This past weekend the friendship group that had its beginnings in my hand piecing class (was that two or three years ago?) met at the home of one of the members. But before I tell you about that home, the activity, and the laughter, I should tell you more about the group.
We are at a point where we no longer call our monthly meetings a "class" although from time to time a new member arrives and I go into teacher mode. Now if asked, we try to explain how we evolved from a class to a group to a friendship circle. The origins may have been with hand piecing, but now we all work on any hand work. Our activities run the gamut of hand quilting, applique, embroidery, hand sewing (of bindings or even mending), wool work, hand piecing, and/or whatever one wishes to do. We have tacitly agreed that sewing machines don't belong, but even that is not actually a rule.
The main purpose of our group is to enjoy each other's company while doing something we all love. The bond has grown, and our shared time is precious.
So this past weekend, at the invitation of EC, we all met at her glorious Victorian home for a full day of comradeship and sewing. None of us brought sewing machines though we had not discussed it (ME and I thought at first that we might take them but nixed that idea because conversation is such an important part of what this group does best). EC's home is beautifully decorated, comes with three felines who are shy and cautiously friendly - but charming, and, best of all, her home is very spacious. After a delightful breakfast (each member of the group brought food for the all the day's meals), we met upstairs, selected seats, and began working and chatting.
EC spent the day working on an applique wall hanging destined for her Garden Room's wall. It's a very pretty piece with many appliqued flowers (I should have taken pictures but didn't - too busy!). If I remember correctly, she has only about two blocks left to go. It shows her love of gardening - which is her passion.
SR was working on something orange and green - child's quilt? - that escapes my holey memory at this time ( it will probably come to me once I have posted this). I do remember that the back was cleverly pieced which makes me think she was working on binding the quilt.
P was hand piecing; she's started a new piece, Grandmother's Flower Garden, with hexagons. Her fabric is just lovely, and she is fussy cutting it - something not easy to do. Her chosen fabric lends itself to that kind of cutting as each piece will have its own motif. One will think she used lots of different fabrics.
SMcG was sewing a wool quilt and is nearly done. It's primitive in design and her creative additions are super. Her deft touch turns any pattern into something new and uniquely hers. She makes us all want to make whatever she is working on.
ME was working on a Veteran's quilt; she had chosen a very striking pattern. Her colors are red, white, and blue, and the fabric patterns are varied. The two together with the pattern make for a stunning quilt. She's almost finished with it; she was sewing on the binding.
And binding was what I was doing, also. I managed to complete the work on a lap quilt I made for myself in 2009 (yes, really - that long ago!). Do you remember me talking about how I don't like doing bindings? Well, I have discovered that after all this time quilting, I seem to be able to sew a little faster. Of course, this was not a huge quilt, but I got it all done that day. Maybe .. . just maybe, I'll be able to face the "finishing" with greater equanimity.
I will tell you that every meal was shared in the dining room with food prepared and presented attractively and placed on the table. Seated around the table for at least an hour, we enjoyed our meals and the company. Stories were shared as was laughter. It was as meals are supposed to be but rarely are in our busy lives.
What was the best part of the day? For me, it was the meals when we weren't distracted by our common hobby but were completely focused on each other and the conversation. My sense is our friendship was deepened as much in that one day as it would be over the course in several days of "class".
So to each and every one of you, my dear friends, thank you for being you. I cherish your friendship more than I can tell you.