Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cake, glorious cake and of course some stitching!

A grey and rather cool start to the day did not auger well as I carried all my bits and bobs to the Conservatory early this morning.  It took a while, but soon the room was ready with heaters on, the table set and chocolate cupcakes (plus other yummy offerings)!  The Conservatory was toastie after a while although it was still cool outside, so I kept the heater running for a while longer.  By 10.30, when Alison arrived, the sun was trying hard to break through the lowering clouds.  The kettle was on in minutes of her arrival.   Janet arrived closely on her heels. She was followed by today's honorary member of the group in the form of my daughter who had come to drop her dad's birthday card off. Sadly, once more Chris was unable to join us due to family commitments and Amanda had children to look after.  Both were missed!

Tea, coffee, biscuits (Pecan & Belgian Chocolate from Sainsbury's  along with  Coconut Macaroons )  and chocolate chip muffins covered in the new chocolate Philadelphia with white, milk and dark choc chips placed on top (hubby had some as his birthday cake so couldn't waste them now could I?).  Oh yes! Brownies also were present and soon found just the right spot ( we were waving the white flag after several indulgences) then DD departed for her own home. We quickly were able to settle to the tasks in hand and began to look at Janet's beautiful L'il Twister quilt top in cream and a rich red fabric, then a similar table runner using a Moda Christmas fabric by Basic Grey.  This was done with a much larger Twister ruler, using 10 inch squares. It was gorgeous.  These are for the Heather Quilters show this coming weekend at Collingwood School.

Alison began stitching and appliqueing some of the more 'fiddly' parts of the Dear Jane and Farmer's Wife blocks she was doing.. very pretty but oh so very tiny.  I had spent some of the weekend seeing stars, literally making more than a dozen centres for my Dad's quilt,  also cutting lots of fabric to make the log cabin strips.  I began to stitch these around certain stars... I cannot do random ( a standing joke with the ladies in my group!!) so I have made them in pairs and thus it makes it easier for me to work out placement of blocks.

Lunch was next on the agenda.  I had thought soup, but it morphed into Salmon, salad, hot new potatoes and rustic bread, followed by either Lemon or Blueberry cheesecakes as supplied by Gu.  Sooooooo yummy!  It was just as well as the day became much sunnier and thus warm.  We even managed to throw a few windows open!   We finally roled away from the table... well only long enough to clear it ready for the next sewing session...and of course sup on another cup of tea.  And so, once more, we began to stitch away.  Janet was doing a wonderful selection of random squares in glorious colours for a charity quilt and Alison was stitching away at her Farmer's wife blocks.  We had one of those afternoons where nothing seemed to be cut correctly or was the 'right' size.  Very annoying, although we did have a laughter filled session over it... we have all been there and done that at some time. 

Apologies, for some reason this last photo will not rotate and stay rotated! 

My neighbour, Sarah came in for a cuppa just as Janet and Alison were packing up to go... but was assured it wasn't her frightening them off!  I waved them off and then returned to share another cup of tea, but just couldn't encourage / force another cake down if I had tried!  LOL.

Until next time...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tea for One!!!

The house is decorated for Easter and I find myself with a morning on my own!  A great chance to get down to some sewing!

The family call this "Christmas at Easter!"  Eggs are very fiddly to paint!

Not much sewing so far -
Not before the requisite tea & cake!
There was only one hot cross bun left -
I couldn't even wait to take a picture!!

                                      The Guildford Quilters Exhibition is coming up at  Clandon - these little hearts are rather cute.  The buttons add a decorative touch.

Also for the exhibition - my own version of Schnibbles Tuffets, some stuffed with wadding & some with crushed walnut shells.  These feel lovely and squidgy!

 Caroline arrived with chicken soup & I made some fresh bread for lunch, followed by plum & apple crumble.  Cream & icecream to accompany, of course!  Well, we didn't have much in the way of cakes!!

Caroline was busy cutting some more strips for her "Stars in the Cabin", from a class by Janet at Needle & Thread.

We played with the layout to get an idea of the patterns.  So many different effects just by turning the blocks around.

A very productive & enjoyable day.  Am sure it was for the others too but you were missed.  Can only do so much talking to oneself!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Showers

Count on it banners - Nancy  Halvorsen
 It seems incredible that we are now in April, this year seems to be flying past. After some unseasonably warm fabulous weather in March the temperature has dropped a bit to more normal for the time of year. In fact weather reports are now reporting snow on high ground and many places in the north have had substantial snowfalls last night.
 Despite fears that it may be very wet this morning, the Surrey girls had a sunny journey down to Hampshire - luckily Janet had a full tank of diesel to get everyone here - after filling stations running out of fuel last week there was some debate about whether a Hampshire trip would be viable!

After couple of cups of tea had been drunk and banana and chocolate muffins eaten we got down to work.

 Amanda was busy cutting out hearts for the sales table at the Guildford Quilters exhibition in April.
By the end of the day she had quite a collection stitched and stuffed, all ready for the final stitching.

 She even had time to make a free form log cabin pincushion too!

Caroline was busy stitching blocks for her 'Stars in the Cabin' quilt. This was started at a workshop with Janet at Needle and Thread a little while ago. it is in the most beautiful blues and browns and is intended as a gift for her Dad - lucky man!

 We have all often laughed about our hobby in that we take a perfectly good bit of fabric, cut it up then sew it back together again, Janet has taken it to a whole new level. 
 Not only does she cut up the fabric and sews it back together again, 

using the 'Little Twister' ruler ... I think that is what it is called.... she will then cut it up again ....and then sew it back together again. ... to make amazing little pinwheels that appear to float on the background. 
Of course you will have to check back later to see the finished top!

I was handstitching the binding onto 'Midnight Stars'  a quilt-top that I did at a workshop with Anne Walker some years ago. It was freemotion quilted with loops and stars. 
I have challenged myself to quilt a top each month and to complete a UFO into a top each month this year ....doing well so far ...hope I can keep it up.
 All in all we had a very productive day - Chris, you were missed - hope you had a good day out.

 All too soon it was time to pack up the bags and for the Surrey contingent to head home.

Janet very kindly made sure we all had some chocolate for the weekend! Thank you Janet.

  Hope everyone has a lovely time over Easter weekend and not too much chocolate!
Till next time.