Friday, June 27, 2014

Friendship Stars

What a profound opportunity for this month's 6" swap. My June partner requested hers in Kaffee Fassett-like fabric with yellow and done in either the Double Windmill or the Friendship Star.  

Friendship Star. Here is the link to the pattern I found. Friendship-Star . I went to one of the stores in town to find the fabric line, which they do not carry, so bought a solid yellow & a print that seemed to work. I made the two for the swap by reversing the solid with the pattern. It made me think about the friendships I have as well as those simple ones made through the various swaps.

On my visit back to the Midwest, I spent time with family of course, but also with some of the friends I have back in the Twin Cities. Some of them I've known for decades now, and the quilting swap friends are all pretty recent.

Friendship evolves for most of us over time. I remember enjoying that phrase that says we have friends for 'a reason, a season, or for our lifetime', and that is still true for me.

I think I pull in relationships with people who share my values. These are the ones I laugh with, cry with, think with and even find sacred spaces with. People who think I am eccentric or too loud or just not like them tend to leave. And honestly, I can find myself wondering why I stay with folks who are different from me too.

Things that don't matter to me so much is who they sleep with, what they eat or how much money they have. What does matter to me is if they are kind, if they have a positive outlook on life and if they want to keep evolving.

With the new quilting or fabric friends I am making through the swaps, what matters to me is their commitment to their work, and if they 'ship on time'. A plus to those friendships is what I learn from them about their work. 

For instance, I asked my June 6" block swap partner what she planned to do with the blocks she received. She showed me a picture of some of the blocks laid out on point over a piece of fabric she may use as sashing. It gave me an idea what she's received, and also about her creative juices for this work. I could see how my blocks might fit with the others, and then felt ok with the fabric and color choices I made.

Through this all, I know I want to up my game as a friend. I've been thinking how this would play out and the first thing I want to increase is my generosity. Oh sure, I am a generous person. My parents taught me this, and we come from a nationality where people are generous beyond belief. So how does this work?

Well, I think we live in a culture right now where more people are scared of running out of material resources and operate under a scarcity mentality. 

Not so with folks I know. Folks I know open their homes, give freely of their resources and share what they have, all of what they have. I do that too. But I want to do more. I want to be more generous, and surprise myself with sharing. I have already begun to think and to plan, and to give. 

I started thinking about the circles of people I surround myself with. In the first circle are members of my family and close friends. The 2nd circle is made up of folks that could be acquaintances or people I meet or know but are not involved in my life. The 3rd circle is the rest of the world. Its easy to give to people I know, and also to people in the 3rd circle who are people I don't know, such as making a comfort quilt for kids in a hospital or for a fundraiser. Its that 2nd circle of folks that I think are people I have overlooked or neglected. These are the ones I want to think about more.