Monday, October 31, 2011

A True Friend and a Finish!


"Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave footprints in our hearts and we are never, ever the same." Flavia Weedn

I want to show you my latest finished quilt, but before I do,  I first need to tell you about the very special person that it was made for.

 So let me tell you about my friend, Patti.

In the late 80’s, when my husband, children and I packed up and moved from city life to live in the rural foothills, we left all our dearest friends behind.  I considered the fact that I might never have those kinds of friendships ever again.  It made me sad.   These kind of friendships take years to develop.  I was leaving friendships that I had had since my early teens.  We had been together through the thick and thin.  Friends that I knew would be there for me at the drop of a hat, in a matter of minutes.  And I would do the same for them in return.  These were girlfriends that meant the world to me.  My girlfriends have always been very precious to me, and now I was leaving them all behind.  I remember one evening right after we had moved, the realization hit me that I might never have those kind of friendships ever again.  I cried out to God and prayed that God would send me a special friend.  God knew I needed that womanly closeness.  I thought it might be impossible to find that kind of relationship again, but it was a need I had and I prayed that God would bless me with a new friend.

Several weeks later, I met Patti.  She was like no one else I had ever known.  She was very  sure of herself and her faith, very confident, so giving, loving and caring.   She offered her friendship right from the start.  Did she see something in me that made her so open to me, or was she like that with everyone?  I had no idea, but I was drawn to her immediately.  And it wasn’t as if she needed me.  I soon discovered that she had dozens of woman friends, a terrific husband and two beautiful daughters and they all loved her deeply.   She was a woman of God, who was not afraid to share her weaknesses, and through her weaknesses, I saw her strengths.  We immediately had the bond of loving Jesus and desiring to grow in our faith, day by day.  Our children took classes together at a dance studio, so this gave us the opportunity to spend many hours together during their classes.  We would talk about our lives, our husbands, our loves, our desires, our children and our dreams.  As the years went on,  the kids grew older and Patti, our husbands and I, would attend sporting, school and church events and we watched and cheered on our kids as they participated.  We had so much in common it was unreal.  But of course God knew this all along as Patti had been the answer to my prayer that I had prayed many years before.

Patti was always there for me.  She was there  when I just needed some girl-talk or womanly insight as well as during the most difficult times.  She was there when I was at my weakest and most vulnerable. Even though it must have been painful to be around me during my most difficult and darkest trials, she was there, willing to offer herself in whatever way I needed, and lifting my family up in her prayers.  She was there for me when I was so helpless and weak with life’s pains.  And most importantly, she always encouraged me by pointing me back to the One that always offers direction, comfort and love: our Jesus. 
A true friend!  That is what Patti is!

Fast forward to 2011. 

We have moved once again, this time many hundreds of miles away from my dear friend. But I am comforted to know, we will always be close friends, no matter how many miles separate us. Last January I decided I wanted to do something super special for Patti’s birthday, to show Patti how much she means to me and thank her in some small way for all the love and support she has given to me and our family. Our children are grown up and have their own lives now, but we still have that bond of friendship that I am confident will always be there.  What a precious gift God gave me, when He sent Patti as an answer to my prayer.  But, what could I do for my friend?  So a special gift for her birthday?   What gift could I give that would give her a small idea of how much she means to me?  The closest thing I could think of, would be a gift of a quilt:  a hand-quilted quilt!   So last January, I determined that I would start and finish a quilt, just for her.  Patti collects birdhouses and I just happened to have a whole stack of birdhouse blocks that were part of an online swap back in the year 2000.  Never knew what I would make with them at the time, but a quilt, made with love for my friend, seemed like the perfect surprise birthday gift.  There is no way to repay such a gift of friendship, but something as near and dear to me as a hand-quilted quilt, was the closest I could come.

So Eleven months later….

It took  almost 11 months and several hundred hours of designing, cutting, sewing and quilting, but it is finally finished!  It is and was my “top secret quilt” that I have shared bits and pieces about before on this blog. 

I am finally able to share it with you.  I hope Patti likes it.  My prayer is that every time Patti looks at her quilt, she realizes just how much she means to me and when she uses her quilt, she will remember how much she is loved!

Well, here it is…..all wrapped up and ready to give!

The quilt in all her glory...

Close-up.  Click to see hand-quilting.  For the first time I used King Tut variegated thread!  The variegated thread sure shows off the stitches! This is both a good and bad thing!

excerpt from "True Friend" by Twila Paris

You are a true friend

Pointing me to Him

Lifting my downcast eyes

Turning my wandering gaze to the sky

Proving your love again....

You are a true friend

You are a true friend!

Hope you like it, Patti.  
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY my precious friend!! 

I am linking this post to the Quilt festival, if you click on the link above the button it will take you over there where you can visit heaps and heaps of talented quilters and their lovely quilts!  Enjoy your own personal quilt show!


Angel said...

it's BEAUTIFUL mom!!!!!!!!

karenfae said...

true friends are hard to come by - you are lucky you have yours.
Wonderful quilt, I'm betting she loves it.

Kwiltz by Stephanie said...

What a wonderful touching story! Thanks for sharing it. I particularly love the softness of the colors and the border. Great job!

straythreads said...

beautiful quilt and story of friendship

Jane said...

What a fun, happy quilt and a charming tribute to your friend!

LynCC said...

Very cheery, lovely, FUN quilt! Your friend must love it. :)

Mary@QuiltGenius said...

That is a great quilt. I love the birdhouses. :)


Connie said...

What a beautiful quilt and such a precious story! Patti will love it!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! Your story made me tear up a little and I love the birdhouse quilt. I collect birdhouses!

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL, Linda! I am sure that you have been just as much a blessing to Patti as she has been to you. :)


Winona said...

I love this quilt. It is beautiful, but even more beautiful is the story you shared of your friendship with Patti. I know she will love and cherish this hand made quilt from her dear friend.

sew.darn.quilt said...

Oh my! This quilt is spectacular!
I love it.


Karen (nybird) (KMello) said...

Oh I do love all these bird houses!

Mommyof2girlz/StephD said...

Your friend is so blessed to have a beautiful quilt like this. It's just stunning and love the bird houses. Following from Share the Memories FB group :)

Linda V said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

Linda V said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments!