A Happy New Year to one and all... a little late, but as this was the first time we have got together since December, this is the first blog of the NY.
This was the first Tuesday we were all available to get together so it was a little un-nerving to not know if I could host or not. We have visitors from Brazil staying so the conservatory was unavailable for me to offer for us to meet. Chris was kind enough to offer the venue and I supplied the edible matter! It was wonderful for us to All manage to make it, too! Amanda was first, me second, closely followed by Alison and Janet. I was carting the 'kitchen sink' or so it seemed so was grateful for the many helpful hands. I really must learn to only take what I can reasonably achieve... but to be fair, I did have our lunch etc. as well as my quilting extras.
We began with a cuppa; what else would we do after such a long break? Cakes were white choc and raspberry or double choc brownies and some completely fat and egg free muffins ( these were disappointing... a recipe from the internet involving orange zest, mashed banana and grated apple.. They were too wet and needed much longer cooking than suggested but didn't taste too bad)...
Amanda had been to France for Christmas and brought back some very useful bags for us.. I utilised mine immediately.. you will read how later. After a great deal of chat and laughter plus some show and tell from Janet (her amazing christmas quilt top, from a block of the month project several of them have done - as yet not complete and a quartet of Seasonal cross-stitch pictures which looked lovely.. the colours just 'popped' on the fabric and complemented each of the panels).
Then, I was presented with pressies as it had been my birthday at the weekend. My very thoughtful friends had given me gifts ranging from a wonderful quilted machine tidy mat (everyone clamoured for one to be their next present too)... to a 'super' (sorry - couldn't resisit the pun!!!!) Covent Garden Soup recipe book, amazing quilting books and a super jelly roll. I am a very spoilt woman.. as each member of the group has shown how much they've noticed about me and my preferences and produced just the right gifts. Thank you, ladies.
We all began working on our individual projects ranging from Alison's applique, Amanda had almost completed her Xmas gift kit from Janet, to me laying out my panels for the disappearing stars quilt I began a few years ago. (I hope to make this the wedding gift for our Brazilian friends whose wedding we went to in November.. so long as the design / colours are acceptable.) I looked longingly at Chris's version of this quilt which is beautiful.. noting how the stars really do stand out. Some thought is needed for mine which is floral in theme. At this point my camera ran out of power so photos are from Chris!! Moral.. remember where you have put your charger... or the spare battery!!!
Soon it was time for lunch... I had made some roasted vegetable soup whilst staying at MIL's and frozen it, so it made an ideal lunch item to 'cart' around as it was 'pre-packaged'! Combine that with baguettes and carrot and sunflower seed bread, ham, prawns and a small beetroot and watercress salad plus trimmings, it made a filling lunch. Desert was fresh fruit salad or passionfruit and raspberry cheesecake or both if that was what took your fancy! We returned to our various projects, chattering as we went... The ladies gave me some sound advice about fabric choices - floral against plain for the Star quilt and then we drank some more tea. To the tune of 'Happy Birthday' we partook of a wonderful chocolate cake with candles... which I duly blew out! All too soon, it was time to pack up and so my wonderful pressies were put carefully into my new bag and toted to the front door, ready to go. Sadly, another Tuesday was over. Until next time!!!