Last month was my first experience at a really big quilt show where I spent the night, away from friends and family. Usually I just hit quilt shows in the Chicago area for a day trip. When I was there I found it incredibly easy to strike up a conversation, eat lunch with or shoot the breeze with the other attendees. Because we had quilting in common we could talk very easily and pleasantly. And the conversations were real, not just cocktail party kind of banter. I had decided that wherever I am in the future, I am going to seek out the quilters. I’ve come up with some sure fire ways to find quilters in a group without having to shout, is there a quilter in the house?
1. Pretend crossword – Have a pencil and a folded up newspaper on crossword. In a slightly elevated voice pose the question, “Can anyone think of a 5 letter word for work of art on bed or wall?” The ones who shout out “QUILT” will be your fun companions.
2. Thimble emergency – Circulate through the crowd politely and query each group. “I’m sorry, does anyone have a thimble? I’m afraid it’s a bit of an emergency.” The one who comes up with one will be your buddy.
3. Threads – Check clothing of everyone in the room. The one with threads on bottoms or tops has potential. Slide over and murmur, “Oh, I always have thread all over me also. Let me get this off of you.” Stay near, a conversation will ensue.
4, Pretend companion – Act like you are looking for a missing companion who was going to meet you. Go from group to group and ask, “Has anyone seen my friend, Angela Puddles? She is a longarmer.” The ones who don’t look at you like you’re nuts, pursue a dialogue.
5. House talk – People love to talk about their houses. Bring up that one room in your house has your stash. Those who edge away nervously looking for DEA agents are not your people. The ones who nod their heads in agreement, ask them more questions.
6. Color names – Have with you a sample of Pantone’s color of the year from 2014. Slip it out of your pocket and declare, “I’ve been looking for matches with this and now I’ve forgotten the name of the color.” The respondent who shoots back “Radiant Orchid” may be your new bff.
7. Pet peeves – Bring up irksome habits your family members don’t like. After one or two others have volunteered mention that your spouse detests stepping on pins or needles. Wait to see if there is a sympathetic spark of understanding on anyone’s face. No? Keep circulating.
8. Forgetful – Wear a wrist pin cushion hidden by your sleeve. See a potential quilter? Push up your sleeve and then exclaim how you forgot to take it off. Your kindred spirits will probably reply, “Me too!”
9. Not subtle – If you can’t feel out the quilters just be bold, “Hi, I’m a quilter, what about you?” No fellow sewists you can go to your fallback hobby which for me is reading. Or you can feign a headache and go home or to your room. Extra quilting time!
Not every group can be as simpatico as a group of quilters but you can always hope!
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If you at least smiled at this post, maybe you’ll get a laugh from this one.