Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Already?

Well, where have the past eleven months gone? Today was very cold and frosty, making some amazing spiders web patterns.

Alison was the first to arrive followed by Amanda, Caroline and Chris.  This was the first time for a few months when all five of us were together.

As usual we started with tea and coffee, and today we had a birthday cake as it had been my birthday last week.

I was also given some lovely birthday gifts, a cover and accessories for my Singer Featherweight from Alison, Alfie Boe's autobiography from Caroline and a quilting book and a candle from Chris.

Chris also had a cover for her Singer Featherweight from Alison for her birthday, but I'm afraid I forgot to take a photo.

Alison was blanket stitching a felt table centre from Primitive Gatherings called Old St Nick.

 Amanda was appliqueing the second block from the block of the month called Evening Bloom from the book Country Inn.

Caroline had a show and tell, having finished her Log Cabin Stars.

Caroline was starting a new project today, by sorting and cutting her fabric, using a pattern called Weaving the Strands from the magazine Modern Quilting.  The fabrics are mainly from Makower.

There is no photo of Chris' project as its a Christmas present.

I was putting a face on a Honey Badger Cushion for a neighbour's grandson.

Chris left before lunch as she had agility with the Tuesday dog Berry.

For lunch we had chicken, bacon and pasta in a tomato and basil sauce. For dessert we had chocolate mousse.

All too soon it was time for Alison, Amanda and Caroline to leave.  It was still very cold and the frost on the ground had not cleared.

Here is my Singer Featherweight wearing its new clothes!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tuesday - A Day of Sewing and Eating

A later start to day, Amanda was the first to arrive, followed by Caroline.  Chris would be joining us around lunchtime.  Alison would not be with us today as she was having working some on her garden.

As usual we started with tea and today we had biscuits instead of cakes, we had Sainburys Taste the Difference cookies, sultana, Belgium dark chocolate with hazelnuts and chocolate macaroons.

We all soon were sewing, Caroline was continuing to hand quilt her Log Cabin Star quilt, so far she has quilted twenty-four stars only six more to go!

Amanda was preparing pieces for applique for two projects

The first project was the snowflakes for a Christmas tree skirt from a workshop that Amanda had done in Canterbury.

The second project was the second block, called Petunia from a block of the month of the month called Evening Bloom.

I had a show and tell, I had finally finished a small felt table runner.  I had started this at a workshop at the Festival of Quilts two years ago. 

I was also doing some applique, but unlike Amanda who was doing hers by hand I would be doing mine by machine. I was making twelve inch calendar quilts from the book Count on It from Art to Heart by Nancy Halvorsen.  I am doing December and January and hopefully the rest of the year.  Watch this space!

Chris arrived just after we had finished our lunch and was soon enjoying the Butternut Squash and Smokey Bacon soup from the New Convert Garden Soup Co. and for dessert we had Sainsburys Be Good to Yourself Belgium Chocolate Sponge Pudding.

After another hour of sewing, it was time for Amanda, Caroline and Chris to leave.

We might not be around next week,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What else do you do in the rain?!

 What better way to spend a wet, miserable Tuesday?
Janet brought along some more blocks to hand piece together - a
continuation from last week.

We looked through the latest copy of McCalls Quilting which arrived this morning.  Some lovely ideas which most of us will probably never get around to making, but fun, nevertheless!!

 Chris saw this typewriter fabric - Ruby Star Shining by Melody Miller for Kokka, at the Knitting & Stitching Show in London & decided to make a messenger bag for her niece for Christmas.
(Hope she does not look at the blog!!)                    

Having looked through a number of books for ideas, Chris made a prototype from some old jeans! This is the second one as the original is just the right size for her sewing machine foot pedal, so is in use already!

I managed to finish some cushions for my daughter's bedroom using sample fabrics from Romo pattern books.

We also looked at some threads that I am going to use to machine applique the snowflakes onto the table runner I made for Christmas at a lovely class in Canterbury last week, using Blueberry Crumb Cake.
"The Sewing Shop" is near the entrance to Canterbury cathedral, well worth a visit.

Caroline joined us for a late lunch -sausage casserole, new potatoes & veg before we went our separate ways.
Hopefully we will all manage to be together again soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unexpected requests

While I was out shopping last night, Amanda had phoned to ask if she could bring anything today. She was probably a little surprised when I later texted and asked her to bring a hoover! Good friend that she is, Amanda and hoover arrived this morning and order was restored to my carpets before Janet and Caroline saw the mess! Thankfully the repairman also arrived and mine is now behaving once more. A good friend is certainly one who obliges with the most unexpected requests!

It's important on a Tuesday to keep the kettle boiled and the tea flowing so I did just that while the girls settled in armchairs with various hand-sewing projects. Of course tea would be too wet without a little something so I also had a good supply of cookies.

Amanda's BOM - such tiny stitches for the applique. This will be a beautiful block.

I love Caroline's quilting - lovely even stitches

Janet is hand sewing these blocks. We were trying to date the fabric as it has been in Janet's possession a little while!

As soon as the repairman left, having found room to sample some of the cookies, lunch was served.
A healthier option than those consumed earlier!

Future projects were discussed after lunch and Caroline had brought a selection of fabrics for a project featured on the cover of her magazine .. stunning colours!

The magazine is available in WHSmith if you'd like a closer look.

My sewing is somewhat reduced as I'm suffering with tennis elbow but I was kept busy refilling and refuelling everyone. Alison is visiting her mother in Scotland but hopefully we will all be at Amanda's next week.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Time continues to fly by

I can't believe it's almost the end of October....where has the time gone? 10 months of the year gone already.....

The people of the east coast of America were in our thoughts this morning. As we enjoyed the autumn sunshine they were battling with the terrible storm 'Sandy' which has caused such havoc and destruction. The force and power of nature is certainly not to be taken lightly.

After a very autumnal start to the day with a fine mist blanketing the hills, the sun came out for the drive down for the Surrey girls. A half car load today with Janet and Caroline today as it is half term and the Amanda and Chris have other plans.

The kettle was soon on and after a cuppa and apple spiced muffins, which were not my finest I have to say,  we were down to work. I took advantage of their opinions to decide what borders to put on a scrap quilt that I had made at the previous weekend's retreat. The consensus was that I didn't have the right shade of red so I would have to go shopping for another ..... tough job but someone has to do it!

Janet soon got down to work on her log cabin blocks. She is using a Moda Honeybun of Wildflower Serenade II and a Marti Michell Log cabin ruler  to precut all her pieces. You can see all the little baggies with her sets already to sew.

This is a project that Janet is sewing on her lovely featherweight machine.
Janet completed 5 blocks today making a total of 11, only 53 to go!!!

Caroline was machine quilting the Friendship Star table runner that she had started in class with Janet at Needle and Thread. She was using a selection of fabrics including some from the Macower Yuletide Abstract range. Some she had purchased from a needlework shop called Reticule in Kendal whilst on holiday in the Lakes.

It really is lovely and not only will it look super on the table a t Christmas but will bring back happy memories of her holiday.

Also in the spirit of Christmas, I was preparing a wool table mat that will makes its appearance over the holidays.

I couldn't resist it when I saw on a visit to Quilters Haven on the way to a retreat last weekend. Well I say I couldn't resist but I picked it up and put it down and picked it up and put it down, till I took myself in hand and repeated the old mantra, you will only regret it if you don't!!   (that maybe explains the size of the fabric stash!) 
Jane who was with me was chuckling away at my indecision, and as she reads this she will also be laughing at me having started it before finishing any else.

All too soon it was time to pack up and for Janet and Caroline to make their way home, hope they weren't too busy chatting that they missed any turnings this time!!

Hope Amanda and Chris have enjoyed their halfterm break and look forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Four Together Again, At Last!

Due to family issues, I am rather late in posting and as this is to be a less than adequate blog, I offer my apologies. 

It was a conservatory day thanks to my lovely, but absent neighbour.  It was a cool day so the first thing I had to do was organise a heater which didn't take long to make the room nice and toastie.  By the time Janet arrived everything was ship-shape and ready to receive the Tuesday Girls.  Alison, sadly was not going to make it having another commitment. Of course, tea was served up with triple chocolate muffins and coffee flavoured chocolate brownie (Betty Crocker mix with a strong dose of coffee added).  Now a word of caution... don''t try to follow two sets of instructions at the same time as near disasters are best avoided.  I added the oil from one recipe to the other by mistake, but luckily the result wasn't as bad as it could have been and the muffins were perhaps a little moister than they should have been. (The left-overs were taken to work and were gone before I got to the staff room at break time!!!)

We sat and reviewed family life, house extentions and briefly looked at magazines for a while, then Janet showed me a seam roller she had bought.  She had been reviewing several blogs, Which we looked at on my lap top... Cathy's Quilts and RaNae Merrill's Quilt Design (hopefully, links will be provided once I find them again and then how to insert them) where she came across the idea of using a wallpaper seam roller as a seam roller for quilting.  It works too!  She used it on her quilt seams as we machined, very effectively too.  Saved getting out the iron and ironing board!  Then the door knocker sounded and it was Chris.. she had managed to get away early.  Amanda soon followed and without further ado, more tea was served up as we reviewed Janet's find.   
A little more sewing was enjoyed before I began getting the lunch ready.  This consisted of home made veg soup (roasted for about 40 minutes till soft - carrots, butternut squash, onion, potato with a small apple thrown in, then blended together with some chicken stock. I add a vegetable Oxo,before roasting then herbs and garlic granules to taste), fresh crusty white bread (made in the bread maker) all followed by Devilishh Chocolate desert. Another cup of tea and we cleared the decks to continue sewing.   

I had my table runner, made in Janet's class at Needle and Thread, to quilt... Chris was knitting and Janet had various projects, including log-cabin  blocks and some chain piecing she was doing, and Amanda had her applique . I couldn't believe that the time passed by so quickly, but sadly it did.  Chris was expecting a delivery so left early, then Janet and Amanda went together.  Sadly another Tuesday over.. next week Janet and I are off to Alison's.

Until next time...!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Three Today

There would only be Amanda, Caroline and myself today.

After a couple of phone calls, from both Amanda and Caroline saying they were running late, Amanda was the first to arrive, with the kettle already boiled, we had our first cup of tea of the day. As soon as we finished our first cup, Caroline arrived, and the kettle was on again. 

We had chocolate macaroons, lemon slices and waffles.  The waffles when balanced on top of a mug of tea go all soft and gooey

Amanda was preparing her applique pieces for a block of the month from Patchwork Cabin in Great Bookham called Evening Bloom from the book by Blackbird Designs called Country Inn.

And with all the pieces prepared for sewing.

Caroline was sewing on the borders on the Friendship Star Tablerunner in Christmas fabrics. This is from a workshop at Needle and Thread  done last Saturday and then Caroline pinned the layers together in preparation for quilting.

All pinned and ready to go! 

Lunch was vegetable soup, french bread and apple pie with creme fraiche.

After lunch I continued making the log cabin blocks from a honey bun from Moda called Wildflower Serenade by Kansas Troubles. This is a project that I will be doing on our Tuesdays over the next few months, four blocks done and lots more to do! 

Amanda was sewing more of her hexagons together, this is growing into a much large piece now.

Until next time.