Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Find #3


These “finds” actually found my daughter.  On her last day of school, she came home with this pretty little canister her teacher had made filled with thimbles and this heart warming letter:

Dear Beatrix,

First, I want to say how much I love your name.  It brings to mind Peter Rabbit and all of Beatrix Potter’s wonderful characters.  I will never forget you.  Then, I want you to know how much I have enjoyed having you in our class this year.  Listening to how much you enjoy sewing, canning and making jelly and jam with your mom is a joy to my heart.  Most children nowadays, even smaller children, are into playing with video games, are on the computer, or some your age even have phones.  Your Mommy has blessed you with the knowledge that you can use throughout your entire life, and pass onto your children and theirs.  Be sure to thank her everyday.

I am giving you a special present.  My children, and so far my grandchildren, have shown no interest in sewing or crafts, which I love and got from my Mommy; therefore, I am starting you off on your own thimble collection.  These are a few of the fun ones that I have.  I hope that you enjoy them and continue collecting your own.  I have thimbles from all over that people have gotten me on their vacations, but Mrs. O’Connor is getting older and I need to begin cleaning out my things.  It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate over the years.

I wish you a fun-filled summer with your sisters, Mommy and Daddy.  May God bless you all.

Lots of love,

Mrs. O’Connor

P.S.  I’ll be looking for “Quilts by the Cooley Girls.”  So keep on stitching!

Wow, this letter just rocked my whole world.  It got me thinking about how I started this blog a few years ago, when I was getting ready to stay home with my kids.

Three years ago, when I stopped working, I spent a few weeks looking into opening a local quilt shop near my house.  I would have named it The Busy Bee Quilt Shop after my daughter Bea.  I was utterly aghast at the price of rent (and the as the renter I’d have to pay to put flooring, light fixtures, toilets, etc. in), the cost to have a contract with Bernina to sell their machines, and overall how expensive and risky it is to open a small business.   I had enough money saved in my retirement to open a store and pay the bills for eight months.  At the time I had only two children, and now I have another, and I didn’t want to risk all my life savings.  So, I just stayed home instead.  We could live on one income comfortably and safely.

After Bea received this letter, it got me thinking about how it would be the most AWESOME thing in the world to have that shop.  I kind of imagine it being like Dakota and her mom in the “Friday Night Knitting Club” book series, except hopefully I don’t die.  I’d love to have my kids get off the bus at the shop and help me in the evenings.  They can learn to count money and be friendly and have a good work ethic.

So, I still want to do it.  I am going to spend this year living thriftily and simply.  Maybe next year too. 

This year, to celebrate my new commitment to making my dream come true, I am going to be sewing exclusively from my stash and I’m just going to pare down my life.  Like Mrs. O’Connor said, you can really accumulate a lot of stuff.  I have too much.   On August 1st I’m going to kick off my year with a challenge and giveaway.   So stay tuned!

Here are a few of my favorite thimbles from Bea’s collection.


A chicken, an owl, a rabbit with a carrot (don’t worry, his ears aren’t broken off, they are just flattened on the back of his head), a castle on a craggy rock, and another owl.  I love owls!!!

And my friend just returned from a European vacation and brought Bea another owl from Athens, Greece. 


Now we need to find some way to display these on the wall.  I am thinking maybe I’ll find something at Salvation Army one of these days kind of like this typesetter’s drawer I found and use to store my thread.

Here’s a quilt I made when Bea was three (she is six now) and never quilted.  The top has been sitting in my bedroom for four years.


Luckily I made it so big back then that it will still fit her now!  I used spray basting and did not put any batting in it since the top and back are flannel.   My stash challenge goal is to get this quilt done.

Have a great weekend!


  1. That letter is a treasure! What a teacher. Good luck with your dream! Life is to short not to live it.

  2. I think this post is one of the most moving ones I have read in a long time. How fantastic that this teacher really knows your daughter and has seen the love and care you have put into parenting her. Those thimbles will be special for a long time to come for a variety of reasons I think.

    I loved that book - and can see you in the future with your upstairs shop and it being run as a family enterprise, open to all who come along.

    We live a simple life, partly through choice and partly through circumstance and I hope that the way I parent my children will in time give them the same grounding that you have clearly done.


  3. What an awesome teacher! That letter is a treasure, even more than the thimbles. The teacher I remember most from all my school years, is one who reached out to me on a personal level one day. It made a huge impact. Enjoy shopping your stash!

  4. I just read this post today. I wish you the very best for your dream to come true! I´ve played with this idea as well but not seriously because sadly quilting is not a big thing here and the truth is I enjoy this legal eagle business too. ;-)

  5. Very cool story and I know your daughter, Bea will always remember teacher fondly. Such beautiful thimbles to be gifted!

    It is a challenge to use ONLY your stash---best of luck to you!! What a terrific dream to open a quilt shop too!


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