Thursday, July 28, 2011


Having had recent Tuesdays dominated by work it was wonderful to reach the holidays and be able to host a Tuesday again. We had hoped to number five today but Amanda was poorly and had to cancel:{

Caroline kicked off the day with show and tell, a beautiful baby quilt with her first prairie points, which we are sure will be much loved and appreciated. Alison had been making the most amazing cards but for some unfathomable reason I didn't take any pictures - doh! Sorry Alison.

The colours were chosen to be gender neutral but the photo does not do the colours justice.

I had baked on Monday and the cookies were made from store cupboard essentials lefotovers which needed using up - a handful of museli, porridge oats fom the winter ... you get the idea! The recipe that follows is an approximtion of what I threw into the mixing bowl if you want to have a go.
4oz butter, 6 oz sugar, 1 egg, 2 tbsp water, 4 oz SR flour, 9oz porridge/museli etc, 4 oz fruit (raisins, cranberries) and a few stale pecans. Baked at Gas 4 until they looked cooked - about 20 minutes. We also had beetroot brownies from a Harry Eastwood book which came highly recommended but I am not sure they are destined to be as popular as the traditional variety, not in my home anyway.

As usual, we had a very productive morning chatting. It is an essential part of our Tuesdays that we cherish. By around midday we are all laughing having shared the highs and lows of our lives and worked up an appetite for lunch. I had prepared a very simple chicken and chorizo Nigella recipe which can be found on the internet, (hope the link works but google will help if the link fails!) Pudding was the result of another raid on the store cupboard. Meringues from the surfeit of eggs, blackcurrant jelly, strawberry mousse and fresh strawberries.

I'm wondering if our Tuesdays should also include a session on the wii to shed the pounds we gain each week!

 We did sew during the afternoon - our Farmer's Wife blocks which are making progress. The Marti Michel templates have been a great success. Our books are scribbled over as we make notes and discuss the merits and inconveniences of our fabric choices. Some of us find it awkward to work with directional fabrics! We have also found the smaller rotary cutters and revolving cutting mats useful in the preparation of our blocks. It was good to chat sew to the hum of our machines.

Looking forward to next Tuesday ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tea, Rain and Planning

Alison was the first to arrive this morning, from Hampshire.  We were soon indulging our first cup of tea of the day together with banana and chocolate chip muffins which Alison had kindly made, and chocolate and hazelnut cookies. 

Amanda arrived and we had more tea and when Chris arrived again more tea!! Caroline is still teaching this week, but this is the last one before the summer holidays.

We did very little sewing this morning, we spent most of the time catching up on news and things we had been doing.  All of us are doing the Farmers' Wife blocks and we hope to do them next week.

After a salad lunch of chicken and mackerel with a summer fruit dessert, we carried on as much as we did this morning.  We planned a couple of sewing days for the autumn/winter.

Alison did manage a little sewing, stitching together diamonds into stars.

We had afternoon tea with the muffins and cookies from this morning.

I had a 'show and tell' I had finished the quilt top of the  paper pieced Christmas trees that I was doing a couple of weeks ago. 

As Chris and Amanda planned to leave we had a heavy downpour after a few minutes they made a dash for their cars, Alison waited for the rain to ease off before she left.

Another Tuesday over, a relaxing few hours with friends, looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Paper Piecing Tuesday!!

-Just a small gathering today - Janet arrived for tea and cake & Chris timed it perfectly for our second cup - no, we did not have a second piece of cake!!

Lemon Drizzle Cake

4oz Butter/marg
4oz Caster Sugar
4oz SR Flour 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
2 eggs
Rind & Juice of 1-2 lemons

Combine ingredients & put into a 2lb loaf tin (liners from Lakeland are easy & quick).
Lemons are to taste but it is really good with more lemon.
Bake in pre-heated medium oven 180*c (less for fan oven).  Bake for approx 25 mins until tester comes out clean.
Meanwhile, add rind & juice of another lemon to 2oz sugar (any type) & heat until syrupy!
Once  cooked, poke holes all over cake with knitting needle or cake tester & pour syrup over the top whilst still warm.  Leave on wire rack to cool.
Can be served warm with greek yogurt for a change.

Sewing projects this week seemed to have a theme - paper piecing¬

Chris is still going with her 1" hexagons.

                                                                          The pile is growing!!

Janet is also continuing with her paper pieced

It is amazing how different they look.  Not sure how large either of the finished products will be but they are a great way to spend an evening & are very addictive!

Diamonds by Janet
Not much new this week.  Alison is helping her mother in Scotland & Caroline is working hard as usual.
I have been away on a photography course for the past few days so not much time for any extra.
I am, however, continuing with my felt candle mat, another enjoyable hand project.

The pins are getting fewer!!

Lunch was jacket potatoes with coronation chicken and/or prawns.  Raspberry mousse to finish.

Another lovely day with friends.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two Plus One

It would be just Amanda and I until lunchtime, when Chris would be with us after her course had finished.  Caroline will be teaching until the end of tern, so will not be with us on Tuesdays until the summer holidays.  Alison was hoping to be with us, but had to travel to Scotland to be with her Mum who had a fall last week.  We all hope your Mum makes a speedy recovery.

It was very hot today, Amanda and I sat outside on our deck under the umbrella, having the first cup of tea of the day, together with Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Chip muffins.  (Again from the Susan Reimer book).  There had been a rebellion in our house, over the which flavour of muffins there would be this week. "We never get Chocolate Chip muffins anymore"  was the cry!!

With the French Doors wide open and with our second cup of tea, we settled down to do some sewing.  Amanda was hand stitching a wool felt candle mat, that she had for her birthday. 

I was paper piecing Christmas Trees (yes I know it's a bit early for Christmas), using a range of fabric called Jovial by Basic Grey from Moda Fabrics.  This is a sample quilt for Needle and Thread, to be taken to the Festival of Quilts (11 - 14 August, NEC Birmingham).

Chris arrived for lunch and as it was still hot, we eat outside, today we had BBQ Chicken, (sauce from Delia Smith's book The Complete Cookery Course),  salad and new potatoes, with meringue, summer fruits and fromage frais for dessert.

After lunch Amanda and I continued with our sewing and Chris cut out more of her Farmers' Wife blocks.  With our afternoon tea we had a Banana and Walnut loaf also from the Delia Smith Complete Cookery Course.

By mid afternoon the skies had clouded over and it was raining when Amanda and Chris left for home.
And for its back to the Christmas trees.