Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Houston and the Twelves

The best thing about my trip to Houston were the people that I met. The Twelves, of course. I'm not sure I can even explain what it meant.

Here are the nine of us who were able to get to Houston—front row: Diane, me, Gerrie. Behind us: Terri, Karen, Brenda, Deborah, Kristin, Nikki. Also, cardboard cutouts of our missing members, Helen, Kirsty and Francoise. Some of us had met one on one, but this was the first time we were together as a group and the first time many of us had met one another. We are from Oregon, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Washington, North Dakota, England, Belgium and Australia.  After 4 years of online communication, it was like getting together with old friends. Not many surprises. We are a remarkably compatible, congenial group. I loved them all.

The first evening we were there we all went to dinner together at Ninfa's, an historic and very popular Houston Tex-Mex restaurant. We had a great visit over margaritas and fabulous food.

After dinner we went back to the hotel where we gathered to share gifts we had brought. Brenda had put together a slide presentation of our project from the very beginning, including lots of photos from the blog and from previous showings of some of the quilts. Together we remembered funny moments and photos from the first time the quilts were all together in Australia and the journey of our work and our friendship. I have to tell you it was powerful and emotional to watch and put our "little project" into perspective. It ended with an image of all 288 quilts, and we gasped, in unison.

She presented each of us with a CD and told us she had mailed it to the three members who were not there to watch as we were seeing it. The next day we had emails from Kirsty, Francoise and Helen who were as moved as we, in Houston, were. Kirsty, in Australia, wrote: "Brenda's CD has overwhelmed me. I just had a flash, an understanding of what we have done. When the image of all 288 quilts appeared on the screen I lost it. How can I ever tell you all what this means? But you know, don't you? This is one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The days went quickly, and we savored our time together. Breakfasts in the hotel, dinners, walks, back and forth to the convention center, gathering around the tables in our exhibit and marveling, again and again, at finally being together, how easy and natural it was, and what we had done, as a group, in a mere four years. It was an experience of being in a moment we knew was extremely special and may never come again. And yet, it felt like it was always meant to be.


  1. As one who has followed the Twelves from the beginning, I am so happy for all of you. That sentence really understates the emotions I felt when I saw the first photos of you all together. It is like a Hallmark movie, you cry even during the commercials.

  2. It has been enjoyable to watch the body of work of all twelve of you grow, and to hear how much this means to all of you, how incredible the experience has been is wonderful! I'm so glad you all were able to meet, cyberly and in real life!

  3. wonderful! congratulations!!

  4. Oh Terry, I couldn't have said it better. I too marveled at how easy and natural it was to all be together.

  5. You captured our gathering in words so beautifully!

  6. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing with all of us.