Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Month Nearly Over!

Only one more day left in February, but it was much warmer today than it had been in the last few weeks, but a bit dull.

Caroline was the first to arrive and before the kettle had boiled, Chris arrived.  Amanda was travelling back from Somerset and would hopefully be with us for lunch.  Alison had a scrapbooking workshop planned for today, so would not be with us.

With our tea, we had a choice of muffin, banana, pecan and sultana and double chocolate and pecan, both based on recipes from the Susan Reimer book.

After our tea, muffins and a chat we started sewing, Caroline was continuing to sew the rows together on her Hidden Star quilt.

Chris was sewing her hexagons together using a range of fabrics from Kansas Troubles called Vine Creek.

I was also sewing rows together on a quilt for the honorary Tuesday girl, Stephanie, using a layer cake from Basic Grey called Blush and the pattern is made using the Twister Ruler from CS Designs.

We had a late lunch (by which time Amanda had arrived) of Omelette Savoyarde, based on a recipe from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course book, with salad and Mediterranean bread from Sainsbury's followed by a 'Be Good to Yourself' chocolate mousse, also from Sainsbury's.

Amanda bought us lovely gifts from Cornwall, where she had spent last week.  No details or photos as there would be no surprise for Alison next week!

Chris was the first to leave as she had to check up on her puppy.  Amanda, Caroline and I continued to sew for another hour or so,  Amanda was trying to complete her hexagon quilt, for the Guildford Quilters show in April.

We are looking forward to meeting next week.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Meet Again

Today, we were three as Amanda is away and Chris had to work... but with the promise she would be with us as soon as she could.  I opened up a very cool Conservatory and warmed it not with one, but two heaters full blast.  It was soon nice and toasty!  I got in about a half an hour's sewing before Alison, the first of the Tuesday Girls arrived, very closely followed by Janet.  I'd heard the cars arrive and the kettle was already boiled, so it wasn't long before we were sat enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and a Belgian toffee waffle or muffin - today's recipe was Breakfast Muffins based on a recipe from "Muffins Galore" by Catherine Atkinson.  These should have involved muesli, buttermilk and a stint in the fridge, overnight.  Sadly, time did not allow for the 8 hours in the fridge before baking.  Still, they were more than edible. However,  I will have to try them again with the time in the fridge, as it is supposed to significantly improve their quality. 

After a quick refill we began our 'sewing' with a Show and Tell. Janet was working on the binding of a wonderful winter table runner.  Alison showed us a very pretty  Dresden Plate block and she also had a beautiful selection of Red and White blocks.  I had begun sewing the blocks from one of my versions of the Hidden Stars quilt together, but as I find it almost impossible to 'do' random, it took me a while, with the Girls help,  to position the rectangles so there wasn't too much conflict with the colour scheme.  Not only did they help with that one they gave me a lesson in random for the other one which was laid out over the floor in the lounge.  Thanks Girl's - your help was appreciated.

As soon as we completed that task, lunch loomed and I hadn't got the oven on!  Luckily it was salad, pasta and chicken .. all ready, barr being reheated!  With Rosemary Foccachias as the accompaniment, it went down well.  As I returned to the Conservatory, I was surprised to see Chris who had arrived in my absence. She was most welcome and as the Girls had set the table we sat down to lunch with allacrity, all of us being quite hungry.  Whilst we were eating, we chatted about the talk we had been to the night before, at Thameside Quilters, with .... which had been interesting and humerous too.  For 'afters' we ate Waitrose Desert Brownie with fresh fruit salad... rather too moorish by far!  After another cup of tea, and the dogs (Berry, Molly and Sammi) had had a run in the garden, Chris departed and we settled to some serious stitching.  We all managed a goodly amount of it too!  Janet completed her binding so the runner looks really great.  Alison worked on another of her blocks and I machined the half square triangles on the the rectangles on the pastel star quilt. 

Too soon, it was time for Janet and Alison to wend their way home. I waved them good-bye and decided to carry on for another few hours.  After a while, the evening chill got to me so I decided to trek the few short yards to home.  Another Tuesday sadly over, once more!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Half Term- Half Over!

Well, there we were once more, in the Conservatory.  It was very cool to begin with so I had ventured out early with heaters to ensure those who feel the chill more, would be comfortable.  I began my stitching about 9.30 with a new set of fabrics for my newly married friends in Brazil, as I wasn't happy with my previous choice.  Maybe I will complete it for myself! I like the floral fabrics.. but, they may be just a little too 'girly'!  My companion, our Staffi Sammi, lay by the heater in doggy bliss!  It wasn't too long until Janet arrived, followed by Chris then Amanda.  Alison was unable to join us, sadly. 

I had, just for a change, been very organised and made not only our lunch the night before, but also our Muffins; this time Almond and Apricot from 'Muffins - Fast and Fantastic' by Susan Reimer.  They were warmed up in the microwave and served immediately. With the addition of some malted loaf (bought I'm afraid) plus another cuppa, we settled in to another great day of crafting in good company.

 Chris began cutting out some felt leaves and acorns in rich colours, for an applique design and Janet was completing the binding on a Christmas tree hanging.  Amanda had her hexagons and only has a few 'flowers' left to do now.  All too soon it was time to clear the table...

Lunch was baked potatoes (cooked in my new combi micro, the last one having given up the ghost) with chile and salad, followed by meringue nests with raspberries and greek yoghurt. More tea followed then we carried on with our work!  Later, Janet worked on a chart that had a combination of cross stitch with some ornamental stitches and Chris was trying to sort out some Farmer's Wife blocks which needed naming. I sadly, could not find my copy of FW to help her. Anyone know where it is??? LOL.

My quilt top began to take shape very quickly until .... on laying out the blocks, I was advised to purchase further amounts of the fabrics (I had charm squares and half metres of co-ordinating fabrics from the range in stronger colours) so that I could blend the blocks in more effectively rather than make them stand out.  I then made the cardinal sin of cutting my fabric for the stars without checking my instructions!  Sadly, I now have 56 x 2 3/4 inch squares which are not useable.. I then realised I have done the same for the other quilt too.  Bother! There is a moral there somewhere!!!!! 

Chris had to go earlier rather than later as she needed to let the dogs out.  Amanda and Janet stayed for another cuppa and a piece of Walnut cake (Tesco's) then, sadly, they too left.  Another Tuesday over again.  We  will meet back here next week, all being well!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Challenge

The Tuesday before half-term already! After snow on Saturday evening we were hoping the roads would be clear for Alison to make the journey from Hampshire so that we would all be together - and they were.

My husband had offered to make soup with the leftover chicken stock so I felt obliged to bake! I had seen a chocolate frosted tray bake at The pink whisk and decided to use the Tuesday girls as guinea pigs; it went down well!

The girls had all brought projects to work on but I was not at all organised and instead kept the tea cups filled. There are lots of ufo's which are being finished so it's feeling a productive year.

Alison was sewing the binding on her Tiny Turning Twenty, started in 2009 at a class at Needle and Thread.

Janet was sewing in the ends on another Christmas wallhanging. Her house will be very festive later this year. I have made some progress with the sashing on my Christmas BOM.

Amanda was pleased to sit and relax after housing a houseful of young adults and ponder which project to do next! Caroline was providing a taxi service in-between cups of tea and lunch but also managed to make some progress on her hidden stars quilt.

Last week we made some plans for a TuesdayGirls Challenge and after some fantastic service can reveal that we will each make a 12" quilt square from a pattern by Lori Smith. We all purchased a set of her patterns  and over the next three months will select a pattern from our set to complete by May 2012 - well, that's the plan!

Wish us luck :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Doesn't time fly...

Count on it Banners -Nancy Halvorsen
Can it really be the last day of January already? I thought that January was supposed to go very slowly.... must be a sign of advancing years.

It was a beautiful, crisp winter's day, very sunny but very cold. The girls had a good drive down through the Hampshire countryside. 

After the 'Tuesday Puppy' had a quick run round the garden, everyone got themselves settled by the stove and tea and muffins were served, the usual flavour- banana and choc chip. 

Amanda started off the day with a show and tell - she had sewn all the blocks together that she had been working on and just needs to add the borders. 

It looks great - there is something about black and white -it looks so fresh and the turquoise just adds a zing to it. The pattern is called Twinkle and is in a book  Scrap-Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett.

Janet was busy putting the binding on her Nancy Halvorsen Christmas Quilt -she is going to be ready for next year and no mistake. We thought that it needed to be photographed next to the fir, give it a bit of atmosphere - should have kept out a few decorations just to use as props! I have a feeling that this year there may be a number of Christmas projects finally finished. 
We are all very keen to make a dent into the UFO pile this year.

Amanda was working on her hexagons - the pile keeps growing. It is going to look so lovely when it is finished. The colours are so soft and summery looking.

Caroline, unfortunately was suffering with a very sore back so she announced her intention to sit quietly and knit and she was to doze off we were not to disturb her! The scarf is getting longer... it is certainly the weather you need a scarf for. Hope your back is better soon!

Chris took the opportunity to check with Janet about sashing for the Christmas Block of the month that some of us had done - hopefully there will be a reveal of those finished and quilted before next December!

She then got busy putting together an Autumn table topper/wallhanging. She got the background all finished and will prepare the applique as her take along project. We look forward to seeing it finished.

Unfortunately I forgot to note the pattern name and manufacturer, perhaps Chris you will edit the post to add this info. 
Edited to add - name of Acorn Crisp

I was working on a Dear Jane block first of all then moved on to complete a few farmer's Wife blocks. I am hoping to get the Farmer's Wife blocks finished this year and also to make considerable progress with my Dear Jane. The decision to do it by hand has certainly added a few years to the process!

We had such a pleasant day catching up with all our news and chatting about local events and developments. It was lovely that we all managed to get together again. The time flew by and all too soon it was time for the Surrey girls to get back on the road.

And just in case you thought that we hadn't eaten ....unlikely I know.... desert was iced sticky chocolate brownies with raspberries which made a very sweet end to a lunch of baked potatoes.

Looking forward to getting back together next week.