I think, quilters as a whole, are people who tend to sew their very soul into whatever they’re making. When I wrote my blog on quilt labels, I told you the label was the holder of the quilt’s story. It gives dates and locations and occasions. However, a quilter’s quilts are the mile makers on his or her journey. They are the beginning, middle, end … the entire plot of the quilty book. When I look back on my own quilts, I can immediately tell you two things: What I learned from the quilt and the story behind it.
In so many ways, quilts tell a quilter’s story. They show progress. Techniques learned. How practice made quilt stitches even and color choices better. When I look at my quilts I remember where I purchased the fabric – was it at my LQS or on a trip to Paducah or Lancaster? I recall why, where, and who I made it with and for. They are the silent testimonies of hours spent in my studio with needle, thread, fabric, and usually some Netflix binge-watching and a glass of wine. They are the result of hours of patient cutting and sewing, ripping and re-sewing. Second guessing color choices, text messages with my quilting BFFs, and maybe even some swearing and tears thrown in for good measure. It’s good to look back on those quilts – to see how far I’ve come and realize just how far I still have to go. I love them, mistakes and all. They’ve taught me valuable lessons and are the witnesses of many tears (of both joy and fear) and prayers.
I have an equal admiration and affection for quilters. If you’ve read my earliest blogs, you may remember I didn’t start quilting to make quilts. I began quilting to meet quilters. After receiving one of my great-grandmother’s quilts, I wanted to understand these women and what drove them to make quilts. And in the process of knowing quilters, I fell head over heels in love with quilting. I still count the women I quilt with (my “unofficial” sisters) among my closest friends. I quilted with various bees from 2000 until 2012. It was then several of us High Point quilters got together and formed the High Point Quilt Guild.
Words cannot adequately express or explain what this group means to me. It’s more than monthly meetings and quilt education. It’s fellowship of the mind and spirit. It’s inspiration and education. It’s a sharing of burdens and fears. If I am facing one of those painful “life milestones”, these are the folks who call or text first. I’ve learned so much from each member and have always felt it was a special honor for them to choose me as the first guild president.
As the calendar clicked over to January 2022, it dawned on us that it was our 10th Anniversary. And we decided to celebrate accordingly. Since January is always such an “iffy” month for weather in North Carolina, we planned a party for April. A call to the church we originally met at confirmed we could rent the fellowship hall and sanctuary for April 2. Invitations and RSVP cards were sent to all past and present guild members. Those became a mixed bag of emotions. The returned invitations allowed us to make sure we had current addresses on all members. However, in researching some of the current addresses we learned a few former members had passed away. Some former members we really hoped would attend, did not show up. Still, when the final count was rendered, almost 70 members RSVP’d in the positive.
Cupcakes were ordered and punch was made.
On April 2, folks began to arrive. Each member – both past and present – was asked to bring five quilts. These were spread out in the sanctuary for a “Show and Tell.”
Almost 60 members attended.
The Sanctuary was full of quilts.
All of the past presidents except one was in attendance.
There was laughter and hugs and conversations which went on for hours. Friendships were renewed. Some former members rejoined. Some signed up for the spring and fall quilt retreats. Quilts were admired. Raffle quilt tickets were sold.
By 4:30, we closed the party down, leaving an exhausted but happy group of anniversary party committee members picking up stray punch cups and emptying garbage cans. As the last leftover cupcake was stored away and cars were loaded with quilts, a decision was made: We needed to do this again on our 15th Anniversary.
A look back on how far we had come as a guild, the quilts we have made, and the friendships renewed, was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And it made us plan, with great anticipation, what we will do in the future.
Happy birthday to us!
Love and Stitches,
Sherri and Sam….and the High Point Quilt Guild
Photos were made by my wonderful husband and outstanding photographer, William Fields.