Friday, February 11, 2011

Sewing with Friends

Many years ago when my husband was stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, 
the mother of a friend invited me over to her house
just to be nice. 
Knowing I was a "stranger" in town
and knew no one,
she reached out in friendship.  
As we began talking we discovered a mutual interest-- sewing.
Karl and I at his graduation from artillery school at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. I made my dress.

   I had learned to sew from my mother, who could tailor a man's suit better than Armani and who could fashion an elegant gown with flawless perfection, so I knew the basic skills required to make a garment and use a machine. But Mrs. Ledford knew how to quilt and I had always wanted to learn. Ever since- for as long as I could remember-forever I guess, I'd been fascinated by the colors and patterns and the stories of quilting bees and the idea of using scraps to make something beautiful.
Bre working on an apron for her little one.
    As I visted with Mrs. Ledford I found that the art of quilting was still popular there; my impression was that knowing how to quilt was common knowledge, (like ice skating is in the north or sailing is here). It was easy to find fabric and patterns at the local shops. So we'd get together now and as she filled me in on the history of that fascinating area of the country, and the background of the town itself,  she'd show me what she was working on and I would show her what I was working on. In her kind, factual way, she gave me pointers about things like fabric selection, seam construction, etc.

   Maybe this was when the idea of friends sewing together came to me. After all, I was a stranger in a western, windswept town and sewing made friendship immediately comfortable. Maybe the image of quilting bees where friends gathered to finish a quilt inspired this, too. But friends sewing together has always been a concept I have treasured.

Kim sewing a nice, straight line.

   I like the idea of doing something when gathering with friends.
Linda shared a table with her lovely sister-in-law, Cristina (of whom I did not get a good picture!)
There's something about creating something beautiful, helping each other, learning from each other that adds to the quality of the conversation.
I can tell that Ruth is a natural because she's looped the ties of her apron over her shoulders. It's a sure sign.
   And on many levels, creating beautiful things is important to people.  When I was in school, the home ec class was standard for girls. Though this may seem like a backward or even sexist way of organizing school time, in fact it gave us a needed break to create.  And because we are choosing what to make, choosing the colors and shape and style, we are expressing what we love; when we create we are also expressing our love for others, our care for their happiness and well being.

Laura plans to share all she's learning with her sister who couldn't be there. 
   So the other night when so many friends gathered to sew, for me it was a dream come true. Not only did several of the women say that they wanted to learn to quilt, but I loved hearing what they were making, seeing their love for others demonstrated in color and design.
 Ashley was making bunting to decorate her son's room.  She had thought it all out, and made it happen while cheerfully chatting with her friends.

Kat was making a tiny pair of corduroy pants for a friend's new baby.

Karlene and Barbara chatted as they worked at the same table,

while Holly finished a blanket to delight her youngest child and 

Jenn concentrated on finishing a crocheted dress for her daughter. 

We missed everyone who couldn't make it and hope you'll be able to come to join us next time!



  1. Can't wait to be a part of it this summer. I LOVE to sew! It's so fulfilling.

  2. This totally warms my heart -- I wish I lived closer. If I did, I'd be sitting next to Jen knitting :).

    Miss you all and keep creating!