My goodness, the anticipation has been killing me! I received a package from my good friend, Cathy, back on August 14th and she told me that I couldn't open it until today.
I'm part of an amazing online quilt group and this month we're celebrating our 5th anniversary together. Wow! Has it only been five years? It seems like we've been friends forever. Over the years I've had the good fortune of meeting many of my online friends at retreats in MN and last fall I hosted a small retreat here in Happy Valley which seven from the group attended. One kind friend from our group invited me into her home last year so that we could do a shop hop in her area. We hit every store on the list and then some! Next month I'll be visiting (intruding on?) another friend and her family in their home in New Brunswick, Canada. Lucky, lucky me!
I never could have imagined five years ago what a difference these friends would make in my life. We've gone through a lot of ups and downs together. Isn't it amazing what a support an online group of friends can be? We've also lost a dear friend to cancer and shared in the heartache. Diane still continues to touch our lives years later. I'll always be grateful for the life long friendships that come from being a part of such a wonderful group.
Now, back to the package...
We all know that quilters LOVE to celebrate anything and everything by sending each other gifts. This gift exchange was an organized swap that included 29 participants and Cathy was the hostess. An top notch hostess, I might add!
This is my first peek into the package.These are some of the things that I sent to my special friend, Ellen. The tote is one of the first bags that made. I've been dying to post a picture, but I wasn't sure if Ellen might see it. I also machine appliqued the pumpkin onto the towel and those are lavender eye pillows in the bag on the left that I made for Ellen and her mother (who lives with her). My "gold" item was a Utah honey bear. Yum!
Out of the box. Don't you just love the Thimbleberries wrapping paper?
All boxed up in a Sterilite container. It'll stack with the two matching boxes that I already in my sewing room. I currently store 2" squares in the boxes that I have.
Off comes the lid.
Oh, my! Those things that aren't wrapped in paper are wrapped with Thimbleberries fabric!
Look! Look what I got!!! That Cathy, she never forgets a thing! Look at that candle mat...Cathy knows that I collect things with oak leaves and acorns...goes along with my last name. Also in the package is a packge of Thimbleberries note cards, an Ohio postcard (Cathy is from Ohio) that has a Buckeye candy recipe on front (looks easy enough for me to make), a kitty cat note pad, a bottle of Fray Check (nice...I can't find the one I had), a "match book" of emery boards, a glue stick, a fruity measuring tape, a watermelon heart pin that was attached to one of the packages, a package of "betweens" needles, a gold pen with an angel attached at the top (one gold item was a requirement for the swap), Burt's Bees lip balm and hand salve and a small container with little charms that read "hand made with love" (how cute are those?!). The cute little card has wildflower seed imbedded in the red paper. It can be "planted" in the soil. That'll be fun next spring! I almost forgot to mention that all of the wide "ribbons" are 2.5" worms that I can add to my collection.
Take a closer look at this candle mat. I've got to ask Cathy if she did this on her embroidery machine. This beauty already has a special spot on my kitchen table! My family will love it!