When I got to the local library, where the meeting was held, I heard a group of women chatting in a room downstairs, so I went down and began to take off my coat and generally try look like I knew what I was doing. Apparently, my "look confident approach" failed because one woman came up to me and said, "Are you here for knitting, or quilting?" When I told her I was looking for quilters, she said, "Upstairs, dear." As I gathered my things and tried to cool down my red hot face, I heard one woman mutter, "but we're more fun."
It took me a minute, but I did find the quilters. I was pleasantly surprised by how large a group it was. There were at least 30 women there, probably closer to 40, all chatting and laughing. A couple were huddled over a computer trying to get a power point presentation to load. The program that night was going to be "The Zen of your Sewing Space."
I pictured this, only with cutting mats and Ott lights:
1) I was the youngest by about 10 years. Not that that bothered me. It really didn't. I wasn't sure what to expect at this meeting, but I would have been shocked if it was filled with 20 something hipsters waxing poetic about their modern quilting sensibilities. I mean, I live in Ohio, not Oregon, right?
2) Killer snacks. Lots of cookies, brownies peanut M&Ms and other things that I promised not to eat ever ever again, again. And I didn't eat them. But only because I was the new girl and so far nobody had said a word to me, and it would have been weird to just start noshing on their goodies.
When I first made contact with the president of this guild, she told me to just show up on guild night and bring something for show and tell. I wasn't sure what to bring, mostly because I had recently given everything that I've made away for Christmas, but I did have these
I spent my time (I'd now been there for about 2
Then a pleasant looking lady of a certain age with a beautiful quilted jacket looked down upon me as angels do and smiled. "You look rather bewildered," she said. Bewildered? That was not the look I was going for with all of my coat unbuttoning and bag arranging and leg crossing, but let's be honest. Bewildered I was. We introduced ourselves and then she introduced me to another lady who invited me to come up a few rows and sit with her, which I did, and then she introduced me to a few more nice ladies.
Finally, the meeting started. Old business, New business and finally, show and tell. There is a big quilt show coming up in my town and most of show and tell was filled with quilts that will be entered in the show. Quilt after quilt of glorious fabulocity. Many of the pieces were hand stitched and hand quilted. The applique was exquisite. And they were all big. Throw size or bigger. I made up my mind right away that I was not going to participate in this show and tell. No way, no how!
The lady I was sitting next to leaned over to me when most of the showing was over and said, "Did you bring something to show?" Nope. Not me. Not a thing. She peered down into my little bag of Christmas stockings and our eyes met. I could feel the heat rising up in my face again. She nodded. Clearly, she agreed that maybe I should hold of on show and tell until another week.
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Thankfully, the educational portion of the meeting started and the lights were dimmed. The presentation on the Zen of Sewing spaces was quite interesting, actually. It was filled with pictures of sewing rooms that, as it turns out are the sewing spaces of many of the guild members. I learned a lot about proper lighting, protecting our fabric, the proper heights that our cutting tables, iron boards and sewing machines should be for optimal ergonomics. None of mine are right, which I pretty much already knew because my back has been trying to tell me for a while now.
When it was over, I introduced myself to the president and she told me about some of the charity work that the guild does and about a Friday afternoon sew-in every week where people meet for handwork. She also gave me a neat little folder that had more information about the guild. So, I made it official. I found the treasurer and gave her my membership fee (a whopping $25.00) for the year and became an official member of the Chagrin Valley Quilters. How 'bout that! I even started a little embroidery piece for a pillow that I'm going to make so that I will have something to bring on Friday.
When I was leaving I stopped to text my daughter. "Guess what!" I said. "I made some friends on my very first day!"