Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just Four Today

A sunny breezy day in Surrey and no sign as yet of an ash cloud!

There would only be four of us today as Alison is on holiday in Spain.  Chris was the first to arrive followed very quickly by Caroline and Amanda.

With our first cup of tea we had Lemon Drizzle cake by M & S, no time for baking this week.

Caroline had brought with her eight fat eighths which she is hoping to make into a baby quilt for a friend.

Amanda had brought four Lone Star blocks she had completed from the workshop at the beginning of the month and was sewing more hexagons to add to the growing collection.

Chris was also sewing hexagons but into rosettes.

I had asked Chris if I could have a look at a ruler she had called 'Fit To Be Geese' by Open Gate Quilts, there has been a lot of talk on various blogs about this and I was interested to see how it worked.

Caroline had an early lunch as she was leaving to teach this afternoon.

Lunch consisted of Quiche Lorraine and Salmon and Watercress Quiche with baby new potatoes and salad, followed by a Bonne Maman chocolate mousse.

After lunch Chris got our her Fuchsia fabric that had to be fussy cut into borders.  After a refresh of the video instructions from Animas Quilts this was easily done.

Since June 2010 Alison, Chris and I have been doing a block of the month from Fat Quarter Quilters a 'Designer Mystery Block of the Month' this was on a Christmas theme using the fabric Collection 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain.  These are my blocks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Once more to the Conservatory!

Tuesday is the one day of the week we all look forward to, without a shadow of a doubt.  It is a day of  discussion, relaxation and the warmth of friendship.  Yes, there is the question of which muffin/cake to bake and what appropriate meal to serve for lunch, but these are minor issues.  After an extremely busy Monday, the guilt struck home as I (Caroline) had to resort to Waitrose and Alison, who had volunteered to make her Malted Tea Loaf,  (picture my head hung in shame, here... ). However, this is what our group is all about.  We have a good time together, but we also support each other in both small and large ways.  So thank you Alison, the tea bread was wonderful.

Alison arrived first... (she has the furthest to come) closely followed by Amanda.  Janet arrived a little later and sadly Chris had said she would not be with us, but she would try to make afternoon tea.  (We later found that she spent some time in our local A&E with her son, after he'd fallen off his bike, poor lad!)  Anyway, although it was overcast, it was warm, so the conservatory door and windows were opened and we got down to the serious business of drinking mugs of tea and devouring (or in one of our words - and I love this phrase.... Scarfing down) the yummy Tea loaf, brownies or choc fridge cake (the latter two from Waitrose - so no recipe there, I'm afraid) and of course a little stitching on the side. 

As we were supping our tea and munching on our chosen cake, Alison presented us with some little goodie bags... She had been to Berlin with her husband but also to a Quilt Exhibition near where she lives.  We opened our bags and found some very delicious Ritter Sport chocolates and a wonderful little 3 sided fabric item.  Alison told us they were good for earings.  Well, that set us off as both Amanda and I immediately did the daft thing of popping ours on our ears.  Not quite what they were for but..!!!!  They were little thimble holders and you squeeze the sides to open them... Alison had been told they were good for (holding) earings but of course we had to take it literally, didn't we?  After several minutes of laughter and general tom-foolery, we settled down.

Amanda was working on a super pin cushion, Janet - her hexagons and Alison was working on her wonderful little blocks for her Dear Jane Quilt.  Such talented ladies and the completed items always look so good! I was working on my star from the class, 3 of us had attended at Needle and Thread (see last week's post).   Soon it was time to turn on the oven and get lunch on the way, so off I trotted.  After a slight delay, our lunch of an Italian chicken and pasta bake - with a Mediterranean style vegetable, chianti and olive sauce, (parma ham over the top with parmesan cheese sprinkled liberally over it) which was all served with salad and warm pitta bread. This was then followed by a wonderful chocolate desert, (similar to Gu) from Waitrose, served with a small Almond macaroon. Of course, all this had to be washed down by a good cup of tea!

Later Chris arrived and in the time she had, she was able to enjoy the dessert and a cup of tea at least.  We all chatted about our various chocoholisms as Alison gave Chris her goodie bag - from Curly Wurlies to Creme Eggs (and how to eat them), un-opened boxes of chocolates and self restraint until - on opening  they are 'scarfed down'. 

This took us through a good part of the afternoon where upon projects changed.  Janet took up her x-stitch and Amanda worked on some of her hexagons.  I managed to stitch two of my star quarters together, after a few 'mental' moments (not threading my machine's needle being one, but still going ahead to stitch).  It was a merry afternoon, but still sad when it was time for us to pack up and go our seperate ways.  

After waving good-bye, I remained for a few extra moments, to put the rest of my star together and felt quite proud as most of the points matched up. Hurray!

Until next time!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Turn Again!!

Another warm & sunny day but a little too windy to be outside!
Having friends with like minded tastes, hobbies & ideas, I always look forward to Tuesdays with much anticipation.
Janet was the first to arrive & we tucked into our tea & peach & poppyseed muffins  immediately so that we could actually get some sewing done! I was thinking whole heartedly about healthy eating & growing waistlines, so used as recipe from "Red  Velvet & Chocolate Heartache" by Harry Eastwood.
Caroline must have heard the kettle & joined us for the second cup.
The three of us attended a Lone Star class at Needle & thread in Horsell last Saturday.  We were all keen to see any progression & discuss ideas.

Caroline got straight to work!
Chris joined us for a healthy lunch of chicken & bacon salad followed by home-made raspberry mousse.

We all continued to finish our stars - Janet had already added the background & had almost finished sewing the parts together.

          I was working on a second star, having used a jelly roll, which makes a total of four stars.  It was decided that I will wait until I have done all four before I decide on my background.

                  Caroline was deciding which should be the
                   centre colour of her star. She finally decided
                    on pink with a pale green background.

Janet also brought along her small diamonds for a table runner & was finishing sewing them together.


We had a lovely afternoon chatting & sewing together.  Alison was unable to make it as she is busy with builders at the moment. Can't wait to see the results!
UNTIL NEXT TIME.............

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Short, But Sweet

It was more of a lunch together today but great see everyone after the Easter and Bank Holiday breaks and catch up on news.

After a bit of a dull start the day turn out to be sunny with blue skies if a bit windy.  I thought you might like to see a photo of the clematis 'Jersey Cream' in our garden, it has out done itself this year.


Amanda and Caroline arrived mid morning followed by Chris at midday.  Alison was not with us as they are having building work done on their house.  Amanda and Chris left after lunch and Caroline, mid afternoon.

We did not get any sewing done today.  Amanda showed us her growing collection of hexagons and Caroline was sorting out her Log Cabin Stars.

I had finished two quilt top samples for Needle and Thread, one using Jo Morton's fabric, Evergreen, Ember Reds and Toasty II and one of the Schnibbles patterns from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co called Decoy.

The second top is a Daisy Quilt, the daisies are cut using a Sizzix die,

For lunch,we had cold chicken, cold salmon and prawns and salad with a chocolate mousse for dessert.

Our cakes today were dark chocolate and raspberry muffins, using the recipe from the Lakeland book as a basis and a Victoria Sponge