My friend Barb's birthday is in early February and this year I did not have any wonderful ideas for her gift. At that time our Guild was hand-quilting a Raffle Quilt, which was set up in a frame in my living room. Barb came several times to hand quilt on it, hoping to get some help/instruction/advice from more experienced hand quilters. Both times when she came, due to poor weather and other reasons, no one else showed up and it was just the two of us. Since I have little experience, I wasn't much help to her.
It was at that time that I came up with an idea for her birthday gift. I would "hire" Trudy, another Guild member and a beautiful hand-quilter, to give the two of us a private lesson. Barb thought this was a great idea and we both were looking forward to it. Then Trudy had a fall and did serious damage to her shoulder... Months of little movement, and rehab therapy followed... Long story short, we just had our private lesson today, six and a half months later. It was wonderful!! We both think we now have the idea and with some practice (OK, maybe LOTS of practice), we'll have decent looking small even stitches. Having individual attention and someone showing you exactly how to hold the needle, how to insert the needle vertically, and how to use the underneath finger and the top thumb to make the ""hill"...makes all the difference. It seems so much easier now! Each of my stitches now go through all three layers - a problem we were both having before, not always catching the backing fabric... It's really not all that hard, once you know how to do it correctly!!
It was pouring rain this morning, so it was the perfect day to be indoors, with two friends, quilting!! We teased Barb telling her it was her "Birthday and a Half".... we didn't sing Happy Birthday, but we did enjoy a lovely lunch after our lesson. I didn't take any photos, but perhaps I'll share one of my block, once I finish the quilting. I must say, it doesn't look too bad at this point ( it's a feathered heart).
So, next time you are struggling for a birthday gift idea for a friend, consider giving your friend a "lesson"... in whatever.. a shared activity is always fun...
Friends fill your life with joy, your soul with sunshine and your heart with love.