Sew not as it seams: Rhineland-Pfalz Quilt Guild
When it was official that we were moving to Germany, I took the opportunity to research local groups that would interest me. Being the social butterfly that I am, I had to find ways to make new friends. Conversation with my 1- and 2-year-olds only goes so far.
My wanna-be crafty-self came across the Rhineland-Pfalz Quilt Guild (RPQG). Once we got settled, and the kids had secured spots in daycare, I reached out to the guild via its website. It turns out that I connected with the current president, Bernadette Keeler. She directed me to the guild’s online calendar and invited me to join.
The next event on the calendar was “Stitch N Gab,” which is held each Friday at 10 a.m. at the Ramstein Air Base (RAB) Southside Chapel. Invites to new groups can go a number of ways. Admittedly, I was somewhat skeptical because of past experiences. However, these ladies blew me away! Initially, it was just Bernadette and me. We sat and worked on our respective knitting and crochet projects over pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants). It wasn’t long before we were joined by five other ladies. When they arrived, they immediately introduced themselves and made me feel as comfortable as if I had wrapped myself in one of their exquisite quilts and settled onto the couch.
Around lunchtime, we headed over to the Deutsche Kantine to eat. I have been here for five months, and I didn’t know this delicious goodness existed. We continued to talk and swap stories over fried eggs and pommes (fries) — yes, that is one of the meals the kantine serves.
These sewing sisters are from all over the world. Each lady is a quilter of varying skill levels and years of experience. Each shared stories about how they became quilters. I started out of boredom (before children) and the need to kill the monotony at our last duty station. However, no matter how all of us got started, the common thread was the love of the art.
The guild also meets the fourth Thursday of each month at Ramstein Middle School. The meetings vary by month, but may include guest speakers, show and tell, mini “how-to” workshops and more. Twice a year the group holds retreats — a weekend away to work on a new quilt or dust off one of those PHDs (Projects Half Done). Workshops are also offered throughout the year, as well as an annual quilt show at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center Mall on RAB. The guild lovingly gives back to the community by donating baby quilts to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as part of its “Baby Love” initiative.
This is not your grandmother’s guild. These ladies have spunk and pizzazz. Whether you’re brand new to quilting and sewing or are a seasoned veteran, you should not hesitate to share in the experience that is the RPQG.