While in one of my favorite quilt shops, I decided to sit in the ‘man chair’ and listen. I watched people take bolts of beautiful fabric off the shelves. Flip, flop, flip, flop as the gal behind the counter measured out the four yards of fabric. Although not really nice to eavesdrop, the purchaser of this fine textile was making a quilt for a friend that was moving into a new home. There was exchange about ideas for the layout, piecing, and quilting the top when it was done.
I turned my attention to a couple of younger ladies that were sorting through the fabric with juvenile patterns. They were discussing a baby quilt and their mutual friend that was having her first child. Someone in the room chimed in that they were buying fabric to make something for their 7th grandchild. The next shopper was checking out patterns in anticipation of making a stuffed cat – very cute – and said to the woman next to her that the pattern would work great for using up her scraps.
Although most of these quilters came in alone or with a friend or two, conversations intermingled as they picked up patterns, talked to someone next to them asking ‘what fabric do you think would look good with this or that’. They talked about similar items they had made, shared stories about friends and family and the things they made for them, and they talked with each other about what they might make with the fabric they were buying on this day.
As I sat there and listened (or eavesdropped) on what these ladies were saying, I got chills and was so impressed as to how a textile, buttons, patterns, zippers, and so on could bring total strangers together – sharing in their lives and their passion for this craft. I would recommend that the next time you find yourself in a quilt shop, stop for a minute or two and just listen.