I’ve just completed the hand-sewing basket for my quilt guild’s silent auction. I started with the idea to make a hen pincushion and needle case (I purchased the pattern which was designed by Janet Locey). It was suggested that it should be part of a larger group of items, so I decided to put together some items for hand work.
The hen is the star of the group. She is sewn by hand, with some hand quilting accents and stuffed with fiberfill and sand. The smaller hen needle case has a felt square for needles under her wing.
In addition to the hen pincushion and needle case, I made a small chick pincushion (for traveling) and a thimble egg. I first made these thimble eggs when I was young and gave them as Christmas gifts to my grandmother and aunts. It is just three cardboard inserts covered in fabric (I sewed half the egg, turned it right side out and then blind stitched the other side: the three sections are put together with small blanket stitches). I made the small pincushion, because I often travel with handwork and knew the hen would be too big.
To the basket I added small scissors, a variety pack of needles, hand quilting thread and three fat quarters.
I have to admit I may be trying to make a subtle point by using a hand sewing theme. I just joined the guild a few months ago, and I am finding the predominance of machine work a little daunting. I am sure there must be a few hand quilters in the group but I haven’t met them. And it’s clear from the stacks of finished quilts at show and tell that I have chosen a somewhat slower path.
Joining any established group is difficult and quilt guilds are no different. When you are a newcomer, it seems like everyone knows each other. The first time I thought about joining the guild, I went to one meeting and felt uncomfortable enough that I didn’t go back. This time, I promised myself to give it two years and to try to get involved. Luckily, I ran into some one I know casually and she and her friends have been very welcoming. I also thought the best way to get to know people is to get involved, so I’ve volunteered to help at the show and have made the “prize” for the silent auction.
I guess it is hard to please everyone in a guild, and I don’t envy the people who plan the programs and activities. I was a little disappointed when a group “mixing” activity was vetoed by some group members and when another presentation was a sales pitch for fancy and expensive rulers. But I am only one (new) member. I know that there are a lot of great people in the guild and I just hope I get to know some of them.
By the way, do any of your guilds have special ways to welcome newcomers or to help everyone meet new people?