Although the quilting bee is not very popular these days, the sense of community among quilters is thriving. Quilters have an instant bond that is apparent at quilt shows, in quilt stores, and online. We feel like we already know each other and are free to comment on thread, fabric, or someone’s project. We ask for help and are inundated with the wisdom of more experienced quilters. I’ve helped many new quilters in Joann’s Fabrics try to figure out what they need. (Of course, I’m never shy about offering an opinion!) Through quilting, we find new friends and new opportunities to learn. We find our tribe.
Besides quilting, my other great love is reading. My favorite author is Jodi Picoult, and I had the pleasure of attending her book signing on Friday. It was an awesome experience. Many of us arrived at the auditorium an hour early, picked up our soon-to-be-autographed copy of her new book (“Lone Wolf”) and started to read. Here was a high school auditorium, silent, as we all enjoyed the book in our hands. There were no iPads, iPhones,laptops, Kindles or Nooks. It was an old-fashioned hardcover novel enjoyed by real readers! Once again, I had found my tribe.
(Coincidentally, “Lone Wolf” — obviously partly about wolves — is not based on a randomly chosen animal. Wolves are social creatures and incredibly loyal to their families. Jodi uses the wolf pack as a metaphor for the family in the book.) Incidentally, I think most women are like wolves. We are pack animals. We like collaborating with others and our families come first.
The evening was wonderful. Jodi is smart, funny and articulate. The audience participation part of the evening involved teaching three audience members to howl like wolves! The audience questions were very intelligent. She was asked about everything from her opinion on school shooting to how the covers of her books are designed.
All of us need community. I was blessed to find it in the quilt world. I had not expected to find it among readers at a book signing, but I did. You can find more info on Jodi Picoult on her website: