Monday, September 19, 2011

Old & New Friends

As the familiar Girl Scout song goes:

Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other is gold.

A ring is round, it has no end. That's how long I want to be your friend.

That song kept spinning in my head all weekend as I met new people, and re-connected with old friends.

I started at The Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza in Oaks, PA. For the first time I can remember I was not 'wowed' by any one singular quilt. Not one took my breath away. Don't get me wrong, there were many extraordinary quilts by many incredibly talented people... but I wasn't bowled over. Maybe it was the sour mood I was in. Or maybe it was the rainy weather. Maybe it was the fact that I went late in the afternoon and didn't have the excitement of a large crowd to sway me. I don't know what it was... but that didn't stop me from chatting with fellow quilters.

As I wandered the exhibits, the colors in this quilt caught my attention.

As I looked closer... I realized the color was actually made possible by hand dyed cotton string that was then machine zig-zagged on to heavy black fabric and THEN stitched together to make the quilt. The color of the thread used to zig-zag added another color dimension. Fascinating! Here's a closer look:

As I stood there soaking in the detail and saturated colors... another quilter stood by my side... we started talking... we exchanged contact information... I think we can be friends (Hi Shelia!)

Saturday a friend of mine since I was 5 years old (Hi Beth) called and invited me to join her and a group of people (Hi Jim, Dawn, & Bill) at Monmouth Park... our local horse racing park. This is not something I normally would have thought to do... but I threw caution to the wind and went. It was such a lovely day. Before the horse park I went to PADDLE DAY on the Navesink river in Red Bank, NJ... and had a delightful conversation with a member of Monmouth Boat Club (Hi Carol) and devoured a hamburger off the grill (Thanks Les!). Sprinkle in a few internet chats and phone calls from people I haven't heard from in AGES (Hi Andrea & Brian)... and it was a pretty good day.

A trip to Swedesboro, NJ on Sunday to visit my husband's gravesite (and a few others) and to attend the Wagonhouse Winery Harvest Party to listen to another friend's (and kind of relative) band (Hi Dean) ended up being another opportunity to talk with more people I haven't connected with in YEARS! (Hi Kay & Susan). On a whim I drove by another friend's that I lost contact with over the years. As luck would have it... she and her kids were on their way out to dinner... so I joined them!!! (Hi Rennie, Erin Stevie, Brian... and Gabe). Another phone call brightened my day from a friend I thought I had lost forever (You know who you are... HI). The weekend was topped off by e-conversations with an 'internet friend' I made by joining a yahoo group making BITTYs (3 1/2" quilt squares). BTW... That group is TOTALLY AWESOME!!! (Hi Sooz!)

The friends and family I have mentioned today are just a grain of sand compared to all the others I still have to re-connect with. So 'keep the light on'... I'll be headed your way. I love and appreciate every single one of you. You have all shaped my life in one way or another... and I hope I have done the same for you.

I leave you with another close up of this technicolor quilt. Notice how the purple thread over the blue looks totally different than the red thread? It's mind boggling in person.

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