Needle and Thread

Something that has only happened a couple times in my life, happened this year on Christmas morning! As I opened a gift from my Mom, I burst into tears!

You see my Mom is in her mid 80’s and life has been challenging for her these past few years. She is the full-time caregiver to my Dad who has dementia. My Mom is incredibly strong and extremely dedicated to caring for my Dad’s every need. In addition to all she does around the clock for my Dad, she keeps an immaculate house and a perfectly spotless car. Did I mention I gave her a car washing kit for Christmas and she was thrilled. My Mom is kind of like Wonder Woman! However, she has very little time to do things that she loves, things such as quilting which is one of her passions.

For the past few months when I passed by her spare room, I noticed that she was working on a quilt. The back of the quilt was blue fabric covered in red and orange flowers. This quilt was very “her”. I say that because my Mom’s favorite color is blue and she lights up anytime someone gives her flowers. I know that when my Dad was able, he would give her flowers often and she always loved that. I’m sure the flowers in the fabric reminded her of all those flowers plus the beautiful ones she has growing in her garden.

Here is my Mom’s latest quilt.

Nanny’s Garden Quilt

Nanny’s Garden Quilt

Even though I saw pieces of this fabric unassembled, I had no idea that she was planning on giving me this for Christmas. So, when I opened the box and saw it, I cried.

Nanny’s Garden Quilt

Nanny’s Garden Quilt

She named this quilt Nanny’s Garden. “Nanny” is what my kids call her.

Nanny’s Garden Quilt

Nanny’s Garden Quilt

As I examine each perfect stitch, I am reminded of how lovingly she put this together during a rare break in this challenging season. I felt so incredibly blessed to receive such a special gift.

The colors of the fabric inspired me to create a card that looks like a quilt to give her to say thank you. We have the perfect new stamp set in our catalog. It’s called Needle and Thread. It is a part of our Needlepoint Nook Suite. This stamp set is one of our exclusive DistINKtive stamps! You can see below how picture perfect it stamps. Just look at the details in the stitched flowers on my card.

Needle and Thread Card

Needle and Thread Card

This set can also be purchased in a bundle with the Needlepoint Elements Framelit Dies. As you can see I used one of the dies to create the stitched rectangle blocks. I also used it on the envelope and it worked out beautifully.

Needlepoint Element Framelit

Needlepoint Element Framelit

The stitching on the envelope went through to the back side. I wish I had a picture of my Mom admiring the envelope. She ran her finger across the stitches and looked at it with a big smile on her face. It was as if she thought I stitched it by hand. We’ll I guess I kind of did stitch it myself, but by using my Big Shot of course!!

The look on my Mom’s face when she opened the card was priceless. She said, “My Quilt”. Then she told me she better not read the message inside at that time or she might cry! It was a very touching moment.

It’s hard to see in the photo but I added some small iridescent Gingham Gala Adhesive Backed Sequins from our Gingham Gala Suite.

Needle and Thread Card (close up)

Needle and Thread Card (close up)

They provided just the right amount of sparkle on this fun quilted card.


This stamp set is one I would have never purchased. However, once I saw some card samples in person, I was sold. I know a lot of friends who in addition to stamping, enjoy working with a needle and thread and they will definitely love this set!

I am not sure if I’ve ever shared this but before I was a stamper I used to enjoy Hawaiian Quilting. I made a few small pillows and I finished one that is framed and hanging on our wall. It was fun to make those quilts but it was also very time consuming. I haven’t made a quilt in 20 years. I think its because I discovered that stamping is a much faster way for me to get the satisfaction of being creative and completing something in a matter of minutes. Quilting takes patience, something I don’t have a lot of. I am, however, working on that!

My Mom’s thoughtful gift inspired me to reexamine my schedule and work a little harder at using the free time I find to create something beautiful. Whether it be with fabric or ink and paper, I’d like to give to others the way my Mom gave to me, handmade and from the heart!

A Special Gift

Although my Mom and I have very different personalities, I believe my "creative" side comes from her.  For as far back as I can remember my Mom always looks for ways to care for people in the most creative ways.  

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer my Mom was one of the first responders who ran to my house to hug me and pray for me.  Her love and encouragement continued throughout my entire journey.  I was blessed with her daily phone calls and text messages.  My Mom would often quote encouraging Bible verses to remind me that God was in control and I was not alone.  My Mom would also drop by often with food or flowers or just to check in and make sure I was okay.  I really appreciated this effort because I realize how challenging my Mom's life has become since my Dad was diagnosed with dementia.  

My Mom works around the clock to care for my Dad.  They have been best friends since they met as children at my Grandfather's church in Michigan.  My Mom helps my Dad get ready in the morning, she makes all his meals, drives him to his appointments and keeps an eye on him at all times.  The care she gives to him is really amazing and a true demonstration of how much she loves him.  Although my Dad is always smiling, he can no longer tell his wonderful stories or even carry a conversation at all.  So my Mom never hears the words "thank you" when caring for him.  In fact, we are not even sure he knows who she is anymore.  I say all this to share that my Mom is very busy because she is so dedicated to taking care of my Dad.  So when I received a special gift from her last week that she had handmade, I was amazed and blessed!

Unbeknownst to me, on the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer my Mom began to make me a quilt.   

Butterfly Kisses Quilt - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Butterfly Kisses Quilt - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The quilt which she labeled, "Butterfly Kisses" is made with colorful fabric.  If you look closely there are swirling butterflies stitched into the entire quilt.  The blue fabric has the cutest butterfly and bee pattern on it.  

I was so inspired by this quilt that I went right into my stamp room to make a coordinating card to send to my Mom to thank her.  This is what I came up with.

Garden In Bloom Thank You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Garden In Bloom Thank You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

On the inside of the card I added more Fresh Florals designer paper and a stamped bee from the Garden in Bloom stamp set.

Garden In Bloom Thank You Card (inside) - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Garden In Bloom Thank You Card (inside) - www.stampedwithaloha.com

My Mom thanked me for the card and noticed right away how it matched the quilt she gave me.  

I am very thankful that in this difficult season I was given an opportunity to have a greater awareness of how much my Mom loves and cares for me.   I am so grateful for her and the sacrifices she has made to create such a special gift.  I now have a treasured gift to remind me of her selfless love.  

We all have gifts and passions that can be used to bless others.  The key is finding the time to invest in doing them and asking God who He wants us to help today.  This quilt will forever be a reminder to me that during a challenging season someone was taking the time to think of me,   Time that I realize she had very little of, yet she found a way to create something beautiful that marked the start and end of a season that has given me a new appreciation for life as well as a greater understanding of how much I am loved.

This reminds me of the blessing of being a part of Stampin' Up!  It is what our company is all about.  This is the Stampin' Up! statement of the heart.

"To Love what we do and Share what we love, and help others enjoy Creativity and worthwhile accomplishments.  In this we make a Difference!

My prayer for you today is that you would be encouraged to share your gifts with those God brings to your heart and mind.  Keep your eyes open to the needs around you and ask God how you can bless and encourage those in need through the special gifts He has given you.  

You are unique, you are special, you are gifted.  You CAN make a difference!