Friday, March 15, 2019

Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop & Give Away


Marian at Seams To Be Sew is celebrating World-wide Quilting day by playing hostess to the Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop and I am happy to be able to join in on the Qwazy Queen fun!  The theme this year is "qwazy"...  (btw, the details for the give away, as well as the list of hop participants will be at the end of this post.)

I have had in my collection of patterns this Quick-piece Crazy Quilt pattern and template set that came from Mrs. Miller and I have long wanted to use it.  And finally the perfect time and occasion arrived!

I am a firm believer that every woman needs to have a circle of friends that will be there for you in all of the ups and downs of life... girlfriends that will laugh with you and cry with you, stand up for you, but still let you know (gently) when you are in the wrong.  We straighten another's crown without telling the world it was crooked.  We listen to each other... not just what they say with words... but what they say from their hearts.






I am fortunate and blessed to be able to say that I have this circle of friends, some that I have known for 20 years, some for just a few years... We try to get together for a "perfect girls" weekend two to three times a year.  Those that can attend may vary, (sometimes the group is larger, and sometimes small and intimate) but the fact that we have each other's backs never changes. We never have great plans for activities... mostly we just hang out and chat, share devotional times, prayer concerns and prayers for each other.  We take turns preparing meals and cleaning up... laugh and usually stay up waaaaaaaaaaay too late.




We have helped and supported each other through job losses and career changes, divorces, moves, surgeries, major and minor health issues and aging parents.  We have celebrated graduations marriages of children and births of grand-babies.

At one weekend, one of the ladies shared this special story that she found on the web...  it sums up our circle of friends to a tee!




Years ago, I was at the beach with my family when I noticed a group of ladies nearby who appeared to be in their fifties.

With a quick glance, I knew they were on a girls’ weekend. All the signs were there – coolers & cocktails, beach bags with romance novels, straw hats, umbrellas in the sand – but most telling of all was their laughter. Lots and lots of laughter, the kind that draws attention and curiosity from anyone in earshot.

I loved watching these women enjoy each other. Although they were older than me, and well past my season of life in having babies, I could imagine being in their shoes one day, basking in the glow of old friends who still made me feel young again. 

That afternoon, I saw two of them in the elevator. When I commented on how much fun they seemed to have, they smiled and nodded. One replied, “Oh, we do have fun. We’ve kept this beach trip going for twenty years and have been through everything – divorce, death, cancer, unemployment. Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.”



The conversation left an impression on me. While I’d always treasured my girlfriends, I’d never thought about needing them more with age. And if I’m being honest, it’s only been in recent years that I’ve taken their words to heart.

Because now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m seeing how real divorce, death, cancer, unemployment, and other major life problems are. I understand what they meant when they emphasized the importance of girlfriends as my age group faces hardships we couldn’t imagine when we were young and carefree.


Last February, I found the advice these women gave me really validated when my dear friend Emily, who I met when our daughters became friends, lost her husband Joe in a plane crash. Emily and Joe weren’t just any couple – they were the couple who had been best friends since age 15, whose incredible love story was still going strong. What they had was special. To have it end early and suddenly was unfathomable, unfair, and hard to comprehend.

Joe’s death impacted a lot of people hard, and throughout their home there was so much sadness and grieving, so many heavy hearts in one place. In the midst of this tragedy, however, there was also so much LOVE. You could feel the Holy Spirit everywhere, working in Emily and the people surrounding her.

As I left Emily’s house the day after Joe’s death, I sat in my car and reflected on everything I’d witnessed. One thing I kept thinking about were the women in Emily’s life, and  how amazing they’d been. It wasn’t just the food being carted in, the affection showered on the family, or the fact that so many people had dropped everything to drive or fly to Birmingham. It was the way Emily’s village came together, how friends from every stage of life were represented (adolescence, college, law school, work, and motherhood), and how well everyone knew her.
And because they knew her well, they could do a lot to lighten Emily’s load.

When I arrived at Emily’s house the morning after Joe’s death, for instance, someone asked if I’d write his obituary. I agreed, of course, and was given the names of surviving family members to start with. Since Emily was meeting with her pastor about the funeral, I began the obituary with the help of four friends who’d known Emily and Joe for decades. My intention was to write a rough draft and let Emily fill in the blanks.

But guess what? Emily didn’t have to fill in blanks, because her old friends filled in the blanks for her. Together they recalled pertinent details of Joe’s life: the special dates he planned with his daughters, how he graduated first in his law school class, which law firms he’d worked with, his role as basketball commissioner, his love for their church mission trip to Maine – the list goes on.
As they talked and I typed, I found myself wondering: How many people have friends who could write their husband’s obituary? What does that say about Emily and her relationships?
All over Emily’s house, huddles of women were taking care of business. As I passed a group from her church, I heard them planning the visitation and family luncheon before the funeral. “Emily wouldn’t like that, but she would like this,” they said. “Why don’t we give her option A and option B?” When Emily emerged from her meeting with the pastor an hour later, the legwork was done. She was given an obituary to proofread, options for Saturday, and updates from friends handling small matters so Emily could reserve energy for big ones.

Our girlfriends can’t save us, because only Christ can fill that role, but they can help make a tragedy bearable. They can read our mind and our emotions, intuitively recognizing what needs to be done – then doing it. They can listen, empathize, and show compassion. They can be the hands and feet of Jesus, used by God to help provide comfort and a timely shoulder to cry on. 

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days I don’t have the time or energy. But one thing I’ve learned from watching Emily cope with her loss is how having strong relationships in place before a tragedy occurs enables the healing process. While faith keeps you standing, friends and family hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal. They meet you for yoga, bring Starbucks to your home, take your kids for ice cream, plan a girls’ beach trip for your Mother’s Day, get your dog groomed, text you Scripture and encouragement, continue coming to town to check on you, and show love in a million heartfelt ways.

“Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.” The women on the elevator that day were spot-on. Now when I see a group like them having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff.  And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own.

Sometimes it takes another woman to recognize intuitively what needs to be done – then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said – then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice – and know what to make of them. 

Having great friends is largely a matter of being a great friend. The reason Emily’s circle is so strong is because she invests in her people. And in her greatest time of need, she reaped the benefit. I hope this story comes as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing again on the beach, there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.


As I selected scraps for my crazy quilt I considered my friends... their favorite colors and scripture verses and songs; favorite foods and family members...  

The name of each lady in the group has been embroidered on a part of the crazy blocks as well as specially selected scripture references.  




When I was ready to quilt it I knew that I wanted to include a blessing and a prayer.

The blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 is quilted into the center of the quilt...


The Lord bless you

    and keep you;
25 
the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace.

The border of the quilt has a special prayer...

I thought I was done with it.  All I needed to do was wash it and photograph it.  But every time I walked into the guest room and saw the quilt on the top of the stack of quilts that currently reside there I KNEW it needed something more.  It DESERVED something more... It is a crazy quilt.  They are supposed to be heavily embellished with fancy stitches and ribbons!  This one was, well, rather plain...

But I had other projects I needed to get to... deadlines... I kept saying "I don't have time".  But I found myself unproductive and unfocused because of that crazy quilt!  The Crazy Quilt was making me CrAzY!  ๐Ÿ˜œ







One day, after a week of it taunting me,  I finally submitted and grabbed the quilt and headed to my Babylock Jazz.  I started doing random back and forth lines... around the quilted scripture, names and scripture references.  




Once that was done I was able to move on... and, Oh, how I love it!

The backing and binding of the quilt feature little lambs and hearts...  



I can honestly say that I am not sure where I would be without these special ladies!  And one of these special gals will be the recipient of this quilt that has been blessed from above and made with love.


Tell me about your special crazy friends... 
How often do you get together?  
Where do you go?  
What sort of activities do you do?


I'd love to hear from you...

Below is a full list of hop participants.  Be sure to visit to see all of the crazy projects that are being shared.  And before I forget, here are the give away details...

Marian at Seams To Be Sew has secured two $35 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop.  Follow the directions on the rafflecopter link.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Quilt in Piece,


Melva





a Rafflecopter giveaway










March 15, 2019


March 18, 2019


March 19, 2019


March 20, 2019


Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

92 comments:

  1. You are indeed very lucky to have so many friends in your life. What a wonderful story and reading about it just truly made me smile. Emily is indeed a lucky woman to have so many wonderful people surrounding her and making the loss of her husband a little bit less painful. I love to that you added the extra quilting to your project, that really does make a difference, but the names on the quilt... well that's just special. I am so happy you participated in QQQ 2019 Melva... Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your words are sew true! I love my quilting gal pals - their love sustains me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your words are sew true! I love my quilting gal pals - their love sustains me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting. I haven't kept up with anyone. Amazes me to see people do this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your quilt is just stunning! I wouldn't say any of my friends are that crazy lol, but they are wonderful. And mostly what we do together is talk!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your post says it all! Lady friends are so important!
    We have a group of 4, including me. We call ourselves the soccer moms. We met when our sons played soccer--maybe 4th or 5th grade and now they are all independent young men! We get together every couple of months and go to dinner, we meet at 6:30pm and close the place down between 10pm and 10:30. It's our therapy! Coincidentally, we are going out tonight!
    Thanks and enjoy the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoyed your evening out with your circle of friends! Good luck in the prize drawing. Blessings, M

      Delete
  7. Beautiful quilt. Thank you so much for sharing! Enjoy your day! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom :-) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your quilt is very special and struck a cord with me. I have had a special friend since grade school, and we try to get together at least once a month. She has always been there for me, even when I didn't see her for ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friends like that are the best! Good luck in the prize drawing. Blessings, M

      Delete
  9. Girlfriends are a must. My best friend and I graduated from high school 40 years ago!
    cork@pa.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. My crazy friends are quilters, musicians and actors; weavers and spinners. But my best friend is one who I invited to church at a time when I was pretty low. He not only showed up, but he joined the church after a few months. I can call him at most any time and he will come to my aid.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A lovely recounting of your friendship! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for helping to make the blog hop a fun and successful event. Blessings, M

      Delete
  12. I love your quilt. I moved when I retired and had to start all over with new friends. Hard but a love for quilting made that possible. We get together when ever possible.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great quilt project and I get together with quilt buddies once or twice a month.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a lovely story! Thank you for sharing it and for sharing the Gospel! My friends are scattered, but we stay in touch by phone. Wish I could see them all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your comment and for helping to make the blog hop a fun and successful event. Good luck in the prize drawing!

      Delete
  15. I love your quilt. What a wonderful way to remember friends. You are absolutely right. God made us women so we need each other. There by fulfilling what happens in our lives. Thank you for the wonderful post and the great reminder. Myself and three other ladies at church are tight and always there for each other, weather in good times or bad. It is such a joy to know that we can always rely on each other. One of my neighbors who recently moved in are becoming like that also. My sister and i are nine years apart, so we were never close, until both of our kids were in school full time. We decided to find out if there was anything to being sisters other than having the same parents. So we started exercising and having lunch twice a week. Twenty eight years later, our bond is extremely tight. Yes there is a lot to being sisters/friends. Praise the Lord for putting in us ladies the need for other women. You are so right about our men. They are so needed in our lives, but just cant fill that little hole that is only for another best friend. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  16. my one "quilty" friend moved back th ny last month and the other one lives 3 hours away. i have 2 new friends who i hope will fill my circle.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh I love your quit. What a treasure. I have five sisters and they are my besties. Couldn't get through this world without them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love your quilt and your stories about your friends! You are so blessed to have them!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are very lucky to have those special girlfriends.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a sweet story. I have one BFF that I meet up with a couple of times a year. She lives 1000 miles away, so we alternate visiting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Friends are just the best tonic for whatever ails us!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your quilt is lovely and a wonderful remembrance of all your crazy friends! I have dinner once a month with some old work friends and meet often with new quilting friends. They are all special to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good to surround your self with friends. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  23. Great insights about Friends!
    barbkaup(at)(yahoo)(dot)(com)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Melva...this is just the most heart warming story ever. You have hit the nail on the head when it comes to our circle of girlfriends too. Beautiful and therapeutic quilt you have done and a story that will never be able to write its own ending. Perfection!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I wish I could say that I have some close girlfriends. We moved to AL 5 years ago. I do have friends but not close friends. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  26. Our crazy friends meet several times a year at each other's house. Mostly we talk, usually go for a walk, and maybe go out to eat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds perfect! Good luck in the prize drawing. Blessings, M

      Delete
  27. My best friend is my daughter who has been my rock since my husband of 56 years passed away.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My crazy friends are Miki, Suzanne and Irma. We are between 53-63 years old, met 6 years ago at Water Aerobics. We meet at the pool from April through October and get together for girls lunch about 4 times in the off times. Sometimes I can hear them laughing out loud on some of our text strings. I love them to bits and they are ALWAYS there through trials and tribulations---in a pinch! Your quilt warms my heart in so many ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technology and social media have certainly made it easier to stay in touch with friends... a quick message is almost like stopping by the house for a cup of tea! Good luck in the prize drawing. Blessings, M

      Delete
  29. I love scraps ... I, too, believe in long time friends. At 81, I've girlfriends that have shared my world since I was 6. That's friendship!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Melva! Oh what a wonderful post to read today. It brought tears to my eyes, and I know the truth of those words. Your blessing for the center is my all-time-favorite and that really made my eyes tear while smiling. I had to read it again and again, and I can just hear my non-retired favorite pastor saying that blessing as he sent us into the world after a service. Girlfriends are really priceless and many times women do not figure that out until too late. Your get-togethers sound very fun and a wonderful remedy. What a fabulous quilt - I'm sure you will be sharing it with your friends the next time you get together. ~smile~ Roseanne

    ReplyDelete
  31. Very interesting quilt! Great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have one good friend, at work, but we rarely do anything outside of work.
    We moved across the country and lost contact with friends over time. I don't know anyone with sewing or quilting interests, other than in online groups.
    You are very blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a wonderful story! I feel a need to send it to my quilty friends. Although we aren't as close as that group seemed to be we thoroughly enjoy our times together and look forward to them. Thank you so much for sharing! Love the quilt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feel free to share with them. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  34. Loved your crazy quilt and all the wonderful memories it provides. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Our girl friends are so very important throughout our life and we do need them so much! I love your story and it is so very true!! To have good friends like that, you have to be a good friend!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Beautiful quilt. Beautiful story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  37. I dont have any right now just moved to michigan and I work 3rd shift..So it's just myself and hub...But I do have a great work wife..

    ReplyDelete
  38. I like your quilt and the story

    ReplyDelete
  39. My group is smaller than yours but I have known one of then for 50 years. When we see each other, which is not as often as it used to be, we pick up right where we left off. Thank you for sharing your story today ... and your beautiful crazy quilt. Those look like good templates to make this type of quilt ... :) Pat

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a fabulous crazy quilt and post.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Loved your quilt and your wonderful memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brenda. Good luck in the prize drawing. Blessings, M

      Delete
  42. yes such friends are important. As I have gotten older, the holes left by those who have passed on are hard to fill. pjrquilter (at) msn (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love your scrappy quilt. I moved away from friends and friends and I am looking forward to moving back home this summer. I have friends that I have been friends with for 55 years. I am so looking forward to spending time
    with and going on girls weekends with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck in your move. Enjoy your time reuniting with friends. Blessings, M

      Delete
  44. What a beautiful story. And what a treasure of a quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sounds like agreat group of friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is wonderful! Good luck in the prize drawing. Blessings, M

      Delete
  46. What an absolutely lovely post. It's so interesting, because when I was young I had a huge group of friends and that made me really happy. As I've gotten older, the group whittled down into more of a core group of six or eight women--not all of whom know each other, but each of whom is irreplaceable to me. I've made some new friends in my forties and fifties but the people I'm closest to are the ones I've known since I was a teen or in my early twenties. I've been blessed with incredible friends.

    ReplyDelete
  47. That was a lovely post, beautiful quilt, and fitting tribute to the value of friendships. I do not get together enough with my friends especially because I move away for half the year. I think I'm missing out.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My girlfriend group do trips together and meet up to do crafts on a regular basis. A great stress reliever in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crafting is a great stress release... though some of my friends in the group aren't very crafty and it stresses them out. lol.

      Delete
  49. Such delightful words of wisdom! We all need to keep our friends close. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friendship can be work. But the best friendships seem effortless... and those are the best!

      Delete
  50. Such a loving and important message for us all. Your quilt is beautiful - bright colors wrapped in quilted love and messages dear to you - such a treasure. Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful message.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kay for your kind comment. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  51. I have one truly good friend. She's a friend that has stood by me for years - layoffs,illness & fibromyalgia, etc. She was my very first roommate for 1 short year but out of all our roommates we are the only 2 that have stayed in touch.

    The Lord bless you and keep you;
    the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
    the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.

    This has always been my favorite blessing & promise from the Bible. My earliest church memory is Pastor Leastman giving this blessing at the end of every service. Every so often I stumble upon it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was the blessing that our youth group recited every week as we left. <3

      Delete
  52. I have school friends that I have kept in touch with for more than 50 years

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thanks for sharing this moving story of the quilt! I have three close friends that I met when we worked together about 20 years ago. Everyone lives in a different city now, but we take a trip together every few years. I agree with you - we need each other!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Ok, first of all I think I misread your giveaway directions! A girlfriend set me straight. I am the one who wrote her comment in the rafflecopter. My goodness. So glad to have a circle of girlfriends. I am the one who commented that Emily's experience with the passing of her husband so closely reflected an experience in my circle of girlfriends. Take care. Happy stitching and lots of laughter happening here.

    ReplyDelete
  55. It is fun do discover a new to me blogger! Very nice!
    yoyopattycakes at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Replies
    1. Thank you Beth. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  57. Friends mean so much - you are so lucky to have that kind of support for each other. And that quilt is much more than a quilt - it's all those memories and threads that bind you together.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Love your quilt and the story behind it. Thank you for sharing.
    Ronelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ronelle. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  59. I've lost a lot of my true friends along the path of marriage and traveling for work. They are still there, but I'm not. So sad that I have someone that keeps that joy from me because of insecurity. I still have phone conversations but that isn't enough most times.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Love your quilt! Such a beautiful story! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Beautiful quilt and story. Many of my friends from years past have moved away, and we no longer keep in touch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry that you have lost touch with your friends over the years. Friendship definitely requires effort from all parties. Good luck in the prize drawing! Blessings, M

      Delete
  62. What a lovely quilt and story behind it! Sooo precious! Thanks for sharing xx

    ReplyDelete
  63. What a lovely and thought provoking blogpost! I see a couple of different groups of girlfriends at least monthly. I have teacher friends, quilting friends and the others as well as my sisters. I feel blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Beautiful quilt, and beautiful story as well. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  65. This was such a lovely post. I love the quilt and all the joy behind it. I am glad you recognize the importance of your friends and the blessings they bring. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Great quilt & story behind it. Some former basketball team mates & myself managed a great get together when we were inducted into a local Hall of Fame some forty years after our team success. It was like we had never been apart! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I love the story of your quilt. My friends get together for lunch or dinner every so often. I have 2 friends that live quite far away. We get together for a long visit every few years.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I enjoyed your story, thank you. It did make me sad that I no longer spend time with my friends, but I do visit with some online. I am very lucky to have two adult daughters that are also my dear friends, we are very close. mtmom57@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Love your quilt and your story. It is so true. If I can't see my friends, I at least talk to them!! Thanks for sharing, Melva.

    ReplyDelete