If you are new to sewing (or not), you may be wondering where are all the Sewists hiding? I know I felt that way for a long time! If you are a lone sewer, you might be missing out on some awesome times with like minded and crafty people. Not to mention, a wealth of untapped knowledge! So where do you begin? With the sewing hobby gaining increasing popularity on the internet, there are bound to be some kind of group in your area just waiting for new members. Some groups you have to pay for, and others are just happy to have a fresh face walk in the door. Let’s take a look at some of the known sewing organizations:
American Sewing Guild
This is a big one and they are are everywhere. The ASG is a national organization with Chapters in each state. Beyond that, there are smaller community groups that meet up in various cities and towns across each state. You are allowed to checkout one or two of their meetings before becoming a member. There is an annual membership fee, but it include discounts at popular retailers and manufactors. You also receive newsletters and their magazine, as well as information about upcoming conferences, to which you recieve a discount as well.
To find your local ASG Chapter, visit: http://www.asg.org/files/locator/index.php
This website was built to help all different kinds of people form groups and ‘get together’ for their particular interests. So, of course there is a sewing section! Simply create an account (which is free) and search for sewing groups in your area. You can change the distance to whatever you are comfortable with. Also, you can view the group and the members before committing to that particular group.
Local Fabric/Quilting Shop
Most cities have at least one large chain fabric store, but the smaller business are a fantastic way to meet fellow sewists. Often, these shops will host a quilting corner or a sewing class or two. Some even have an entire sewing program! For example, Fabric Bliss is a fabric and yarn shop located in the Sante Fe Arts District of Denver, Colorado. They are also a sewing studio, teaching classes for all levels, and a knitting lounge! How awesome is that?!
Where to start? You find these shops a few different ways. I like to use Yahoo Local and type in Fabric shop in the search bar. You can also Google “Fabric Store sewing classes” plus your location in google to see what pops up.
If you don’t belong to a church or your church doesn’t have a sewing group, don’t be discouraged. Many churches host sewing or quilting bees for the community to use. Nowadays, many churches have their own website and descriptions of the varies events held there. For instance, a local church in my community lets a small group of sewists use their empty rec. room to sewing for a few hours every months. It is open to members and non members.
Did you know you can sew for charity? Yup! And in your area, chances are there’s a group or two getting together doing charity work that involves sewing. Whether it’s the hospital asking for children’s quilts or the homeless shelter seeking hats and scarves, you’ll find fellow sewists using their skills to socialize and help the community. Start by visiting the local hospital and YMCA websites for information on donations and volunteering. You can also check out the ASG website for community service work. Or, simply Google search “community sewing charity” along with your location.