Wednesday 25 February 2015

Snuffling through a tissue mountain.

I hab a coad.
At least that is what it sounds like when I say it. It hit me out of the blue on Sunday and yesterday  ( I hope ) it reached its peak. I dutifully swallowed my day and night nurse capsules, for all the good it did, and am repeating the exercise today futile though it might be. I do not feel quite so stuffed up and have not sneezed for at least an hour. That is not bad considering that I have been ricocheting around the house since Monday afternoon.

Today I sat and hand stitched the binding onto a pair of baby quilts, I took care not to sneeze anywhere near them, these are 27" by 32" so it was not tedious.  They have used up a stack of charms that I had cut from the scrap bin and some small fabric pieces from the stash cupboard.


I bought this Michael Miller print ages ago and had only used half of it, I thought that is was perfect to back the girlie quilt, I think that the back is as pretty as the front.

This backing fabric was bought when I was in Cardiff buying the 8200 QC, they had a sale on and it was very cheap. I have quite a bit left for another day.
I have sold the first thing from my £5 challenge and when I ( if I ) get up to £30 I will try and sell these, the materials cost £15 for each quilt. I am hoping to have inspiration strike this evening for my next make, I have £10 to spend on materials. Any suggestions/requests.
I am going to get some hooky going tonight, my knitting is a complicated pattern and my brain is not up to it. Some soothing rows of chain and half trebles are called for. After all I will be watching Bones and Elementary so I will only have half an eye on my hands.
Dinner tonight will be a very lazy sausages in onion gravy with as many veg as I can stuff into the steamer. Last night was a chick pea and squash curry and, although I ate a bowl full,  it might have been chewed up and reformed cardboard for all I could taste.
The old saying is "feed a cold",  Granny I hear you loud and clear.
I am just going to keep schtum about the little matter of my high temperature, there will be no starving a fever here.
On that note it has to be time for tea, no matter what it doesn't taste like.
    TTFN                                                             Pam

Monday 23 February 2015

Another wonderful wet Monday.

I managed to walk Ben first thing before the heavens sent down a hail storm, the rest of the day was another mish mash of everything bar fog. Not to worry, I had sewing on the agenda.
The £5 challenge is on, I found some red patterned fabric that has been lurking for #@*! years with a remnant price tag of £1 70, then I cut a little off a piece of wonderful scarlet solid. This came together and made 2 items,

An unlined knitting bag.

A knitting needle roll.
Here they are together, the needles in the roll can stay there as they came free with a magazine. So 2 items for around £3, I have included a little for thread and electricity. The burning question is how much are they worth? Oh and where on earth will I sell them?
I have no idea how to sell on EBay or facebook, any tips or help gratefully accepted.  

While I was at it I ran up a couple of lined aprons, just straight with a pocket and ties long enough to wrap round and tie in front. They each came from a single 23" WOF cut so each cost less than £2, both were from sale fabric that I got very cheap.
Dinner was pretty cheap as well, half a block of puff pastry from Farm Foods, a small tub of cream cheese with herbs from Lidl, 3 blocks of frozen spinach and a few crumbs of stilton with a little black pepper and onion granules. I rolled out the pastry into a rectangle, mixed the rest together and piled onto half the pastry, folded one side over the filling and crimped the edges. A quick brush with a little milk and 2 slashes in the top and into the mini oven for 30 minutes at 200c. I had carrots, cauli and cabbage with half, and now I am too full to move.  I am certain that dinner came in at less than £1, the pie cost little more than that and was big enough for 2 generous servings.
I was going to make a trip to the CS and leave a couple of boxes of things but the weather put me off, there is no parking close to any of them.
Tomorrow is another day, as the saying goes and I enjoyed my day sewing and cooking, not to mention the eating part.
 Now to tackle the washing up and get the kitchen to rights. Then I may just put the TV on and get some hooky going.
                   TTFN                                                       Pam

Sunday 22 February 2015

A very giggly Sunday

I run a very real risk of offending quite a large number of people today, I am sorry if you are upset but this is just my take on this subject, and my regular readers will know that I am a bit doolally at the best of times.

Yesterday was a cut, stitch, press, rinse and repeat sort of day. Nose to the grindstone and all that jazz, mind you I loved every minute of it.

And now to the crux of the matter. By chance I was reading a blog post about this craze for folding clothes to matchbox size and clicked onto a U tube video. How to fold tee shirts, I could not believe my eyes, there was a female version of Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) using a plastic gizmo to fold clothes. Then I spotted a tutorial on making a cardboard copy. I started to giggle and then spied a whole raft of like videos, how to fold knickers, socks, name it and somebody will show you how to fold it. I watched a few, well quite a lot really, and they got me to the point of crying with laughter. There was one with 2 people telling me how to fold "an underwear" if they could not bring themselves to say knickers why not say briefs. I fully understand that some of us have more clothes than cupboard space and have to be fanatically tidy. 
 I have read many times that most of us wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. The two do not add up in my mind, but it happens, I am guilty of that but not quite to such an extreme.

I am very strict with my one in, one out rule and still have the odd garment of five that I have hung onto with gritted teeth that would put Jaws to shame and nails of titanium that many a Kardashian would drool over.
This summer instead of just putting my winter clothes away I will go through then with eagle eyes and plan on discarding perhaps 25%. Then when the summer clothes come out I will go through them before hanging them up or putting away in drawers.
Without looking I know that there are 2 pairs of boots and a pair of shoes that will go to the CS. I very rarely part with my footwear but the boots nip my hammer toe and so do the shoes. All are from Hotter and are in very good condition, I hope that someone else can benefit from them.

Anyhow, back to folding, I sincerely hope that nobody is offended, it was  a morning of light entertainment for me and has put me in an excellent frame of mind.

I also read a blog about a Five Pound Challenge, "lovely Grey day", and it has sparked my imagination. I am going to take £5 worth of fabric and trim and make something. I will try to sell it for a profit and spend that on more material to make 2 somethings. rinse and repeat often. If successful I should have a decent amount of money to donate. What do you think, is there a chance that I could make a reasonable amount of money. The thought of several hundreds of pounds going to The Dogs Trust is enough to spur me on.

No photo today, all my batteries are on charge. Back tomorrow with a plan of action, if anyone has any suggestions I welcome them.

          TTFN                                                           Pam

Thursday 19 February 2015

Birthday cake, calorie free.

You would be forgiven for thinking that all I do is sew and eat. Well you are nearly right, I like to have a real blitz at the housework then just a flick round for a few days then blitz again. This leaves me time to play to my hearts content. I have a birthday on the horizon, James will be 26 in March, plenty of time yet but it soon runs away. So as I was up at first light I played and made this,

I put 3 candles on it as a token gesture and once it has been quilted I will embroider a flame on each. When I make the children's I will be making them landscape and less layers. That way I will be able to put fat candles on and some embellishment.

My "Brucie Bonus" is this growing stack of patches, I have as many again to join and will then turn them into 4 patches and so on. I thought that I better separate the colours so that I get an even blend.
I took Maggie shopping this morning and picked up another bunch of roses, these ones have a light perfume, another bonus.

They have only been in the house for 5 hours and have started to open up. I hope that they last at least half as long as the last bunch.
Before it was fully light I took a photo of "my" mountain.

Swathed in mizzle but it still lifts my heart and soul to look across, Morriston is on the other side and I have heard it referred to as Morriston Mountain. Last week when walking Ben I met a hiker who was walking over it to Swansea. Rather her than me, although there was a time........
I have some cushion backs to make later, I will be using the Hummingbird print for most of them. I just want to find a blue for James's cushion and get that finished and put away.
Dinner tonight is Pork Casserole with mash and cabbage, I will have some grapefruit and orange segments if I fancy a pudding.
Now I am off to look for my air erasable marking pen, I dropped it this morning and it has rolled under something. I do have 2 others but this is very fine tipped and I love it, once found I will be looking to buy a few.
                TTFN                                                Pam

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Bargains and a Hooky trial

I had a little trip into Pontardawe  and came away with a few bargain buys. First up was my stick deodorant, pricey but I can not cope with sprays and do not like the roll on sort, BOGOF so I had 10. I would have had a few more but felt that I had to leave 2 on the shelf. Then my shampoo of choice was also on a BOGOFso I had 2, they are the largest size and I already have 2 from the last time they were on offer.
I wanted to buy some chocolate filled Brioche for a friend and lo and behold they too were on the same offer, cue a little happy dance.

Yesterday I read Thistlebear's post showing her latest crochet blanket, Heartwarmer. She included a pattern, I was intrigued by the "cellular blanket" look so found an odd ball of yarn and tried it out, I am hooked (pun intended) it is so simple and a soothing stitch. I see a new blanket in my future. The sample will become a dolls blanket for Kaitlyn.

As it was Shrove Tuesday yesterday I decided to treat myself to a tasty breakfast, not pancakes I do like them but only "when I like them" if you know what I mean. No I rustled up 4 large cheesey scones, some grated cheddar and a little corner of  Stilton with a spoonful of wholegrain mustard in the mix made a very nice snack. One more was my supper, the other 2 are in the freezer for a little while. Now that we are in Lent I will be watching what I eat, chocolate in any shape or form is out of bounds and pastries and breads are strictly limited. I do this every year, it was part of my life as a child and has continued.

I did make 4 but ate one while it was hot.
My breakfast this morning was this little treat,

an orange, half price from Lidl, and a grapefruit, peeled and sliced and swimming in their own juice. Lent does not mean that you have to live on gruel and cabbage soup. I try very hard to use what I have all the time but in Lent I make a stronger effort and justify every purchase.
I read the Jolly Jabber blog, that is where I found the Snapshot quilt, and this Single Wedding Ring block was featured. They had it made up to a 13" finished block. When Fran went home after the New Year she took one of the big Christmas cushions with her. I have been looking for a pattern for a replacement cover and love this at first sight. It was not big enough so I made it with bigger HST and it will be finished and on its way to her soon.

I made the bold fabric into the background because I did not have quite enough of the lighter print, I do like it this way round. I even found a free printable for paper piecing the HST,s and my points are perfect with no angst.
And here comes the Ta Dah moment, the second Snapshot block, many more pieces than the first so I used 2 1/2" squares as leaders and enders.

Look at this lovely little pile, all ready to become 4 patch blocks when the machine starts again. All from my scrap bin, ready cut and sorted by size on my last "tidy up" in the scrap department.

I regard this as free bonus sewing, it means that there are no thread ends to trim from the back of my block and uses a few more scraps from the mountain. Goodness knows what they will become, suggestions on a postcard........:-)

I ran over a nail yesterday and it cost me a new tyre, hey ho, as the M O T is due in a couple of months I had them check the brakes. The verdict was that there was around 4 weeks driving left in them so the car has gone to have them replaced this morning.

And now I feel a cup of tea coming on followed by a quick whizz round the kitchen and bathroom. While I am at it I better scoot the vacuum cleaner round and get the floors done as well. Ben and I were in the garden yesterday so there are a few dusty spots and a dead twig or three to be slurped up.

                             TTFN                                        Pam

Monday 16 February 2015

Monday Monday, so good for me.

Look at me, posting at a decent time, rather than squeezing it in a spare moment.

The postie brought me a parcel today, full of cheap yumminess.

This is for my cushions and a couple of quilt backs, it is so cheerful and even better very cheap.

This is just because I love it, I see it as binding, in scrappy blocks and fussy cut in lots of blocks. So happy, it is a Christmas print but not overtly so.

This is the proof of how cheap it was, £2 a metre, happy dance.
The fabric that was out of stock is a soft flannel, I did buy several metres of it at the same price a while ago, so I am not too bothered.
I have cut the fabric for my Sewing machine block, and was very thrifty about it.

This is the cutting list for the white background fabric, I have a box of white and cream offcuts and scraps so had a little rootle round in it. I found enough scraps to cut all my list with the tiniest amount of waste. There is enough white in there for several more blocks. All the blocks are sashed before joining so I plan on using as many white scraps as I can, just keeping to one type in each block.

Ta Dah.

Here it is all cut and labelled ready to go. L, M, 5 & 6 were all cut from the scrap bin so more saving.

This is the waste, most of which was scraps to start with. I feel quite virtuous, even if I have spent this months budget on fabric. To balance that I have hardly touched the money that I allow for books, thanks to the library. I bought 4 paperbacks for £1 in the local C.S. and just bought a pile of pre-owned books for just over £11 from Amazon, with free delivery.

The small Hyacinth is doing its best to catch up but the stem is bent, the roses are starting to look tired now, I will hang on to them till my next trip to Lidl later in the week.
The Alien has finished flowering, I will cut the flower stem down later and pot the bulb up into some compost, fingers crossed that I can keep it going for next year.
A fridge bottom dinner tonight, pasta with a tomato and Gorgonzola sauce with as many vegetables as I can get into it. It was going to be a Potato bake but I will make that later in the week when I have the oven on for bread.  The cheese was RTC in Lidl and is very tasty, it will go into a few dishes, it was only a sliver that jumped into my mouth ;-)

 Time to get ready for dog walking, I hope that Dolly is still clean after yesterday.

                                TTFN                                     Pam

Sunday 15 February 2015

Sewing and Baking, lovely.

Today has been a bright, dry day, not particularly sunny but not at all cold. Ben enjoyed his walks, we went to pick up Archie and Dolly at 1.00 as usual and I ended up bathing Dolly. The little humbug had found some fox scat and had a jolly good roll in it, Smelly Melly had nothing on her.
I cut and sewed another 4 scrappy trip blocks, 2 of each again.

It is very restful sewing these strips, sub cutting and sewing again. So much so that I have cut several more blocks worth, all grouped together ready.

I did not count them, just stacked them up, it will be a surprise when I reach the end. I have used most of the yardage fabrics in the stash, but have not touched the fat quarters yet. The large scale prints will not be used, it would be a waste as very little of the pattern would show in the 2" finished squares.

This is the second Snapshot block, a sewing machine, I have almost decided what fabrics to use and hope to get it made tomorrow. If anyone is interested it is being run by The Fat Quarter Shop on their Jolly Jabber blog, it is on my blog roll in my profile.

I did some baking this morning, bread and 2 coffee and walnut cakes. The other has gone to Maggie, her little cat, Sophie is under the weather. I drove them to the vet in Ammanford on Friday and will probably take them again tomorrow.
Now the smells from the kitchen tell me that my dinner is just about ready, Pork steak in a sticky glaze, baked potato and leek gratin.
                     TTFN                                                     Pam

Saturday 14 February 2015

Saturday Playtime

I have been playing all day and thought that as tea was needed I would share what I have been up to. Remember the Snapshot Quilt that I planned to make, I was going to wait till the first 2 blocks were available, and it is only tomorrow that the second is published but impatience won the day.

This is the first block, there are lots of tiny little bits in there and all have a letter to keep them in order. The Fat Quarter Shop sell a pack of dinky little letters and numbers just for this job, hmmm not very thrifty. A sheet of paper ( a circular printed on 1 side only) a pencil and scissors and some clips.

Job done for just a few minutes, money saved for more fabric Woo Hoo.

I found handling the 1 1/2" squares a bit challenging and slowed down to walking speed. The block needs to be squared up but I will do that when all are done.
I did plan to make this with an altogether different collection but decided that light and bright was the way to go. I plan to make another of these blocks in slightly bolder colours and turn it into a cushion for a birthday gift later in the year. In fact now that I think about it there may well be several made.
I had a parcel from Hobbycraft yesterday, full of half price fat quarters, yum.
Lots of dottiness in there.

More dots and dinky little flowers.

The birds, the birds.

I liked this collection so much that I have 2.
Greedy girl, that's me.
The sharp eyed amongst you will have spotted that some of those appear in the cake block, I could not resist cutting into them, could you?
As a respite and reward for all that fiddly diddly piecing I have started a scrappy trip project. These blocks were all over the show a couple of years ago and I could not be bothered to jump on the band wagon.
Today though the appeal was strong enough to send me trawling through the stash in a "scissor happy" mood.

This is the first block finished,( I have just spotted that I put the wrong photo in, the block really is finished) I have 5 more ready to go, 2 of each colour way. The strawberry print will run through the middle of each block to give a bit of cohesion, because I like it and I have plenty. Dawn will recognise some of the prints, I am so pleased that she managed to part with them. The red and white print is called Flurry and comes from Dashwood, I have it in a few colours and love it. I am off soon to try and locate some more, the colours are vibrant and there are some softer ones for balance. They make wonderful binding and have looked good in every project that I have used them in. BTW this is not a promotion, just me waffling on about what makes me happy.
On that note I am off to search the net.
                TTFN                                               Pam

Friday 13 February 2015

Bags of Sewing and true blue scent.

More sewing, more bags and a long neglected WIP finished, now time for a little catch up with reading through my blog list and posting one myself.

Remember this little experiment,

I used some Kona Snow Charms that were left over from another project and some assorted precut charms that I bought. I struggled with the piecing as the patterned charms were not cut quite straight. Of course I had all the HST's sewn, cut and pressed before I discovered this but I gritted my teeth, made some strong tea and sewed. Then I rebelled and put it all away for a little rest. This week I discovered it and decided that it was crunch time. I have not used all my HST's, I do not have that amount of will power, the rest have gone into my crazy scrap bin.
This little quilt has used up some high loft wadding that was lurking about, the border is a slippery fabric that has been deliberately ignored for too long. It is not shiny or even slippery to the touch, it just has to be pinned within an inch of its life or its slithers around under the presser foot. It is now tucked away with the Picnic Basket ready for the coming summer.

This scrappy bag is quilted and used another scrap of the thick wadding, the lining and handles are from some cotton dress material that never got used.

These 3 bags are fully lined and were once a curtain, the other one was used a few years ago and I thought that this was one Lone Ranger that had reached its "use by" .

At the risk of being completely boring, here are my long lasting roses, I really thought that they would have been in the compost bin by now. The Hyacinths were a gift and look how they have turned out, the tall one is filling the room with scent and I have hopes that the little one will oblige also. They were started off together and have had exactly the same treatment so goodness only knows why the disparity in growth happened.
Once flowered I will pot them into some compost to feed the bulbs and put them in the garden later in the year.
I am off out for a girls night in later, lots of chatter, a little film watching and some nibbles. We may indulge in a glass of wine but it is more likely that the teapot will be working hard.
I hope that you all enjoy your weekends, wherever you may be, and fingers crossed that we all see some sunshine.
                 TTFN                                                    Pam

Tuesday 10 February 2015

What a difference a day makes.

After 2 glorious warm days, both looking like this at first light,


 this morning looked much more like February.

But no matter the weather, I still love the view from my front door and have a long look at the start of every day.
My roses are hanging on in there,
I will replace them later in the week, as soon as the first petals drop.

The Alien is still looking good, standing proud in the window.
I told you that Dawn very kindly gave me some Seville oranges, and that I bought some fruit from Abergwilli. I also had some mandarins that were full of pips, reluctant to part with their skins and sour enough to "draw your a**e up to your elbows" as my Granny would have said. I made a batch of orange marmalade and then cooked grapefruit and the mandarins and turned them in to another batch of preserves.
Yesterday morning I had to go to Swansea, while there I popped into Hobbycraft, I had found a piece of yellow fabric for the stash and had a look for their half price fat quarters, there are a couple of bare spots in the stash.

This is the yellow, a bit brighter in the flesh and most welcome.

I found this bundle for £7, it is more aqua than blue and fills a gap in the stash, I am pleased with that. I do not buy much from Hobby craft as I find them pricey.
The Muscle has been busy in my garden, I now have some staging in the greenhouse and some weeds have been eradicated.
In return there has been more sewing,
He has made 2 fully lined bags, and look at the boxed corners.

I think that the next lesson will contain a zip, maybe a pocket on a bag or perhaps a zippered pouch.
While shopping yesterday I slipped into M & S and found these for Maggie, they are her favourite biscuit. I delivered them this afternoon along with a jar of each marmalade.

If you look at the comments on the previous post, you will see some from Notes from home, pop over and say hello. Kim is a very talented crafter, I started following her ages ago and for one reason and another she slipped of the radar. I am slowly catching up with what I missed and enjoying the journey.
It is now time for me to get in the kitchen and "sling hash" or I will rumble so loud that some of you may hear me.
            TTFN                                                   Pam