Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sewing Salons

Just over a year ago my friend Kris and I hosted the very first Sewing Salon.  The idea was (and is) a simple one:  host a public sewing group once a month as a means of fostering friendship, community, and offering support to others as they learn to sew or practice new techniques--with snacks!  It would be a place where newbies could come and have someone help them out when they were uncertain and experienced folks could come tackle a big project without the distractions of home.
A little backstory:  My mom organizes Quilting Retreats a couple times a year with her friends and sisters and mom, etc.   A space is rented and it is like a weekend-long slumber party/sewing marathon.   It is a jolly good time and we all get a lot done in an environment that is so dedicated to creativity.  I've blogged about my mom's retreats here, here, and here.

Kris and I wanted something like that in our lives on a regular basis.  So, we reserved a space at Kris's church and sent out an email and a Facebook event to a smattering of friends.  I was a bit hesitant about the whole thing initially.  A monthly sewing group seemed right up my alley for ATTENDING.  But, for organizing?!  Oh, I was much less certain about that.  I mean, it's not like I am a sewing expert or anything.   Who am I  to host a sewing group?    What sort of responsibilities would I be taking on?  Besides, who would even come?
But, despite my tendency to overthink things, I could tell it was a good idea.  An idea that would fill a little gap in our creative community.  Plus, Kris has the energy and spirit to convince me to give just about anything a try.  Looking back on the past year of salons I feel that it has proven to be a success, too.  The average attendance is about six, I'd say, but it varies from session to session.  Other people seem to enjoy it, to look forward to it even.  I certainly do.  It is such a kind, supportive group of people, many of whom I didn't know before we started these Salons.

I've learned about making rag rugs, t-shirt yarn, felting wool, embroidery, darts (!), and so much more.  I've eaten too much and laughed just the right amount.
Community starts like this, I think.  A good idea, a couple people to baby it along, and a following that comes together to make it all worthwhile.  I'm so pleased with our little sewing community.  I'm delighted to watch it grow.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!