It's so true ... stitchers (and knitters) are truly the very best kind of friends to have.
I've been sitting on this post for 2 weeks because I haven't wanted to share the loveliness and warm fuzzies. I wanted to keep them all to myself! But after a little bit of hogging the love, I just have to share the awesomeness.
Over the past 3 years as my grad school friends finished up and graduated, I would stitch them something to mark the momentous occasion of finishing a PhD. A few people got designs that were specific to them (my friend Jordana, who loves all things white, got a big hardanger piece), but the majority got a personalized version of Metamorphosis by Ink Circles.
I carefully chose fabric and thread that would appeal to each recipient. And the design itself, well, it symbolized the journey and the change that occurs when you work on an all-consuming project for years. I stitched this 4 times! While I was sick of stitching the same pattern, there was love in every stitch. I was very proud of my friends.
I finally finished my PhD in August and good wishes were sent by all. A few weeks later and I was back in the thick of things at work and when friends suggested a stitch night ... I was ecstatic. It would be just what I needed. I arrived at stitchy night and saw all sorts of cars in the driveway. I'm usually the first one to arrive, but I guess I was late that day.
I walked into my friend's house, into the dining room and everyone yelled "SURPRISE!" Aww shucks ... my very first surprise party ever! Hugs and congratulations all around, and then they presented me with a card and gift. I opened the card and it was one of those musical ones, but this one just had cheers and applause! I had to laugh; it was perfect.
Then the gift -- the moment I saw it I had an idea of what it was, but I couldn't believe they'd done it. Metamorphosis in a gorgeous purple gradient (one of my most favourite colours). Each element was stitched by a different person and they'd had it beautifully framed for me. I cried. I was so touched and overwhelmed that my friends, knowing what that design meant to me, went to so much trouble (and secrecy) to make me something so beautiful and special. I felt so loved.
It is, without a doubt, one of my most treasured possessions, and it will one day grace the wall of my office when I become a university professor. For now, it'll hang on my wall at home and remind me how much I am loved.
I feel like today is the perfect time to share this because today I walk across the stage and receive my degree. I will be, finally and officially, a doctor. I can't thank my friends enough for being my cheering squad and support system. Love you all.