Actually, the title should read “Meet Karen: The Newest Member with the Biggest Mouth.”
I spent most of this past winter in sunny Arizona sitting indoors at my computer. However, that’s what I get for joining my village’s quilting group at my Arizona home and opening my mouth.
The group had just been donated a Pfaff Grandquilter machine and most of the members were opposed to accepting it. “Are you kidding me!” I exclaimed as Marie told me at aerobics. So I attended the next meeting in early January, opened my mouth, and ended up chairing a committee to research if other retirement villages have a quilting/sewing room or a longarm. To make a long story short, I gave my report at the following week’s meeting and convinced the membership to vote (62 to 14) in favor of accepting the machine contingent on us securing an area from the HOA (Home Owners Association) to put it.
I must have been rather convincing or naïve since I ended up chairing the committee to write the proposal and a power point presentation to present to the HOA board of our village. Approximately 400 hours later I handed the village manager a 7 page proposal (complete with research and footnotes) with 11 attachments (including three floor plans which my interior designer daughter did free for us) plus two manuals detailing all the information necessary for starting and operating a longarm quilting program and (drumroll, please) a Textile Arts Studio. Now, it had been no small feat to get a group of 9 women together weekly to talk about how we wanted to run these programs, agree about it, and stay on task. Needless to say the 14 members against this proposal made life rather stressful for me as I would return home from our weekly quilting meetings having felt like I had been used for target practice.
The quilting group presently stores their machines and supplies in cabinets in a small closet in one of the meeting rooms that they get to use twice a week for a few hours. My naiveness continued as I was given the honors of presenting our proposal to the April HOA board meeting. With about 100 people in attendance, I made our plea and ended the power point presentation with “We ask you to consider bringing the quilters out of the closet and into a room that our village can be proud of.” They tabled it.
And so we waited. Three weeks later we were informed of a room that would be big enough for the longarm machine but not much more. We were hoping for a much larger room so we could create a real studio where we could hold a variety of classes to engage quilters of all levels and interests and house other sewing machines. But at least we can begin the longarm program. We felt appreciative but disappointed. I’ve since heard rumblings from the membership stating “We’ll have Karen do it again next year asking for a bigger room.” But I think Karen will want to quilt next year if she can keep her mouth shut.
and Lea Anne at Podunk Pretties