Blessings in the form of Friendships and Quilting

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Thanksgiving card

Thanksgiving card

It’s 9:00 on Thanksgiving morning and I have been up since @4.  I know this should be a post about food, since this is the day for Thanks, Food and Football! (and now early Black Friday shopping)But  I got up early to check on the progress of my dinner rolls.  (another post in the future) They were ready to pop in the oven, so I though, why not get the paper and see if there is anything worth fighting over in the Black Friday Ads.  I opened the front door and felt like a 4 year old on Christmas morning who thought the were getting coal in their stocking and Santa had decided to give them one last try at being good for the rest of the year.

surprise package

Surprise Package

I am sorry I didn’t get a picture of the package before it was opened, but I knew from the distinct packaging that it was from my friend Laura (from the Thanksgiving decorations post).  Now this is going to be a long and involved post, so grab a piece of leftover pie and a cup of tea (or Joe if you prefer) and settle down for a tale of friendship that has taken me on travel all over the country.  (or you can just look at the pictures)

Laura is my “To Sir, with Love” kind of friend.  She has “taken me from crayons to perfume”.  Well kinda, that is what the song says, but we have more went from newlyweds ourselves to traveling from FL to Tx  to each  watch  both  our “first born’s” tie the knot last year.  It has been a long and at most times a long distance friendship. Laura and her family have lived in several states and we have traveled to visit them in each location.  We became friends through our husbands’, but we are couple friends.  I mean the ones that we BOTH love to see!!!  I could go on and on about our friendship, but I do have @ 20 people arriving @ 1:00 so on to the rest of the story.

Laura of course made the card. (how cute is that…that addiction will be addressed in a later post)  The package contained wool and two wool kits. She is downsizing her craft room and thought that since I am retired, I may have a better chance of completing the kits than she would.  My how do I condense this story….

I could tell by the price tag on one of the kits that it had been purchased on a trip we made one summer in Cleveland.  She was living near Cleveland and my husband and I went up for a weekend visit.  Well since we are such good friends, we always leave the men to cook dinner and talk over “men things”, while we usually go out shopping and have lunch. On this visit, Laura’s friend Mary had told her about a “kinda estate, craft and garage sale” she thought we might be interested in visiting.  This was either the second or third weekend for the sale and she still thought it would be fun.  I was thinking to myself…second or third weekend…what could be left.  Thank heavens, I kept those thoughts to myself.  The day now becomes a blur to me.  Think of yourself as having this wonderful dream where you are ready to step through the pearly and into and the alarm rings and you have to go to work.  Well, let me tell you, that didn’t happen that way.  The “I am in Heaven” part happened, but no alarm went off, I didn’t have to go to work…none of that!  We parked the car and walked up the driveway and we were in every crafter’s dream.

I met a wonderful man named, Jim, and yes, we were on a first name basis before I left that sale.  This man’s wife has passed away and she was an avid quilter, cross-stitcher, wool crafter and book collector.  She was me!  The best thing about the day was the feeling I got from Jim about how much he cared for his wife, Julia.  I can not imagine how absolute crazy he thought I was that day.  Everything she had, was something I would have picked out myself to make.  This garage and driveway was still packed with craft items and I was like a kid and a candy store who had just found a $10 bill on the sidewalk outside.  I think Laura just looked at books,(I really have no idea I was so zoned out) while I could not believe my luck.  I did purchase many things that day and talked with Jim.  I don’t even know how long we were there, but soon Jim started showing me some of Julia’s projects he thought I might be interested in buying. Maybe he was thinking, I need to get this crazy person focused and get her on her way, but he lead me to a project that had many finished blocks with acorns, a squirrel  and a LOT of leaves.  I loved it and the work was wonderful, but in the back of my mine I was thinking,  “What will I do with it?” I could see him remembering watching Julia work on those blocks, so of course I purchased them.  Again, I could go on and on about the purchases I made that day,  but instead maybe this will inspire me to complete some of them.

What is the really strange thing about this, is last night I was scrolling through old emails getting ready to do some wedding posts and I came across an email I had saved from Jim.  He was having another sale(remember this was several years ago and so was the email) and was letting me know in case I wanted to attend.  I had a trip planned to FL that weekend, so I didn’t get to go to the sale.  I so glad I still have his email address and I am going to try to email him a link to this post because I am sure he will be happy to see Julia’s completed quilt.

You may ask, “How did you complete Julia’s quilt when you only had blocks and no instructions?”  At the end of that “wonderful” day, we went back to Laura’s house and started looking at our purchases and I could not believe my eyes when I opened one of the books Laura had purchased and there was Julia’s quilt!!!!!!

And here it is Jim.  Thank you for one of the best days of my life. I think of your wife often and can only hope that my family speaks of me and my love for quilting like you did that day of Julia.  I felt like I knew her when I left your house.

Need'l Love fall quilt

Need’l Love fall quilt

squirrel block

Squirrel block

Julia made the block, but notice how I quilted the tail.

Yo Yo Acorn block

Yo Yo Acorn block

One of my favorite blocks…yes she had it finished.  Her hand work was wonderful.

acorn and leaves block

Acorn and Leaves block

These are just a few of my favorite blocks!

quilting

Leaf quilting from the back

This is the border of the quilt from the back.  Julia had cut out @ 30 leaves for the border, but I knew I would never finish the quilt if I did all those, so I just put the acorn and two leaves in each corner and quilted the other ones (took the easy way out)

acorn corner

Acorn corner

I put the blocks together and added these to the border.  The center blocks were all completed and the acorns and leaves were all cut out and marked.  Thank you Jim and Julia for one of my favorite quilts.  I hope I made you proud.

leaves

leaves cut out and marked

I thought about adding them to the back like they were falling off the tree, but that will probably never happen.

Happy Thanksgiving…

I am thankful for my friend Laura and the wonderful day we spent in “Heaven” at Jim’s sale.  That is a day I will never forget and Julia is a lady I think of often while working on projects I purchased that day.  I said to Laura when we returned home,” wasn’t that a great sale, didn’t we get some bargains” and her reply was…”it’s only a bargain if you finish it”  Well even if I never finish another project, this quilt was worth every penny I spent that day.

Oh no…did you notice my ironing board in the background of that quilt picture.  I’ll have to be more careful when taking pictures.

Note: this quilt was from the “Need’l Love” series books and of course I can not find the one it was in right now.  I will post if when I do!

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