Sunday, 8 October 2017

SURPRISE for Sarah

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Some of you may have noticed that I have been a little quiet on Social media lately, 

well there are 2 reasons for that...
first reason I had a a very special quilt that I was asked to help with  the making of it for a very special lady and second I was going away for a 4 day retreat that I had to get ready for...but that is for a later blog entry..

Here is a little history about how and why we ended up making this wonderful gift for Sarah. 

A couple years back the Crafty Gemini put up a notice, that she 
was starting up a Online Quilt Club. 
When I first seen it I sort of skimmed over it, but then I thought it would be a great way 
to meet like minded people from all over world.
Even better Vanessa Vargas Wilson (aka Crafty Gemini)
was offering an Early Bird special. 
So I thought why the heck not join....Really I had nothing to loose.

Little did I know that was going to be one of the best decisions I have 
ever made about something online...

Not only did we get awesome Crafty Gemini Content 
as I expected nothing less, but I started to meet some of 
the amazingly talented women, 
but they were so Kind and generous with 
their time and comments, in the Facebook Group, 

During Live Studio Cams some of the ladies were just a hoot and the 
conversation flowed very easy, 
it was like we had all known each other for years...
and Vanessa was responsible for all of us finding each other....

Over the next 2 yrs a lot of the ladies have met each other in person at retreats and 
 but for us here Australia we had to watch from afar, but not once did I feel 
left out...They have included me into their lives and into their adventures along the 
way...Kimberly and her Best friend Tracey were on a mission to Do a Row By Row quilt 
the photographed their journey and shared it with us...and on most days it felt like I was right there with them, we also had swaps going and I was lucky enough to get to know my swap partners along the way from all over the world it was so much fun, 
And Sarah has always been there Cheering Everyone on...Never leaving anyone out 
not once, She has been there in During Celebrations, births, deaths and so much more 
Just to remind us, not matter what is happening she has our backs 
and sending us love no matter where we are in this big wide world.....

but sadly the day came that we knew would happen one day, As we had been watching Vanessa and her family business grow,
 I think some of us just knew this day was closer than 
expected...while others of us were shocked and a little upset, for the most part we were all very excited for her to be moving onto the next venture, and that was the  Video Bag of the Month Club (which I joined too) twice and now the Wallet of the Month Club 
you can find the link and info Here

The one thing that concerned us all and was a common question 
What about the Group???? 
Will it stay????
are we going to loose contact with everyone???
and there were many more...

The answer in Short was NO!!!
Lucky for us Vanessa could see the wonderful 
community that we have all built together
whew!!!! thank goodness for that 

So moving forward to this year, 
it took a little while for the shock to ware off 
and the group just didn't seem as active, although there was still people sharing 
but it was lacking there for sometime...I just think a lot of us were a little lost.....
 then something amazing happened, 

we started to interact again, some more than others 
and a couple just fell way altogether, we wanted to share again, to feel that connection....
 but not Sarah she was there 
still commentating and trying to encourage us all to be active 
assuring us we were on a good thing with this group 
of amazing people...

Sarah and Andra (BFF's) were not going to let that happened, 
so they had been talking to each other and coming up with some 
great ways to get the group moving again....
we have now started Show'n'Tell Mondays 
and I can tell you this goes off...and we have a lot of fun with it 
Show'n'Tell is where we have a topic and we share what we think 
or tell what we are up to, 
and I have been lucky enough to be the one to post first as I 
am at Monday before our USA friends, I started with just 
putting a few words, then I decied to do Videos instead 
and they have been a hit, and then others started to 
comment more and then some were starting to put pics 
and some have even done a few videos too, 

Our little community started to come alive once again YaY 
all the while Sarah's life was changing, her little family decided that it 
was time for them to move from their long term family home in California to Virginia to be closer to their daughter ......we were all there cheering her on, 
as she has been our biggest cheerleader for most of us if not all us, over the last 2.5yrs...

we watch as she packed up her life as she knew it...and as move to the other side 
of her country....

so the move was done and we were now sharing with Sarah her settling into her new home...
then the day came, Laura sent a message to Myself and Andra asking if we would 
be able to help make a Quilt for Sarah as a Housewarming gift. 
And if we thought it was a good idea...
we well I can assure you, we didn't have to think about it too long....
We were very excited about this and said yes we would help..

But How....How would we do this, so she would not find out 

so after some thought we decided on being really sneaky and creating a Secret Group on Facebook so Sarah would not find out.
we started to add people people that we had on our friends lists and adding a few more to our personal timelines so we could add them to the group...
 and everyone had a choice to say Yes or No as it was totally voluntary, as it summer break we knew that not all would be able to participate, but everyone had a choice  ...
the window for sign up was open for a week...once the time frame lapsed we took out the 
people that couldn't be a part of it for what ever reason.....
then we come the instructions on the block size also the how and what were we going to do and we justran from there....
Everyone got to make what ever block they wanted :) :) 
Blocks were 9" finished...but above all have fun 
while making your block...we are looking for blocks made 
with love and we are not looking for perfection....
Love and Fun what better ingredients are there in a Quilt 

so Slowly the blocks started to come in from all around the world.
We ended up have 57 of us participating
and as all of had got to know Sarah pretty well over the last couple years..... we knew what she liked. 
After all the blocks arrived we worked out the quilt 
was going to be a huge 96 x 106 inches. WOW was the first thing that came to mind
but Fitting for someone that has been such a big part of our Online lives. 

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Just some of the Blocks from the Quilt 

we also had to find out favorite colour and what sort of quilting she might 
like as we wanted to love her Quilt and use feel the love from 
each and everyone of us.... So I started putting up sneaky Polls on the Crafty Gemini Quilt club group to get the answers...Yes I know Sneaky Sneaky, but hey a Quilty Girls gotta
do what she has to do to get the Job right ....

All the blocks were in and it was time to start to put the quilt together, 
so slowly each night for 2 weeks I worked on the quilt until 
it was time to load into the machine and start quilting, 
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some of the row being pieced...

I found the perfect backing and binding to go with the Quilt 
there was lot of discussion in the group about what were doing...I was posting 
each and every step so everyone could be a part of the process, 
patterns were picked and cotton was selected and the Sampler Quilt 
started to take shape...we were all getting very excited, Some of us 
were extremely excited, I loved the feeling that this group 
was putting out there....

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The tape measures for the backing and the cross stitch for Binding :) 

The Rows were finally done and it was time to load up the quilt ready for Quilting 
we had picked the pattern and the cotton we were going to use...
and I must say both were very fitting for the you can see there was many, many colours in this Quilt...So a variegated Thread was in order...I decided on a pastel colour thread as I didn't want to take away from the blocks in the quilt.... 

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This is the pattern and thread we used for the Quilt 
then came the day, It was time pack the Quilt up for shipping, so I packaged the quilt up 
and sent it Directly to Sarah and we also got express post so she would 
get it in 4 days from Australia instead of 14 days...can you tell we were very excited 
lol...Honestly we were like kids in a candy store LOL...

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we even had a label for the quilt :) 

We had decided that we wanted Sarah to record herself opening up the quilt, so I made a lace 
embroidered Envelope that had OPEN FIRST on it (see pictures below)....and I stuck that to the top of the parcel....
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So off the Quilt went and we all sat on the edge of our seats staring at our Devices/laptops 
waiting and waiting, then the unthinkable happened, they tried to deliver 
the parcel and Sarah was not home

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 as this was a surprise we couldn't exactly say you need to stay home and now we had to wait for Sarah to organised another delivery time or go and pick up the parcel herself...I can tell you it I could here the collective Sigh from here...and the group almost went into melt down with GIF's and Comments LOL....
you will have to take my word for was so funny to read all the 

more than once we felt like this LOL

so after days and hours and seconds of waiting we had to wait some 
more...well I can tell you Sarah took her time the end I got Andra to say that it was the candy that I was sending to her so she really needed to go and pick it up...we were all dying a little on the inside waiting LOL...So what was supposed to be 4 days turned into 7 days LOL...and I was away when the day finally come and she posted up the Video of her opening it....( I won't be sharing the Video here as it is private) but I can tell you Sarah was blown away to say the least and very much rendered you can see from this screen shot from the recording :) 

this picture sums it up really :) 

We have since added Sarah to the Secret Group so she could read all about the 
history of her took a couple days to hear from Sarah as she took it all in...
Sarah has since put up an Thank you to all of us...But my thoughts are No Thanks is Necessary as it was an Honor and a privilege to be a part of something so wonderful 
for such a genuine loving person...

So why am I Blogging about this...
well the answer is simple....
The world has not been a nice place of lately, and I wanted to share this 
with you if you are feeling like love is Dying 
then you can rest assure that it is not.... 
I have found my Tribe and we are hell bent on 
making the world a better place, with one small gesture at 
a time ") 

So if you ever get asked to help with making a Quilt for someone 
in a pay it forward kind of way or maybe you want to start your own group and make quilts for the someone special...or maybe do some charity work of any kind....Then Do it...even if you are just 
making a Block, or even donating your time...or just having a coffee with that someone special.....
it is a wonderful way to share our skills and help others 
and you just don't know how you are going to impact someones life 
it could just be what they needed...

And For Sarah it has been a life changing event 
for she is always the one to be there for others...and 57 of us Turned the tables
on her....We love you Sarah and we all hope you get many many years of Enjoyment 
from your quilt :) :)

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Till Next Time 
Happy Quilting N ") 


  1. What a lovely story! Nice to hear in this world at the moment.

  2. Nicole - you were such a generous part of this surprise. Thank you for your videos and for your love across the miles. I am so lucky to count you as a friend. Mary Kowalski

  3. I'm so jealous that you've found such a beautiful, loving tribe.. not that I don't want you to have one, but I'd love to have one like it! You girls are just lovely to each other! I can't wait to get to know the ones in the 100 block group! You did an amazing job (as usual) on Sarah's quilt

  4. Nicole, even though I was a part of this reading your thoughts in this blog has me crying again as I relived the events. Getting to know you and the other amazing women in our group has been so rewarding for me. Thank you for all the work you did to make this come true not only for Sarah but for the rest of us also. Can't wait to meet you in person. You're a wonderful and kind person. I'm honored to get to call you my friend. Ronnie

  5. Great blog post Nicole. It brought back the memory of all the fun we had doing Sarah's quilt and how it all turned out so amazingly. You were particularly generous and put so much time and work into it you deserve a very big thank you. You have a beautiful spirit ❤️