Before I moved to Maine, I met Maine quilter Sally Field via the QuiltArt online quilt list; in fact, she is one of the ways we found our way to the Camden and Hope area! After moving here, she kept telling me about her friend Dianne Hire, who lived maybe half an hour north of me.
The second year (or thereabouts–circa 2006) that we were here in Maine, Dianne was scheduled to teach at Paul Smith’s Quilt Camp in the Adirondacks (New York). Alas, she injured her back–badly–just a couple days before. She didn’t want to cancel on the venue and students, but she was on serious pain meds and couldn’t drive. The quilters network went into overdrive, and to make a hectic 36 hours short, I ended up being able to take a week away from family, drive her to the camp, help her with the heavy lifting and schlepping of stuff (all quilt teachers know how much heavy lifting, literally, is involved!) and in exchange, get to take her classes and stay for free. I met Dianne, then, for the first time as I went to pick her up to head out to camp.
That weekend was to become life-changing for me: for the first time, I was on the teacher’s site of a retreat. I met other quilt teachers and realized hey! I teach locally now, I can do this. That weekend is what led to me becoming a national level quilting teacher. I had never thought of that, but this weekend opened my eyes, I saw a doorway, and off I went!
Fast forward many years: Dianne’s APP is for Applique became a quilter’s favorite. But she had (of course she did!) more ideas than could fit in one book. After life happening (including back surgery) for her, she finally got to put more ideas into APP-2-Applique. The book is so much fun–not only does it have great patterns, quilts by my local peeps (who are of course HER local peeps too), but it teaches you how to make your own designs, too. Way cool!
Dianne’s first class that weekend was the designs that became this book, and I was having so much fun, I just kept working on my quilt in her next classes. And I have to say, it is a testament to Dianne’s goodness that despite the incredible pain (even with major pain killers) that she was unfailingly polite, gracious and kind to one and all that weekend. Utterly amazing!
So I thank Dianne, for her friendship, for including my quilts in her books, for teaching, for showing me the way. When the books arrived at her house, she called us all up and we ended up (a bunch of us published in the book) going to Dianne’s house for tea and signing the books–like autographing yearbooks. I treasure being in this book with my friends! Thank you, Dianne, for all you have done for me and shared with me.