Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hello from Illinois!

I have been here in Illinois since Sunday evening, and have been having a wonderful time.

I could give a travelogue....but what I would rather do is focus on the relationships between women, and the bond that quilting brings.

In the first guild I visited, I witnessed quilters caring about and surrounding with love, a member who's husband had passed away this past week. I thought about the comfort and compassion that comes from our connection to each other through the stitches that bind our lives.

I can just bet that there are instances like this all across not only America, but the world, and that no matter where it happened, or who it happened to, we would be there for each other. I don't know if anyone has ever studied it, us as a demographic, but quilters come to the rescue of other quilters, no matter what the other differences may be.

Do scrapbookers do the same? Maybe..maybe with all the knitters and other groups too, there is this kind of womanshipping, but when I look at my life and try to imagine it without quilters...it would just not be such a warm and nurturing place...or a funny laugh out loud place...a place where we can talk about everything and anything and there will be someone there who has been through the same things, felt the same way, and understands.

When I think of this...I can now understand WHY quilting bees were such a necessary activity for our foremothers. I'm just feeling in awe of how comfortable it has been for me to travel from guild to guild to guild. Women have opened their homes to me, a complete stranger, and we have parted as friends. I know they would be there for me no matter what I needed, as I would for any of you. I just think this is special.

I was in Dixon up until yesterday afternoon......I left a Pineapple Blossom class at 3pm to drive to Antioch to do a lecture/trunkshow here. I got to town early enough to call up Dawn, ask her where a good place to eat was, and suggest that she come meet me. She dropped everything, just to come share a meal with me and caravan with me to the meeting place so I didn't get lost. This is what quilters do.

Today was a "mostly down" day....I just have a guild meeting in McHenry tonight, so again Dawn came and picked me up, drove me to Rockford to get mailing envelopes at Sam's Club, shared a meal with me, shared conversation and lots of laughter and much talk of projects with me. She waited while we stopped at the AT&T store to find out why my cell phone isnt getting a net connection to work. (Why is it that taking the battery out and putting it back in makes all the difference? hmmmm!)

We went to one quilt shop, and wandered and browsed, and yes, bought SOME fabric because it was half off...I couldn't do much because of weight limits, but yes, I know, I can SHIP IT HOME! :cD

As I type this, another quilter friend, Randy, is flying from California to Madison so she can help me teach at a retreat this weekend, and spend some time with me in the midst of my busy travel life. This is what quilters do. And again, I'm humbled.

I am in Richmond, IL right now..last night and tonight the guest of a Bed and Breakfast owner who is also a member of the guild. I am here by myself because she is in MEXICO..but still..she made the house available for my stay, because this is what quilters do for quilters that they don't even know. It's a lovely victorian home and I feel quite pampered. I won't even get to thank her in person.....

I know I am rambling, and not sharing pictures, but I just wanted to get my thoughts down on how grateful I am to have this connection with all of you. I stand all amazed :c)

In Stitches - - -


  1. I think we all feel that way about this network we belong to. I get teary just reading your articulation of it.

    It is "villagedom" the ancient men of the species would have tramped aorund from place to place ad nauseum unless some woman somewhere put her foot down and said "hey you know if I am going to follow you all over the world I want some company okay??" So campfires, cooking, and the village (mobile or not) become a reality.
    Now we are isolated in many other ways but quilting still draws like minded souls together like magnets (or if you are into physics the law of attraction), and now we have the internet making the world smaller and more intimate again. But nothing beats a good chin wag while you sew!!

    have a fabulous weekend Bonnie


  2. I agree 100% I also think it is wonderful that you want to get to know the guild members at the guilds you visit. You are on the schedule for my guild next spring and I can't wait for your lecture and workshop!

  3. Aren't quilters great! Glad you are having a good time.

  4. I couldn't have said it better! I don't know how I lived without the women in my life now that I've met thru quilting. It's like being surrounded by angels!
    What a group to be a part of!

  5. Yes Bonnie, it is so true that sharing an interest of love and creativity allows us to make caring friends.I thank you for sharing your patterns.maybe through your showing us how to make beautiful quilts from cast aways will also help our planet. God Bless You. Amy

  6. A Very well written testimonial to quilters, we are a pretty good bunch aren't we.

  7. I was teaching a beginner class (only one real beginner along with other more experienced quilters) last night and about half way through the class, when all the gals were chatting and catching up with each other, the "newbie" said "So this is why people take quilting classes - it's such a great group!" Now she's hooked!!! Yippee for all of us to be part of something so wonderful!

  8. I don't belong to any guilds or official sewing groups, but I love sewing and quilting with other ladies. They are always so helpful and fun.
    I wish I could quilt with you!

  9. Yes, that fellowship is the most important component of this great quilting adventure, don't you agree?

  10. Anonymous12:53 PM EST

    And Illinois loved having you here!! :)

    I loved meeting you and felt like meeting a great friend. Can't imagine how Sue felt spending so many days with you. :)

  11. In one guild I belonged to there was a woman who went to all the shows, attended all the meetings, and helped with all the workshops...she never sewed a stitch. She called herself a quilt groupie! She just wanted to be part of the group but here hands were too bad to do any quilting. She was just happy hanging out!

  12. you've been awarded the hazardous to my blog award.
    See my blog for details.

  13. i truely believe that quilters are the best kinds of people.


  14. Bonnie I just looked at a blog from Wisconsin where you recently held a workshop - http://patsyquiltretreat.blogspot.com/ she posted some wonderful pictures of your trip there. I loved looking at the trunk show from here in Arkansas :) great work, love your quilts and the patterns that you offer on your site. Wonderful ideas for us "scrappers" thanks for all the ideas.

  15. Sounds wonderful.
    Miss you come home soon.


  16. I agree 100% too. I spent yesterday at a UFO day with about 20 members of my large guild. I don't know a couple of their names, but we all know things about each other and support each other. We support each others work and creativity. I know they would do anything I asked of them, and I would do the same for all of them. They are fun, funny strong women!


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