Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The New Girl

     So, I went to my first quilt guild meeting the other night.  Not sure why, but I was really nervous.  I texted my daughter right before I went in and said, "I feel like the new girl in 7th grade!"  She texted back and said, "I'm sure you'll make lots of friends on your very first day."  Love that kid.
     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:

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

First impressions:

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
So, I put them in a little bag and figured it was better than nothing.
I spent my time (I'd now been there for about 2 hours  minutes), trying to look busy by settling in.  I found a seat, way in the back. I took off my coat, carefully unbuttoning each button.  I meticulously hung it across the back of my chair.  I set my purse and little bag down on the floor and I sat, crossing my legs, then uncrossing them.  I resisted the urge to grab my cell phone and check my e-mail, the universal sign of awkward people, because I thought if I was staring at my cell phone, nobody would ever talk to me.  So, I sat, and I waited. Tick tick tick.  By now I think 2 hours and thirty minutes minutes and thirty seconds had passed.
    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.

For an interesting article on how to cure blushing click

     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!"


  1. Oh love that you made friends and stuck it out. Glad you went and tried it as it is fun having sewing friends in real life too. :)

    I started our Modern Quilt Guild this past summer and I felt like you did on the first day but as the president, I had to jump in and make it work. I was afraid it would be just two people but I'm happy to say we've grown to 30 members so far!

    I bet they would have been gracious and kind about your stockings (which are so cute btw.)
    Good for you for trying something new!

  2. This is a great post!! Having never been to a guild meeting myself, I applaud you! Maybe I can do it...

  3. Oh Hi! I've been wondering why your blog wasn't being updated... but I found you!!!

    "but I would have been shocked if it was filled with 20 something hipsters waxing poetic about their modern quilting sensibilities" That isn't me is it? (I hope not XD)
    I go to modern quilt guild meetings and I am the youngest there by only about five years maybe? look around see if you find any. Or if you like this one stick around! (or do both!

  4. Oh, that is such a nice story. Maybe I should be brave and see if there is a guild near me.