Friday, October 12, 2012


In 2011 when Amanda Jean invited me to a quilting retreat in Minnesota with 11 other women, I had some conflicting emotions: thrilled to be invited, coupled with anxiety at spending all that money to fly to Minnesota to spend a weekend with women I had never met before--so out of the box for an introvert like me.

It was the best investment in time and money I could have made. These are amazing and talented women.
 2011: back row--Doris, Michelle, Rene', Terri, Amanda Jean, Mary, me, Stephanie
front row--Toni, Shelly (who couldn't attend this year--hope they are back in 2013)

Michelle and Rene'  grew up with their mother giving little gifts called "happies," just a little something given for no real reason other than to make someone else happy.

Terri suggested that we do a little secret "happy" swap. We exchanged names and started planning.

All the happiness has been completed--projects sent and projects received--and this week we are sharing the joy.

I was so excited to get Michelle's name. After all, she is one of the "happy" originators! I chose a project from Amanda Jean's book, and made her a little selvage bucket. I hadn't worked with selvages for awhile, and this just served to rekindle my happiness in working with these little scraps.
In fact, I was having so much fun, that I also made her a pincushion.
Doris had my name and I received the most amazing sewing kit. Little pockets for all my supplies.
And a most awesome pincushion, just the perfect size.
She included a handmade card, which will be happy living in my sewing room, a daily reminder of our friendship.
Doris even went out on a limb and used some selvages. Thanks, Doris--it was the perfect touch.

If it were not for quilting blogs, I would not have met these women. They touch my life and make me simply happy.


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OPQuilt said... #

I like the camaraderie I've found on blogs, too. And you're one of them! Fun to get treasures in the mail. Fabulous, just oh-so fabulous.


Amy Friend said... #

How wonderful!

Doris said... #

Your welcome, Cindy... as you know, this group idea was totally out of the box for me too, and that first retreat was one time I am eternally grateful for not politely declining to avoid the discomfort or anxiety!!!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said... #

Wonderful HAPPY for Michelle and yours from Doris is so special. We are all so lucky - bi-annual retreat - in CA or FL in Jan.???

Carla said... #

Fun! I would love to go on a retreat, but I snore......( according to my husband

Susan said... #

What a wonderful addition to your sewing experience! Love the sweet little 'happies'!!!

Foolish Feathers said... #

Thanks so much for sharing! I have made some dear friends in the quilting blog world so I understand!

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

Stitching is good! Simple as that x

Kim said... #

I had the same thing happen to me, invited to a retreat with women I never's been so fun and I made some great new friends.
Sometimes you just have to take that first step to open up
new friendships.

Happy Sewing, thanks for sharing the lovely little exchange happies.

Toni said... #

I love the idea of "happies"! Glad you made such wonderful connections with these ladies!

Rene' said... #

Love what you made for Michelle! She was nice enough to text me pictures right away;-). Those Michelle selvages are brilliant. How nice for Doris to include selvages on your gift as well. Love the entire sewing kit with pincushion idea. I'm with Mary.....Florida in January?

Terriaw said... #

Beautiful gifts, made by you and your partner. That sewing kit is going to come is so handy. Lucky gals!

CitricSugar said... #

I've been adding a lot of these women to my blogroll and reader over the years (three now?) and I definitely admire the entire group. I kinda think it's awesome the way our crafty-blogging community looks after each other and forms true friendships… I love it.

M-R Charbonneau said... #

Lovely gifts, Cindy! I love that you put Michelle's name in the pincushion -- so fun!

Cindy Sharp said... #

Looks like a lot of fun.

Kim P. said... #

I am so happy for you that you found a group of women with joy in their hearts and plenty to share. I love the selvage bucket you made your partner. I'm sure Michelle loved it. There is nothing better than receiving a gift that you know was made especially for you. It's pure joy that someone cared.

FlourishingPalms said... #

It's so darned cool how you all met and now are continuing your friendships. That Doris is SO darned talented. You are fortunate that she had your name; her work is fabulous. It's so neat to hear about wonderful swaps such as yours. We should all be so lucky.

Mama Pea said... #

I love that you gave that selvage bucket to Michelle! And the pincushion! To die for! I know she must have loved it.

And I love what Doris did for you! Her use of selvages shows how well she knows you!

Katy Cameron said... #

Fun happiness :o)