Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what do you know . . .

Surprisingly enough, do you know what aspect I've really come to appreciate about quilting? The social side of it. It feels funny for this social introvert to even admit such a thing, but it's true.

I'm not referring to quilting bees -- I haven't been to one of those yet, though I'd like to -- but there are lots of other aspects that make quilting social . . .

The quilt guild. The local guild for the Huntsville area is Heritage Quilters of Huntsville. It's a huge group with over 300 members (and new women signing up monthly), that meets on the third Thursday of every month. It's a lovely evening of socializing, show and tell, comfy quilts (our guild's community service project) and a speaker or program of some sort. Through the guild I've met lots of women, old and young, with a common interest and varying levels of expertise and interest. I've also been exposed to participating in challenges and quilt shows and new techniques and renown quilters.

The small quilting group. Through the guild, I met and joined a group of women who meet regularly (twice a month) to work on hand work together. The group I joined up with is The Stitchers. They are a lovely group of women again, of varying ages and levels of expertise, who have (again) exposed me to new aspects of quilting like "stitch ins" and quilting retreats (of which I'm going on my first, next month)! The smaller group is particularly important, I think, if your guild is as large as our guild is. I've made some new friends and because of those friendships, I've become more active in the guild; and honestly, in quilting as well. They challenge me.

Online community. There's a huge (big, HUGE) online community of quilters in a variety of forums. There are mailing lists, blogs, and whole website communities dedicated to quilting! I've taken classes (in my pj's), found basic instructions and tutorials for all kinds of quilting techniques, watched quilt shows, gotten new ideas, met new friends from all over the world, won FUN stuff, and even swapped quilts -- all online. A quick glance on the left side of my blog and you'll see on my blogroll lots of quilty-named blogs. A little further down and there's a list of links to some of my favorite quilting websites. Plus tons of organizations -- AQS and Alliance for American Quilts to name a couple -- that are dedicated to the perpetuation of quilt enthusiasts.

In days past (and in some communities, days present) quilting was an avenue for women to gather together and forge personal bonds as well as quilts. There may not be as much group sewing around the old quilt frame these days, but that fact certainly hasn't made quilting any less social of an activity!



1 expressed . . .:

Sylvia said...

Denise, Oh what a lovely surprise was on my counter when I came home today. The Fall Mini Quilt is just beautiful and your description of the locale that inspired the design is just delightful. I can just see it. Thank you so much. I will take a picture and put it on my blog so that others can see your handiwork. We are new friedns. Take care!