Quilt With Us

I just want to hear what other quilters are doing. I have not gotten involved with any quilting groups locally because a) We travel a lot and I can not be a reliable member of a group and b) I am very self-conscious of my work and would be intimidated by all the more experience and much more talented quilters out there! Sorry, but that is how I feel about it! Everything I know about quilting I learned on my own.
I have read some of the long arm blogs and I am offended when I hear them bad mouthing some of the quilts they have quilted for other people. I could be that person they are bad mouthing or even someone I know. It doesn't matter if I know them or not--I know that I would be mortified if I knew someone was blasting my quilt. Whether it's perfect or not, I put a lot of heart and soul into whatever I make and my heart would be broken to hear it criticised in cyberspace. I guess that's why I do my work in relative obscurity. I admire people who put themselves "out there" for public scrutiny! No one has to see my work except the recipient of one of my quilts and hopefully they are not going to be too critical!

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The good thing about teaching is that you get better at what you're teaching. That has been my experience. I too would love to have a group of friends over to quilt together, but all my friends knit, so we get together and knit and have a great time. No pressure, everyone brings whatever they are working on and we have show-N-tell, share snacks, sip a little wine, and even get a little knitting done. Sure wish they'd show some interest in quilting, but they just don't seem to have the quilting bug like I do. I just can't seem to get enough. I've just started a quilt for a grandson using the Goodnight Monkey line. It is going to be so cute!!!!
Sherry, you just keep on quilting and enjoying what you do. That is what is important!
I have just the solution-- check out http://patchworkposse.com it is an ONLINE sewing group. participate in what you want, no pressure. great prizes from sponsors, show and tell if you would like... It sounds like a perfect fit for your traveling too. all you need is a computer and your sewing machine {of course} :)
Hi Angela, don't be so shy about your work. Every project is a learning experience. I tend to be a traditionalist rather that artistic. I perfer to piece a quilt top and then self quilt it. If a small project very often hand quilting rather than machine quilted. I feel that the art of hand quilting is starting to be a lost art. It is the only way that my grandma and mother finished a quilt. So I have inherited a few of them.
The group that I quilt with are from my old neighborhood. We started out as a group that met once a week with us taking turns hosting the group. As we grew we moved to the community centre. We are not a guild but a very relaxed group. Our group somehow has maintained about 12 members with a few leaving and news ones coming.
We have a commuinity paper/flyer the comes out monthly that we have a little note in to inform people about our existance.
None of us worry if we have othe commitments (ie travel, sports - golf game, etc.) Although most of us start to suffer withdrawl if we are too long away from our quilting day.
We meet on Thursdays from 10am to 2 pm (have to work around rush hour for me. I travel 45 mins in regular traffic.)
Sometimes we do the same project mostly not. We have done a block a month for the last two years with each member picking out a square we liked and were to do ahead of time in case there were issues. We also made lunch on that day for a treat (buns meat desert or what ever). Last year most of us used Christmas fabrics. The year before we just picked fabric we liked. Next week we are making a bag that one of the girls took a course on and doing a pot luck. I am quite looking forward to it.
We have all levels of experience in our group, I come from a family of quilters, but still learn something new all the time. We have had some pretty fun days, especially when we make our boo boos. We did a tree square made with 1/2 square triangles that one of the girls somehow ended up with have the block looking like a circle. She wacked it straight and added pieces to make it a square. We all laughed until we almost pee'd our pants. Of course she was quite the comic about it. Another girl was working on another block, merrily working along hand piecing her work. So proud because she got the block done, only to find when she went to press it that it was put together wrong and looked like a swastika. She had to laugh otherwise she would have been crying as she took it all apart to redo it the right way.
I oftern look at the fabrics the others pick and while I like bright colours I think that there is no way that I would pick what they have! You would think that no way is it going to look good when it is assembled, yet by the time it is at the quilting phase they look wonderful. And yes while there are the anal quilters like myself, there are also the ones who sew once and if it doesn't match who cares. Their projects look just as great as ours belonging to the anal group!
The whole idea of this craft is to create, relax and enjoy. So what if it's not perfect! In the words of our lost collegue "Just do it and get it done! Don't worry it'll turn out". We lost her to breast cancer 5 years ago but those words have carried us along many a time.
I hope that this has encouraged you to share with others, given you an idea how to start a group of your own. Keep it casual without all the rules that a guild would have.
We do collect dues to pay for use of the room at the community centre but most of us don't want to be a guild and won't stay if we become one. This also allows for completion of other craft items if someone has finished their quilt and don't know what they want to do next but still lets them have the benifit of everyones' company. For us along with the quilting bug it is our mental health day, where we meet, support and enjoy!
What a wonderful sounding group you belong to! All the fun without all the rules appeals to me. Sometimes too much structure takes all the joy out of it, don't you think? I don't do well with deadlines; it feels too much like getting home work done, something I was always procrastinating about.
Since my husband and I travel a lot, I really treasure my time at home and am almost a hermit. I know I should go out to the quilt shop here in town, maybe I would run in to other ladies who would like to do a more casual type of quilting together activity. I just may do that today as I have to do some errands.
Thanks, Christi!
Hi, I'm very much like you who has been a self-taught quilter (Along with the help of wonderful quilting programs on television. Still miss Simply Quilts.) I know my quilts have mistakes--I just think of the Amish quilters and their deliberate mistakes. I live in a small town, that I really don't know if their are any quilt groups around here. I'm hoping to assemble a small group of friends who are all individual quilters into a group. I'd love some ideas on that.
My experience with giving quilts is that the recipients love them. They haven't even seemed to notice the errors even a novice quilter might see. Most of the recipients see the heart and soul we put into our work.
One thing I have noticed is that every quilt shop is different. I've been in some where the staff is very friendly and helpful and others where they don't even acknowledge you when you walk in! I tend to go back to the ones where they treat me well!
As for imperfect quilts, you are right! I have never had a quilt recipient who wasn't happy with their quilt. So I just keep on making them. I just finished a quilt top for a grandson and will quilt it when I get home (we are in Florida where all of our kids joined us with their families for a small reunion). To keep my hands busy in the meantime, I am knitting my Dad a pair of socks!
Glad you enjoy the same thing that gives me such great pleasure and joy!

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