Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Year in Review and Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope the new year brings all the best to you all.  I am praying for some of you that I know have family members with health problems.  My wish is that everyone gets better.  This is going to be an interesting year for us as my husband has submitted his retirement paperwork for the Army.  The poor man has been in the Army since he was 17 back in 1983.  I don't think he is going to know how to act when he becomes "free."  Before you ask our plans, let me assure you that we don't have any.  Yet.  We are waiting to see where he will get a new job.  As I said, it is going to be an interesting year!

This is the time of year when everyone, everywhere is talking about the past year, and trying to sum up what they accomplished.  I am no exception.  I began going through my photos to see what I had accomplished this year, and goodness, I found quite a few!  I decided to combine many of the photos into collages to keep the amount of pictures to a minimum for this post.

I began the year fervently working away on what many of you are doing right now--Bonnie Hunter's mystery.  This is my version of Easy Street, with a patriotic color scheme.

Vintage Schnibbles, the Schnibble group for the year, got a late start in April. I managed to make each project, and had lots of fun photographing them!
Sinta and Sherri are so great to host the group and display the parades each month!  I hope they are doing it again this year.

Another big finish was this quilt for my daughter.  The center part was done, I just needed to add the 9-patch border, and get it quilted.

I even made a set of pillow shams to match.

Our own bed got a new quilt.  We upgraded to a King and so needed a larger quilt.  About the same time, I found this pattern.  I finally got it all finished and on the bed just in time for summer!

Speaking of patriotic, do you remember that I spent all the time from Memorial Day to Independence Day working only on red, white, and blue projects?  Here are some of them.

In that patriotic period, I also pieced the sampler quilt that was a project for our Bee.  One of these days, we are going to show them all together.  I've seen a batik version, a red, white, and black version, etc.  Hopefully I can share some of them here.  Mine, of course, is patriotic.

And apparently, it is also sideways!  Look at the cute feet of some of my Bee ladies who are being sweet enough to hold it up!  We were all sitting around the pool at that meeting. 

I made these 10 little quilts for our guild to give to hospitals to wrap around stillborn babies.  After the parents hold the baby, then they get to keep the blanket. 

It wasn't just quilts that I made, either.  I like to make purses, pincushions, etc.  Here are some of them.
At the bottom left is something I haven't shared yet.  I made it for my Santa Sack Swap partner--it is an iron caddy that unbuttons to lay flat so it can be used as a pressing surface.

I finished piecing this quilt--the pattern is Old Elegance by Patchalot.  I call my version "Chocolate Covered Cherries" for the color scheme, but every time I see it, I think of Marcie Patch--the pattern designer--who taught the class.  We haven't seen each other since, but we remain blog/facebook/and instagram friends.

I made quite a few small quilts, too.  Many of them have gone to live elsewhere.  I think I need to make some more to replace them!

This quilt was on my list to make for 2013.  We saw it made first as a lap size and then it grew to be used on a twin bed as a bedspread, so it is king sized.  It has also gone to live in its new home--with my parents.

I made the ribbons for the quilt show.  There were 9 in total, and during the show I was thrilled to find out that I got to take one home!

Part of the fun in blogging is doing sew-alongs or group projects.  The two on the left were from the Temecula Quilt Co.  (Remember the tiny, 2" baskets?)  The upper right is Nabby's Dowry, from Pam Buda's blog, and the bottom right one I made from blocks that a dear friend had sent me years ago.

This is THE ONE, though.  Of all of the projects I did this year, I think this is the one that will always say 2013 to me.  My Dresden Doilies in French General fabric. 

 From yesterday:  some of the Christmas quilts I did.

And finally, another project that I had on my "to do" list for this year.  I began the year doing it, and coincidentally, I'll be beginning next year doing the newer version of it:  Monique Dillard's Blogger Girls Block of the Month.

When I heard the premise of this quilt--that you make two versions of the same block, but alter the placement of the fabrics and values, to get a two blocks that look nothing like each other, I was intrigued.  It was lots of fun to do, too.  I eagerly awaited each new instruction that came out on the first of the month from January to June.  I was so thrilled when Monique asked me to be one of the bloggers this year!  Guess what?  Tomorrow is THE DAY that all the fun begins!  Be sure to check back to see it and get the details.  It is going to be another fun quilt!

Thanks so much to all of you for your comments and feedback!  I find it fun to share my projects and a bit of my life and would do so even if no one read it, but to hear from some of you that you also enjoy it is quite amazing and gratifying.  On top of all that, some of you have become dear friends to me, as well, even if we have never met.  I guess my other wish for the New Year would be that we could all get together at some fabulous retreat and meet up and sew together!

Have a great year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Recent Projects

Hi Everyone,

I had every intention of posting this on Saturday, however I got a text from a friend informing me that one of our LQSs is moving and everything in the store was going to be 50% off!  It's almost like something out of a dream, isn't it?  Actually, it turned out that not everything was on sale, however, there was enough! I really didn't get very much--some background cream/tan prints, some yardage for a future present, and some cuts for backing.  Once I got home, I started thinking about all sorts of fabrics that I should have bought, but already I have too much fabric.

So once the rush of Christmas was over, I was finally able to get around to doing some quilting. You may remember that before Thanksgiving I was working away on the Temecula Quilt Co's sew along, Countdown to Christmas.  They revealed the final pattern right at Thanksgiving time and it wasn't until just before Christmas that I was able to get back to it.  I really love how it came out and it was all from my stash.

None of these projects are quilted yet.  I've started on this one, though.  When I was taking the photos the other day, my husband was home and remarked, "Are you blogging about unfinished projects or something?"  Sheesh, maybe he knows too much about quilting!

The next project I have been in love with since my friend Janice showed her version.  She actually made 2--one for her and one for her sister--although everyone in our Bee was trying to convince her that we needed it!  Since she was adamant that it was for her sister, I decided I would have to make my own.

Here it is with the quilting done and the binding clipped.  It is now done, except for needing buttons in the corner snowflakes.  I made the picture really large so that you can maybe see that I fussy-cut red flags for the center squares.  They are cut 1" square, so it was REALLY fussy cutting, but I had to give it a touch of "me."  The pattern is Cabin Friends by Primitive Gatherings.  It is also my first wool project.  I was in a hurry, trying to get it done before the holiday, so I did most of the blanket stitching by machine.  I only hand-stitched it around the snowflakes and the cardinal.

The final project came about due to our Bee's block exchanges.  Last Christmas, this July, and then this Christmas we have done 9" Christmas block swaps.  They did it the year before I joined, as well.  Some of them have 44 blocks, some of us have 30, and some fewer.  I did the blocks for this December back in the summer.  I had just enough fabric to eek out 12 of them--around the same number that we have needed in the past.  We got a new member, though, and a few others joined in, so I actually needed 14.  I set those 12 blocks to the side and made a new set of 14.  I thought that I could sprinkle some of those 12 in the quilt I was going to make with all of the blocks in case I had an odd number.  Since I had 30, I didn't need them, so I made this next project.

Last year's Christmas blocks were made with a fat eighth bundle of Holly Taylor's Christmas line. I used the scraps for these.  I had also purchased a panel from the line and some yardage.  I played with layouts until I got one that I liked and then it didn't take long to stitch together.

The squares from the panel look like stitchery.  Here is a closeup.

I was hoping to spend some time quilting yesterday, but instead I had to spend hours on the computer doing work for a non-quilting project that needs to get finished.  I got it about 2/3 of the way done and then rewarded myself by drag getting my husband to take me to the movie.  We saw "Saving Mr. Banks" and it was wonderful!  Quite a bit has been said about Tom Hanks portraying Walt Disney, and he was good, but I thought Emma Thompson was brilliant.  I think she should get an Oscar Nomination.  In case you don't know, it is a movie about the making of "Mary Poppins." Emma Thompson plays PL Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins book.  Besides the main plot of the movie, I really enjoyed the portrayal of the Sherman brothers.  I wrote a paper in college about the music of the Disney films, so I was quite familiar with them.  Mary Poppins is also a real favorite of mine, and they had a running bit through the movie of references back to the movie that were fun to spot.  We got home with an hour to spare so I could collect myself and then watch the Call the Midwives Christmas Special.  I love that show!!  (Shh--don't tell anyone else but I think I like it better than Downton Abbey!  And we wouldn't want PBS to hear that--they may start killing off my favorite Midwife characters.)

Have a great day!

Friday, December 27, 2013


Hi Everyone,

I hope you all have had a great few days!  We had a quiet, but really nice holiday.  It was just my husband and myself this year but we had friends over for Christmas dinner, so that was really nice.
It seems so strange that after all of that work--the decorating, the wrapping, the shipping, the cooking, the cleaning, etc. suddenly--it is all over!  Actually, we enjoy the season up until the First, but the radio stations that play Christmas music (sometimes beginning as early as November 1) turn it off at midnight on the 26th!  I would prefer that they begin it a week before Christmas, and let it play until New Year's, but I guess they are sponsored by stores who already have fitness equipment and Valentines Day stuff out on the shelves.  On our tour of Colonial Williamsburg, we learned that the Colonists didn't begin Christmas celebrations until the 25th and they continued for the Twelve Days until Epiphany.  Twelve days of parties and celebrations sound a lot better to me than a month of work and effort for one or tow days like we do these days.

Do any of you do anything to celebrate New Years Day?  When I was young, there used to be another big meal, but these days, we just stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square and that is about it.  New Year's Day falls on one of our regular Quilt Bee days and we discussed if we would meet or not, and enough of us have nothing special going on and so we are going to meet!

 In the "old Army" days (which I can remember from our early years) it was Tradition to pay calls on the Commander on New Year's Day.  I can remember getting all dressed up and then assembling in units outside of the homes and waiting for our "official" time to go in.  Once inside, we would go through a receiving line and then visit with everyone and have punch and appetizers/cookies.  When the assigned time was up, we would all troop out en mass and see the next group outside waiting for their time.  Over the years that evolved into similar parties, but more casual--the football games may be on in the "den" area.  Then it changed to other days.  Sometimes it wasn't done at all.  Last year, they did it a few weeks later in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.

At any rate, I am digressing.  I was going to write about our Christmas--not the rest of the upcoming week!  In particular, I wanted to show you some of the wonderful, quilty gifts that I was lucky enough to receive!

One of my sisters lives near Temecula, CA.  You may remember that she went to the Temecula Quilt CO. for their Blue and White quilt show when my quilt was hanging.   She did her Christmas shopping for me while she was there!

 She picked out some lovely blue fat quarters and got this fun alphabet quilt pattern!

She also picked up one of these long, divided ruler boxes from the shop, too.  Santa was kind enough to put the other two in my stocking!  I was not disappointed to get two of the same thing, instead I was delighted!

I'm not sure yet how I will use them, or what I will put in them, but the three of them fit nicely together if I want to put them in a drawer.  They are way too cute to be hidden away, though!
If you find yourself falling in love, you can find them here.

My other sister gave me an Amazon card.  I have quite a few quilt books sitting in my cart, so now I can choose just which ones I want and order them!

My parents got me this.  

Yes, it is a rolling tool chest.  I learned about the quilt value of this from this post by Karen at Moose Bay Muses.  When I read it, I immediately called my mom, since we don't have any Menards around here.  She got it for my Christmas present.  Notice that Karen also mentions the TQC ruler boxes and how they fit nicely into this!

My husband gave me a quilt retreat visit at the end of January!  Okay, perhaps I arranged this one my own and asked him if he would like to give it to me.  I would have to say the buying gifts is not my husband's strong point.  However, I have learned that I can help him get exactly what I want!

He was the recipient of this year's best gift, again from my mom.  I will write about that later, though, on one of those days when I don't have much else to write about.  It is worthy of a post all it's own!

The past week or two, once the crush was over, I have had time to do some sewing.  I have gotten several things done lately and so I will show them to you next time!  I need to do some good photography today while the sun is shining!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

I want to take a minute to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

I'll be back again before the New Year!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Blogger Girls Block of the Month Update

Hi Everyone,

I'm popping in for a quick post about the Blogger Girls BOM.  Monique posted a blog entry yesterday with details.  You can find it here.

She is not quite ready to share the requirements--you will find them out on the first day--January 1.

I cannot wait.  It is going to be so good!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa Sack Swap

Hi Everyone,

(warning:  this blog post will contain a plethora of adjectives and superlatives.  I will also probably use way more exclamation points than necessary.  Proceed at your own risk!)

This year I decided to be brave and sign up for the Santa Sack Swap.  People from all over the world signed up and then we were given partners.  The rules were that each month from July to December, we would provide a gift (6 in total) to be placed in either a bag or stocking, and shipped to the partner by December 1.  One of the gifts had to be a hand-made Christmas item.  The grand opening day was chosen, and it was yesterday.  If you wanted to wait until Christmas, that was fine too.  I decided to "go for it," and opened my packages yesterday.

My swap partner was Sharon Vrooman, from Vrooman's Quilts.  I didn't "know" Sharon prior to the swap, but now I see her all over blogland.  She posts often, seems to make an incredible number of things, and leaves lots of comments on other blogs.  I have no idea how she gets it all done!

I've never done a big swap like this before, but in the past whenever I'm involved in gift exchanges, it seems like more often than not, I'm always a bit disappointed.  This year has been different.  I've done an ornament exchange (where I got 2 patriotic ornaments) and a gift exchange at guild (where I received a small quilt), and now this-- and each time I feel like I got the "Grand Prize!"  Just look at the lovely things that Sharon sent:

This is what I found in my box.  A pretty stocking and six presents.  Also, not visible, is a group of small items all wrapped up and in the stocking.
  I began unwrapping.

First up is a set of gingerbread potholders and some towels.  The fabric in the potholders reminds me of a dress I made my daughter when she was little! 

I guess it wasn't hard for her to figure out that I like patriotic stuff--she must have really done her homework on me, <grin> but she seemed to know just what fabric I would like.  The toile that is unfolded is awesome!  I had a piece of it in tan, which I used in a quilt, and I've never seen any of this fabric anywhere else.  I was thrilled with it!  I really like the other pieces, too.  I'm already mulling over ideas for the states fabric. The other one is navy blue printed with maps/highways and shows the valley and town that Sharon lives in!  How cool is that? 

Next up is this portfolio.  Notice the heart-shaped yo-yo embellishment!
This is what is inside:  Elastic to hold pens, etc. with a protective cover.  On the other side is a generous zipped pocket.  The workmanship on this, and all her other things is incredible!  She does a beautiful job!
The box contained these ornaments.  The folded ones remind me of all the origami we saw in Hawaii, and now that I'm looking at them in this photo, I think I have a lauhala ornament folded the same way.  Lauhala is a Hawaiian form of weaving and folding the leaves of the hala tree.  I also love the pickle ornament.  My mom always has one on her tree, and I didn't have one yet.
Next was this stitchery quilt!!  I LOVE this!  Not only does the stitchery part show all the best aspects of a quilt room (love the red and white quilt), but she did it in my colors!  This is getting hung up on my quilt wall in the studio as soon as possible!
Finally, this is what I think is the "big prize"
I've watched Sharon make this on her blog, never dreaming it was for me!  She made it in the challenge that was out there to make a Christmas project without using red and green.  Doesn't it look fabulous?!  But wait, you haven't seen the best part...
Now maybe you can see that it is beaded and embellished with small star "ornaments"  It is absolutely encrusted.  It's so lovely!
I was so enthralled and thrilled with my gifts, that for a few minutes, I forgot about the stocking stuffers.  I briefly considered saving those, but a minute or two later, I was unwrapping them, too.

This quickly became
There are 2 beaded stilettos (I already have one that I won at Freda's blog) so now I will have a set of three to show off; two small flower pincushions--so adorable.  The stork scissors are really neat and There is a small, copper "barn quilt."  The bottom item is hard to make out, but it is a "shirt" that holds a pack of tissue.  Again, references to Hawaii!  The shirt even has a tiny collar!
Finally there is this:
It was in the top picture, but you pull out the metal tips and it reveals two sizes of rippers.  I was just mentioning how much I like carved wood things the other day.  This fits so nice in my hand, too.  I heard from Sharon that it was made by a guild member's husband and the wood is maple and came from Sharon's farm!

Obviously, I am pleased with my swap, but now I'm a bit worried.  I'm really feeling like my items are a little inadequate.  Ugh!  I do need to tell you something else about Sharon.  The swap had some participants who dropped out and/or just disappeared from the group, leaving their partners hanging.  Sharon graciously sent out a package to at least one lady who wasn't going to receive one.   Quilters are truly some of the best, most generous, folks out there!
Have a great day!
PS:  A while back I was commenting on how amazed I was at all the cobwebs that appear in my sewing room as I've never seen a spider in there.  All that changed last night.  There was a giant one that ran under my sewing desk!  I sprayed, and my husband searched, but we didn't find it.  Now I'm a bit scared to use my machine.  Yikes!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Moda Box

Hi Everyone,

After a fun shopping/sewing day with a blog friend, and a wonderful Bee Christmas party, I am ready for a quiet day at home.  Actually, it is "opening" day for the Santa Sack Swap which I participated in, so there will be quite a bit of excitement when I do that.  I can't imagine how Christmas could get any better!

I mentioned yesterday how I arrived home on Tuesday to find the box from Moda.  As a reminder, I am going to be helping out Monique Dillard this year for her new Blogger Girls Block of the Month.  Since I'm a featured blogger, it was possible to ask the wonderful Lissa Alexander, known in the blogging world as Moda Lissa, for any Moda fabric that I was interested in using.  Since I have been really looking forward to Minick and Simpson's new line, Grant Park, I jumped at the chance.  I requested the yardage that I would need since I already planned to get the fat quarter pack on my own.  (Remember, I was using my election money for it.)  Actually, it was two weeks ago this Friday that I got a notification from the Fat Quarter Shop that they had them in stock and within 5 minutes, I had placed my order.  It arrived last Friday!

Back to Tuesday night...  I found the Moda box and a Christmas package from my parents at my front door.  I was already carrying in some things from my day out, but I managed to get it all in the house.  I set down everything and ran to get a box cutter to open the Moda box.  This is what I discovered.

(I'm seriously considering saving the box.  If it said "Moda" on it, it would be a no-brainer, but since it is just a plain box, the decision is trickier.)
Here's the contents!  Not only did Lissa send me the yardage I wanted, but she also sent a fat quarter pack!  I was stunned!

Here is the yardage.  I am so in love with it!  It is my favorite palette, of course, but lighter and fresher!  This first one will be the border.  I'd love wallpaper that looks just like it, to tell the truth!

Isn't it gorgeous?

Here are some of the fat quarters, so you can see more of the line.  I love that there is a really light blue, a medium blue, and then a navy.  There are also two shades of red and then creams and taupes (almost grey).  I can't wait to start playing with this fabric!

The fat quarter pack that Moda sent?  It isn't Grant Park, it is the brand new line of French General, Le Bouquet Francais!  I had seen pictures of this and wanted it, too, as it has more blues in this line!
In fact, it coordinates with Grant Park!  I love this!
In the excitement of getting to open the box, I guess something important slipped my mind.  It wasn't until yesterday morning when I was getting ready to go to my Bee, that I realized I couldn't find my keys.  I searched my purse.  I searched my coat pockets. (I really don't like winter for the fact that keys can get placed somewhere other than my purse.  I even have more than one coat, so that makes it trickier.)  I couldn't find the keys.  I didn't remember seeing them laying around the house.  I looked around and sure enough, they weren't visible in any of the obvious places.  I eventually found them--still hanging in the front door!!  They were there overnight!  We were so lucky that our neighborhood is pretty safe.  Someone could have walked right in and murdered us in our sleep.  Or worse yet, stole my Moda box!! 
 Goodness, I don't know what is going on with me?  Leaving my keys in the door one day, forgetting my sewing machine foot another, and of course, putting stamps on the wrong corner of the Christmas cards.  Maybe I need to do some brain exercises!
Some of you have mentioned that since the new Blogger Girl's BOM is smaller, using just 6" blocks, you may join in, too!  I really hope so.  Some of the members of my Bee are interested in it, too, so I hope to share their progress as well.  Last year, I made the quilt from my stash and was really pleased to get such a great-looking quilt! 

I'll be back late tonight or early tomorrow with a post about the Santa Sack Swap.  Have a great day!
I plan to actually spend time in my quilting room.  Maybe one of these days I will have a quilt to show you!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Best Day

Hi Everyone,

In yesterday's post I mentioned that it was going to be a fun day, and it was!  This blogging world that we "live in" and participate in is such a great way to meet people we would perhaps never encounter in our lives otherwise and friendships are forged.  Leaving comments leads to following other blogs, and more comments lead to emails and before you know it, you feel like you have friends that you have never met.  And occasionally, rarely perhaps, the chance comes to actually meet and in my experience, the results have always been genuine friends.  The first blog friend that I ever met was Linda at The Quilted Pineapple.  She is every bit as nice as her quilting is stunning.  Next, my husband and I met Michele, from Island Life Quilts, and her family while we lived in Hawaii.  Even our husbands got on great, since they both have military histories (and wives who quilt).  Just back in October, I met Judy from Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.  It turns out that she lives just up the road in Williamsburg.

Yesterday I got the chance to get together with Wendy, from  It Is What It Is!  I first got to know her blog because she is another participant in the Schnibbles group.  Her husband recently retired and they have been going on some incredible trips, so it is always fun to read her posts and see where she is and what she is doing and quilting.  When she is at home, she is often quilting with her wonderful friend, Sue.  They both usually make the Schnibbles and Wendy posts both of the pictures.  Well a while back, Wendy wrote about some upcoming travels and mentioned that they were going to be in Williamsburg for a week in December.  I immediately wrote and said that I live 20 minutes from there, so we decided to get together.  Yesterday was the day!

I drove over to their vacation condo and we met.  I will say that I think there was a little bit of anxiety on both sides.  Will this real person measure up to the expectations of a "virtual friend?"   So far, I have never been let down.  And yesterday was certainly no exception!  Wendy is absolutely genuine and totally nice, and I must say, has the most beautiful voice!  In no time at all, we were chatting away and having a great time.  She was braver than I because she immediately got into my car as we headed out to the backwoods of Virginia to go to the Millstone Quilt Shop.

We spent the morning visiting the shop.  We were the only two customers in there the entire time, and since I've only gone on crowded sale days, it was a nice change.  We browsed and visited, and visited and browsed.  You can learn way more about another quilter in a quilt shop than any other way!  We like a lot of the same things, too, which was fun.
Because of that similar taste, it was a really good thing that the shop had two of these lovely bundles of  Minick and Simpson's Midwinter Red wovens!   

That wasn't all we found.  By the end of the visit, we each had a nice little pile.   I had no idea I needed anything from the shop, either!  But that is the way it always works, right?

While there wasn't a big sale, Regina (the shop owner) has a cute little Christmas celebration going.  She filled this advent calendar with slips of paper with a certain prize written on it.  

If you purchase more than $50 in merchandise, you get to choose one.  I don't want to betray any confidences here about how much either of us spent, but we did each get to choose a slip!  I picked number 5 and was thrilled to get 20% off my total!  Then the fun began.  Regina told Wendy that she could either choose my 20% discount, or she could choose another pocket.  There was a chance of a 30% discount in there, but there were also some smaller prizes.  It was just like Let's Make a Deal!  Wendy decided to go with what was behind curtain number 2.  Actually, she picked pocket number 25.  And what was in it?  She won a nice prize--a Sidewinder!  (If you don't know what it is, it is a small machine that winds bobbins.)  

Here we are outside the shop!  

Part two of the day involved sewing together!  If you don't learn everything from a fellow quilter while in a quilt shop, you will learn it from her while sewing together.  What Wendy now knows about me is that I'm a bit scatter-brained, to say the least.  But then you probably know that, too!  As I was unpacking my sewing machine, I realized that when I was getting it ready I had removed my zig-zag foot because I had been doing some blanket stitching with my machine.  I planned to put the quarter inch foot on, but neglected to do so.  It was at home, with nearly all of the rest of my feet!  I had a couple seldom-used feet that were in the container of extra needles and bobbins that I had brought.  Only one proved to be functional--this Bernina 32.  It is a 7-groove pintuck foot!  I spent a few minutes figuring out how to get an accurate quarter inch seam.

Meanwhile, Wendy was heating up a delicious pot of soup for our lunch.  We ate and then set about sewing, but actually we spent most of the time talking.  Between my "bum foot" and the visiting, I miraculously got a couple of quilt blocks done.  Wendy was working on some adorable tea bag wallets.  It turns out that one of them was for me!

Here is is folded up.  

When you open it, there are pockets for tea bags, sweetener, etc.  Isn't it cool?  I'll tuck it into my purse or my bag of things for quilt bee, so I can enjoy a nice cup of tea anytime!

I tucked it into a pocket of this lovely goody bag which she and Sue put together for me!   I don't think I mentioned that they live in New Brunswick, Canada, did I?

See the wonderful log cabin key chain that Wendy made?

These are the treasures that I found inside!  There is a pin from their quilt guild on the bag still, which is a great touch!  Then there is some patriotic fabric,(they know me so well!) a ruler from a quilt shop in Tucson (when Wendy was in Arizona last year, I told her about some shops that I used to visit when I lived in Arizona), yummy maple syrup from Canada, a wonderful woolen pincushion, some old spools that Wendy got in France(!!!), and then, maybe best of all, is a wooden point turner/wooden iron.  Wendy's husband, Georges made it out of mahogany!  One of the things I love most in the world, other than cotton fabric/quilts, etc., is carved wooden objects.  It is a little work of art.  

In the afternoon, we stopped sewing for a bit for a "tea break."  Along with a cup of tea, we had a piece of Wendy's homemade fruitcake.  It was delicious!  I guess my only experience with fruitcake is the stuff one buys here in the US made with dubious fruit, dry, and just plain yucky.  Wendy's was moist, full of delicious fruit and crunchy nuts, and just spectacular.  I'm still thinking of the bite I got that had the most wonderful cherry in it.  

Unfortunately the afternoon flew by and before I knew it, it was getting dark.  I packed up with a little reluctance and got ready to go.  I think it says a lot when your part company with someone and are truly sad.  It was a really great day.

So I drove home, thinking about the fun day, what to make for dinner, and what I would write about the day.  When I got home, I discovered two packages on my step.  One was our Christmas box from my parents and one was from Moda Fabrics!  The day got even better!  But, I'll share that in a later post!  I'm off for my Bee's Christmas party.

Have a great day!