Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year Blessing!

Here in DillyDallydom, 2014 could not have had a more wonderful beginning!  I know that I am a bit late in sharing my joy … but when you get to the end of this post … I think you'll understand why!
Last September QBee Sara, our guild president, organized the first ever "Secret Santa" event!  Eight members participated by putting fabric odds and ends into a bag … we all picked from those bags … having no idea what we would find inside!  Our task was to make something from the fabrics in the bag and our stash.  We were to gift the recipient with a finished project at our monthly Time to Sew event the last Saturday in December.  I know!  What fun!  Guild post is here.
Here are the fabrics from my "grab" bag.  And guess who it belonged to?  My next door neighbor!  Can it get any more fun?  Very traditional … with a neutral … so many possibilities!
Every time I thought I had a plan … a dillydally wind would blow in and carry me in another direction. I was running out of time and finally decided to use a paper piecing pattern for this humming bird block … and I was hooked.
I pieced as many blocks as the background fabric allowed, for a total of nine 4" blocks.  I added fabrics that blended in … yet expanded the color palette.  
There wasn't enough fabric from the grab bag for the border, so I dug deep in my stash and found a green print that was about 30 years old!  Yep … I have been hoarding collecting for some time … and moments like this help me feel justified in doing so! ;-)  No guilt about such things here in DillyDallydom!
Here it is finished!  Of course the entire process was supervised by Flicka … and it received her final approval!
QBee Neighbor seemed pleased with the result.  I found out that she had gotten the fabrics from her mother's stash … that was heartwarming to know … her mother is a very accomplished quilter!  I'm happy I went with a traditional design.  Making and giving something to a friend is a great way to begin the new year!  Little did I know it was about to get even better!

In my grab bag, I had placed a half-yard pack that I had purchased while traveling … who knows when or where!  Yep … that is the dillydally way!
And look at how my "Secret Santa" used her talent to transform them into this beautiful blanket!  I was speechless.  I got choked up.  I was stunned.  I went weak in the knees.
She sandwiched the blocks together and turned them right side out.  She did a blanket stitch by hand around each square.  Then she crocheted two rows of "granny stitch" around each square.  And last, crocheted the squares together.
This QBee is a young wife and mother … she leads a very productive and busy life.  She even worked on this while vacationing on the beaches of Hawaii!  In order to complete this project she had to learn how to crochet … yep, this is her first crochet project.  Tucked inside the blanket was the most touching note … each time I read it … I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude.  To go to such effort on my behalf … I am humbled.
This is my favorite (recent) picture of her … at our 2013 Spring Retreat!  It has been such a joy to watch her grow into the wonderful woman she is today.  I've known her for most of her life … she was a student in my classroom … now I consider her a friend.  She inspires me … she encourages me … she helps me believe in myself.  She is a blessing … not only in my life, but also in the lives of others … my heart runs over.

Do what you love.  Be a blessing.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally


  1. What a great exchange idea! Your gifts, both given and received, are wonderful!

  2. Your secret Santa was very creative! Awesome quilt idea!

  3. I love, love, love the project you completed for your neighbor. Knowing the fabrics belonged to her Mother and then adding your 30 year old fabric just makes it that more special. I love the pattern you chose and may have to try paper piecing. Your 'secret Santa' gift is totally amazing. I applaud her efforts, because I have tried for years to crochet and have given up. I always say it's because I learned to knit first. Happy New Year Mrs. DillyDally! And Flicka too!

  4. What a touching post! and I loved the idea of the Secret Santa bags. A whole year to work on a project and think of that quilting friend!!......She knows you well....Happy New Year!