Over the past few years, I have shared how important my quilting groups are to me. I love the camaraderie, inspiration, opinions, and sometimes the much needed shoulder to lean on. But, I have also heard that there are corners of the globe where quilting groups are nonexistent or unwelcoming. So, I thought I would share my experience in finding the perfect fit.
First and foremost...remember the social media sharing is two dimensional. It looks like everyone is getting along and loving each other, but the reality is quilters also have their own agendas and personalities and we don't always fit perfectly together. So finding that right fit can take some time and backbone.
During certain times in my life I have participated in different quilting groups that met a schedule constraint. There are many online quilt groups and three of my favorite quilts, a Bottle Block exchange, a Signature Quilts and my quilt made with 2,000 different 2.5 inch squares were made with quilters I never met but who I shared with regularly. There is an advantage to online groups...if you don't have the time to travel to meet up or you are house bound online groups are open 24/7. If you find you don't like the culture of a group...just unsubscribe...no harm, no foul.
Many quilt shops have regularly scheduled open sew days to get customers to hang out and maybe spend some money. This is a nice way to meet other local quilters but not be responsible for the social schedule. Usually all are welcome and you may find a friend or two there. I have also found in this day and age to keep conversations on the topic of quilting, family and travel...all hot topics are best left at home.
I think the most important part of finding the perfect fit is to not be thin skinned if a group, for what ever reason, does not want you to be a part of their family...and believe me, that has been a personal experience. I raised my boys with the understanding that not everyone is going to like you and you...do not have to like everyone.
Stitching with others brings us together with a common love and that is where we need to spend more time!