When Connie Schoeneman wanted to quilt about three years ago, she did not want to do it alone; so she called a few friends to meet informally and the group grew. They needed a larger place because laying out quilt blocks can take up a lot of room, especially when there are five people trying to do that in a small space. Greenbrier City came to her rescue when she told them she wanted space where people who do any craft could meet.
Director Shellie O’Quinn agreed with the City Council when they said, "as long as your meetings are open for the whole community" you may use the City Event Center meeting room on the second floor for free. That decision was the start of a very loyal group of people who meet every third Saturday and have plenty of fun there. And that was a perfect plan for this group that now numbers up to 36 crafters with all different interests. Yes, there are plenty of quilters who bring their own machines and are able to spread out their whole quilt on the stage, sometimes even two or three at once.
Other crafters now include knitters, jewelry makers, crocheters, beading specialists, scrapbookers and even an occasional wood carver. Their major theme is simple: just plain fun. Schoeneman says, "We don’t argue. We have no president, no rules, no fees and plenty of socializing while we do something we really enjoy." Anyone is welcome to come anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Many also decide to bring a small snack to share, but even that is not a requirement.
Christine Haws and her friend Brenda Summerlin just completed aprons that were monogrammed with a quilt pattern known as "Grandmother’s Fans." One was further embellished with many small white buttons and the other with tiny spaghetti gingham kite tails. Haws said, "This is the bomb! Coming here from Conway is so much fun, low-key, easy going that we really enjoy it."
Barbara Spears from Greenbrier was laying out her mystery quilt on the stage floor and lacked only two more blocks to complete the pattern. "Where else can we find enough room to lay out a full quilt to see what it will look like? We never get this much space at home." Eight-foot tables are furnished for each person, and everyone must bring their own supplies.
Anola Nokes and Schoeneman started the group so people who work are able to attend on a weekend and those who don’t drive at night may come during the day. Nokes said, "It is non-intimidating, a place to share ideas, do your own thing or just observe. The best thing is everything is free and just plain fun ... exactly what we wanted when we hatched this idea." For more information, call 501-679-4531.