By Edie McGinnis
I have a birthday coming up this month. It reminds me that the years are flying by more quickly than ever. Aaarrgghhh! How can this be? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I turned 21?
Well, no, it wasn’t.
Once I set up a library in the upstairs bedroom, I declared to my children that I was never moving out of my house. The idea of moving six bookcases of books didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. And if the truth was told, my kids would likely be less than thrilled with the idea of trucking all those books downstairs and out the door as well.
I want to move into a retirement home for quilters. I know, there is no such thing, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be. I can picture the place in my mind with no problem.
Each resident would have to have a climate-controlled storage unit with easy access close to her apartment. It would have to have shelves that could accommodate the piles of quilts we’ve managed to create. We also would need space for the special fabric each quilter accumulates that is just too pretty to cut up.
We would need a sewing area set up with cutting tables and sewing machines. The machines must be in sewing machine
cabinets, not on tables. We have to deal with the ergonomics so everyone would be comfortable when putting in long hours. Oh, and, of course, we would have to have the wonderful office chairs that are adjustable to one’s particular height.
Each quilter could have her own cubby for her tools. It would be necessary for many quilters to cut down on their collection of tools. Otherwise, the cubby might have to be about the size of a two-car garage.
Next to the sewing area, there would have to be a kitchen. Seriously? You’re asking why we would need a kitchen? Sigh! But then maybe you’ve never been to a quilt retreat where quilters bring “snacks.” Everyone knows we need to have our coffee in the morning. And who can quilt if there’s no chocolate around? Maybe we should add a wine cellar for those late night sewing parties.
The walls in the sewing area need to be design walls. We could cover foam insulation boards with flannel, and each quilter could be assigned an eight-foot section.
We would also need a community fabric room. Each quilter could contribute fabric from her stash. Residents would be welcome to come in and use anything they wanted. And, if we needed money, we could open this room to the public and have a sale. We would just have to be careful that we didn’t put our local quilt shops out of business.
We would need an area for long-arm quilt machines. That room could adjoin the quilting room. We could have shelves of batting, thread and backing along the walls here.
Oh, my goodness, I almost forgot! We need a library. Everyone could contribute the quilt books they’ve accumulated over the years. We could have all of the Kansas City Star quilt books in one section. And think of the patterns we have all collected and never used! Those could be at our fingertips, too.
We need a bus and a driver. We would still need to be able to go to the quilt shops. As we all know, just because there are acres of fabric at hand, it doesn’t mean the perfect shade of green or blue is stockpiled.
I think a masseuse or two should be on staff. We don’t want anyone suffering from a sore neck or cramped shoulders. And while we’re at it, we might just as well have someone available to do pedicures. It would be handy to have a sewing machine repairman, too.
This could be an idea whose time has come. Like-minded people with common interests could be gathered into one community. I can see this working. Almost.
Some quilters have a spouse who just might go right around the bend at the thought of having to deal with many quilters rather than just the one they’ve become accustomed to.
Maybe they’d be all right if we added a golf course and a stocked pond. At least, that would keep them busy while we quilt.
Edie McGinnis is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Friday.