Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer 2013: Quliters' Friendships

:: { James Town, North Dakota}::

 { Such lovely and sweet quilt}

 {A}

 { over hundred different prints in this special quilt}

{such cozy and sweet quilt arrangement}

 {Elnora's hand & my hand} 

 ::{ Nippori, Japan}::

 { White Cloud, the Buffalo from N.D. }

 {Ayumi, on the left; me, on the right}

 { Same quilt, but different location}

{ Finally arrived}


Allow me to share very special friendships and story with you. You might want to brew a cup of tea, get a few some sweets ,  just rest and hope you'll enjoy this post as much as I write it.

The virtual quilting community is so very special to many of us. Over the years, I have "met" so many of amazing quilters, sewers, and crafters.  These friends are generous, kind, encouraging and so sweet. I can't find better words to write about the friendships that you have extended, truly touched and special.

Over the year, I have loved to read your emails, comments and interacting with you via {Flickr}and at {1/4" mark}. Slowly some of you have shared a bit of your personal life stories with me { and thank you for the countability} and a little more about different life experiences that you and I encountered. I love get to know you personally and share a bit this and that with you!  Oh, yes not all the life experiences are great and sometimes, life is a little upside down and under our control. I confess there are much more to learn and take time to make pauses if we need to. Many of your wise suggestions and encouraging words have helped me in many ways. It is beyond what I could ask for!! 

My very dear friend, {Elnora}  and I met via Flickr. She is so sweet and talented! Beyond sweet, let's say! She is always so sweet and her emails are always encouraging and helpful with my problems and questions. Along with her many years oversea experiences that made me feel so closed to her when we first started "talking".  As you know,  many times in this blog I have mentioned Elnora is like a sweetest aunt whom spoils S like no one.  We have exchanged  many emails time to time, but never text or talk on the phone. Later on, we exchanged phone number and I text her to ask for help on the trouble airline tickets. She was so helpful and made phone calls for me to ask her friends for more helps. Then we finally have our first chat on the phone... oh boy.. was I not nervous?! My tongue was twisting... oh dear... it was so nice to hear her's voice, so soft and sweet and it is REAL! We talked so much! Fabric, sewing, and the trouble with the airline and much more...

Between our exchanged emails I knew she was making a baby quilt for our dear mutual friend, { Ayumi, Pink Penguin}. Each time, in our exchanged email she shared a few snap photos of the baby quilt that she was working on.  I love her perfect fussy cuts for this quilt. Each fussy cut is thought out and Elnora takes her time to process each of her handmade project. Later on,  I mentioned that I will be in Japan and have arranged a meet up with Ayumi and I would love and happy to hand deliver her quilt to Ayumi. We have had few arrangements about her sending the quilt to my N.D. address, but when she mentioned she will be visiting her relatives in N.D. in May around the time that we were moving. It took a few days for me to make sure we could drive down to meet up with her.

Since it was the last week of S' schooling and I've checked with her teacher with the academic activities that day. I decided to withdraw S at noon from school and we drove down to meet up with Elnora. There was so much rainy days before she came and I was so worry about the weather! The drive to James Town was perfect and smooth after so much rain. It was like a filed trip that S and I taken together. We've never been to any other cities in N.D. other than the city we lived and Fargo where we occasionally go shopping for some authentic Asian food. 

S was wowing over the greatest Buffalo Monument on top of the hill in James Town. She was glad to see the olden days' post office, barber shop, fire station, etc. When Elnora and we met up, she gave me a big and warm hug and so did S! Our time together was so fun! We went to the Buffalo museum, so S could visit the Buffalo and read about the histories. 

After we left the Buffalo Museum, Elnora show us the baby quilt that she made for Ayumi! All these snap photos that she sent to me are puzzled together in real life. There's a lot of fabric stories between her and Ayumi that they shared. Elnora went through some of the fabric stories with me, so very touched friendship.  I love the fussy cut of {A} for Ayumi.  There are so many special prints that cut with special effort to make this baby quilt warm and cozy!  Not sure if my words have used properly for the touched feeling that I have.  We spent a very sweet, special and just fun afternoon together. I think if we both got sewing machine by us that would be even better! Some tea, homemade cookies, laughs, fabric talks, maybe even fabric shopping somewhere?.. Next time, shall we?  How we wish our visit could be longer, but the drive home is a little bit long.  S and I depart the city and return to our home.

On our way home, S napped and while sitting on the driver seat I slowly recall the moments that I just had and the meet up with my very first virtual sewing friend in real life and the super special friendship mission to Japan that I committed. ... oh.. we didn't tell Ayumi! This was a top secrete!! Even I had emailed Ayumi with our departure date before our internet disconnected. I was as quiet as I can be! 

When we arrived home, the first thing I did was set the quilt on top of the suitcase. The next morning,  I rearranged the suitcase and it fitted perfectly.  When we checked in our luggage at the airport, I was so worry!! Felt so worry,  what if the suitcase got lost in the transition, maybe I should have carry it with me.Thank goodness everything went well! Even 3 out of 4 luggage have been opened by the security. Everything that I set inside of the suitcase was there! I bet they were wondering why so many fabrics, books, and sewing tools in each luggage.  When we arrived our hotel room the first thing I asked S was help me to get the suitcase open. I checked once, twice, and just wanted to make sure the quilt is in the original condition. It might sound a bit crazy, but it is a super precious quilt that I carried with and I was trusted by a very dear friend to bring another friend a very warm and personal present.

Meeting Ayumi in real life is so special and almost so unreal to me. As many of you already know that she is expecting and the date is coming so soon! We arranged a meet up in the Tomato Fabric Store awhile back. She looks perfect as a mama to be. She is so comfortable to be with just like what she expresses herself and her works in her blog.  I feel I am  alike a big fan meeting the super star; I was so so nervous I must confess!!  We went for lunch in the local restaurant and had great visit about our trip in Japan and our move in the states! She shared some of her process while she was writing her book { Patchwork, please}. It is a great and such lovely book with lots fantastic projects and of course, I love her fabric arrangement as always.

Later on we went to a coffee shop where we could sit and visit. I thought that would be a perfect timing to present the quilt that I brought for her.   Finally, I could let the cat out of the bag. I am good at keep secrete, but it is hard sometimes. I am so anxious to hand the baby quilt to Ayumi  and so anxious to write back to Elnora that the quilt has been safely delivered. The excitements I have had.. oh dear.. am I too chatty about this?

When I handed the quilt to Ayumi, she was so surprised and unexpected with this baby quilt that Elnora made her. Oh dear, she shared with me that she had no idea that Elnora was making this baby quilt for her. She was so wordless of some moments. I quietly waited for her to look through each block and fabric prints. We together looked through the fussy cuts and cute prints. S and I told her some prints that we learned from Elnora. Ayumi shared that she have seen some of the images from Elnora, but she didn't know that it is for her.

There were joy tears from her and I knew that the quilt and friendships have deeply touched her soul and heart. I am so glad my small act made this quilt and friendship extra special. We look and look at the quilt and we chat more about the quilt and talk about the friendship. 

Thank you, Elnora, for trusting me to hand deliver your special quilt that you made for Ayumi. I am so honored to be part of this friendship and surprise!! {Oh.. I love your extra large zippers bag that you store the quilt}. Best of best, I could match your face and voice when I read your email.. :)

It has been a so fantastic trips that we have taken and met ups that we made with our special friends. Thank you, Ayumi for travel to meet up with us. Oh boy, I did worry about you.. I forgot how I was when I had S in me and I was slightly nervous for you~ Wish you all my best of best~

Let the journey continues...

xxc









19 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post!! It really warms my heart to read this story of friendship and love across the world! Thank You for sharing.

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  2. What a beautiful story and lovely friendship you women have created through the art and love of sewing and quilting. It is also wonderful that you got to share it with the next generation through S. and the almost-here baby! It is obvious how much these friendships mean to you and I am so grateful that technology allows us to be a part of each other's lives!
    Take care,
    Tricia

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  3. Oh, Chase! Your post is so beautiful I have tears in my eyes; it's hard to type. It was so, so wonderful to meet you and the sweet, smart Miss S in Jamestown! It was such a fun afternoon! That you drove 2 1/2 hours each way to meet me made me feel incredibly honored, and I wish we lived near one another so we could chat as we sewed together.

    Thank you for your great kindness in delivering the quilt to Ayumi! It was a much warmer and more cozy way to transmit it to her than by mailing. I love that you two rock star bloggers got to meet in real life!

    You're so sweet and talented and generous! I'm very grateful for our friendship, dear...

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  4. How lovely that you got to meet both of these friends, and so kind of you to do this for them. What a lovely post, thank you for sharing.

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  5. What a sweet story Chase. It is so wonderful how technology has made possible for people with common interest to meet and develop friendships. That otherwise would have never crossed paths. Thank you so much for sharing and allowing us to be part of your world.

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  6. I so enjoyed reading this beautiful story, how three people are connected by the same love of fabric and passion for sewing. The quilt is stunning, and its obvious the work and care as well as fabric selection is meticulous, as are all of Elnoras creations. I always think this quote is perfect for online connections. There are no such things as strangers, only friends we haven't met yet. :)

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  7. thank you for sharing this lovely story of trust and friendship. It is so wonderful to meet our quilty/blog friends. I hope to meet you one day soon.

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  8. What a lovey post! Hope you have a great day, Tiina x

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  9. Chase, thank you so much for this lovely post!!! It is so nice to see, that the virtual friendship could became so real! :) :)

    Thank you, Chase, for sharing your nice story with your lovely friends :) Have a great time, Jola

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  10. Oh, Chase, what a beautiful story! And, thank you for sharing it. You express yourself so well in English! I would love to meet you in person some day-you are like quilting star to me!!
    Kathy

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  11. What a GREAT story Chase, and the quilt is beautiful. How exciting for you to meet your blogging friends.
    Happy sewing!!!

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  12. What a special post! I lived in Jamestown for five years and taught at the college there. (After completing masters at UND). The sewist in me appreciated your telling of the threads that bind Chase-Elnora-Ayumi; the North Dakotan in me appreciated the references to familiar places :-)

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    1. We must be closed... We were in grand forks for three years then we just moved away late May this year. Oh dear, I rarely came cross friends on blog that have visited ND. Jamestown is surely a pretty town. We really enjoyed our visit. xc

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  13. my goodness - you let me read your diary, so awesome!! I'm such big fans of you, elnora, ayumi, hopefully someday I will have a chance to meet you guys. :D
    *really ??? just hand of Elnora and you ? where is a real picture ? LOL

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  14. Oh how wonderful! What a beautiful way to express friendship, love and generosity of spirit :)

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  15. Such a touching post Chase, I could imagine everything!

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  16. A lovely story Chase. It was great that you got to meet such fantastic people that are so admired as you are as well. A beautiful quilt that was delivered in such a special way!

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  17. Somehow I found your blog about the time you were moving...a photo somewhere referencing Grand Forks or UND drew me in as I am from North Dakota though live in Minneapolis now. This is a wonderful story and I look forward to following your travels this year.

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  18. Aww Chase! I loved reading this post! It was truly an amazing experience for me to meet you, S, and receive such beautiful gifts from you and Elnora! I still think about the day and it makes me happy every time. You are such a sweet friend, Chase!!!

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