Alright, no house updates in this blog, I promise! I'm taking a break to talk about my wonderful quilty friends and wonderful quilty things!
So, because I was a bit preoccupied with my packing up and getting out of Utah (which was quite a feat, given the 28 foot long truck we filled!), I have neglected to tell you all about the most amazing group of friends I have.
Almost two years ago I began to sew, learning most everything from blogs and the internet in general. One of the blogs I was following was Pamela's French Knots, which I found charming and full of great information. One day, I read about a retreat that Pam was hosting about 45 minutes away from where I live, and I decided on a whim to go. I didn't know Pam, and didn't know anyone going to the retreat. In fact, I had never even gone to a sewing retreat before and was still fairly self-conscious and nervous about my sewing skills—or lack thereof! Nonetheless, I gathered up my sewing things (feeling like I was packing to run away from home, I brought so much!) and headed to Utah County for the several day retreat. It was so great! I met the most amazing group of women and learned so much in the few days I was there! Pam threw a great retreat, with yummy food and a terrific class on appliqué.
It was at that retreat that I met Ella, Pamela, Kristen, Sue, April, Emily, and Amy. I'm not sure how it developed, but next thing I knew we were getting together regularly for sew days and retreats. At those days I met many other great people, including Marion and Jenny. Now it's been almost two full years, and I regard these women as great friends who made my time in Utah so special. I think I may have shared this story before, because last time I moved—then it was "just" across town—they showed up at my door with mop and pail (and wearing cute little bandanas) and cleaned our house from top to bottom with us. What a special gift it was!
When it came time for me to move east, I knew that the hardest part would be to leave my friends. I plan to return for retreats and such, but it's still not the same as being in the 'hood! Sweet Ella hosted a lovely farewell party for me the week before I moved, and they surprised me with the most wonderful, gorgeous churn dash quilt. So amazing! Just look at it—here's the front:
And here's the back:
Do you see? It has my first initial in the middle! The pink fabric is puppies from Ella's amazing stash. I had admired it once, and she generously gave me some of the fabric with a blue background. I was so delighted to have that fabric then, but to then discover the same fabric in pink on the quilt . . . so wonderful!
Everyone contributed a square, or binding, or quilting, and then signed it. What a special gift! I always think about my friends back in Utah anyway, but this is a particularly dear reminder. In fact, as I write this post I'm snuggled up in this great quilt.
April, in addition to her contributions to the quilt, made me an amazing, ever-coveted weekender bag. We had talked about making one, but I never dreamed she'd make one for me! I've been wanting one for so long, but they're such a project to make that I was a bit too daunted to try it myself.
Here's the bag in all her glory:
And here's the other side:
Here's the closeup on the front—the clothespin dolls are from my ever favorite Heather Ross:
And here's the closeup on the back—It's so so special, it even has a car pulling a teardrop trailer, just like we did driving across country!
Do you see the great Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy on the bottom? April knows I love my Denyse Schmidt, so she used her fabric throughout. This was my "to go" bag on my trek cross country. You can fit a small country in here!
I miss everyone so much, but I can curl up with my quilt and use my weekender bag and feel so close!