Happy New Year to you!!!
Being the first post of 2015, I am looking back on the year and counting my blessings.
Once upon a time, when I was young(er) and crazier, I exclaimed aloud - "It would be fantastic to have a boyfriend in every US state." I was joking. Boyfriends, love interests, husbands etc. are good only when they are singular and even then in small doses. Friends, on the other hand, you cannot have too many. In fact, it would be wonderful to have a quilty friend in each of the 50 states!!!
1. Jen - I met Jen on an online quilting forum. When I saw that she lives in the adjacent town from me, I reached out to her. Shall we meet? I was apprehensive. I was not sure whether she would be amenable to meeting (I have been turned down by others). My fears were unfounded. She invited me to her Quilt Guild. I agreed and joined the Guild. Jen took me to my first Quilt Show and we are now best buddies. I get to see her at the guild meetings and other times when we get together for lunch and show & tell. One time, as I was complaining about "how tedious it is to start and stop quilting - I hate all those knots", Jen introduced me to cheater needles. WOW!!! That was an amazing revelation - I don't mind burying the knots any more. Thank you, Jen!!!
Jen came over for lunch one Sunday. I made spicy Indian food. She sent me the sweetest Thank you card.
2. Zoanna - Zoanna is a fellow quilter and blogger. Here is a link to her blog. She has a way with words and I really enjoy reading her blog. She lives about two hours away but that has not stopped us from getting together for lunch, and show & tell meetings.
I was the first responder when Zoanna screamed for help. Zoanna was working on a quilt for a dear friend Renee. Renee was soon to start chemotherapy sessions. And to keep her warm during these trying times, Zoanna decided to make her a quilt, using the pattern called Warm Wishes. How appropriate!!! To make sure that the quilt provided the required warmth and comfort, Zoanna used a flannel backing. The quilt sandwich was just a tad too big to be quilted on her small throated home machine. That is when I offered to help. No, I do not want anything in return. I insisted.
Zoanna brought for me this big OUCH pin cushion, a lovely handmade card (that I will cherish forever), and sent me a gift card for Connecting Threads, which I spent instantly. You overwhelm me Zoanna!!!
|Won't you say OUCH, if someone pushed a pin into your guts?|
3. Sylvia - I met Sylvia on the M* Forum. Sylvia lives about 25 miles from my sister. So, I sent Sylvia a message on the forum asking her if she would be willing to meet me for lunch when I am on my way to meet my sister. She said YES and just like that I made another quilty friend. Sylvia is adorable and she has this dark sense of humor that is almost incisive. We have already me twice!!! Lunch, Show & Tell, Fabric Scrap Exchanges - ah...the joys of quilty friends!!!
I am right-handed but Sylvia is left-handed. I ordered two ergonomic rotary cutters from Martelli. Unfortunately, I received left-handed ones instead of right-handed ones. Arghhhh....Fortunately, I could "gift" one to Sylvia and in exchange she agreed to show me some cool tricks for beginning FMQ. Now, isn't that a win-win situation? I was worried that I may be causing her a bother by asking her to teach me FMQ. Pish Posh, she said. I am planning a visit to see her soon.
4. Jake - Jake commented on my blog, saying that a particular fabric was "oh so cute". I responded by email saying that I'd be happy to send her the leftover fabric. Jake agreed to a fabric exchange. Here is the fun part - I asked her to give me one word that would be my clue/guide to pick the fabric for her. Her word was "vivacious" and "plunge" was mine. I sent a small package with a few fabric scraps to Jake. What I received from her overwhelmed me...
I received fabric, zippers, catnip (for my cat), ghost peppers (because I like spicy food) and more. Jake sent me the most thoughtfully put together package I have ever received. The best part - her little notes describing the contents. I had tears in my eyes. As for my cat - Jonesie was in catnip heaven...
|Jonesie playing with the Catnip Pillow, made by Jake|
I have used some of Jake's fabric in mug rugs I made this year.
5. Judy - I have yet to meet Judy. But we connected online. Judy is an amazing quilter and here is a link to her blog. Judy was also part of the one-word fabric exchange with Jake and me. Judy's word was "Geometrics". I sent her a few fat quarters. Judy sent me a FQ bundle of beautiful, vibrant Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I always receive way more than I give. Lucky Me!!!
|Kaffe Fassett Fat Quarter Bundle|
In 2015, I am using these fabrics in a quilt that I have decided to call Judy's Kaffe. Hope to meet Judy some day!!!
6. Cathy - I met Cathy also on the M* Forum. Cathy lives overseas. When we first emailed each other, we discussed about fabric, and patterns. Cathy also mentioned huge shipping costs to/from across the pond. When I got home on evening, my husband said - There is a package for you. I squealed in delight because it was from Cathy and it came from overseas. No, this is not a package, I replied. This is love!!!
|Fabrics from Cathy|
I put together a package for Cathy - batiks in blue/greens and some spicy peanuts. I received the sweetest email from her - I could almost hear her squealing in delight too!!!
This is not all. Cathy also challenged me to use these fabrics in a quilt. The deadline is December 2015. I am going to call that quilt - Catty Quilt :-)
We have never met. But I can guarantee that when we do (it is only a matter of time), we will get along like a house on fire. And by fire, I mean that between the two of us we will destroy some fabric. You should check out her blog. She has some excellent tutorials on black & white cushions!!!
In 2014, I made quilty friends in these five states - Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Arizona and South Carolina!!! Five down 45 to go. Heck, I even made a quilty friend across the ocean!!! Yes, 2014 has been a blessed and a productive year. Check out my 2014 Quilts.
I am so looking forward to making more quilts and more quilty friends in 2015!!!
Here are a few random inspirations from 2014 for quilts in 2015 or later...
|Artwork in a Lobby of an Office Building|
|Picture of a Shopping Bag|
Inspiration is everywhere. Keep your camera/iPhone ready. When I saw this bright yellow/grey/black blouse, I thought - Wow! that could be a quilt!. For that matter, almost everything I see inspires a quilt!!!
|Grocery Store Checkout Line|
|Modular Furniture in a Lounge (seen from 2 floors above)|
In July, we took a trip to Chicago. It is a beautiful city and I loved every minute of our stay. The highlight was the visit to the Chicago Art Museum.
|Chicago Art Museum Display|
Won't this be an awesome block for a modern quilt?
The next picture is from Ethel Stein's collection. She is a master weaver and I encourage you to check out her work. It is truly amazing and I hope it inspires you too.
This is from the Chicago's O'Hare Airport, as we were going from the terminals/concourse to the ground transportation.
Hope your 2014 was full of joys and blessings too. I wish that the New Year 2015 is full of exciting new possibilities. What was the best thing that happened to you in 2014? What do you wish for in 2015? I love to hear your thoughts.