Yesterday was a guild "Sew In" day that I've been so looking forward to. I love to gather with the awesome ladies of my quilt guild and spend the day working on my projects, having an amazing pot luck lunch with them, visiting, laughing, and generally having a wonderful time. Oh, and getting some sewing done as well.
I joined Over The Edge quilt guild in Menomonie WI a little over 2 years ago after searching for a guild for several years. I'd been a member of the guild in town here for 4 years when it dawned on me at one meeting that I felt just as much a stranger with these women as I had the first day I stepped in the room. There would be a definite chill in the air whenever I spoke up at a meeting to offer a suggestion or whatever. I know now what had changed over the 4 years but I won't go into all that now. I spent several years auditioning various guilds in my area and while all seemed nice enough, I just didn't feel welcome. One day it came to me that in small towns, these ladies have known each other for many years and have many shared experiences and history. They went to high school games together, dated the same boys, were in each other's weddings, shared the births of their children, helped out in the school throughout the years their kids were students, and so on. They have very solid friendships and have no need to accept a newcomer into their lives. As I'm the newcomer, I realized why I didn't feel welcome in these groups.
Then I heard about OTE guild in Menomonie and Oh, what a difference! We have over 30 members in the guild and while some of them were born and raised in Menomonie, most of us have lived in a variety of other places. Some moved here because of connections with the University. We have a few military wives who settled here for various reasons. Some people have moved here to retire in the North Woods. I moved here because of my husband's career.
I think this makes the group very special and welcoming to newcomers since we were newcomers here ourselves not so long ago. These Saturday Sew Ins as well as our annual retreat help create a shared history with us. I love the ladies in this guild and hope to be a member for many, many years to come--until my fingers fall off and I can't quilt any more!
So, yesterday was our Fall Sew In. I stayed home with Lily in the morning but arrived at the Sew In around 1 pm. I had a project to work on and I busily began cutting pieces and, after getting advice on color placement, began to sew the blocks together. Screeching Halt! I didn't have enough focus fabric to make the throw I wanted, so change of plans. I'll have to cut alternate plain blocks and large borders to make it up properly. So I spent the second half of the afternoon unstitching what I had just finished stitching!
Oh well, in the company of these women, even the unstitching was fun!