I belong to a private Facebook group of lovely ladies. We’ve been together a while (close to four years now) and in the way that only seems possible through the marriage of quilting and on-line communities, these women are my stitchy sisters. We’re there for each other through thick and thin, and it’s a good and wonderful thing. The group has a cheeky name: “Unique Snowflakes of F***ing Awesome”. In short, we are The Snowflakes.
We got together originally to do a block exchange, but stayed for the friendship afterwards. Our private page has become the place we go to when we need to celebrate a win, snivel about a miss, grump about anything, and gab about pretty much everything. We post occasional pix of hunky fellas, and we’re always up for looking at the humorous side of anything. Be it funny, snarky, serious, or ribald, we take care of each other there.
As part of the group, I’ve participated in the making of a couple of group quilts. The first one we made was for Megan Dougherty – you might know her as The Bitchy Stitcher – and I’ll let her tell you the story here. We’ve made a couple of others… one for a member in Australia (yep, we’re multinational) and another for a member’s hubby after he lost a couple of toes to an industrial accident. We’re quilters: when the going gets tough, we get sewing. It’s what we do best.
Unbeknownst to me, I was chosen to receive a Snowflake quilt. This year started out rough… after wrangling with my own heart health for the last 8 years, it seems that my son inherited my wonky cardiac genetics. In February, he was just beginning a series of tests that, for a while, kept saying some really scary things. I might also add that we don’t live in the same state, so all of this was being managed and fretted about long-distance. It was harrowing to watch him receive the same diagnoses I live with, from afar. I would happily have it twice to save him, but they don’t offer mothers that option, do they? FYI, like mine, my son’s heart is currently stable. We’ll call that a win.
It turns out, the Snowflakes felt pretty helpless, too, as they tried to support me. So they got busy sewing. After tossing ideas back and forth, it was decided that ORANGE based blocks around the theme of “Sam I Am” were in order. And this wonderful creation is the result:
It arrived last week, and all I’ve managed to do since I opened the package is cry. We’re talking the big, snotty, Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer, I-ran-out-of-tissues cry. Nothing remotely elegant about it at all. And not that you couldn’t guess, I’m crying as I write.
I’m utterly in awe of each block being a conversation between me and its maker. They used my favorite colors and the letters from my book, and added things like my beloved typewriter fabric and my green Mini Cooper. But the blocks also reflect the artists who made them: Paula’s intense hand embroidery; Adva’s signature selvedge critters; Kimberly’s big heart (which matches HER); Kim’s crazy use of every possible fabric she can cram in; Barbara and Chelley’s custom embroidery chops; Megan N’s big stitch threadwork; Janet’s strongly graphic improv; Jean’s use of the Quilt Talk letters; Melissa’s use of her own improv alphabet; Trish the librarian playing art games with me (hello Seurat!); Flaun the copy editor playing word games with me (hello Hunter’s Star!)
And Megan D adding the typewriter for the love of words that binds us together, she and I. I might also point out that Megan managed the coordination and assembly of this with one shoulder frozen and not playing nice about rotary cutting. As we say in internet speak… I. Can’t. Even.
I remain quite speechless – a feat unto itself! Seriously though, while I love words, I seem to be unable to find the ones that can adequately describe what it feels like to stand in this much love. I’m floored. I can’t wrap my head around it at all. I am utterly verklempt. Still. To receive the gift of such a quilt is the sweetest kindness imaginable.
Thank you, dear Snowflakes. I love every last stitch on it.