I am feeling very sentimental that this post is the last one in the Getting to know our Readers series. I have enjoyed reading the emails and turning them into posts; it has been more enjoyable than I can fully express. Thank you so much for both writing to me and reading the posts. I liked it so much that I think I might do this series again next year. Don't be surprised if at some point in 2016 I put out the request for more reading buddies who want to share some of their stories with us.
This week we are lucky to meet Dorothy Maydea who was born in Redwood City, CA and grew up in San Carlos. Both towns are about 30 miles south of San Francisco. (Note, Dorothy told me that people from San Francisco never shorten the city name, ie San Fran. However in it's permissible in writing and then put SF. I understand, here in Chicago no one says Chi Town.)
She has lived in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, for 24 years. It is about 90 miles south of San Francisco. She is without a doubt a Northern California gal, even for college. Her undergraduate work was at UC Santa Cruz and graduate work at UC Berkeley, where she met husband and her beloved children were born.
Her grandmother, Mimi, as well as other family members were all very skilled quilters. They were so darn good that our friend Dorothy was too intimidated to try quilting until her relocation to Aptos and attendance at local quilt shows. It hit her that quilters have a whole variety of skill levels. Her college roommate helped her start a hand quilted red and white mini quilt and she was hooked! (Quilters everywhere are nodding their heads in understanding.)
Dorothy's mother mother did not make quilts but she sewed their clothes which led to doll clothes sewing in about 3rd or 4th grade for our quilting friend. Once, her Mom made her a dress for a fashion show and Dorothy made a matching one for her doll. I love that story!
Dorothy's mom told her stories about her mother's quilting bees. She would play under the frame and listen to the ladies talk. After everyone went home, her grandmother would pick out and redo one member's work. It wasn't up to Mimi's standards, but she would never tell her or leave her out. Quilters are kind, aren't they?
Now for one of my favorite parts about Dorothy, she is a cookieholic. This is a woman who I could hang around with as she likes to make sure that the cookies are worth the calories. Me too! Dorothy is also cooks balanced family meals, indulges in See's or Dove dark chocolate and is an expert pie baker. Seriously, I need to hang with Dorothy!
Dorothy lives a half mile from the beach, two miles from Redwood State Park and close to her favorite place in the whole world, Yosemite. Her heart sings when she views the splendor of the granite or the grandeur of the waterfalls. She walks and hikes in all of these beautiful examples of nature at its finest.
Dorothy belongs to two lace guilds, a silk ribbon embroidery guild and a knitting guild. That's a lot of guilds! She makes bobbin lace and loves it as much as going to conferences, retreats and classes for a grand variety of handwork. She collects antique quilts and has others around her. There are quilts dancing in her head as well as a traditional, modern and two crazy quilts underway in her studio. Keeping those quilts company is her formidable fabric stash in her daughter's former bedroom!
You can see examples of her lace work and silk ribbon creations scattered through this post. The gorgeous quilt is made with both Japanese and American indigos and was made to commemorate their sister city in Japan. It's aptly titled "Friends Across The Ocean" but when it was sent to Japan, it disappeared into the far reaches of bureaucracy never to be seen again. I hope it found a good home even if the means to get it there were shady.
Her house has a reverse floor plan with the kitchen and other shared rooms upstairs. She sews upstairs on the kitchen table surrounded by high ceilings, and lots of windows with lots of sun and views. Doesn't it sound lovely?
Now come the detail where I differ from Dorothy. She loves mathematics. Not arithmetic, mind you, but the real deal! She majored in math and taught it for nine years. Since 1984 she has been tutoring math, combining her love of all things numbers with the puzzle of seeing how each student's mind works and processes. I wish I was a math whiz.
Dorothy would like us all to love ourselves, a wonderful idea. She is fond of professing, "It will never be noticed on a galloping horse, and that's the kind she rides!" Great saying!
Quilters like Dorothy make me sew darn happy!
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If you missed the previous post in this series, click here for the ninth in the series.