Quilting: Making Friends from Around the World
by Andrea Kelter on 05/05/15
Before I began quilting a few years ago, I had always heard about the great friendships formed between quilters - whether guild members, quilting swap participants, at Quilt Shows, etc. It sounded great, and just maybe...a little too good to be true.
But I found out, quilting IS a great way to make friends and meet kindred spirits from all around the world.
The incredibly beautiful stitcheries above arrived last week at my home in Nova Scotia all the way from Tasmania, an island off the coast of Australia. They were sent by Ange (Angela) Torlop - a fellow quilter, soul sister and superb friend.
Ange and I have never met in person, mostly because we are separated by over 10,000 miles of continent and ocean. But, somehow, through letters with wax seals, Facebook messenger, email and just plain soul-to-soul connection - we have formed a friendship that transcends geography, and will (I believe) last a lifetime.
How we actually "met" was as partners in the first Mug Rug Swap I ever joined. Ange was my assigned swap partner, and as we began to communicate - first about colour and design preferences, and other "quilty details" about our mug rugs - our conversations started to include snippets of our lives, and then more snippets - until we realized that we are truly kindred spirits with much in common. And our friendship was born...
The stitcheries above are from Rosalie Quinlan's new United Stitches collection - and are so beautifully executed by Ange's impeccable colour choices and perfect stitches. I found a quilt layout for them online, and just mocked it into Ange's stitches in Photoshop (mostly to show her what I had in mind for the stitcheries she is sending me).
I think they may just be the most profoundly special and meaningful gift I have ever received - for their beauty, and the many hours of care, thought and affection that go into their making. The quilt these eventually get incorporated into will be treasured by me, and later by my daughter, and her daughters...and so on. A lasting memory of the importance of friendship.
Ange and I talk about lots of things - cabbages, kings and sealing wax - and also Jane Austen, Yellow Minions, our countries, our lives, loves, children, health, hobbies and worries. And, of course, our quilts. We quilt together, 10,000 miles apart, messaging each other until we're tired - then end with tea and cookies and more messages while we sip and munch.
Even if we never meet, we have gotten to truly know each other.
I've gone from being a bit sceptical to being a believer. Quilters ARE WONDERFUL PEOPLE. My favorite people in all the world...
How about your experiences with quilting friends? I'd love to hear your stories.