Thursday, June 23, 2011


On the 3rd Tuesday of June 1986, I attended my first Nimble Thimbles meeting.  Nimble Thimbles is a chapter of the Arizona Quilters Guild.  We had just moved cross country from Iowa and were not even in our house yet.  Five of us were in the 2 bedroom apartment Gary had been living in since February when he officially started working in the Phoenix area.  The kids and I stayed behind to sell the house and to finish out the school year.

I had used part of the time to research the quilting community in AZ and had already joined AQG and Nimble Thimbles.  The past president of the NT chapter, Karen Ewart, had been very helpful.  She had given me directions to the meeting place and informed me that for the first time, the group was meeting during the summer.  That was good news as I had been extremely active in the quilting community where we lived and was not looking forward to not knowing any quilters until Fall.

At that first meeting, I met Joyce and Diane among others.  Being summer it was a small gathering.  Joyce and Diane had joined the group in March on the same night and were forever after always being called the other ones name.  Through those meetings, Joyce, Diane and I became the best of friends.

We have made road trips to quilt shows, met in our homes, closed down restaurants with our late night meetings after Nimble Thimbles meetings, supported each other through our kids teenage years, celebrated our children's weddings, the arrival of grandchildren, held each others hand when we've lost loved ones and have generally become quilt sisters.

Diane made this wall hanging for me for Christmas in 1997.  The label on the back reads, " When I first saw this pattern, I immediately thought of you and knew I would eventually make it for you.  I also finally knew what I wanted to do with my dad's and Steve's old neckties.  Merry Christmas, 1997."  Of course, it is a treasure.

Here is a detail of the ties in the borders.  All those ties took a lot of time to take apart before cutting.  I had just made a vest for our daughter using my dad's and husband's old ties along with the fabric from her bridesmaid's dresses.  I know it took a lot of work to just get the fabric ready for the border.  Thank you, again, Diane!

The year before, Joyce had been going through a rough time.  I had taken a card and a box of her favorite candy to her office and left it with the receptionist.  There was a note on the candy that said, "Take one as needed and call me any time."   Joyce had the card duplicated on fabric and made wall hangings from them for our small group for Christmas.

The inside of the card read, "With a friend you're never alone."   A truer statement has never been made.  With our friends we can handle things we don't think we can by ourselves.

In the detail you can see the license plate, "Drive Carefully."

As Joyce about our trip to Paducah one year.  We were busy doing what friends do in a car and missed a turn.  Joyce got sent to ask for directions.  She was told we were WAY lost.  Part of the directions were to go to a certain point and "Daon't turn." That isn't a typo, we were in Tennessee where some words that are normally one syllable become two syllables.  We enjoyed our cross country trek probably more than the direct route we should have taken on the Interstate, but the words, "Daon't turn" have forever been burned in our memories.

Friends are such a special treat in life.  I hope you treasure yours.  Having lived in many different states, I've had the pleasure of making many fiends and treasure each of them.  Special friends like Joyce and Diane are forever friends who last through moves to other states and back again.

Joyce, Diane and me at the 42nd annual NQA Quilt show last week.  Hmmm, I should have photoshopped this to make us taller and thinner.  Maybe next time!

Thank you Joyce, Diane and all of you who are friends both "old" and "new".

Do you have a BFF?  I hope so, if not,  get busy and find someone who shares your values and interests and make some memories.

Until next time,


julieQ said...

What a wonderful story!! I am so glad for you, for those special friends like Joyce and Diane!! I need to "meet" Diane...Joyce is already so special to my heart!

julieQ said...

'n daon't you forget it! Hee!

Lorinda said...

For me it is hard to top DBQ. You guys were my very first quilting friends. As we began our moves I always knew when and where the quilt guild met even before I knew where I was going to live and that includes Mexico! It is truly amazing how welcoming and supportive the quilting community is. What life savers. We are all so blest to have each other.

Lois Arnold said...

Julie, they are but two of the very special quilting friends I've had over the years. There are many more, just don't have dates down. I have been blessed!
Lorinda, if it hadn't been for you guys in the DBQs, I certainly would never have had many of the experiences I've had and you are all as special to me as Diane and Joyce. Who could forget our treks in the snow to quilt classes and shows. Remember the bus trip to DeMoines? Every one of my quilting friends has challenged me and supported me and I hope I've done the same for them. Quilters make for great friends!