A few of my bloggy friends have shared bloggy awards with me lately, and I have only thanked them personally with an email. So today, I wanted to say thank you and introduce you to Kathy from northern Wisconsin, Cindy in sunny Fresno, and Teje all the way in Crete!

With each of these awards, the recipients are supposed to share a few things about themselves. Here’s the juicy stuff: (not really!)

1. I love coffee, especially coffee drinks like lattes. My current favorite is called a white zombie, which is from the cafe on campus where I hang out with friends in between classes. It’s a a nutty latte prepared with Cafe Bianco (or very lightly-roasted coffee) and a favorite flavoring, such as hazlenut or caramel.

2. I am discovering that I really like to draw and illustrate.

3. I love red wine, especially the bottles from South America and Australia.

4. My favorite season is Spring. Have I ever mentioned that before? Probably. I look forward to the hope of new life and the fresh, bright green color of the plants peaking up through the ground and the buds sprouting on the trees. I also love the longer days. (these are from last year)

5. I love blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

6. I love chocolate truffles and biscuits from Godiva.

7. I have always wanted to learn how to surf.

Happy Friday everyone!

Three Years

I started this blog THREE years ago today! Wow, that feels amazing to me. I’m not a big talker, but I do love to write, especially letters to friends. So naturally, that’s what I have been doing here for the past three years.

I continue to love talking with you about fabric, sewing, patchwork, my bag obsession, making quilts, my design and illustration classes, gardening, farmers markets, and the various adventures I take in life. Hope I haven’t bored you or babbled on too much!

I just wanted to drop in to say Happy Day to everyone, and to thank you again for stopping by to see what’s happening around here. I especially appreciate those of you who have reached out to become friends because that’s what this is all about – these fabulous connections we’ve made.

“It’s friends we meet along life’s path who help us appreciate the journey.” … quote from my good friend Tami.

Swapping and Trading

I’ve been having fun swapping fabrics and scraps and handmade goodies back and forth lately with a couple good friends.

When I posted my tutorial for making a simple makeup bag, a bloggy friend commented that she missed her sewing machine, so I offered to make one for her, which is the bag pictured above and below.

In turn, she offered to swap one of her goodies for mine. This is the package she sent me. I wondered how she knew that I have always wanted a cigar box!

Inside I found this amazing lavender leather journal! Isn’t it beautiful? I love the feel of the soft leather, and the arrangement of cool buttons along the flap, and the fabulously stitched binding. I encourage you to stop by her shop to see more of her wonderful work!

I am definitely going to cherish it, and use it. (don’t you hate that when you give someone a handmade gift and they are afraid to use it?!) I can’t wait to fill it up with sketches and illustrations. Thank you Shari!

I Spent the Weekend With a Rockstar

Okay, so maybe she’s not a rockstar in the music world, but she is a rockstar in our quilting/blogging world! Since we live in the same state and within driving distance from each other, we made a spontaneous decision to get together this weekend.

I felt so lucky to get to sleep under this beautiful quilt.

We made a mess in her clean house.

We pieced and quilted.

We traded fabrics and and the tiniest scraps.

It’s so nice to have a fresh pile of scraps because now I’m even more excited to make my own ticker tape quilt after seeing her masterpiece in person. I stopped and stared at it every time I walked past it. It was more fun than an I-Spy quilt.

We brainstormed new ideas.

We never left the house! (thank goodness she fed me very well) It was great fun!

My Cheeks Hurt!

I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much that my cheeks hurt! I just returned from my first quilt retreat – what an amazing weekend.

The retreat center was amazing, and the quilt shop was overwhelming and wonderful.

The best part was our group of women. You know them:

Shelly S of Shelly’s Quilts

Shelly P of Prairie Moon Quilts

Andrea of The Little Collection

Mary of Mary on Lake Pulaski

Doris of Threads of Conversation

Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts

Toni of All Tangled Up in My Underwear

Rene of Rene’s Creations

Heather of Anka’s Treasures

Victoria of Bumble Beans Inc.

If you haven’t visited these blogs lately, go straight there. Your cup will overflow with inspiration and happiness.

I also can’t remember the last time I sewed ALL day, and then stayed up past midnight to continue sewing!

I got these two quilt tops almost finished (the one above needs a couple more rows, and the one below needs a wide white border).

I made progress on a third project, with all the blocks made and sashing on about half of the blocks.

We talked, we shopped, we browsed the MN Quilt show, we sewed, we shopped, we loosened up, we ate, we sewed, we laughed, we sewed, we laughed, we sewed, we slept a little. I am so thankful to know such wonderful women! I feel lucky to be able to call them my friends.

– – – – –

Don’t forget to check out my post about the upcoming Christmas in July Ornament Swap!

A Year in Review

I love being able to look through my 2009 blog posts and Flickr pages to remember what I did this past year! Here are a few highlights:

In 2009, I took an art design class, a couple drawing classes, and a silver smithing class.

Texture QuiltAccordion Book of ValueBlack-White and Analogous Logo DesignsMy Recreation of the Spring FaeryLook at what I made!

I made a few quilts.

Finished Candy QuiltAva Rose Quilt TopJoin Me for a Picnic?Zig-Zag Quilting on My Zig-Zag QuiltMod Girls Quilt Top - Ready for QuiltingMy Coin Quilt with Bell Bottom FabricsQuilted Darla 9-Patch QuiltFiggy Pudding Patchwork Quilt Top
I spent two weeks in China visiting my sister and her family.
Me at The PeakLaundry Hanging OutsideFive Rams StatueMy Sister Getting Help at the MarketMy Mom and I in Foshan
We did a lot of gardening around here and planted several new trees in our backyard.
My Favorite TulipsFlowering Crab Apple TreePink Bleeding HeartsAnother Flowering Crab for My Garden
I spent my summer vacation with my sister and family at my parent’s cottage.
Chillaxing on the beach!Taylor kayaking at sunsetBonfire at DuskCool trail through the woods
I made a few bags, mini quilts and entered a few swaps.
Garden Party Pin Cushion CaddyBack Side of My Chocolate Lollipop BagHalf Square Triangle Mini QuiltString Pieced Mini QuiltMy Three Newest Mini QuiltsMini Coin QuiltsMini Quilt for Spring Blooms SwapFriendship Bags for Two of My FriendsMini Quilt for My PartnerExtra Squares Make a Potholder and CoasterFall Tablerunner
New Patchwork Trails LogoTechie Bag for FallStuff SacksCheckerboard Set in blues and redsNew Laptop Bag - Posing!Zippered PouchGood Folks Patchwork MatChristmasy Stuff Sack for Gift Bag
I spent my birthday in New York City.
Me on the Walking Path in Central ParkMe in front of a statue at St. John'sMe at the Bethesda FountainSkyline from Central ParkThe Mall in Central Park
I started an regular exercise routine, and I lost 10 pounds!
I lost 10 pounds!

It was actually quite a productive year! I am looking forward to starting fresh in 2010 and switching gears in a couple areas of my life. I am also looking forward to seeing what next year brings for all of you, my blogger friends. I hope you all enjoy a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!