Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hangin' out with the Hippy Quilter

I have a best friend. Now that's nothing out of the ordinary.......most people have best friends or at least hope that they do. But my best friend is a little different. You see, we've been best friends for 30 years.

Yeah, I know. That number kinda freaks me out too. To put it into perspective, her oldest granddaugher is the same age now that I was when I met Kathy. There's something about that that just doesn't seem quite right ya know. Somewhere in the back of my mind, Kathy and I are still young. She's still a size three and I'm still a size seven (she's shorter than me) and we're still partying every night. There are still Harleys parked in the driveway and we're still cruising the country roads in her orange Dodge van. Then I open my eyes and reality once again hits me with the fact that we're middle aged and our days of Harleys and parties that last for a week are all over.

Kathy and I met when I was 17 and had just gotten married to my first husband. She lived next door to me and was recently widowed with two little boys to raise on her own. We were both scraping to make ends meet and life wasn't all roses for either one of us, but gawd, we had fun together! Over the years we didn't stay living next door to each other, but we've always been just a phone call away. When email came along, we were both delighted coz we could talk to each other all day and not have a phone bill the size of Mt Rushmore!! And we do talk to each other every day, all day long. We usually exchange between 15 to sometimes 30 or more emails a day.

Just one of the things that we have in common is the need to create. We're both earth mothers and at one time or another, we've done about every hand craft that there is to do. She could macrame a lot better than I could. My macrame always looked like something the cat threw up. We made halter tops out of bandanas and embellished our blue jeans. I don't think I should mention the live cow that we painted neon orange. I think the statute of limitations has run out but one can never be too careful about that sort of thing.

Textile arts are something that we both do in different forms. She makes bed quilts and I make art quilts. She sews pieces together and I'll sew anything that doesn't move onto a piece of fabric. We make some seriously cool crazy quilt needlecases together. She does the piecing and I do the embellishing. Those are pictures of one of them at the top of this entry.

When I took up miniatures, Kathy said "Oh cool!!" and encouraged me every step of the way. By the time I finished my first house I was telling her to pick a dollhouse and I'd build it for her. She picked the Lily and I built it to match the Sea Side Rose quilt she made for her bedroom. I'd made an art quilt for her out of scraps from the quilt so I had some of the fabric on hand to match the colors.

Kathy lives in Armpit, Oklahoma now but she drove up to Denver last weekend so we could go to the quilt show together. We had a great time!! After all these years together, we don't need to exchange words anymore so we could look at a quilt, look at each other and just know what the other one thought of it. Usually our opinions match anyway. We looked at sooooooo many pretty quilts and art quilts and got to talk to a few of the artists. There were plenty of vendors so we had a great time shopping too. She got a nifty new rotary cutter and I found lots of fabric in 1:12 scale. Oh, and we both got some new back supports for our work chairs because, well, let's face it, our shopping styles have changed a lot as we got older. Instead of being excited over the new jeans at the head shop, we're more excited over a good back support.

It's good to have someone to grow old with. I'm fortunate to have a friend like Kathy because she's a truly exceptional person. No one ever accused her of fitting into the norm but I don't either so together we make a good pair of outlaw quilters and crazy old ladies. Oh, one other thing. Before she left to go home, we loaded up a Laurel dollhouse into the back of her PT Cruiser (which is red with flames on the front end). So now her Lily has a new neighbor. We also planned how she wants her Willowcrest to look when I build it.

It's been a great week because I got to hang out with the Hippy Quilter and I'm going to get to build another Willowcrest. Life is good.


  1. What fun! How lucky you are to have had your best friend for (the scary number) of years! ;-)

    Here's to many more. :-)

  2. A neon orange cow, huh!!! Now I'd a like to seen that!! Haha....poor cow! I think it's great that you have a Best friend to share your life with!!

    And that quilt that's posted is Beautiful! Love all the details in it!!

  3. Deb, my friend Tracy and I have been friends since we were three years old, we went to Nursery, primary and secondary school together. We are still best friends now 42 years later..