Thursday, June 16, 2016

Quilting Friendships

I am very happy to have been participating in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop for the last few weeks.  So far, the participants have had an opportunity to learn about blog improvement by reading great tutorials, asking questions of fellow bloggers and having our blogs critiqued by fellow participants.  It's been a true learning experience for me.  This week, the "Hop" has started.  These ladies, from my small group, called Hive Sewceity and led by Stephanie from Late Night Quilter, have been "up" this week, taking their turn introducing themselves and sharing what they've learned about blogging and quilting.

I hope you'll pop in and say hello to each of them.  There are two other hives led by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl and Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. If you visit the hostesses, you'll be able to find links to all of the bloggers who are the stops on the hop this week.  Oh!  And the hostesses also have a chance for you to win some fabulous prizes each week of the hop.  It will be my turn to post some fun facts about me on July, 11.  I hope you'll stop by.

The New Bloggers Hop is a wonderful way that we quilters build our community.  I've heard from many quilters that they met their quilty bff's and formed swap groups or bees during previous years of the Hop.  And indeed, I have already had a fabulous time conversing with my fellow participants as we've visited each other's blogs and left comments.  Often those comments turn into a series of exchanges via email.  It's so fun to hear my email notification ping, and have some happy words from a new friend.

A year ago, I was involved in a couple of quilting groups on Facebook.  Through one of the groups, I was paired with a quilting pen pal.  The idea was that we'd correspond regularly and send small gifts and packages to each other.

My pen pal is Rose. We began sending Facebook messages and eventually e-mails to each other in June of last year.  Eventually, we exchanged packages containing quilting and sewing related goodies, as well as a few things just for fun.  Rose and I have hit it off wonderfully.  We are different in age and background, but that doesn't matter.  Our e-mail discussions have ranged from life goals to relationship issues to parenting questions (she is a new mama to a beautiful little qirl!).  And of course we talk about quilting and sewing, too.  We both live busy lives, working,  raising our kids, nurturing our marriages.  So, sometimes, weeks go by with no word from each other.  But, then an email will arrive and will set off a conversation that goes on for a couple of days, one e-mail at a time. On more than one occasion, a note from Rose was just what I needed to lift my spirits, or inspire me to make a move I've been contemplating. We talk about our sewing and quilting goals, and have been great sources of encouragement for each other. Ours is a true friendship which I cherish.  The fact that we both love to bless the other with gifts, handmade items and sewing stuff - oh my! Icing on the cake!

I made these bags, one for me, one for Rose.  Sewing to share is so rewarding!

Sometime in the last year, Rose and I decided to do a round robin exchange.  Without too much discussion, each of us made a center block that would be sent to the other to add on to, and then exchanged back and forth until the owner of the center declared the quilt "done!"  I went small with my block, hoping to have my first mini quilt to hang on my sewing room wall, and Rose went big!  She will have a bed quilt by the time we're done!

When Rose's block arrived, I had to take a deep breath.  Both because it was really, really lovely, but also because it was bigger than I'd expected! I had to wrap my head around making a border on a larger scale than I'd been thinking.  My older daughter looked at it and said, "It's so regal.  Like it belongs in a castle."  That set the wheels spinning, and eventually I had a plan.

But it was a lot of work to get from the idea to the point where I could start sewing.  A lot of searching for a pattern, drawing up my idea, working out the measurements, making practice blocks...oh!  And choosing fabric.  That was the fun part!

Then, the sewing started.

And continued,

 and continued.
See that little block off to the right?  Naughty block turned sideways...

 Roses's center is about 45 in square.  It took a lot of blocks to go around it.  And each block had a lot of pieces!  Or so it seemed when I was working on them.

But it was fun, and a joy to make something for Rose.

Somewhere in the process I made a calculation mistake, and my blocks didn't meet at the corners like they were supposed to.   I had to get a bit creative to make everything work.
Its hard to tell from the pictures, but the first border is a very pretty purple print.  That,  and the Greek Key blocks are my additions.  I think they are a good fit for Rose's center!

There are some imperfections here.  There were some things that I went back and fixed. But, there comes a point when finished is better than perfect.   I wanted to get this in the mail so that Rose can enjoy it, and add her next border.

She has received it, and tells me she is happy with it.  I hope she is.  I can't wait to see her next step.  I am also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my block back from Rose.  But, as I told her, the anticipation is half the fun, and I will be patient for as long as it takes.

I'd love to hear about YOUR quilty friendships!  What is the best quilt related gift you've given or received?

I'm linking up this week with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  If you visit the parties, remember to stay a while and share some comment love!


  1. The border you added is very nice! No one but you will ever know that it was supposed to look any different.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Cheryl! I tell my daughter the same thing as she sews..."Nobody sees the imperfections but you!" I guess it's really true! Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. I met my quilty bff last year right after the New Quilters Blog Hop. We had so many emails going at one time we decided to exchange numbers and I think we text just about every day, several times a day. How awesome that you and Rose have developed such a great friendship.

    1. You lucky girl,you! A quilty bff AND a new quilty hubby! Texting is awesome, isn't it? Esoecially for those quick thoughts you just have to share! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Tami, this is just gorgeous! You selected the perfect pattern to use with the center she had made. Awesome!
    I'm so glad you're are enjoying the blog hop. Looking forward to reading your post!

    1. Thanks, Bernie! I do really like the look of Rose's quilt, so far. Its so fun, not knowing what's coming next! The hop is awesome! Thanks for visiting!

  4. A round robin quilt sounds fun! Best quilt related gift I have rec'd was an unexpected box of fabric scraps, trim and victorian style Christmas stockings in need of finishing from a friend's mother-in-law. It was amazing!

    1. OOOOh, unexpected fabric! Doesn't get better than that! I'll bet the victorian stockings were beautiful. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Wow, lovely quilt! What a great story of making on-line relationships! The NQB group has been a lot of fun!

    1. NQB. I like that. I've been thinking I needed a shorter way to talk about us! Thanks for your lovely comment!