Many moons ago a group of friends and I set up a little sewing circle which grew into a quite large sewing circle. We were pioneers of our time back then (six or so years ago). Every fortnight us creative folk all of a similar age, would meet up in someones house for a few hours of unadulterated crafting and nourishment in the form of cakes and hot drinks (sometimes wine ;-)). We created a host of wonderful things from lavender bags, quilts, jumpers, toys to scarves that seemed to go on
But those sewing evenings of crafting were not just about creating beautiful things, they were also about sharing friendship and a sense of sacred womanhood. We shared stories and experiences, we gained an education in many ways too, we put the world to right. So often in this day of modern living where we all communicate through our computers and mobile phones, we lose the art of togetherness, the feeling of real friendship and belonging, we have removed ourselves from what is reality in many ways (or is this new formed life that we have created the new reality?)
The days of that original sewing circle are over, we've all moved on and our busy schedules just don't seem to accommodate such arranged moments of loveliness in the same way anymore. Crafting has once again become a 'secular' pass time to be carried out in the space of ones own home when a snippet of time permits (or in my case, en route, whilst the children have activities).
Yesterday at our home school gathering, I ran a patchwork workshop. I carefully selected a pretty bundle of delightful fabrics to enable a group of children to make a pretty sampler to take home. Once you can make a sampler and know the process for assembly you are well equipped with the skills necessary to make a whole beautiful bed quilt, a treasure to be used and admired for years to come.
The session went well yesterday, although an interesting point to note was NOT that the children all went away really inspired...oh no....only a small handful of children took part. It was the adults that crowded round the table and formed the 'Sewing Circle'.
Today I met with one of the participants of that group and she couldn't express enough how much she enjoyed being a part of that sacred circle. That small sampler will have carried with it several stories and a memory of friendship for years to come.
I have started to use my sewing skills to make an income in the past year. Things began very slowly with just a little work through word of mouth, but with a couple of adverts placed locally things are beginning to take off. The need for community is becoming all too apparent through that too with clients filling me in on their life's events, it's rather lovely really. It gives each project a sense of meaning. Every little job carries a story...the curtains to stop nosey passers by peering in, the wicker crib that has been passed through the generations that needs relining for a new arrival, the name labels that require sewing on the child's uniform in preparation for a new school.
With the cold weather forcing us into our homes early and the dark evenings drawing in, I think it's time to reconsider that 'Sewing Circle' and invite some friends round for an evening of inspiration!