If you listen to the group of women talking as they worked on quilt projects, you heard a mix of accents—Chicago, New York, and the room was thick with the various accents of Mississippi—from Vicksburg to Senatobia.
What brings a random group of women together for a week to do nothing but sew, eat, sleep, sew more and shop for fabric? The common passion for quilting. The women were as varied as the colors of their quilts. They varied in age, economic status, level of quilting knowledge, just to name a few of the differences.
Their quilts reflected those differences. One woman had done a beautiful quilt as a memorial to her dear boy who had lived the hobo lifestyle. She chose the symbols of hobo living to work into her quilt. When she showed it to us, along with photos of her son, she smiled and tears sparkled in her eyes.
Some did traditional blocks, some were scrappy with favorite pieces of fabric and dresses worn long ago.
All this creativity took place at the top of an Alabama hillside in a three-story home and retreat for crafters. We were summoned to three delicious meals a day by the ring of a silver bell.
We shared rooms and stories. We talked about childbirth, the heartbreak of some of our children, we complained about men, and we learned from each other—lessons in life, lessons in quilting. The facility owner shared an aging Buddy to sit at our feet and watch us as we sewed. And then we told dog stories.
When we left for home we stopped and bought more quilt fabric and ate lunch. We were hoarse from five days of talking when we returned to our respective homes. Fabric, newly-bought, was unpacked and touched and inspected before our suitcases were sorted.