After a little bit of discussion regarding colors, style and details, I sent her a sketch and some fabric photos. I then moved forward with the project. Here are my original sketch and a few progress photos.
And here is the final artwork (unfortunately photographed at night by the light of my craft lamp!). The "40" embroidered in the leaf below the birds represents the 40 years together. The "J + J" embroidered on the tree are their initials, as if they were carved on the trunk.
Alli said her parents loved it. I'm so glad!!