I started thinking about the idea of belonging last week during a meeting of my local quilt guild. By “belonging” I mean more than just being a paid-up member of a quilt group.
I’ve lived in five different places over the course of my adult life. Each of those places reflected a different season of life, but most of the time I belonged to at least one quilt guild.
At times I was very involved, helping out with meetings, refreshments, quilt shows, programs and so on. Those were the best times! Being involved means that you get acquainted with people, and many times those people become friends.
But there were other times when I didn’t know a soul, and I went to meetings month after month by myself. Sometimes I hardly interacted with anyone, and those times felt a little lonely. Thankfully, that didn’t last forever.
There are many reasons to belong to a quilt group.
- Inspiration: There is so much to see! Show & Tell is my favorite part of any meeting. Seeing what others have done lights my creative fire, and gets me into my sewing space right away.
- Ideas: I keep pen and paper handy during meetings because I see methods, approaches, blocks and quilt projects that I want to make note of and remember. Other quilters are a great source for ideas from which I can springboard.
- Involvement: You can give back by helping out. If your creative passion has given you joy, determine that you’ll respond by investing time and energy into the group. The rewards are rich.
- Interaction: A quilting group is where you’ll find friends who love what you love. They’ll understand your obsession with fabric and color and pattern and buttons and sewing machines and…the list is endless. These people will get you.
I think the last one is the most important, and the most fun. I’ve lived here for about eight years now, and I feel like I truly “belong” in my quilt group. There are at least half a dozen people that I could call on for help with anything at any time. They are truly dear friends. I wouldn’t trade them, even for fabric. 😉
Sometimes people complain that their quilt guild isn’t friendly, or that something happened there to hurt their feelings or to offend them. I know those things can be difficult and painful. But I’d encourage you to try again.
- Maybe you could be the friendliest person in the group.
- Maybe you could be the one to take on the job they’re having trouble filling.
- Maybe you could welcome someone else who is new to the group.
You probably noticed that I didn’t edit out the people in these quilt photos, because for this post, the people are kind of the point. They’re cooperating, they’re helping, they’re listening and learning. They’re engaged with the quilt group. That’s what I want for you, too. Check today on the next meeting in your area, and make plans to be there.