Thursday, September 20, 2012

Autumn is approaching

A beautiful autumnal day for the drive down to Hampshire for Janet and Amanda today. It is definitely cooler now at the beginning of the day although warming up as the day goes on. A small gathering today as Caroline is still on holiday and Chris is at home as the Tuesday puppy needs a bit of looking after.
What are you doing for Britain?

With the tea brewing we tucked into some oat and chocolate chip muffins. We tried to be good with some mini ones and there was a lot of discussion as to how many mini muffins equaled a large one ....I fear we are only kidding ourselves!

Sewing started with Janet trying out her new ruler Marti Michell log cabin ruler, she was using a now discontinued Moda Honeybun -1 and 1/2 inch strips- from a range called Wildflower Serenade II. She announced that it was a very easy ruler to use and that it made the process much quicker and more accurate. Always good to hear how a tool or new ruler has worked out. This will be a project to be sewn on her Featherweight. We look forward to seeing it finished and knowing Janet's prolific output I don't think it will be too long!

After a great deal of discussion about the relative merits of patterns and block sizes, Amanda and I got busy starting to cut up some shirts for a memory quilt. We decided that taking the backs out first would allow us to get a good idea of how any squares could be cut from each shirt and would also allow a bit of flexibility as to what other part of the shirt would be used. More of that project in a later post.

After a lunch of a chicken, chorizo and butter bean casserole served with salad and baked potatoes, we finished off with brownies and raspberries from the garden.
After all that, we all would have been quite happy to have a nap, but instead it was back to business. I had been preparing a block for a new quilt, from the book Country Inn by Blackbird Designs. The quilt is called Evening Bloom, I had seen one that had been completed and just loved it ....I mean what's not to love, there is applique and big blocks and flowers!
Block one - The Tulip block
I was using some new applique tools that I had bought at this year's Festival of Quilts called Apliquick, they are really meant for using with much smaller pieces but it was good to try them out - sorry I forgot to take a picture of them being used - next time! they really make the process very painfree, it will be interesting to see what effect the fusible interlining has on the look of the finished piece, especially after it is washed.

Amanda brought along her log cabin wallhanging, she was hoping to get some ideas on what design to use for quilting, the blues and browns looked so lovely. She has now decided so we are looking forward to seeing it completed.
She then got busy on more hexagons, it is amazing how they quickly mount up just doing a few at a time. it is always fun to see the containers that people use to keep their hexie projects in and how they change as the hexies grow and grow.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye and another Tuesday is marked off on the calendar.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School Already

Janet, Alison & myself made a start with the usual tea & cake - lemon drizzle (low fat, of course!!).  Chocolate  chunk cookies courtesy of Morrisons as I ran out of time!
Alison has nearly finished hand quilting her on-going project so we are saving the photos until it is complete! She did however, make use of a gift from another quilting friend, Bee.  A lovely thread tidy & pin cushion in Japanese fabric, made for a retreat in a few weeks.              

 I, along with a group of my Guildford Quilter friends, have completed the first of our charity quilts for the Samson Centre in Guildford. It is to be raffled for funds.
It was made using a crazy patch pattern with scraps from people's stash and sewn together with binding strips.

 As there were two extra blocks made, we decided to make a bag in which to carry the quilt.  This will also be useful if a wheelchair user wins it, as they can carry it around with them.

Janet has been busy with some hexagons. A practice using apliquick tools with interfacing & glue, not papers.  She was experimenting with thread & invisible thread using different methods for joining. Remember this for the future - it may be a table runner!!!

 A lunch of chicken & chorizo risotto with salad
 was followed by rhubarb fool.  I even had to remove a shelf from the fridge as the glasses were too tall!  (Recipe at end courtesy of Delia)

 Janet had almost completed her tumbler blocks quilt in Martinique by Three Sisters for Moda.
It is for a class at Needle & Thread in Horsell, where she works. It might be on display on Weds evening as there is a fabric sale on in the shop from 7-9pm.

I did actually do some cutting during the day, along with eating, drinking & tea making!  Chris joined us for an afternoon cuppa, along with our other Tuesday member - Berry.  It was an interesting experience as Berry encountered one of my cats, Archie, on the sofa.  Forgot the photo as puppy was scared & cat leapt out of open window!!
The end result, finished after everyone had gone was another charity project for the Samson Centre.  These Ohio Stars are the four corner squares for a Christmas raffle quilt.

After a couple of texts from Caroline, currently enjoying the Lake District, it was time to pack up after another fun filled day, with thoughts of next week in mind......until then!

Rhubarb Fool  (Delia's Complete Cookery Course)

2lb (500g) rhubarb, washed & cut into chunks
2oz (50g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger

For the custard
8fl oz (225g) double cream
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
2 drops vanilla essence

Add caster sugar & ginger to pan with rhubarb.  Cover & cook gently for 15- 20 mins. Stir frequently until tender but not mushy. Drain off some of the juice if there is a lot.

To make custard bring double cream to boil. Mix  cornflour, sugar, egg yolks & vanilla essence in a basin until smooth.  Whisk cream into mixture & pour back into pan. Whisk whilst heating until thickened.

Mash drained rhubarb until smooth (I leave some lumps as it gives it more texture).  Add cooled custard mixture, combine & pour into dishes.  Cover & cool in fridge until needed.

This can also be made hot & eaten straight away.
It is lovely both ways!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer is Back and so are We!

Today summer seems to have returned and hopefully we are going to have a few warm days.

Caroline was the first to arrive, followed by Alison and before the kettle had boiled, Chris and Amanda arrived together.  Chris would only be with us for the morning as she had to go work in the afternoon.

As usual we start our Tuesdays with tea/coffee and cake, today we had Banana, Pecan and Sultana muffins and Coconut and Chocolate macaroons.

We spent the first hour or so catching up on our news.  Three of us had been on holiday to Spain, Cornwall and Scotland and also to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  Three of us still have holiday to take, to Cumbria, France and Hawaii.

And it was down to do some sewing, Chris was sewing the binding on her Union Flag quilt, made in the 'London' fabric from Makower.

Caroline was hand quilting her Log Cabin Star Quilt for her Dad.

Amanda was sorting our her squares in baby brush cotton, a quilt for her cousin's baby.  At home, Amanda had all the squares arranged, but had left them for a few minutes, only to come back to find that her cats had a game across the squares and it was all in a mess and had to start again!

Alison was also hand quilting her block of the month, this has been a few months of work, but there is a light at the tunnel now.

For lunch we had Chicken thighs cooked in the Colman's Season and Shake, Garlic and Herb with salad and new potatoes.  For dessert we had apple and loganberry (from my Mum's garden) crumble with Creme Fraiche.

I had been making class samples a Little Star tablerunner

and Granny Squares with two different layouts.

After more tea, Alison, Amanda and Caroline made their way home.

See you next week.