The importance of Membership

Last year I received a call around nomination time asking if I would be willing to be the membership chair for 2017and 2018. Having a full-time job, being a secondary care giver for an ailing grandmother, and running a small business on the side, I was hesitant to take on any other responsibilities. After soul searching for a while, I realized that stitching is what I do when all of those other things overwhelm me. My stitching friends are an extension of that and they are some of the most supportive friends I have. They encouraged me to apply for my current job, to treasure every moment with my Grandmother who taught me how to stitch in the first place, and even to start a small business. All of these things came from one place; membership.

EGA changed my life; I quite literally stumbled into a Wednesday stitch in at a local church after finding the calendar on the SANG website. I was lonely and grieving because I had recently lost my job and we had just suffered a family loss. That first day I stitched and listened to women chat about their lives, the projects they were working on, and the upcoming May luncheon. One of the ladies looked at my project with genuine interest, I told her I was unhappy with my french knots because the rayon thread I was using was slippery and the knots were loose and not hugging the fabric the way they do with cotton thread. She recommended and then patiently demonstrated a colonial knot, which worked perfectly. Over the next few weeks I attended more stitch ins and one of the ladies invited me to the May luncheon as her guest. While at the luncheon another longtime member sat next to me, and after chatting, she proposed a commission. If I could embroider some cloth buttons for her, she would pay for my first year of membership. It seemed like a fun and easy project. She also gave me a real opportunity to stretch by giving me 100% artistic freedom.

All of the sudden I had purpose for the first time in months. There were stitch ins to attend, and I had work to complete. This purpose got me out of my funk, I started looking for full-time employment again. A few short weeks later a SANG member encouraged me to apply for a job she found online. This led to an interview and the career I always wanted. I now know that these wise women saw what I needed and conspired to get me back on track, and It worked! Did they stop there? Nope! Over and over again I was introduced to teachers, mentors, and friends who continue to push me to be a better stitcher, business woman, and person.

Now as membership chair I am supposed to tell you that your $55 per year pays for the national magazine, technique classes, community outreach, and the website. And those are all fantastic uses for your money but, the real value is what those things create. A community of passionate people working tirelessly to make the world a better, and more beautiful place.

Tawney Carter