Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Westward Ho and another beautiful day in the Conservatory!

Last week we didn't meet up as Janet, Amanda and I visited the American Museum at Bath with Guildford Quilters. Chris and Alison were unable to make the visit, sadly. Amanda picked us up on a beautiful sunny morning, but very early I might add... well it was 7.15 am, so that we would make the 8.00 departure from the Spectrum car park!  After a steady drive we arrived in time for a very quick cuppa and piece of cake (of course - Tuesday wouldn't be Tuesday without some form of it, now would it?)  and were given a briefing of how our visit would be set out.  We were thus split up into three groups and off we went... We began in the rooms and spent a very interesting time viewing how American homes had developed through the eras.  Some rooms were quite quirky looking with quaint utensils and functional furniture to the more formal of the well to do.  All very interesting and with an extremely knowledgeable guide, we were well informed.  

We were taken up to the next floor where there was a wonderful selection of quilts (no photos I'm afraid) and fabric creations.  A couple of ladies were sitting quilting and there was a small display of some very pretty blocks.  We eventually mosied on and then had time to look again or go on.  We eventuakly stoppped for lunch and a good one it was!  I had a baked potato with some chicken in a wonderful creamy sauce.  Very filling and tasty it was too!  We then went on, to look at the shop and make a 'few' purchases, then we looked in the stables and saw some amazing penants, made to celebrate the Olympic Games, as gifts for the athletes taking part. 

We returned to the cafe area and discovered Amanda enjoying the sunshine; and some most amazing views. All too soon it was time to climb aboard the coach and return home.... It was another steady journey home and a few of us 'dropped off' in the warmth of the evening sunshine streaming through the windows.  I awoke to the coach pulling in for 'quick' break!!  Still, it was not difficult to doze as we continued our journey... finally getting back by about 7.00pm.  A long day indeed but well worth it.


 This Tuesday, we were once more able to use the Conservatory and I had everything set up and organised (well up to a point) for a relaxing day.  I even had lunch prepared and ready to serve when ready for it.  Well, that was how I had hoped the day would go, but needless to say it was 'scotched' before it got started.  Alison was the first to arrive.  Within ten minutes of her arrival, the phone rang (it was someone I could not put off talking to...).  Luckily, she had the good presence of mind to switch the kettle on and make a cuppa.  Janet arrived fairly soon after and so the kettle went back on and the Muesli and Date muffins were set on the table. Then my DD arrived (along with her laundry!!!) and so she joined us for a cup of tea and a biscuit whilst we waited for Chris.  Sadly Amanda was not going to be able to join us today.

The sun shone and the temperature rose. I switched on the air Conditioning which gave a welcome blast of cold air.  Holly departed for work and Chris arrived, dispensing belated birthday gifts to Alison.  Janet began to make some signs to me and finally the penny dropped and I belted back to my side of the driveway to find the items I needed.  Luckily I had a very good idea of their whereabouts and so retrieved them in record time.  We had bought tea towels for  both Chris and Alison as they hadn't been able to go to Bath last week.  Quite good quality too! Alison loved her gifts; some beautiful fabrics in strong colours and of a flowery disposition, plus a book about a boy whose face was 'different'.  This led us on to a discusion about reading and, in part, reading in schools (most of us are teachers)  and what we felt about the choices we sometimes make to read out loud  to children and what others chose to do.  We are all ardent readers so it was quite an interesting chat. 

A lunch of salad, Chicken with Tarragon and Vermouth was served along with a Rosemary, sea salt and garlic foccachia, followed by Gu After Dark Chocolate Banoffees with/or Raspberries and Creme Fresh then a cup of tea, of course!

I have a new sewing machine, bought at Sandown Quilt Show on Saturday, so it had it's inaugural switch on and then, I spent the rest of our time together testing out its different modes, stitches etc. Quite easy to operate and easy to do as the appropriate feet to use etc were shown on the display.  Janet had been stitching down the binding of her London Fabric Quilt for the Festival of Quilts show which looked fabulous and Alison continued to hand quilt her lovely applique quilt. Chris was also appliqueing  her panel,  which really looks great.

As usual the day ended all too quickly.  We departed .. me included as I had an eye test to go to!  We all look forward to next week at Chris's.  Until next time folks!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celebrations Times Two

Today's get together was unusual in that two of the Tuesday Girls had birthdays within  a few days of each other and Three of us had been on holiday over the half term week!  First the get together was going to be at my place, then Alison's (due to the conservatory's owner being here for the day - last minute!!!) then at Janet's as we were all a little confused after reading emails with offers to host.  So after a hurried re-arrangement of venues, we chipped in and brought contributions toward the feeding of the five and met just after 10.30.

Alison, who was continuing to hand quilt her beautiful block of the month quilt, and Amanda were already at Janet's by the time I put in an appearance (late as usual due to various phone calls and a very hasty trip to Waitrose for cakes)! Janet popped the kettle on and Grassmere Gingerbread (from my trip to the Lake District) and muffins (muesli and sunflower and red berries) were served.

Janet showed us some of her quilts/tops she had done for The Festival of Quilts and a charity quilt which she was finishing the binding of. Really beautiful.. and I have quilt envy... she is soooo quick!

After Chris arrived and more tea and cake were served,  it was time for holiday and birthday gifts to be handed out, which is always an exciting time for us girls.    
The beautiful purple bag amongst Alison's lovely presents
 had many micro prairie points.

Amanda's amazing gifts contained a super
little scented dog paperweight.
Alison had brought us some wonderful little hand made flower pins from her trip to Majorca and I had found some bags printed with  sayings appropriate to each of my friends - Love knitting/dancing/friends/books from the Lake District. Amanda was first to open her birthday gifts and what a lovely selection they were. Amongst the many notable items was a wonderful sewing machine cover that Alison had made her a  Then, Alison opened hers and we 'oohed' and 'aahed' over them equally. Such wonderful gifts and such good choices, ranging from a book to soap, note pads, chutney labels and fabrics - plus a wonderful fragranced puppy paper weight.  We are blessed to have friends who really know what we like.

Chris's applique.
We got on with some stitching... well, I got as far as winding a new bobbin, threading my machine and running off 5 inches of stitching.  Amanda had lain out some brush cotton 3" squares for a new baby quilt but couldn't decide what 'pattern' to use. Suddenly, it was lunch. What a delicious piece of chicken with salad and new potatoes we each had. This was followed by some Gu puddings Alison had brought with her and then more tea. 

We carried on with our various projects.. Amanda had brought her hexagons and carried on stitching them together.  Janet continued binding her charity quilt and I managed to get the horizontal stitching in the ditch done on my log cabin stars quilt... which I am now frantically trying to get done for Father's day... not too much hope of that I fear!  Chris had an applique kit she'd been doing and so beautifully too.  As we felt the afternoon drawing to a close, it was time for one final cuppa and a piece of birthday cake.  Happy Birthday Ladies!

Before we went home, we arranged meeting times and venues for a few of our future get togethers, then Amanda told us what time she would pick us up for our trip to Bath next week.  (Groan - 7.15 for me!)  Never mind it will be a great day and we are looking forward to it. Sadly Alison and Chris will not be with us, but never mind!  We'll tell you all about it next time.

Until then, Adieu!