Girls With Long-arms

No, no, no!  Not L- O- N- G-arms.  But Long-arms, as in the machine.  Several weeks ago I was at a party to celebrate the new year.  John and I were new to this crowd.  Everywhere we turned we were introduced to new people, which can be fun but for someone like me with no memory for names it can become stressful.  The hostess of the party introduced us to her neighbor.  I don't recall what her exact words were but I believe they were something to the effect of, "This is Teresa. She has really this really big sewing machine.  It takes up her entire room.  She has her own business sewing quilts."

I knew in an instant she was a long arm quilter.  How weird? and Fun?  at the same time.  It is rare to meet someone who knows what a long-arm machine is let alone meet someone who actually knows how to run one.  Throughout our conversation Teresa and I discussed quilting, our machines and our businesses.  We both were constantly struck by the fact that we had never run across one another in our dealings with quilts!  Crazy.

While at the party Teresa invited me to her Long-arm group meeting.  I decided to take her up on it.  It is not an official 'guild' but the bones of the meeting were about what I have experienced in past guild meetings.  I received many, many new dates for shop-hops, quilt retreats and classes happening around South Carolina.  I hope I actually get to attend a few!  There was show and tell with some really beautiful quilt work.  I took along my color wheel quilt to share.

(this was so difficult for me but it went really well.  Well, at least no one said, "you really suck at this.") The women have a speaker each meeting, this months was a sewing machine repairman who really knew his stuff.  He was a wealth of knowledge.

The group also issues a challenge to it's members to help them grow and 'challenge' themselves in their quilting.

This is the challenge quilt design.  The actual fabrics can be individual.  The idea is to challenge yourself to fill in the free space with quilting.  I think I am going to have to give this some serious thought. hmm.

Here is another take on the pattern.  I also received several new book titles that I am going to have to check out.  We broke for lunch about midway through and enjoyed our pot-luck lunch of soups and chili!  How delicious.  After lunch the ladies had what they call a "Throw down."  Brilliant idea!  You bring a quilt top that you are struggling to decide how to quilt and you.. throw it down.. onto the floor and everyone brainstorms ideas for the quilting.  I know! I said it was Brilliant!

I had a really fabulous time and met some very nice people.  I was so thankful that I stumbled upon Teresa and the girls with long-arms.
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