Here is the initial block complete with hand appliqued heart - one down, 35 more to go! However I did make a start on the gross of geese blocks I will need and as of last night I'd stitched all 144 in completely random fabrics - lots of the muddy country style that I'd got out for my ongoing ostrich, but mixed in there are some red and whites, some Christmassy ones and also the odd bit of blue and white and pink, grey and purple from the two quillows - a real scrappy mix
It was a bit difficult at first not to plan what went next to what but I gritted my teeth and ploughed on - in fact occasionally if two neighbours were too similar I actually substituted one of them.
Yesterday we spent the day with friends - the first family we made friends with here in Taunton. Nikki is a great friend and thinks alike to me on so many things - the only difference being she's not a quilter but I may work on that in the future, her husband Alan is a quiet soul when you first meet him and is naturally reticent but like Nigel has a wicked sense of humour once you get past the reserved initial impression. Their two boys are the same age as Nick and a year younger than Louise and the whole family love to walk and camp like we do so we designated yesterday as our Christmas get-together day and whereas last year they invited us to theirs for lunch after a walk in the country we returned the favour this year.
Because they are both Taunton born and bred they know the area all around very well and have introduced us to lots of lovely walks in the vicinity.
Yesterday's was no exception - a walk round a couple of lakes in the Blackdown Hills to the south of the town. Tucked away with very sparse signage we'd never have found them on our own. The weather wasn't perfect but luckily kept dry until the final dash back to the car park.
Back home I'd had some mulled wine simmering away in the slow cooker so that made a welcome reception on our return.
A lunch of chicken casserole, jacket potatoes, roasted root veg which were absolutely scrummy and cauli and peas was a real warmer. This we followed with Eton Mess which is an inelegant but delicious mix of whipped cream, crumbled meringue and raspberries and an afternoon of lots of laughter, impromptu quizzes, the odd glass of something alcoholic and liberal quantities of chocolates made up for the low key days we had over Christmas itself.
Yesterday evening after their departure saw me back at the sewing machine putting together a few more of the blocks - what fun!
Tonight we shall spend the evening with this same family at a party held by the parents of another of Nick's friends. They hire a small local hall which is usually used for a youth club, bring in a disco and invite all their family and friends from nought to ninety odd years. Each family puts in a nominal sum of £10 to cover the hall and the disco and then everyone takes their own food and drink. Kids are all included so the problem of babysitters doesn't arise and everyone has a brilliant time at minimal expense to see the New Year in amongst friends in a party atmosphere akin to a family wedding or similar within walking distance of home.
Maybe this afternoon before we head off up there I'll get a few more blocks put together.
However let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy, prosperous, healthy and most of all peace-filled 2007.
See you all next year!