Tuesday, June 23, 2015

For the Love of Friends

Where would our lives be if it weren’t for the friends who share our journeys?

Friends are deeply on my heart this morning as I consider how much they have added to my life.

New friends I’ve met while on the way –I enjoy getting to know you and hearing from you and sharing your excitement and joy over projects you are creating.

Sharing our love of fabric, vintage sewing machines, life stories, similarities and differences.

My life shines a brighter light because we have found each other.

And yes, if you have been reading me for the past 10 years – you DO know too much!

This post is about a very special friend of mine, a sweet girl I grew up with named Julie.


Julie & me, 12 years old, heading into 7th grade together.

Julie, now known as “Jules” in her grown up life, a fact I didn’t know until she found me on Facebook ((Yay for Facebook!!)) lived around the corner and down the street from me.  a 3 minute walk that seemed much longer when we were young.

We were INSEPARABLE as pre-teen girls can be, with sleep overs, loads of giggles, playing our guitars and singing in harmony, being goofy about boys and seeing in each other the soul-sisters we were.

"We will ALWAYS be friends!" we promised each other when I moved a mere 5 miles away ---too far too walk, not old enough to take the bus, definitely too far to ride our bikes across busy roads ---and finding ourselves in different schools.

Life went on.  Phone calls got fewer and father in between.  I’m not sure why, really –but that’s just a teenager's life.

A transfer in my step-dad’s job with Hewlett Packard moved us from San Jose, California to the Boise, Idaho area part way through 10th grade.  I stayed 6 weeks and was miserable.

I couldn’t adjust, I missed my friends, I mostly missed my dad ---and arrangements were made that I would go back to San Jose to finish school and live with my dad.  But my dad was in Santa Clara, and that put me WAY too far away from Almaden Valley in the south end of San Jose to see Julie.

My Junior year, Dad purchased a house on the same street as Julie! We were back in the same high school. By this time our lives had gone completely different direections –I was a drama/choir geek.  I was sewing costumes and performing, and hanging out with other musical/drama kids.

I’d see Julie in the quad, our lockers were not that far apart, and we were friendly, but there seemed to be too great a void of missing years –and I learned, or came to think anyway, that things are never the same.

We graduated.  We moved into our lives.

And this is where we fast forward 40 years from the time we were best buddies.


Something for a friend!

A couple of years ago, as I said…she found me on Facebook, and life instantly got so much brighter!  We caught up on what happened in our lives, and were so happy for where our live are now, and we are back to sharing things ---those childhood connections go SO deep.

I was able to meet up with her in person about a year and a half ago when I was in Arizona teaching and visiting my dad.  It was like we had never been apart.

And so this week, I am extremely sad at the passing of Julie’s dad  just two day’s after Jules’ 53rd birthday, and a couple days before Father’s Day.

Her heart is broken, and mine is breaking for her.

And this is when quilters get into gear.


This quilt needs to go to Jules!

She has often said when I am sharing things on my Facebook wall that she LOVES batiks. 

I made this quilt years ago without a real purpose, without a label.  I made it from gifted ends of strip sets that another friend had given, and I have loved this quilt in all of its quirkiness.  Not all of the blades on all of the kaleidoscope pieces are the same..I used whatever was in the bag and made it work out.  There were also a few Asian prints:


She will love these – her mom is Japanese!


I hope these little bits of happy Asian fabric make her smile.

They remind me of her cat Yuki when we were growing up.

This goes in the mail today as she and her family lay her dad to rest.  Her mom and dad still lived in the house the Julie grew up in, and maybe that is why all of these memories keep flooding back.  From 1973 when Julie and I first became friends, until now…her parents have stayed in that same house in my old neighborhood where all of my old memories of being a young girl with a best friend named Julie live on.

I wish I could be there in person to gift this to her myself, but she knows I am there in spirit.

Are you missing a friend you have lost track of?  Search for them.  Find them.

It brings your life full circle.

Love you, Julie Jules!

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  1. What a great story. Childhood friends reconnected through Facebook. Your gift will be a comfort to her in her grief.

  2. I feel your heart breaking for your dear friend. I'm not surprised you had a quilt ready to send her comfort at this sad time. 40 years ago I graduated from HS. I have a few of those kind of friends, we take up where we left off. Thinking good thoughts and praying for you and your friend.

  3. The story reminds me of a friend of mine. I had lost touch with her and I felt one day I should try to find her. I spent the whole day on the internet (before facebook) and finally found someone I thought was she. I have a phone phobia but I just HAD to call her and it was. She told me that she had just gotten home and felt so bad that she felt no one loved her but then I called, nearly 30 years after we had seen each other last, and she found the strength to go on. Hold tight to your friends both old and new. We need each other. Thanks so much for your inspiring story. nanny_of_phillip@yahoo.com

  4. I am in tears writing this as I feel your pain for your friend! You are such a special person Bonnie and I know that your friend will feel all the love and comfort that you put into each stitch of that quilt and will hold it very close to her heart! God Bless!

  5. Anonymous10:42 AM EDT

    Bonnie, thank you for your most timely blog. Those dear "old" friends are the best. A forever friend is currently fighting the big "C" fight. We have been friends for 52 years, always there if we needed each other's support. I am flying out to see her this week, supporting her as she fights this horrid disease. And of course the gift of a quilt is going with me.

  6. Such a tender story. I'm so sorry for her loss but I'm happy that you will be sending her a "hug" that she will treasure and snuggle as she grieves. Old friends can be the best friends, even with time lost between connecting. I treasure my friends from my youth...there are only three that I still keep in touch with, but we try to get together once a year and let the years fade away and take us to a simpler time in life.

  7. I love this, Bonnie; thanks for the reminder about what is truly important in life and how close our friends really, truly are... given today's technology. Julie will surely know how her friendship is valued and treasured each time she wraps up in this lovely quilt, a tangible hug from you when she needs it most!

  8. Bonnie, what a nice story. I have been able to reconnect to old friends through Facebook. As a matter of fact, I married a guy on May 15th that I went to high school with 46 years ago. A mutual friend found him on FB, got him to come to our 45th class reunion last July where we renewed out friendship. He was actually with me last November in Lafayette, IN when I took your class. Prayers to Jules and her family on the loss of her Dad.

  9. Anonymous11:13 AM EDT

    Very sorry for the loss of your dear friend's Dad!! This past Friday night, my childhood friend, Heather, slept over.In September we will celebrate 52 years of friendship, through thick and thin, good and bad, miles of separations, laughter and love. My life is richer knowing her. I am so happy you and Jules have reconnected!! As the girl scout song goes "make new friends but keep the old, some are silver and the other's gold" Thanks for all you do Bonnie!!

  10. Bonnie! You make such wonderful quilts!! I see such joy in them. YOUR friend is especially lucky to have you and one of your quilts.

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  11. Thank you for being a friend........to Jules, and to we Quiltvillians! (Cue Golden Girls theme.) What a beautifully heartfelt gift......and this quilt knew exactly where it was going to go while it was being made!

  12. I have a friend like that and she only lives minutes away. But every time we get together it is like time stood still. We pick up where we left off on conversations and gab forever. Our lives have changed drastically since 7th grade, when we first met, but she will always be near and dear to me as my first best friend. As for facebook, I found a long lost cousin on it last week and now have another way to stay in touch! Thanks for the beautiful story.

  13. What Kevin said! Yep, that quilt definitely knew the plan way before you did, Bonnie! It is a beautiful quilt as is your tribute to a special friendship. {{{HUGS}}} to you and your Jules!

  14. My 'best' friend is a friend I've had since I was 12, we have never lost touch so it was no surprise that when I announced on Facebook that my Dad had died yesterday, she was the first person to contact me!

    She spend quite a lot of time with me and my parents when we were growing up as I did with hers. She knows exactly how awkward my Dad could be at times!

  15. God bless you for doing this, Bonnie. It will mean so much to her. We have lost two parents in less than a year, and now another is sick. I do not know how I would get through it without caring friends. They make a huge difference in our lives.

  16. Anonymous4:05 PM EDT

    Dear Bonnie, You are such an amazing person. You give of your self and your talents willingly and without reservation. Not everyone is fortunate to have a friend like you. It appears from your story that life turned out so much different than either of you "dreamed" of but whose doesn't? Sometimes we make quilts just because as you did with this beautiful spinner quilt. Now you know why this was made and most importantly you know who will treasure it and the memories that it will bring back to "Jules." She is a fortunate lady to have you in her life. God Bless you in your life.
    Susan Hull

  17. I found a friend from England that I had met when I went on a Girl Scout trip in high school. She came to the states while I was in college and we met up then, but after that it was nothing but Christmas cards. Then she found me on Facebook. So we are back together again :)

  18. Helen Pulitano9:36 PM EDT

    Sounds alot like my girlfriend and I. Friends since the third grade through our first marriages. Then life, divorces and children ( 7 boys between us) got in the way. Reconnected about 15 years ago and she is the one that got me into quilting. We now travel together, with our secod husbands, who also have lots in common. And she and I love to kayak together, and stitch and sip, and play board games when we get together.

  19. Ah, that is sweet. So sorry for the loss of her dad. I found a childhood friend on facebook too! I wish we lived closer to each other.

  20. Jules will surely love that quilt. It is lovely in its own right but all the added touches that tie in with her life will make it priceless plus the fact that you have made it. I too have a childhood friend and we catch up frequently. She is my "anyway" friend - when we get together we just start in the middle of life with "Anyway..." and catch up once more.


  21. Oh Bonnie. This so made me cry. It is so good you have rekindled your friendship.
    I am not on Facebook but I might just get my daughter to help me out. I think I would like to chase up a childhood friend, from when I was 6, and I moved to Melbourne after my dad was killed in a car accident. We kept in contact via post for a few years. Years passed and we got in contact agin. She was bridesmaid back in 1983. Haven't had contact with her since she left the country when our children were young about 1990. I might make it my challenge.,thanks for the inspiration

  22. Thanks for a beautiful story, finding an old friend. She will love the quilt. Dad's are special.

  23. It's a beautiful post Bonnie. Your friend Julie is so fortunate she has you as her childhood friend. the quilt is so "lively" looking and will mean a lot to her. Is this pattern from one of your books?

  24. Hi Bonnie. That is what real friends are. It doesn't matter how long it is, since you have talked. You pick it back up as if it was 5 minutes ago.
    Best wishes, Meran

  25. Bonnie, I'm typing though teary eyes here at the library. What a beautiful and appropriate quilt to gift to your soul mate childhood friend during this time. It will mean the WORLD to her - way more than flowers or donations to a charity. I know because like Jules, I had to say goodbye to my dad last week. How wonderful for you two to have reconnected!!! Life is a beautiful thing!

    Love from Georgia - but I'm actually in Kentucky :)


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