I was not a seamstress before I moved here, my lifestyle in the UK just didn't have room for crafts and it's also not really something women in their thirties seem to do. Most British women need to work, or those that don't have children to look after. Crafts such as these seem to be dying out with the younger generation there.
The wonderful lady who has become my 'substitute' Grandma here invited me along when I first arrived. I couldn't work due to waiting on immigration procedures and had time on my hands, I was also keen to make friends in my new home. So I decided to go along and give it a try.
Well the benefits have been bountiful and I learned a new skill, now having a hobby I really enjoy. The fact I had always hand sewn things due to my lack of knowledge with sewing machines turned out to be a benefit, as I was soon able to form the tiny evenly spaced stitches consistently. I have now been hand quilting regularly for over 2 years and get real pleasure from it creatively and knowing my stitches will be on someones family heirloom.
Sadly hand quilting seems to be a dying craft, many younger women in this area piece quilts but very few have the patience or time to hand quilt them.
But the greatest pleasure has been in the friendships I have formed with ladies who are nearly all over thirty years older than me. They not only extended friendship to an outsider but they have taught me the history of our area and told me tales of the old days I would never have known. They have regularly made me laugh until I cried and on a few occasions shocked me with their jokes and conversations!
When I first joined the other 'younger' lady said to me it's so much fun but you do realise we are setting ourselves up for a whole lot of heartache in the years to come as these ladies pass over.
She's already been proved right but I still wouldn't have missed this experience for the world. My hand quilting ladies group is truly 'Food for the Soul' in so many ways and I am determined to try and get more Thursday's free so I can enjoy their company more regularly.