Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friends indeed

Most of us have different friends for different parts of our lives. I have a good friend who has many friends and one day I commented to her that she has someone to do something with no matter what she is going to do.  Concert? She knows someone who loves them.  Antique  shop hopping?
She has someone who loves to do that.  Going for a walk on a nature trail?  She has a walking friend. Berry picking?  There's a friend for that. I always envied that in her. Her friends weren't upset if they weren't asked to go along on a certain excursion. She just knew walking friend couldn't sit still for a concert and walking friend knew it, too. I was her "living across the street keeping an eye on her (because she's 20 years older than me) and getting her into trouble friend."  Then we moved. I miss the everyday-ness of her.

Making new friends can be hard.  Starting over IS hard. But sometimes you luck out. Sometimes you make casual connections that take root and grow because you have something in common.

Like quilting.  These are my quilting friends.  The happenstance of our meeting is varied and grew in strange ways.  But now they are just in the column marked FRIEND, with no disclaimer of being a quilter or a berry picker or reader or anything else.

Last year I asked if anyone was interested in doing a round robin quilt project with a group of women in Germany.  I have a quilting friend, Elke, in Germany.  We were first connected in a strange way but we've been corresponding for a few years.  I asked if she would consider gathering seven friends and doing a round robin with seven of my friends.  They agreed and we were off and running.

Last January we mailed to each other a box with 8 quilt squares measuring 12.5 inches.  It didn't matter that they measure in centimeters and we in inches.  The squares were just measured and we worked from there. No problem. Quilters know how to do anything!

On our side, when the box from Germany arrived, Friend Marilyn and little Adelaide and I drew names and distributed a center to a waiting quilter.  We divided into two groups of four or the end quilt would be huge and the center medallion lost in the 8 borders. So each 12.5 inch square has four borders.  We had a list of who to send to after each of us finished our round.  We had 6 week deadlines to keep things moving.

And now we are finished!  Last night we wrapped it up with a dinner, a reveal of our work and a toast to an amazing experience.  What fun!  I am completely amazed at what was done to each quilt and you will be, too, once I show them to you.  I can't do that till they've been returned to the quilters in Germany.  It wouldn't be fair for them to see their surprises online.

In the meantime, I'd like to introduce you to my quilting friends.  I shouldn't say that.  They are in the FRIEND column.   Unfortunately, one of them couldn't be with us last night.  Janet is vacationing, but no less a part of us.

 This is Sally.  I've shown you her work before.  She does impeccable work and loves doing the teensy weensy piecing.  Sally stepped in when we lost Karen to cancer at the very beginning of this project. We all would have stepped up and taken over for Karen's rounds, but we were delighted Sally joined us.  Friend Marilyn and I met Sally about 15 years ago at a quilt retreat.
 This is Ines.  She is from Peru and does beautiful colorful work. Ines is part of our retreat in the fall.
 This is Friend Marilyn.  My daughter is married to her son and we became friends at first because of the kids then just on our own ever since my daughter was 14.  That makes.....24 years!  Whoa! Doing the math is always scary!
 This is Barb.  I know I've shown you her work before.  She's an incredibly talented artist.  And very funny.
 This is Dodie.  She is a friend/neighbor but for six months she lives in Florida. She doesn't do snow.  Dodie loves the modern quilt and does intricate little pieces I don't have the patience for.  Thank goodness she does!  I love seeing her creations. And I love when it's spring and she and Bob come back from Florida.
 This is Jan.  She is my niece's mother-in-law.  She does beautiful work, she loves applique and embroidery and the things she did to her rounds for these quilts always blew me away.  She notices things.  She will see a detail no one else did. She always went the extra mile.
And me. 

See what I mean?  We all met in varied ways but managed to connect through needles and threads and scraps of fabric.  Last night was the first time Dodie and Jan met the rest of the group, and the first time in this project we were all together. I'm very lucky to have met these women and connected with them.
 After show and tell and exclamations and congratulations and explanations of our decisions on our borders, we toasted the project and Elke and her friends.
 I made a paella for dinner
with homemade blueberry ice cream for dessert.

Thanks again, friends indeed.


  1. I have lots of different friends in different areas.................some people have one bestie..............thats never been me...........can't wait to see what you made for your new german friends....................

  2. How fantastic. Love this post. Great seeing all your new friends. I hope you'll still be our quilting friend too. Aren't quilters wonderful!!!

  3. I LOVE all your photos--just got caught up on your recent few blog posts. You capture the moments so well :) This post is such a cool snapshot of how women connect. Love it!

  4. Such fun doing the round robin....even if it was against my will! Cannot wait to hear what our German quilter friends think of their quilts!

  5. There were moments I asked myself why I got myself into this round robin business....but they were fleeting. Either I was stressed or creatively stumped what to do. Now that we are done, I'm so very glad I stuck it out. And like Sally, can't wait to see what they did to our blocks, and hope they love what we did for them. And yes, quilters make wonderful friends! Jan and Dodie, so very nice to finally meet you and Denice, thanks for inviting me to join in!