By Melissa Peda
Few communities experience the sheer joy and unbridled enthusiasm found in the sewing/quilting/crafting community. No one understands the point of doing something just for the fun of it quite like a person who cuts up fabric only to sew it back together into something new, something different. Certainly, no one understands the point of stash building better than a fellow fabric hoarder. We may have different styles and preferences, but when it comes down to the important bits, we all relate to the satisfaction found in sharing our passion with others, in the relief of talking about our latest obsession with people who “get” it.
These benefits are well understood by quilt guilds and their members. The regular meeting of like-minded individuals creates a strong sense of community, providing more than friendship and a chance to get out of the house. Seeing other people's work and understanding their choices helps us broaden our appreciation for the increasingly varied world of personal expression through fabric.
When we put aside our own preferences and ideas about what makes something beautiful, we can look with an open mind at someone's interpretation. This attitude makes way for inspiration. It may be a small thing, like an unexpected color choice or fussy cut detail, but it will spark your own creativity and get you thinking about ways to explore the idea in your own way. The best inspiration comes from exposure to new techniques, new ideas and new people.
Being part of group with a wide range of skills and backgrounds also guarantees you'll pick up helpful hints and tricks, especially great if you're just starting out and feeling overwhelmed. Even the old timers and those with thousands upon thousands of hours of experience are rewarded with the reminder of their own beginnings—the false starts, the fantastic fails and the fervent hope that it would all work out in the end.
We have a lot to give each other, a lot to share. When we come together as a group, we are force to be reckoned with. The love of our craft and of fabric goes a long way in bridging the gaps of our differences. As 2013 draws to a close and a New Year looms, think of ways you can contribute to and participate in groups of like-minded fabric lovers. We'll be kicking off the year with an idea to do just that, an idea we think you'll love.
Stay tuned for more details!