Sunday, September 4, 2011

A BIRTHDAY TO REMEMBER

I can't believe it's been nearly two weeks since I've last posted! Things have been unbelievably hectic with work deadlines. I feel as though I've been living on my computer, editing and writing articles! I seriously needed a break from it all. Luckily, my two good friends Belinda and Merry came to the rescue by taking me on a birthday outing this past week. Merry and I share an August birthday and Belinda kindly offered to drive us anywhere we wanted to go. Our first stop was a quaint quilt shop, where I was smitten with a new line of brown and pink reproduction 1800s fabrics displayed in a vintage green hutch.


In addition to the repro fabrics, I found some gorgeous hand-dyed wool, some pink flat flower pins, and a penny rug pattern.


Our second stop was another quilt shop, where I found these goodies. It's been ages since I've cross stitched but I couldn't resist the cute Lizzie Kate snowman pattern. 


Over lunch, we enjoyed chatting over some yummy food, and afterward, Merry and I opened our gifts. Belinda surprised us with a fabulous quilted tote that she designed and made. She is a busy cross stitch designer, so I was totally shocked that she would have time to make us such a thoughtful gift. How handy will this be for carrying projects along while on the go? I love it!


And can you believe she filled the bag with goodies for us, too? Talk about being spoiled. She made the sweet floral pincushion pictured below with her Viking embroidery machine. Earlier this year, she gave us a seam ripper that lights up. It comes in so handy when I'm working in the evening. This time, she gifted us a pair of lighted scissors. Can't wait to use those. What will they think of next?!


The bag also contained another surprise—this charming book called Colliery Days by Canny Keepsakes. I knew I would like it just from the cover, which features two of my favorite things—vintage-style quilts and dolls. 


It's packed with nostalgic projects inspired by a colliery village (the authors hail from northeastern England).


Next I opened Merry's gift box filled with thoughtful surprises, including a vintage pastry cutter and pink egg coddler, French-style towels, a bag of sewing supplies, and some cute green clothespins. The black velvet piece embroidered with pansies is an antique crazy quilt remnant that she found for me. She knows I want to make a crazy quilt someday and thought it would come in handy. 


I was so touched by her other gift—this handmade friendship book filled with meaningful quotes and thoughts about what it means to be a friend. How did she know that I love LeMoyne stars?! Sometimes I think my friends know me better than family!


Merry did a beautiful job presenting the pages with a variety of patterned papers, ribbon, trim, vellum, and envelopes.


Isn't this quote about friendship so true? Love the owl patterned paper she used!


The thing is I wouldn't have needed a single gift to have enjoyed the day more. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to call these two kind-hearted souls friends. They know just how to brighten my day and they constantly inspire me with their creativity, talents, and zest for life. Thanks for the wonderful memories, my friends! Come back later this week to see what else Belinda, Merry, and I did during our fun day trip.