Fugly.

I participated in a Mystery with my quilt group recently, and we were told to bring 3 yards of a tonal fabric cut into 2.5″ strips. I selected a mid-tone green. Pretty fabric.

The hostess of the mystery is the former owner of my favorite quilt shop, which closed last January. She had tons of strips left over from the shop, so she randomly packaged them into kits for us.

We did the piecing step-by-step together, and didn’t know what the quilt design would actually look like until several hours into the process.

I finished all of the blocks for mine tonight, hoping that it would improve (because with my Evidence of Disease quilt from last year, it DID get more cohesive the more blocks I did), but it did not. I think if I had picked any other color as my main color, it might have been okay.

But this? This is seriously fugly.

Fugly1

This is one unfinished quilt that might remain that way. Gak.

My friends at ScrapShare pointed out that it had the unfortunate bonus of green swastikas in it. Good thing I didn’t choose red, huh?

Anyway… here it is with the blocks rearranged, so as to eliminate the unintentional bigotry:

Fugly2

I still think it’s hideodious, so I offered up the blocks to the first person to send me a message through ScrapShare’s messaging system. Joan is the lucky winner (?!) and will receive these lovelies in the mail shortly.

No harm done… It was a fun mystery to do (I like the pattern, really, minus the swastikas), I had a good time with my quilting friends, I had a laugh on ScrapShare about my unfortunate results, and I’ve found the blocks a loving home.

Long live the fugly!

(Just not in my house)

I have been changed for good.

“It well may be that we may never meet again in this lifetime,
so let me say before we part
so much of me is made from what I’ve learned from you
You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
Know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.” — from Wicked, “For Good”

Texas (of course), Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Ontario. And a dear friend from Minnesota who wasn’t able to come at the last minute.

An OB/GYN, an attorney, several RNs, entrepreneurs, academics, and technical experts… some are stay-at-home-moms and some aren’t. Some have children at home (from one child up to five kids), some have grown children, some don’t have children.

Fifty women are here in Fort Worth for ScrapShare Texas 4, gathered for a weekend of scrapbooking and laughter, tears and support, and incredible friendship. Some of us met for the first time this weekend, some of us are reunioning for the umpteenth time. Many, many hugs, finished layouts taped to the walls, and the various experts in the room periodically teaching technique classes through the weekend.

I am a very lucky woman to be able to share in this communion this weekend. I came last year and discovered a camaraderie unlike anything else I’ve experienced before. I planned all year to come back, and the day of travel finally arrived on November 1. I’ll be here for two more days, and it’ll send me home refreshed and ready to be thrust back into the daily routine of mommyhood.

What is it about online communities? We share a level of intimacy in our conversations online that I don’t even have with friends in real life. I know little pieces of these women’s lives…. Nel has three boys and is a single mom with amazing strength. Melissa is pregnant after much hoping and praying. Diane loves dogs like I do. A lot of us talk with our hands. Gaye moved from Oklahoma to Ohio this past year and has never missed a SSTX retreat. One of us is going through a very rough divorce right now and is here for moral support — of which we have plenty. At least two of us have disabled children, several have children with autism. Another has a family member undergoing cancer treatment and she has suddenly become the primary caregiver — I cried for her when she arrived. Another has had recent tumult in her family life that I won’t detail, but I know that she is getting bolstering from this gathering than none of us can possibly fathom. Many of us left home renovations in progress at home. Another is returning home to move to a new house when the weekend is done. Not a single woman in this room is a stranger, because we all share a passion for scrapbooking and documenting our lives, and because we share our triumphs and losses online. I have cared deeply for some of these women for almost 9 years now, and I know that my life is richer for it.

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? Because I knew you, Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” — from Wicked, “For Good”