The definition of the word "friend" has become a bit vague in these days saturated by social media. Anyone can be considered your friend but this begs to question: are they truly your friend?
Some time ago, I began talking with a "friend" on Instagram. Very quickly, we realized that our social media "friendship" was actually turning into a authentic, "kindred spirit" friendship. Many commonalities connected us. Our love for quilting is what caused our paths to cross but over time, we shared ideas of family, faith, and a love for sharing our quilt passion with others. I've never met Sonia in person but feel like we've been friends for years.
Sonia has a sincere and deep heart for others. For starters, she has donated several quilts to Quilts for Kids. In getting to know her, I've learned that her home provides an atmosphere for others to come learn the skill of quilting and, in the meantime, creates new and passionate quilters. When the most recent QAL & Donate event was close to starting, she reached out to some local friends to offer them a class on piecing curves. Well, I just had to learn more about this. With states separating us, visiting her was not possible. However, I still needed to have a peek inside of this gathering of friends and quilting! I invited her to share about her evening with her quilty friends, clanking sewing machines, and curved, cut fabrics held together with lots of pins. Here is her story...
In her home nestled in North Carolina, Sonia offers a unique and intimate quilting experience for those close to her. It's been 13 years since this quilting journey began for Sonia.
We live in a small home. We have three adult children, all married, and living locally. Our 5 grandchildren come every Friday to our house. My little sewing business was held in the third bedroom but we needed that space back for toys, playtime, and sleepovers, so it was time for sewing to have its own space. We bought the shed and my husband and I worked together to finish the inside. I moved into The Thread Shed in February 2021.
Sonia stays quite busy in The Thread Shed. Important work takes place here. It's amazing how big things don't necessarily need big spaces. This shed provides just the right place to quietly create, generously share with others, and openly share what's on the heart.
I’ve had friends over for lunch, heart to heart talks, Bible study, sewing and quilting classes. It’s also great to have memory quilt customers come drop off their memory items and see where the quilts will be made. I have a few young students who come regularly for basic sewing classes and have done some private teen and adult classes as well. It’s fun to pass on the skill to others.
Sonia most recently opened up this sacred space to offer "The Learning Curve" class. This particular class taught students how to piece curves with the Movie Night Quilt pattern. Each one agreed to learn this new technique, complete the quilt, and donate their quilt to Quilts for Kids. Three people joined her class all friends from her local church. With an inviting environment and movie night appropriate snacks, the night was a hit!
The baby size Movie Night Quilt was the pattern chosen for the QAL. However, many new quilters get a little antsy about curves at first so I inquisiquantly asked how everyone felt about this new experience. Were they excited for a new technique or maybe a bit nervous about not being able to hoan in this new skill?
A little of both. We experimented with lots of pins and with no pins. Hahaha. They preferred pins. I prefer two pins, one in the middle and one on the end. They left with more confidence and at least two of them have finished their quilt tops now and are ready to quilt! They did a great job. We didn’t take ourselves too seriously and had fun.
For this particular pattern, you have the choice of purchasing a Crazy Curves template or simply printing the template that is included the pattern. As with any new skill, we can all learn from each other. Perhaps another quilter has some tips you have never thought of or some advice that makes it just a bit easier. Asking Sonia for advice on these template options, this is what she had to say:
We used paper. My best tip on using paper is to not use pins. Obviously I don’t love pins haha. Pinning distorts the shape a bit. Just hold the pattern onto the fabric with one hand and cut fabric slowly and carefully with the rotary... or trace around the curve with a fabric marker and then cut. Mainly, take your time, do your best, don’t stress over it, and practice practice practice. Just enjoy the process.
As mentioned, each participant has or will be donating their finished quilt to Quilts for Kids. The process of making a quilt to donate is, in and of itself, unique and special, but the most exciting moment is packing up the quilt and shipping it off to Quilts for Kids, Inc. I was curious about Sonia's thoughts about her own experience in donating to QFK. When asked how she feels in this moment, she replied:
Very satisfied and thankful, prayerful that the young recipient will feel loved.
The basis for Sonia's donating and generous heart stems from Scripture:
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” - 1 Peter 4:10
You, too, can emulate a generous heart through your own quilting. Quilts for Kids is one way in which you can share your passion although there are many other charities that will accept a quilt made purely out of love. I encourage you to find a place you're passionate about and pour into their charitable deeds with your quilting talents. If you're wanting more information about how Cozy Color Quilts helps QFK, you're welcome to join our email list to stay connected and in the know about future events.
As you do so, find a quilty friend or two. We can all learn from each other, grow as quilters, and make fun memories along the way. In the meantime, go pour out your heart into your next quilting project. You can never go wrong in showing kindness to others surrounded by kindred spirits.