Great Conversation…Where Ya Been?

WYB Whole Quilt

After sending out an order last week we got an email from a quilter in Louisiana that we found inspiring. I wanted to share her email:

Gary, panels arrived today, thanks for the lagniappe* “Where Ya Been?” pattern.  I have had a very exciting journey in this life and at age 71, I got the idea to do a quilt of fond memories of my travels and adventures which actually started at age 40 believe it or not.  Starting on my 40th birthday, I started running and bicycling and in a 10 year period I ran 7 marathons in the US and overseas (1st marathon was in Athens Greece and last one in Germany), and bicycled across 3 states, twice across Iowa!  I have also lived in 6 states and I hope to capture all of this in a quilt.  An older sister started teaching me to quilt in August 2013 and I took to it like a duck to water.  I have discovered a new world in quilting and have met some really wonderful and talented people.  I wake up in the morning with quilting on my mind and go to bed at night thinking of all the projects I want to do.  I learned of Zebra patterns and the stamp collection at a local quilt shop.  I bought the regular size panel of Louisiana at the shop and wanted the mini panel which they did not have in stock.  I have been waiting since December for them to get the mini panel and when I looked at the large panel I have, I saw your name on the selvege and decided to just go to the source. That’s when I saw all the other state stamps in the collection and got the idea for my memory quilt.
Didn’t mean to go on so long and hope you are not sorry you asked the question!  I appreciate the prompt service and will shop with you again in the future and will tell other quilters where I found my panels. I know they will want to know.
 Thanks again and God bless.
*BTW – I had to look that word up…lagniappe*

lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/ lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, “something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”[1]


Reply from Debra:

Gary sent me your story and GOOD FOR YOU! You go girl! We live in Baltimore and about three weeks ago I took a running workshop. It was called Chi Running. Unfortunately it has been too cold and snowy to try it out. I am 52 and I lost 30 lbs last year and have been dedicated to yoga. I love it! Just this week I did a good handstand. Last month I mastered the forearm stand. It is so rewarding. Funny thing – I have two choices in yoga. There are old people’s yoga classes and power/ yoga peoples yoga. I take the power yoga and hang on for dear life! LOL. Most students are in their 20’s and early 30’s. There are about 3-4 of us 50 year olds that do pretty darn well. I wanted to add the running as cardio. I found your story compelling as I have had little doubts creeping in my head! I am also trying to focus on eating better with kale, and many fresh veggies and fruits. I know it is the right thing to do and when I do it I feel so much better. I am working hard to break my addiction to sugar! I do pretty well except for diet coke! I know it is so bad for you – but I crave it. When I lost the weight I did so with diet coke and water. I am making great strides.
Please send us a pix of your quilt when you are finished! Sounds like if you were nearby we would be good friends!

Reply from Jennie:

Debra you are an inspiration to me.  I would love to do today what I did at 50.  Keep it up and you will feel great.  I just lost 60 lbs. but did it sensibly under Dr. supervision.  When I stopped running in my 60s, the weight creeped up as I continued to eat like I was still running marathons and of course I wasn’t.  Took a sedentary job doing medical transcription and totally lost control of my weight and my health.  I am back on track now but exercise eludes me with my arthritis and joint pains.  I ran and biked in only a period of 10 years, but I did it hard and it finally caught up with me.  I do a little walking and stationary biking and have considered joining a yoga class.  It is such a great feeling to take charge and feel good in the process.  Keep up the good work. – Jennie

One of the best things about Zebra Patterns for me is meeting incredible quilters like Jennie. I have been working this business for almost ten years now. It is fun of course to design but the real reward is in sharing and lifting others up. As quilters we make things with our hands. We focus for hours on every detail of a fiber project. I  believe that all that positive energy gets infused in the quilt and radiates from that quilt forever! It is a form of meditation or prayer with a beautiful fabric product. Quilters are givers. Quilters are creators. I am so appreciative to be involved in such a warm creative community. I know now that with all the rewards of designing and lecturing my real job is to connect with people. My job is to teach them everything that I can within a given timeframe and listen and support. I have always set my intentions for classes and for lectures to leave people feeling inspired and good about themselves.
I hope Jennie’s emails inspired you. I have asked Jennie to send a pix of her quilt when she is done. Don’t you want to see it? I do!  Have a great day. If you are reading this and feel uplifted go ahead and do something for you! Start taking walks or short runs. Try eating a bit healthier. Go to lunch with an old friend. Yes I am speaking to YOU! It is not an accident that you are reading this and connecting with the message. So go do it! Now is the time. Send me an email and let me know how it worked out.
Namaste. – Debra
Namaste (/ˈnɑːməst/ nah-məs-tayHindi: [nəməsteː] a customary greeting when individuals meet and a farewell when they part. Namaste is spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana.[6] In Hinduism it means “The divine light in me honors the divine light in you.”

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JRHerold
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 18:00:10

    I love these stories and they are inspiration for me!


  2. Zebra Patterns by Debra Gabel
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 23:00:09

    Thanks June! Good luck with the move! If you need to come back to the DC area – you have a place to stay here!


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