December 12, 2012

My Circle of Influence...

Sandy's Saturday Coffee Club
"You become the five people with whom you spend the most time."

I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many more loving and talented women. Our time together is always filled with creative ideas and shared values, and when someone is ill or bothered, we're always there for each other. We miss each other when we're apart and we look forward to each visit. We're "family" in every sense of the word.

I'd like to start by introducing you to all the generous and talented quilting women with whom I share most Saturday mornings, and many days in between. These are the gals you frequently read about here on my blog...the Saturday Coffee Club.

They are (l-r) Flo (my applique' teacher and mentor), Joni (who does perfect machine applique' and loves all things "duck-y"!); Nora (whose quilting skills are envious); Fay (everything she makes is fabulous); Kathy (her wicked sense of humor exceeds my own and her long arm skills make my quilts look better than they actually are); me, and Brenda (who is one of the kindest, sweetest people I know, on top of all the gorgeous things she creates). They inspire me to hone both my quilting and my friendship skills and I love each and every one of them.
Paneras Yarn Girls
Then, there are the women who gather together on Tuesday nights at Paneras in Port Charlotte, Florida. I first met many of them through the Project Linus group that I joined four or five years ago. Adele and Helen (in the red tops) and dear, dear Ellen (in the green vest) are still part of that group. They helped me to become a consistent crocheter and we've visited and laughed over many a knitting project. They're still waiting for me to complete my ivory bamboo sweater!

Tammy (on the far right of this picture) is the inspiration behind our gathering. She was the organizer for the original group when we met at Books-a-Million, and she's always been the glue that holds us together. Her heart is as big as a house, and she not only knits and crochets, but she also spins her own yarns and throws her own yarns bowls, vases, dinnerware and more out of clay.  I treasure her gifts. Her pieces are both beautiful and useful and I'm proud to call her my friend.

Margaret (front row in the blue and white top) is from Canada. She travels back and forth each year, and we always look forward to her winter migration. Her work is incredible. When we met last night, she gave Tammy a pair of fingerless mittens. She had made them yesterday! (She uses the "two at a time" method, working on both mittens on one circular needle.) They were beautiful, and now that Tammy is moving north after Christmas, they'll be much appreciated as they help keep her warm.

Kathy (who completes the front row) and Anne (in black behind her) also share their talents with our group. Kathy creates beautiful, ruffled scarves to sell and Anne not only knits, but she's my "quilting sister" and fellow Wisconsinite in the group, too. She is teaching me more about hand stitched quilts, and I suspect that by the end of 2013, I will have created my first hand quilted piece under her guidance.

I regret that I don't yet know the rest of the gals in our photo very well. A couple are newcomers, and the others are "part-timers", but I look forward to getting to know them better as time goes on. I've seen their work and will continue to look forward to seeing their creations as they share them with us.

I mentioned that Tammy is moving north after Christmas. I'm not in the least bit happy about this. She's going to be moving to Virginia with her husband as they follow a great work opportunity for him at Quantico. I mean, this is much further away than Tampa or even Atlanta! It's not like she'll be able to "pop in" to see us once a month. We're all sad to see her go, but wish them the best in their new adventure.
I believe that our best "family" is made up of the friends and relatives who most closely share our values, our interests and our love for each other. These women are the family that live in Florida, close to me (along with Handsome and a few good friends outside this group).

It is said that "water seeks its own level". I am forever astonished and grateful that all these beautiful hearts are part of my Circle of Influence. I am blessed.

4 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

The Farmer's Attic said...

It is wonderful when we are surrounded not only by those we love but by those who love us!!! Your times with your friends sound like such fun - enjoy!!!


Createology said...

"Water does seek its own level" and you are part of the generous giving huge hearts that you describe here. Loving friends and family are the threads that hold our lives together. Beautiful post dear...

Terri Sue said...

You are sooo Blessed Donna!

Queenie Believe said...

You are truly blessed with lovely and talented friends!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie


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