My personal soul food

Today I finally had a Thursday free of work and made it back to my hand quilting group for some soul food!

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.


Tammy said...

You know I've been asked by one of the Red Hat ladies why I want to hang out with them as they are all so old compared to me??

Hey, when I was displaced and looked up the Red Hats in my area they became my new family in this area...fun and laughter...oh boy...our next meeting is next Wednesday...yahooo!! I can't wait!

I hand quilted one small item back in the 80's but haven't done it since. I've been to the quilt shops and seen all the magnificent work and am kind of intimidated...LOL!

Keep up this great craft/art!!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

How totally awesome! That you've learned to quilt, that you enjoy it, and that you have the lovely fellowship with other women who love it as well.

Great post!

Mary said...

Sarah, what a wonderful way to make new friends. There's a group of women at my church who hand quilt a beautiful queen size quilt each year and then raffle it off at the annual antiques sale. It raises a large amount of money. They are works of art!

Vickie said...

How blessed you are to have this opportunity!! I always get these appalled looks when I venture out to see if someone will teach me to hand-piece. I get the hankerin' to try after I read Earlene Fowler or Jennifer Chiaverini. I plan to try again at the quilt shop near my house. I'll be brave one more time...

Sherri said...

Sarah, enjoy the quilting! I have quilted alot in the past and really loved it. I love how relaxing it is and you have something so beautiful when you are done.