I have spent a lot of quality time with quilting friends over the past few months. Retreats, outings, quilt shows, planning sessions for quilt events, and sew days have filled my calendar since the beginning of January. I feel quite blessed to have taken part in all of these events.
While driving home from the last gathering, I found myself thinking about how important these friendships have become in my life. They say we choose our friends, but not our relatives. Where do quilting friends fit into this saying? We don’t choose those who have an interest in the quilt craft, but we do choose who we socialize with in our quilting circles. The quilters I gather with are all over the map in terms of ages, styles of quilting and the interests they have outside of quilting. So what is the element of attraction?
The Quilting Party – Artist Unknown, circa 1840-1850.
The history of quilting bees may be part of the answer to this question. Women used to gather to help each other complete a quilt for various reasons – but it was a reason that bypassed age and personality. A common goal brought them together, such as helping a neighbor or teaching a young bride to quilt. In the time they spent creating something with their hands, quality moments were shared and friendships developed. The same could be said for a sew day or a quilt class. Quilters from all walks of life gather to create and in the process build friendships. It is a natural opportunity to share life stories, thoughts and ideas in the slow paced moments of stitching.
Looking at my huge circle of quilting friends, I can think of only three friends that I would still know if I hadn’t followed the path of quilting. Wow. My life would be so different if I would not have enrolled in that very first beginning quilting class – with Laura Nownes, by the way!
Perhaps if I golfed, played Mahjong, or belonged to a book club, I would have different circles of friends with just as much to offer as my quilt groups. But quilting found it’s way into my life and I feel blessed to have chosen the path I have, taking time to get to know each quilter individually and build friendships along the way. Would I have thought to strike up a conversation in a coffee shop with one of them? Probably not. But when sitting together, working with your hands and being creative, it is a natural process to share your thoughts and ideas, in to getting to know each other. We are lucky to be able to do this. I am lucky to have this in my life.
Do you have a special friend or group that you found through quilting? I would love to hear your stories. I encourage you to share a comment with us.
Have a great week!