Friday, April 27, 2007

Friends: A Quilter's Rose Garden

Close friends. Friends that you trust implicity. Friends that you know will not desert you when life hits the occasional rough spot. Friends who fuel your desire to become a better person - a better artist. How many friends like this do you have? I have had relatively few close friends in my life - but those that I have- I cherish. I have many "little" friends and many more acquaintances. "Little" friends are people with whom I might be able to become close friends - but close friendships take time & work, care and nourishing. The older I get the less time I seem to have and the more precious those few close friends become.

My longest running friendship is with Maria. She is the pretty one with the long hair in the top photo! She and I were kind of 'joined at the hip' when we were young. We were a good team then & we called ourselves "Me & Z". Maria was a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City - and I had been WOWED by the Amish Quilts exhibit at the Whitney Museum . We had fun sewing together - both of us using relatively basic old machines - that seemed perfectly wonderful to us. As the years intevened we lost touch. I pursued a career while Maria raised four of the finest young women I have ever met. One day in late 2002 I received a letter - the handwriting was so familiar.....the return address was not. I opened the letter and started to cry - it was from Maria - she had cicumvented what she knew would always be my desire for privacy and had hired a company to "find" me. She said, in the letter, that she did not want to grow any older without knowing what had become of me. I called the number that she had given and when she got on the phone the years melted away. To make a relatively long & joyful story shorter - it turns out that she had moved West at about the same time I had - we lived not that far apart! We see each other regularly (though not often enough!) now, and talk almost as much as we did when we were young. Our friendship is as strong and vital as it was before - as if we had never been separated. Maria has blessed my life and has completed a circle in my heart that had been empty for too long.

(Lauren is more camera shy than I am - so no current photos-
take my word for though - she is beautiful!)
Lauren is next in my friendship circle - though "next" is relative - it's been almost 20 years. She has lifted my spirits in the hardest of times and laughed with me until we have cried in the good times. We know each other's "skeletons" - and they are safely held. Strong binds of trust that won't change with time. Lauren is the person who really put me back on the quilting trail. I had started making quilts in 1976 with Maria, but had gone on "hiatus" when chasing the tail of my career. Lauren encouraged my to take up needle & thread again. She too is a quilter - and although she does not see it - her quilts are works of art. She drove me to become better and kept me on track until the track became a well worn pathway. Ours paths have changed over the years. Quilting is my passion and my focus. Lauren has become a horsewoman and garden steward par excellence. We still learn from each other and we still encourage each other. One thing I know - is that our paths will always be connected and the path to each other's heart will always be a safe one.

Sarah ! Ah Sarah! She is my "every ready bunny" friend. She is a constant wonder to me. She has more talent than Croesus had gold, combined with drive, ambition, determination and focus - oh and did I mention energy?! I could say that she has more energy than I do because she is younger - but that's not true - she will probably have as much energy at 85 as she did at 45 ! I am so jealous of that kind of energy ! I want some ! I would not be half the quilter I am without Sarah. We dyed bolts of fabric together (she is blues & magenta while I am orange & yellow), we went to classes together & traveled to quilt shops and shows - we lived for sewing I think (well - she has two wonderful boys and a nifty husband too!). I was sad and felt so lonely when she moved to Maine. Maine is a lucky state now - but I am richer for her having lived here. She is still my "motivational coach" - pushing me to become more of what I am. Look for her inspirational work at or read her fun blog at

Ingrid - she is a kindred spirit. Mother to a phenomenal young lady named Isabel. Ingrid makes being a single mother seem easy somehow - but I know it isn't really. Ingrid is style (I am the lucky recipient of her fabulous hand me downs), wit, intelligence, talent and class. She is also almost a "Master" - of some collegiate endeavor that has to do with the law - some long, impressive sounding title. She has struggled to finish this course of study and I am so proud that she is about "there". Life has not been a bed of roses for Ingrid Rose but she has managed to turn hard lessons into positive investments in her future. I don't get to see Ingrid too often - yet I still feel that we are close friends - and always will be - we share philosophy and laughter.
Ingrid is a phenomenal writer and I want to see her syndicated ! For pure enjoyment read the her column , "Notes to Myself" that she writes for our local on line news provider. Go to - you won't regret the time !

I can count on a few others for honesty, care & encouragement - most notable my freind Janet - a dedicated teacher and quilt artist. She keeps me on track since I tend to forget emails and class dates at times ! My friends at work offer me shoulders to lean on & lots of laughter on the most difficult of work days. I could ask a favor of them and know that they would do their best to come through.

Best friend though - that I would trust with my life's secrets as well as my life ? My husband. Of course we have our "moments" - like everyone does - but those moments generally pass quickly. Honor? I respect his integrity more than anyone I have ever known. He walks his talk - you have to respect that in someone (some may occasionally call this stubborn!)

What more can you ask for in life than to have the love and respect of a handful of friends and a husband that will foster your dreams, propel your towards your future and be there with you - for better or for worse ? See - you really can find a rose garden through quilting !

1 comment:

Sarah Ann Smith said...

I love you too! HUGS even from far away, Sarahbee

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