I was at my quilt group meeting Friday morning. We are a group of six quilters. We meet at twice a month at each other’s homes. We go on outings together. We even take trips.
On the surface we don’t look like we would have much in common, other than our love of quilting and fabric. We come from different backgrounds, we have different life stories, and we are of different ages. We like different styles of quilts, and different kinds of fabrics. Some of us are very productive, some of us work more slowly. But we all agree we love our little group.
When we meet we share our lives. We laugh a lot, drink coffee and tea, nosh on yummy snacks, and just generally have a great time. We show each other our current projects. We bring out works in progress, and discuss with great enthusiasm the possibilities for what to do next. We even work on hand-work projects. We learn a lot from each other, and not just about quilting. I often reflect on how lucky I am to have ended up in a group with these amazing women. It’s hard now to imagine my life without them.
I belong to other groups, too. I am a member of a local craft guild, and of the Canadian Quilters’ Association, and the Canadian Guild of Knitters. I’m also a member of Ravelry, a great online community of knitters, crocheters, spinners and lovers of all things yarn.
For me, groups are a life-saver. They break through the isolation of crafting in private and open me up to the outside world of ideas and fellowship. They get me out of my sewing room and connecting with other people, sharing the things we love. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my little quilt group, I’ve branched out into other areas of quilting arts, taken classes, gone to shows, and discussed ideas, techniques, and work in progress or finished. Books and magazines are great, but nothing replaces interaction with people.