Friday, January 16, 2009
The Heritage Quilts Book Club Tea
Yesterday I had the privilege of hosting my first tea party of the year, and at my local quilt shop! Last fall, Heritage Quilts and Fabrics in downtown Newnan formed a book club that reads books on the topic of quilting. We started out with Jennifer Chiaverini's wonderful Elm Creek Quilts books, and now we've switched over to Earlene Fowler's mystery series, all of which have a quilt pattern as the title. This time we read "Fool's Puzzle," and since I had signed up to provide refreshments a few months ago, I knew that National Hot Tea Month *had* to feature a tea party. Is that not a gorgeous backdrop with all those lovely quilts? And the ladies were so appreciative of this little tea party, they actually clapped for me! Is that sweet or what!
I've done a "traveling tea party" quite a few times now, for up to 30+ folks, so I have learned that a picnic basket and some thick bath towels are wonderful for transporting teacups and saucers, or in this case, tea and toast sets. I kept the menu simple for this "Cream Tea." We had two flavors of scones (chocolate chip and cranberry-walnut) with fresh whipped cream, lemon madeleines, and those Apricot Darjeeling Tea Cookies from yesterday. (Marilyn, if you happen to be reading, I loved telling everyone that my "blog friend" from Marmalady's makes all the the tea-infused jams I love!) I prepared English Afternoon Tea in the Mrs. Tea maker, and I had brought thermoses of boiling water for the Ginger Mango Green Tea. I also brought small bottles of water for any non-tea fans (although I think everyone actually tried some tea) and a jasmine display tea.
There were 10 of us, which was just about perfect since that's the number of matching tea and toast sets I had. I could've fudged with a few extras, but it was nice we had precisely 10. I had found some wooden quilt block looking puzzles on clearance at Michaels for just 60 cents each, and I bought a dozen as tea party favors and hoped for the best. I was happy when quilter Joanna opened hers and started moving all the little pieces around. That's exactly what I expected a fellow quilter to do!
Since I had taken the day off work, I was able to enjoy a very leisurely shopping experience after the book group finished up. And thanks to my new friends, I learned some wonderful techniques these fabric fanatics have used to sneak new fabric into their homes: Transfer it into a grocery store bag before going in the house. Place it in your car's trunk and then don't remove it 'til your DH goes to bed at night. Once it's in the house, put it in a box and slide it under the bed and it'll never be detected. Great advice, all. (Could also be applied to sneaking new tea and teawares in the house, not that any of us would ever need to do that ...)
I love seeing what new fabrics and patterns Kris gets in, and I enjoy going in sometimes just to see what new quilts are on the walls. She also has a wonderful, calm atmosphere in the shop, so sometimes when work gets hectic I take a break by walking over to chill for a bit. There's often some nice music playing in the background, and the women who work there have always been happy to answer every silly question I've ever had.
And here's Kris Townsend, the proprietress herself, who pretty much always has this smile on her face! Her store just celebrated its third anniversary in December, and I am thrilled the shop continues to do so well. Kris also knows I aspire to go into business one day myself, and she has been very kind to answer my (somewhat nosy) questions when I've asked. She is definitely someone I will look to as a mentor.
If you visit our famous Courthouse Square someday (and please let me know if you do -- I'll meet you there), here is what to look for from the street.
Just across the street, renovations continue on our beautiful Coweta County Courthouse. I hope these photos have whet your appetite to visit downtown Newnan if you're ever in the area!