste her independence

2. More and more homemade goodies piling into my larder.

3. Continuing good weather prolonging the harvest of wild, free fruits.

4. Laundry done, ironed and put away in 1 day.

5. The sweet buzzing of bees, drunk on sun and pollen, all round my garden.

My sewing machines have sat idle for a few days and will be idle for the next few. I have work outside to do and some preserving to do inside. all too soon it will be cold, dark and dreary and then the machines will come into their own. I have gathered some gloriously coloured fabrics to brighten my days. I have some Christmas sewing lined up and have entered for another giveaway.
Sharon at Little Town Mouse is having a giveaway for some purple paisley fabric and I have my fingers crossed. I am not usually fond of Paisley but this is glorious and my fingers are twitching.

Time for tea, I am very late today so will wish you all a good night.

                                              TTFN                Pam

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Thursday Already

My my how the week has flown I received my fabric win from Miss Ginger today.

This is destined to be a quilt for Kaitlyn at some point. 

Junior will adore these cars, as he has several quilts I aim to make a big floor cushion for him.
I have 2.5 meters of each print, lush.

here is the latest block from my swap partner, I love it. I am in the swap group for 3 more months and will decide what to make the blocks into when I have them all.

Dinner tonight is a fridge bottom bubble and squeak, I have lots of pots of cooked veg to use up and we all like B & S, I will spice up some mixed beans to have on the side. In this house the Bubble is the star.

I managed to stock up my coffee and tea supplies this afternoon, I had to go into Wisbech and dropped into Asda as Cottonreel gave me a tip off on the price of tea, and the coffee of preference was on offer as well.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Last night at work tonight until Tuesday.

2. Francesca has decided on her quilt layout.

3. A trip to Button Up &Stitch, more about that tomorrow.

4. Ben in full puppy mode this morning.

5. A sunny and warm day, each one has to be cherished as they become scarcer.

A short post today, the 'puter is playing up and Pam has no patience.

Radio 2 has an Otter video on facebook worth looking at.
I missed Kevin McCloud's new tv show Sunday but watched on the 'puter this morning. That is what has upset it I bet, it is not used to that happening. well worth a look.

I have cooked and mashed the potato and just have to fry a sliced onion for the bubble before forming into cakes. I know that lots of people make big ones that fill the frying pan but we like small ones that are crispy on all sides, and they are easier to handle.

                     TTFN                                       Pam

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A Restful Day

Work last night was hectic, there had been a 3 hour breakdown and the Domino effect kicked in. Only 1 cooking line was affected but because the Engineers had to work in the area all cooking had to stop and all materials removed from the cookhouse. Food safety is paramount. Once the problem had been resolved the area and equipment had to have a deep clean, we all joined in but lost 2 more hours, over 4 lines that is a whole shifts worth of work.

2 of the first shift stayed on for 3 hours and Michael worked opposite to me. we worked hard but sensibly and only left 2 hours worth of work to be picked up. Will we get thanks for this? Don't be so silly, we did not even get a request from management to keep them updated.

I had to pick some more apples today before the branches broke under the weight. My freezer has enough for pies and crumbles so I took a lead from Sue at Our New Life in the Country and made a batch of Apple Sauce and popped into some jars.

7 jars, all the seals have popped so they should keep, but I will keep a close eye on them. I will repeat this process until I run out of jars.

While getting my jars out I found these, Smooth strawberry jam, made last year for Francesca. She hated seeds in anything and this makes a good sauce if you heat it gently. It gives an edge to any fruit pudding and is sublime poured over Eton Mess while quite warm.

I have been watching these ripen on one of my walks with Ben and today we stopped and picked some, I will keep them in the fridge till Friday before turning them into syrup. I have time to pick a load more and when they have softened down in the maslin pan I will add elderberries. Once strained through a Jelly Bag the juices will have an equal weight of sugar added and be boiled until the right consistency and then bottled. The syrup is lovely when diluted with hot water, very soothing. It may not cure a cold but it does perk you up.

I have the four quarters of the Jelly Roll Jam quilt made and am just waiting for Francesca to decide if she would like them sashed or just sewn together, once done I will show and tell.

I won a give away last week and have selected my fabric £60 worth! Once it arrives I will share it with you.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Yet more goodies filling up my larder.

2.  Misty early mornings slowly turning into sun drenched days.

3. The smell of wood smoke drifting round the village. 

4. A new quilt plan in my head.

5. My village shop, flourishing and saving me a car journey at least once a week.

I do plan ahead and keep a good store cupboard but when you drop the milk on the floor as you take it out of the fridge,  as you do need a shop on the corner rather than a car journey and a 30 minute wait.

All in all a gentle restful pottering day, it was so good I may just repeat it tomorrow.

Until tomorrow               TTFN                    Pam

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Cooking and Sewing Kind of Day

Are you sitting comfortably? No? Well this is going to be a bit of a marathon so nip off and make a cuppa, get a biscuit or a slice of cake and get settled in the comfy chair.

I did no housework yesterday except for 2 loads of washing, my time 10 minutes, job done. I walked Ben, 30 minutes and made umpteen cups of tea. Dinner was Lasagne from the freezer, 30 minutes in the oven, and a quick chopped salad.

First I sewed my strip sets together, cut and sewed 9 blocks to make 1/4 of the quilt.

Pretty aren't they      NNNNNNNNNNoooooooooooooooo. They are so wrong.

This is the pattern sheet that I did not read correctly and only a quick glance stopped me in my tracks. I only had to unpick 9 blocks instead of 36. I did the unpicking, pressed the strips again and made these up from scraps as a guide.

More haste less speed is so true, I then decided that I needed a break from sewing, I have not made cake for a while and I had 6 eggs that needed using. I also had the cake mixes that I bought from AF and decided to try some of them out.

Chocolate chip muffins, very tasty, lots of chocolate chunks but next time I will add more water. They were just a little heavy, more like buns than muffins.

Carrot Cake, I made these into cupcakes for speed and in the interest of sharing and portion control. Very spicy just how I like them, if they were for me I would add chopped walnuts or pecans. Lovely light texture and were very moreish.

Vanilla, I added a small blob of vanilla paste to these as I could not smell any in the mixture. They were light and fluffy and very tasty, and I would not change a thing except to add extra vanilla, but that is a personal preference.

I made 12 of each, 4 of each went to Neville, my neighbour. Michael had 1 of each for breakfast in the interest of Quality Control and I 'fess up to eating 1 of each during the course of the day.

The rest are wrapped and in the freezer, little sweet treats for Francesca.

During the course of this I made 2 loaves of bread, sorry no pics, I used equal parts of Rye, Wholemeal and White bread flour. When they went into the oven I poured boiling water into a tin on the bottom shelf, this kept the crust nice and soft. We will toast this bread and a hard crust turns to charcoal remarkably quickly.

Back to sewing.

Nine new blocks made and labelled to ensure that I do no more unpicking. The rest are pinned ready to sew, later this afternoon.

I have lots of help with all these straight seams, I have not introduced you to my little "Gem", Michael bought her for me three years ago just for projects like this. She has a special feature that enables me to sew when in the throes of a Sciatica attack.

Here she is, sweet little thing, much smaller than Toya and lighter too, just the job for classes and holidays. Those strips are 2 1/2" to give you an idea of her size.

The start stop button is wonderful, I press that and away she goes, no need to use the foot pedal. I use the needle down function so when I need to add more strips I press the stop start button and the needle stays down so my fabric does not slip. The reverse feature is automatic as well and the slow button is wonderful for tricky seam alignment and sewing bias binding on wavy hems and rounded corners. She has all the feet that Toya has including a walking foot and extension table but would not take anything bigger than a single bed quilt.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Another warm, dry day, full of birdsong.

2. Ben sprawled out on the sofa with his head just touching me.

3. Francesca happy in her new position at work.

4. A day of pottering and sewing in front of me.

5. A long walk with Ben later on to get me in a decent frame of mind before work.

I did warn you that this was lengthy, I will keep it controlled tomorrow.                TTFN                      Pam 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Reflections on Sunday.

We had such a delicious dinner yesterday, and at a rock bottom price, the Pork was RTC at £1.78, The cauliflower was 50p and I used a third, the potatoes were from my market shop and cost 60p. The cheese sauce took 2/4 pint of milk, a dab of butter and a spoonful of cornflour with cheese from 2 weeks ago total cost I estimate 70p, I only used 1/2 of this, so total cost £2.90 and some pork left over.

cauli and calabrese cheese ready for the oven, I had a small piece of calabrese lurking in the fridge so added it in, the naked side is for Francesca.

The rest of the cheese sauce will have 2 eggs beaten in to it and some cooked vegetables stirred in and become a quiche filling probably for the freezer as my meals are planned for the week.

One of the meals before being anointed with meat juices.

The mincemeat yield was more than I anticipated so I will only make 1 more batch.

The small jar at the front is a taster and will feature as a pudding soon. I make a shortbread mix, press half into a square tin cover with mincemeat and sprinkle the rest of the shortbread over and press down gently, cook at 180c or so for about 35 minutes. It cuts into as many or few bits as you want and is delicious with custard, cream, ice cream or if feeling flush clotted cream. It is also quite good plain with a cup of tea.

I managed to press and cut the fabric for the Jelly Roll Jam Quilt, Francesca cast her eyes over and made the final selection. This quilt is for her new flat, she has 1 double and 2 smaller quilts so will need another double. The smaller ones will morph into sofa throws.

18 sets of 4 strips, this will make 4 blocks 36" square and make a large quilt top. Now I have to separate them into 3 sets of 6 to make the smaller blocks, lots of straight seams to sew. and more ironing!

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Michael gave the car a once over, oil, water, tyre pressures and topped up the washer bottles.

2. A bag of Bramley apples was gifted to me, I have lots of apples but no Bramleys so these will be squirreled away for special recipes.

3. The cupboard under the stairs is the bane of my life, it has been tidied within an inch of it's life.

4. The sun is shining and the air is warm, a long leisurely walk for Ben and me.

5. The house smells of baking, delish.

A long post but entertaining I hope.   

                             TTFN        Pam

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Early Morning Ramblings

First of all I would like to welcome some new peeps , Frugal Mum, Marjorie, Shaz Evans, L-A,and Lee Dezern. Some of you have been here for a little while and some of you have just boarded. When I start to write a blog post I always intend to mention new followers first, but I tend to be a bit of a "bull at a gate" and have so much to say that I dive right in. I usually have to go back later and add labels, once the writing is done I am off at the double to the next thing.
Like most of us I am far from perfect, my BIG thing is patience, I have very little and what I do have is for children and animals. None for "adults" including myself. If at first you can't succeed, get a grip and do it second time. forget try and try again, no time for all that.
I do however spend time on preparation, when I want to do something new I research. Take my sewing machines, Toya is getting on a bit, not in years but in the amount of solid hard work she has done, and my little "Gem" a computerised machine that Michael bought for me, for piecing, has also slogged her little heart out. 
The other day I stripped them both down, cleaned, oiled and reset a few bits and bobs, all the time I had the laptop in view with a tutorial that I was following. I did not just save money on servicing, I saved time I am itching to make Jelly Roll Jam, a pattern just released for FREE, my favourite price.
The downside of this is, no floors were swept and washed, no dusting and polishing took place. The dirty laundry was left to well fester and I did not worry one iota. It all happened the next day and more.
I read Sew Sweetness this morning and she was talking about the impressions that we pick up from blog posts, often we take what we see and read as the entire life of the blogger. Of course a craft blogger is not  going to whitter on about the kids drawing on the walls, the cat being sick in the kitchen or the row with the hubster over the remote control. That is not the purpose of her blog.
I write about alsorts of things and jump merrily from one thing to another on a post as that is how my mind works, if i do not keep busy I vegetate. 
Yesterday I had a slobby sort of day, I managed to do 2 loads of laundry! big deal, throw it in the machine and take it out later and peg it on the line, 5 minutes a load.
I made bread, again I let a machine do the work as I wanted some white bread for a recipe. I did make pizza from scratch for dinner, Kenwood mixed and kneaded the dough and it took all of 3 minutes to get a pizza topping sauce from the freezer and slice up the peppers and onions. Grated cheese, some garlic sausage and some extra thin sandwich steak pulled from the freezer, I cut the steak into slivers and put it in some AF hickory smoke marinade, and dinner just needed to be assembled, no hard graft there.

This morning I woke early and had this on the go by 7.00

A batch of Delia's mincemeat, the only things that I do differently is I use bags of mixed dried fruit from Mr T and I put the alcohol in before I put it in the slow cooker to melt the suet.
This is the first batch and I will make 2 more. 

I still have to tidy the kitchen and prepare dinner an easy one again, the Pork Shoulder is in it,s marinade and has been turned twice. Cauliflower cheese takes no effort and jacket potatoes cook themselves.

I will walk Ben at least twice today, that never gets skimped or missed and the rest of my energy will be devoted to pressing and cutting the strips for Jelly Roll Jam, I do not buy Jelly Rolls, far too tight for that, I have a marvelous Ruler that makes cutting them a doddle.
Last night,s offerings on the telly were dismal so I put a music channel on and boogied away to 100 top anthems while I rocked my way through the ironing, I had to endure the theme from Titanic, but made a cup of tea while that was playing. I normally chose Videos from The Vault but did not like their program last night.

I have read about Trolls leaving snide, rude and downright nasty comments on blogs, I was brought up not to mock the afflicted, nor to pity them. I have not been trolled.......yet...... but quite honestly I couldn't give a monkeys. I can understand that it would have a devastating effect on some but I have a thick skin and broad shoulders, and no one could be as critical of me as I am myself.
If you are a Troll please tell me what kick you get from being one. I studied Behavioral Science for a while and find it fascinating.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. A few hours pottering aimlessly on my own.

2. The smell of Christmas from the kitchen.

3. Empty laundry and ironing baskets.

4. A smug feeling at my lovely life.

5. A world full of new things to discover, at my fingertips.

I will qualify number 4, my journey here has been bumpy, widowed twice. Losing my only child and both my parents in the space of 4 months. My favourite brother and his family emigrating to Oz a year later. Dealing with chronic pain from sciatica and early rheumatism and arthritis. 

I am not alone in this, the details differ but many many people go through trauma of some sort in their lives. You do not have to shout it from the rooftops and you should not let it rule your lives.
 I have much to be grateful for, top of my list has to be my good health, yes I have a few issues but in general I am as fit as most people 20 years younger.
 In equal first place is Michael, no man (or woman) is an island and it is good to have a loving partner. Close second have to be Francesca, James and Ben.
 I will not carry on, I have waffled enough already.

See what happens when I have a lazy day and wake up early.

                          TTFN                         Pam.

Friday, 20 September 2013

It's Me, Pam, I'm Back

Two days lost, never to have again. One of my co workers has returned from nearly 4 WEEKS holiday, then phoned in sick with depression!!, that meant that we all worked an extra day and longer hours. Because he was due back another person went on holiday so we were 2 men down. The job we do is skilled and requires ongoing training, we have to keep up with new products and new legislation.
This means that there is nobody who can be transferred in to cover.

On top of this we had 2 big promotions running and a major visit from our "customer" to see all the new releases going live. We came out on top though and got a gold star and 2 merit points. Lol

I have not done much to shout about, oh do you remember that huge cauli that I bought last Friday, well I set to and did this.

Three nice tubs of Cauliflower Cheese, I put the tin of beans in for scale, these went into the freezer and another was enjoyed for dinner along with a tin of roasted veg. I do not put the grated cheese and breadcrumbs on until they go in the oven, then I leave one end naked as Francesca can not cope with crispy cheese? yet I have to fight her off pork crackling and crispy chicken skin.

Ages ago I picked up a sewing box for £2. it was full of needles, threads, snaps, hooks and eyes and so on. Over time I have used or binned the contents and as I planned to get rid of the box did not worry that it was held together with an odd mix of screws and good luck.

Look at that mess, some off them do not even go right in.

Michael set to with screwdriver and a new pack of brass screws and it looks lovely, now I will have to clean the wood and polish it. Of course I am keeping it and have already partly stocked it with quilting notions.

This side holds scissors, rotary cutter blades and my quilting binding clips, which are on a quilt waiting for my attention later.

This side has pins, tape measures and stitch ripper, then fabric glues and in the bottom I have put some embroidery hoops, a purse frame, a reel of masking tape for holding the layers flat for basting.

I still have to put a few more random things in there but it will make my life easier to have all these notions in one place.

I did my shopping this morning, £1.00 for milk and £6.78 for potatoes and veg on the market. I had to buy for 2 weeks as they are not there next week. I have to go into town next week and will buy another milk then bringing my spend up to £8.78 for the week.

We are having Chilli for dinner tonight, homemade pizza on Saturday and Shoulder of pork in the smoker on Sunday. There will be enough pork for another meal and Packed lunches during the week, Lasagne will feature and Fish Pie will make an appearance. Francesca has requested Scotch Eggs and I will probably pull a meatloaf from the freezer. Weeks food sorted. last night we had bacon chops cooked in cider with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and cauliflower. I will use the juices from the chops to marinade the pork shoulder in with some spices as well.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. A spruced up sewing box, helping me to keep tidy.

2. A lovely sunny day.

3. My little computerised sewing machine is up and running again. I researched it online and serviced it myself.

4. A stack of hardback books that we no longer want given to the library, pay it forward when you can.

5. A long service award of £100 worth of love to shop vouchers was given to me on Wednesday. 

It has been a thrifty week and we still have masses of food in stock, enough meat, poultry and fish for at least 4 more weeks. dry goods for about the same period and cleaning materials. I only have 6 weeks supply of our favourite tea and coffee so when they appear on promotion I will be bulk buying. That puts me well towards the end of  October before I will have to spend any amount of money. To keep my challenge alive I will record my spending and then buy back as I need it. I am enjoying this and will carry it on to the end of the year. Christmas is paid for and in the freezer and cupboards, we do not go overboard, we both will have to work some of the days.
I have my Co op Divi points and Mr T,s points which will both be doubled up and will take care of January and some of February.

The points from Mr S will just sit there until I need them.

My vouchers from work will replace the clothes that I had to discard because they were beyond the pale.

My friends I am sorted, I am in a happy place and loving it, I can almost hear my Granny saying how proud she is of me.

TTFN     Pam

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tuesday Treats

Good morning all, I hope your day started as well as mine did, probably earlier though as I worked last night.

I have told you that I am playing with FMQ, what I have done I am reasonably happy with, early days and all that. After sewing Faith,s quilt I knew that I needed a few things to make it easier.

So Michael had a trawl through the 'net and came up with Machingers, quilters gloves with grippy pads on the finger tips that help to slide the quilt around. He also found crushed walnut shells on the same site. I have been wittering on about making a pincushion and thread catcher to sit next to the machine for ages and the shells are heavy enough to keep it in place, and they keep the pins sharp.

So I duly put the order in and paid for standard delivery, I am in no real rush.

The postie brought me 2 parcels this morning.

This was in a pretty pink envelope.

My quilting gloves, a perfect fit.

Walnut shell, now I just have to decide on a pattern and fabric.

But look at this, I placed the order at 1.14 yesterday and it was here at 11 30 today, less than 24 hours. I wonder if I had paid for the fast delivery if it would have arrived before I ordered it!!

Well, it makes you wonder.

I also got this little packet.

Boring little brown baggy.

Holding my new Open Toe FMQ  foot, clip on and will fit all my machines.
I am waiting for some clips to hold my quilt in a roll, they look a little like bicycle clips, I ordered these last Thursday.

I picked some more apples, they are quite big so I do not have to pick many at a time.

This one weighs 14 oz, almost a pie filling!, the tin is for scale, I have not made a bean and apple pie.............yet but with cubes pork or sausages it might be tasty, after all apple sauce goes with pork and beans go with this space.

When Michael tidied the cupboard from hell he found a Chocolate Orange with toffee crunch pieces, that is destined to be whizzed in the processor and find its way into a cake, waste not want not. he just suggested putting some in my pork, bean and apple pie. Sounds like bonfire night food all in one dish.......dare I?

He wants to keep a close eye on his meals, after all as they say, Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it!

We are having a steamed beef and onion pudding tonight, it was so cold when we came home that My thoughts were for winter warmer dinners.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. The sun is shining and it is not raining.

2. Dinner is sorted so the afternoon is free.

3. I am tucked up in the corner of the sofa with a hot coffee and a warm dog.

4. I have 3 books to read, non fiction all set in  Norfolk, my home county.

5. I have pulled the fabric from my stash to make another quilt.

I have a 5 day weekend coming up, and if I do not sew i will bake and eat!

I saw the new tutorial for a fast baby quilt, that is sweeping blogland, yesterday.  Two quilts  from a jelly roll. I am going to cut the strips from yardage and turn it into a full sized quilt. Jelly rolls are very expensive and I would not use all the fabric in them. There are always some parts of a collection that do not appeal.

My cup is empty and I need to check the steamer, I would hate for it to boil dry.                      TTFN                 Pam

Monday, 16 September 2013

Quilt in a Day

I had a good day yesterday, some work, some play and lots of sewing. My Granddaughter Kaitlyn has a beautiful cousin, Faith, and when we were on holiday I decided to make a quilt for her. It was to be very very pink and super girly. Well we all know what happens to well laid plans.
I was playing with Barbra, putting her through her paces and used up a Jelly Roll that had been lurking in my stash for months. I  cut the resulting strip sets up and sewed them into rail fence blocks.

Then I cut some sashing up from some lilac fabric and sewed them all together. I had a remnant of pale cream spot and a 1/2 yard of pink spotty fabric from my Marmalade collection.

Full frontal but this is too dark.

Time for a close up, how the colour is washed out, it is a bit darker than this.

A piano key border top and bottom on the back, just because I like it. I quilted this very lightly as the batting hangs onto the fabric, and I want it to be soft and squishy for Faith to roll around on and in it, she is only 16 months old.

I am very pleased with this and love it, even though it is not the pink that I envisaged. I knew halfway through that it would be for Faith, if I had the fabric to make it bigger I would have made it for us.

The sun is shining and every thing in the garden is glowing after the rain yesterday. I have apples to pick and the pear trees to check over, the berries will need to dry out for a bit longer before they can be picked.
I have a bunch of beetroot to deal with and garlic to sort out.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. A quilty gift ready to post.

2. Fresh warm air blowing through the cottage.

3. Bees and birds bustling around the garden, hurrying to "make hay while the sun shines".

4. A walk in the village lanes coming soon, with Ben of course.

5. A cupboard full of books emptied, dusted, books sorted and keepers returned.

I have a big bag of hardback books to donate to the library and 2 bags of paperbacks to take to the charity shop. Yes we could do a car boot and make a little money from them but sometimes it is better to "pay it forward" I use the library every week and it saves me oodles of money. The charity shop has given me some really good bargains over the years and I like to support it.

A cup of tea is waiting for me so.            TTFN      Pam

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday, a Day of Rest and Contemplation. NOT

I started my day by cooking some more apples, this time I added Raspberries. 

Isn't this the loudest apple you have ever seen.

I love apples in any type of pudding and to make things fast I keep a stock of whole meal scones in the freezer along with portions of cooked apples. A few minutes in the ding oven and I have a pudding, I use hardly any sugar as I grow naturally sweet varieties of apples, I make plain scones as then I can have one with cheese and pickle if I like, a minimal amount of butter in the scones and it makes for a healthy pudding. If I want something more decadent I make custard, the real stuff, bright fluorescent yellow from a tub with a Bird on it! I can make Sauce Anglais but it would just not work on this type of pudding, not for me anyway. To cut to the chase, I made a big batch of these as well.

Then I walked Ben, did 2 loads of laundry ( don't like washing on Sunday but needs must and all that). Then I changed the bed and tidied up.
Francesca is sorting through her room and I have been helping her. She has We have filled 2 recycling bags with old paperwork, envelopes, brochures, flyers, empty ice cream wrappers!? ditto cola bottles. Odd socks, unraveled scarves, birthday cards, badges, ornaments and all the other treasures that hide in every nook and cranny.

I have 2 boxes for the charity shop, a bin bag full of paper to be shredded (compost) and these.

This trio are in new condition and need a new home, preferably with a child to love them, Fran's favorites are threadbare and depleted of stuffing and are going to London with her.
If you can offer them a home let me know.

BTW while we were doing all that I had this simmering away

Just some braising beef and vegetables in a spicy sauce with paprika, chilli, cumin and coriander, and a splash of Lea and Perrins. Packed lunches with a spoonful of rice for Francesca and a meal for us, possibly next week.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Francesca ploughed her way through the ironing.

2. Michael produced a steady flow of tea and coffee.

3. The car has been checked for oil, water and tyre pressures, ready for another weeks driving.

4. 20 minutes playing at FMQ, getting better.

5. A quilt to cut out later, all pink and girly.

I have Sew magazine and in it this week is a quilt in Autumn colours, really simple just strips of material WOF sewn together, squared up and a border added. Michael likes it as much as I do so................... As soon as I get time, Probably next Thursday, I am off to Button up & Stitch to pick a mix of fabrics and buy a skinny 8th of each and choose a border fabric and buy that. We have a stack of quilts but there is always room for one more, I have cherry picked through the stash and will be making one for James and Cerys as well.

I have to go wrestle a duck into the oven now so will leave you now with this thought, If a Goldfish had long hair would it be a Mermaid. I overheard a small child ask this on Saturday and had to share it.                     TTFN               Pam