Monday, December 05, 2005
My Friend Sarah...
This is my friend, Sarah. She is the best friend in the world and if she ever comes into your life, you'll be blessed. You'll have to indulge me, today, as I am feeling sentimental and just a bit weepy. I met Sarah six years ago. Have you seen the movie, White Christmas? Sarah looks and talks just like Rosemary Clooney. Only Sarah actually sings better than Rosemary Clooney! No kidding. And can't we all use a little bit of George Clooney genes in our lives? She is very nurturing and mothering, without being smothering. And she knows everybody. We actually dated the same guy! How weird is that? She had just moved to Indiana from Seattle, Washington and I had just moved here from the Chicagoland area. We had 5-month old daughters who were only one week apart in age. Both our first- her first child and my first daughter. Now, I had 5 sons and so you might think that we wouldn't have a lot in common- and really, I probably thought that, also. Let's face it, with six children and having bought the king of all fixer-upper houses, I was afraid I wouldn't have much to offer someone, in terms of time, energy. But Sarah was irresistable.
I think it was our first winter here when some of us ladies from church decided we would have a quilting day, once a week. Several of them had never made a quilt and a couple of us had made many, so it seemed a good combination. I decided not to make anything and just help out those who needed some extra attention. The first sewing session was at Sarah's house and she was sitting in the dining room wrestling with an irish chain for her daughter, Madeleine. She couldn't get the points to match up- it was her first quilt. Her mom quilts, but does/did most of it by hand, I think. So I take a peak. She was doing a lovely job, but she didn't know about opposing seams. Wow, it was like a light going off and she was outta there! She was so thrilled with the results and just a bit miffed that she hadn't known about that earlier! One of our friends would constantly suggest that you just rip out seams if they weren't perfect, but I am a quilter, not a ripper and I coaxed Sarah into easing things into place. I wonder if Sarah could post a picture of her first quilt? If she'll still talk to me after this! Quilting, as well as a lot of things, is all about knowing the tricks. Yeah, you can do it the hard way, but when you know the tricks, it makes things so much more enjoyable. That's how Sarah started quilting like a maniac- and I'd like to think I had something to do with it 'cause she really is a natural.
A couple years later and many more quilt tops done, we went together and bought a longarm quilting machine. For our birthdays- both in June. She had a huge house- mine is pretty big, too, but by now I had 7 kids and so the rooms were filled. I would come, faithfully, and quilt every Thursday. We'd have lunch together and she'd help me pin quilts on. I'd help her pin quilts on. Some days we'd quilt together. We'd drive an hour to the nearest quilt shop and make a day of it, lugging babies along. Having chicken salad croissants on the porch of the victorian tea house. Can I express how much those times meant to me? I don't think I can.
The following is really for Sarah, and I don't mind you reading, but it gets emotional and I'd hate to drag anyone, unwittingly, through that.
The summer that I was pregnant with our 8th child, we made several trips to those quilt shops and I bought this freakily bright batik to make a baby quilt. Sarah says, "Are you sure? Might keep the baby awake!" It was rainbow colored with jungle animals on it and I loved how bright it was. I made a nifty orange peel quilt from it with some bright yellow. Then the next time I bought citrus colored fossil ferns and the next time it was berry colored fossil ferns. How many quilts would one baby need, but it was like I knew he'd need them... Our baby Abel passed away when I was 5 months pregnant and it was the worst thing ever for me, but Sarah was so steady. That's when you really need a friend. She'd let me talk when I wanted to, but mostly, she just treated me like ME, instead of a sad story. She didn't make demands and she didn't ask questions. She just stayed the same Sarah that I loved. She's a great person and a great friend.