Quilting bee. That phrase conjures up an image of several women sitting around a quilt and adding their stitches to make a finished product. The frame is usually set up in one of the women's living room (parlor?) and conversation flows around the group. I never had the opportunity to visit an old-time quilting bee, but my mom did participate in something similar when I was a kid. She was a member of the local extension homemakers club (anyone need a description of what that was?) and occasionally they would make a quilt to have in reserve for a family in need or if one of the members needed one for a special occasion. These ladies gathered once a month in a local church basement where they set up the quilting frame and set to it with their needles and thread. Very similar to my mental image of a quilting bee.
I suspect there are still what I view as traditional quilting bees held around the country, but I belong to what I have come to view as a "modern" quilting bee. What I refer to is the stitch group to which I belong. Last Thursday evening was the first of the July gatherings and while we all work on different projects, the conversation flows just as freely as I imagine occurred in the old-fashioned version. For approximately the first 20 minutes after we gathered last week, there were three separate conversations going on. Then gradually those conversations ended and others began. Sometimes as a group we are "Chatty Cathy" and other times we are heads down and working on our projects with only occasional conversations.
No matter the shape of the conversation on any given evening, we do visit with each other -- a lot! Since I'm the newbie of the group, I'm still learning more about these folks. After gatherings like last week when there was an abundance of conversation, I come home and spend a while reflecting on the group and how much I enjoy being with them. What a great group of dedicated stitchers!
Quilt update: I now have about a third of the alternate blocks finished. I've run out of black fabric so I'm going to have to do some shopping. Darn it! :-) The only bad thing about fabric shopping is I always manage to find lots of other things I absolutely have to have and spend more money than I should. I need the fabric, though, so I guess I'll just bite the bullet and write a large check.
My stitching awaits. Til next time...