Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What is it?

Is it a cook?
Is it a quilter?
Is it a knitter?
Is it a gardener (fair weather)?

The answer is YES to all of the above.
Somebody asked me yesterday what hobby I enjoy the most. The answer is which ever one is in my hands.
I could and would not attempt to say which I like the most, there is also a little bit of a crocheter in there as well.

I would hesitate if I had to choose one to do, I think that some one else would have to decide for me. It would be a forced choice, like choosing which food type you would eat for the rest of your life.

Today I am a cook and later will morph into a quilter then later still will be the knitter or perhaps the crochet will win.

I ought to let the gardener out but it is still sticky underfoot, but my word the grass needs cutting soon.

Now I am about to be a "lady who lunches" as I am feeling rather peckish, thanks in part to my longer than usual walk with Rufus this morning.

                             TTFN                                   Pam

PS. I see the follower numbers are creeping up. 
Hello, good morning and welcome. I am very pleased to meet you.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Stitches and Stitches.

The yarny stitching has been simmering away steadily and another pair of boot socks are off the needles.

They do have a slight halo but will be soft and warm to wear.

The snuggly blanket has grown slightly, I will post a picture in a few more days when there is a little bit more to show.

On the sewing stitches front the Plates are also doing well. I have the blades cut, stitched and pressed for 4 more plates. 2 will be blues and greys and 2 will be blues and greens, I pulled some soft pinks from the stash and will make 2 more with blues and pinks. This will give me 9 plate blocks that will finish at around 18", my current thinking is that I will make a 9th block using all the colours to become the middle block, with sashing finishing at 4", side borders  finishing at 5" and top and bottom finishing at 10" I should get a decent size.

Of course I have to think about fabric for all this, right now I haven't got a clue. It will come to me, no probs.

Francesca got her first set of cushion covers today and is pleased as punch, she has no idea that another set will be arriving before the end of the week. 

Dinner tonight is a version of cauliflower cheese, there is broccoli and edamame beans in the sauce as well. A one dish wonder with a fruit pie for pudding. Nursery food, just the job on a wild and windy night.

I have just checked the oven and it's not long now! That's good as there are serious rumblies in the tumbly.

                         TTFN                                     Pam

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Accidental Precut scraps

I have cut the blades for the next 4 Dresden Plates, I inferred yesterday that I was making fans but they are definitely Plates.

10 different blues, 5 greys and 5 greens to give me 4 more blocks. If these are to become a quilt I will need to make 12 blocks in total. I will think about it, the colour palette is a bit restrictive as so far the only warm colour is the yellow for the middles. I cannot repeat the blocks as several of the blades were cut from small scraps and there is no more left.

I did get a "Brucie Bonus" though. Because of the way I placed the template I am left with these skinny blades. They will not be wasted I will save them all for a "play session" right at the end. Depending on what I decide to make they may become part of the border.

As I was walking Rufus this morning my mind was wandering willy nilly. Autumn was a favourite time of the year for my Mum, not for the weather but the colours. She revelled in the turning leaves and filled the garden with plants that had brilliant autumn colours.

With a few more steps I reflected on the way she brought us up. There was lots of support from my Gran and one or the other of them was always there.

While we were quite young the care was pretty much full on and as we grew we got more freedom. As our attention needs reduced Dad became the focus of her attention and he lapped it up.
 I should say here that as the eldest I automatically took on some of the caring duties. That's the way that most of our friends families worked, it was not a chore and "duty" is a hard word to use. I just could not think of another, it wasn't always a joy with a sister and 2 small brothers, what one didn't think of another would. 

But it taught me so much that stands me in good stead today. I can keep up with a few conversations at once, I can let Rufus and Ben off their leads and even if they rush in opposite directions I can keep tabs on them both.

I learnt how precious "me time" is and try very hard not to fritter it away.
I also learnt that if you care for another person it fills your heart with love, you may not realise the rewards at the time but they are there.

Oh My Word, I seem to have gone down a goody two shoes road. Believe me there were times when I could have cheerfully strangled them all. But tucking a small person into bed and having them fling their arms round you and snuggling in is priceless. No matter that they drew in your new book or managed to break your favourite ornament and got plastered in mud 2 minutes before tea.

Bear with me I will be back to my normal self tomorrow. 

Dinner tonight is unknown so far, there is Steak and Kidney with veg in a red wine gravy simmering away in the slow cooker but that is for tomorrow. I have some soft blue cheese to use, perhaps a pasta dish or maybe a jacket potato. Time will tell.

Now I am off to get a brew on.

                          TTFN                                        Pam

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Blades and Fans

All my good intentions went South or West or somewhere, they certainly did not stay here.
Instead of getting on with my list I watched Jean Truelove making a Dresden Plate wall hanging and fell down the rabbit hole.

I now have 2 of these finished and the blades cut out for 4 more, 2 in blues and greens and 2 in blues and greys.

I new that I had lots of blue but was surprised to find that I didn't need to repeat any fabric in the other blocks. I have used each fabric twice in each of the 3 colourways and all will have the soft yellow middles.

I have no idea as to whether they will be cushions or a quilt, I don't need either but I so needed wanted to make the blocks.

Once they are sewn together I will decide on the fabric for borders and sashing, possibly the same for both and probably blue and multi.

Oops, dinner is ready so I am offski.

                       TTFN                                             Pam

Friday, 13 October 2017

Wellies and Driza-Bone

After a decent drying day yesterday the rain came back overnight. It rained gently with a few minutes of dry scattered here and there, I managed to get Ben out and back in one of them, before sweeping down the mountain in a veil of mist and turning heavy.

Now it is sullen and far too warm, I want to fling all the doors and windows open but it is too windy.

It will be a crafting day, the housework is up to date, no ironing lurking and washing basket empty (for a few moments).

I started turning the heels on the latest pair of socks last night so they will be picked up first. Then I have some fabric panels, that I dug out yesterday, to deal with. I have the dowelling for hanging them and Francesca would like a couple for the house in Beckenham. She will be here for Christmas but still decorates at home.

I was shuffling around You Tube this morning and found a tutorial for Christmas makes. That has fired my interest so I need to scrabble under the bed and pull "Christmas" out of hiding. I don't want to buy anything, there is still lots of stuff to be used here, and it is too wet to go out anyway. I have had to drive enough this week without going out for the sake of it.

Dinner tonight will be based on sweet potatoes baked in their skins, we love them and they don't need butter at all just a scraping of black pepper and a pinch of salt. I have no idea as to what will go with them, a forage through the fridge will bring something to mind.

I went to the little charity shop in G C G (the next village) yesterday and picked up a few books. It is many months since I picked up a book and read it all, I found 3 but they are still in the bag, my reading mojo seems to have gone into hibernation. When I think that at times I would go through 4 or 5 books in a week I can not understand it. I was still knitting and sewing, so it is not a question of time but of inclination.

Now I need to get busy or nothing will be done today, once those heels are turned I will pull the backing fabric out for "Operation Panel Making"

                  TTFN                                                  Pam

The title? oh yes, I have evicted the dust from my wellies and dragged the Driza-Bone from the depths of the wardrobe. I am ready for the weather now.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

After the work comes the rest.

I was up with the Lark this morning, it was the hospital run with W and I still had lots of things to do. I managed to walk Ben before we were covered with a blanket of rain and mist. Rufus said "thanks but no thanks" to his walk so I had an extra hour to use.

 Waste it on more housework? Don't be so silly. I got the coin quilt out and started sewing. I still had a little left to do when it was time to leave for Swansea.

We were quite late getting back and I had to have a quick sandwich and a cuppa before sewing again. Around 40 minutes later it was done, trimmed and borders on. Now I just have to get it layered and decide on the binding. It won't be quilted until I get the Janome back from its service.

Yes, of course I have loads of coins left but they will not be still for long, tomorrow will see the start of them being turned into another quilt top.

I decided to knit for a while, once I had cleared the decks and picked  all the bits off the carpet.

I settled down with a pair of socks, What a Surprise, and had a trip down memory lane. I watched a DVD, Ferry Cross the Mersey, starring Gerry and the Pacemakers with an appearance by Cilla Black. 
Yes it was a black and white quite awful film but at the time it was exciting. I enjoyed most of it and just ignored the worst parts.

Now the weather has brightened up so Rufus will get a walk soon.
Dinner will be something light and later than usual after such a late lunch. I may just throw a pan of soup together, it won't take long.
The bread maker is working away on a seeded wholemeal loaf, so  may cut into that or perhaps make a batch of Suffolk Rusks.

I missed knit and natter yesterday but the machine needed a service and when I rang up to book it in they asked me to bring it straight in. Result. I expected to have to wait a couple of weeks at least.

I will photograph the coin quilt once it has been basted, I have 2 to baste so tomorrow is fully booked, probably Friday as well.

Now it is time to get my walking gear on.

                      TTFN                                               Pam

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Woo Hoo and more stitchy fun.

Photo's first.

The first set of cushions.
I still have just a little of the Flamingo fabric left.
I have had it so long that I can't remember where I bought it.

The second set, a little bit more subtle use of pink here.

 Once the cushions were done and dusted I picked up the coin quilt strips again. Measure, sew, press, measure again. By George I think I've got it.

14 sets, pressed and ready for the sashing (not cut yet but next on the list)

The overflow, or reserve pile.
There are still lots of 5" strips to use up, I knew that I had cut far too many. I may cut yet more as this one will be a Christmas gift and another for a child or 2 is a possibility.

That's the sewing bit done,now for the foodie bit.

Jax asked about the topping for my veg crumble, where did it come from? From my head is the short answer.

I had the idea of  a roast veg bake, then I had some apples that were very tart. Mmmm apples and onions are a tasty mix so try them in the bake. Of course I just emptied the veg drawer and used carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnips, swede, onions and a whole head of garlic.
 Then I decided that some sort of sauce/gravy was needed, Autumn veg and Apples meant that it had to be cider. With some veg stock so the peelings were washed and boiled up with some peppercorns and a few celery seeds, oh and a couple of garlic cloves chopped up. I added some thyme leaves when I made the sauce and then added some of my crab apple and thyme jelly, just because.

The topping had to provide some protein and crunch so a thick crust of bread finely diced rather than crumbed, a scoop of oats and melted butter to bind it all together. Then I just riffled through the fridge for some grated Parmesan and a chunk of mature Orkney cheese that I diced up. 
Some pumpkin and sunflower seeds and some brown linseed for extra crunch with a good grind of pepper. I just mixed it all together and spread a thick layer over the veg and cider sauce. 30 minutes in the oven and dinner was ready, it was yummylicious and we will be having something similar again. I can not repeat it exactly as I didn't measure anything, and I may well use different ingredients next time.

Of course I made far too much so tonight we are having it again, shame.

I have a cuppa getting cold so I will slurp that and then get back to the craft room, I must get the sashing cut.

                        TTFN                                                    Pam

PS. I still have a large stock of green and blue fabric left but the pink has all but gone. I will see if I can use them with some red,it is very loud and hopefully the cool colours will tame it.