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    The Social Aspect Of Quilting

    Quilting Is A Social Event

    Much of my time quilting is done as a solo endeavor, however, that can be a lonely road. Quilting has historically been a social event (think quilting bees). Quilters love to socialize as they sew (and each chocolate...and drink wine).

    Looking at the new year, I am excited that I have several quilting retreats planned, I have my regular monthly quilt guild meetings and I am currently working on a round robin. All of these things are very social and always informative. Working with other quilters, I find out about new techniques or new tools of the trade, better ways to do things and simply, validation of my work. I am always inspired and motivated to do more.

    The retreats are long weekends booked at a hotel that has a large conference room. We bring our sewing machines and supplies and quilt 24 hours a day (well, we eat and sleep some of the time). It may be a small group of 12 or a large group of 45. You can get a lot of sewing done on a dedicated sewing weekend. I go on 2-4 retreats a year. What can I say, I am addicted. There is a food table where we share our goodies and lots of conversation too. It is fun to walk around and see what each quilter is working on. When a project is finished, it is shown to the group for "Oohs" and "Ahhs".

    My husband, Eddie, knows that quilt guild meetings are sacred. All vacations and appointments must revolve around the meeting dates. The guild is my sister-hood. Local quilters that come together and, as a group, have classes, workshops, speakers, make donation quilts and plan our biennial quilt show. It is a place to have our Show And Tell - where we can show off our finished projects and everyone "Oohs" and "Ahhs".

    A round robin is a small group project. Each member has a quilt that she has prepped up and boxed up. Each member will make a portion of her quilt according to her instructions. The boxes are passed along each month and at the end of the year the originator will get her box back with all the quilt blocks each member made for her. She will then put the quilt together, adding any more blocks, borders or embellishments to her project. There is a big reveal and everyone "Oohs" and "Ahhs".

    Back in days of old, the quilting bee was the only social event the ladies could enjoy that didn't involve the men, the church or the school. The ladies would gather and usually work on a quilt that was pieced but in need of quilting.  They may also have worked on their individual projects if a quilt was not ready to be quilted. It was a place that they could talk about issues that were important to them...and gossip some. In much the same way, quilters still gather today and share ideas (and some gossip) while creating masterpieces...and everyone "Oohs" and "Ahhs"!

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