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How to Get Rid of Belly Fat, Laugh More and Live Longer

Every one is interested in being healthier, feeling more energetic and having more positivity in life - am I right? (Yes, I am.) Well, I know a a quick, pleasurable, and easy way to do it. And it won't cost a thing. Read on and I'll tell you all about this amazing, revolutionary secret to a happier, healthier you!

It's nothing new, really - I've heard it, I've said it many times myself, and you've probably said or thought it yourself - quilters are an amazingly generous and supportive group of people. I've rarely met one that I didn't like. Every time I go to a quilt show I feel like I've come away with at least 4000 new friends!

But quilters, like other artists, work alone most of the time. One reason for this is because for most people, quilting is a hobby. Even if one does it for a living, it's still mostly a solitary endeavor, as are most creative things. Unless - one is lucky enough to be able to sew with friends. I've been sewing with friends pretty much since I started quilting. First, it was mostly my excellent mother. Then I joined her quilting bee of about six women. I couldn't come very often at that time, because I was teaching full time and had a family, but whenever I did make it, I loved it and I got something positive every time I went, whether it was skills or help or just a deep belly laugh (which might be the most valuable thing of all!)

After my excellent mother died, I started getting together regularly with two of her closest friends, Karen and Diane, on a weekly basis to sew, talk, laugh, eat lunch and sew some more. This is one of my favorite days of the week, and not just because I love these two women; although I do, dearly. Actually, there are so many other benefits. It forces all three of us to carve out time for our creativity. It's so easy to let everything else we have to do get in the way, but we pretty much try to keep this day sacrosanct. For us, it's pretty casual - we always sew at Karen's because it's central, and we get there whenever we get there, and we usually sew all day, broken up by a long lunch out. It's a standing date that none of us really likes to miss.

These photos are of my trusty droogs (see A Clockwork Orange for reference - we are not entirely trustworthy...) at our All-Clammy retreat we had recently. When we realized that between the four of us we have ALL the clammy rulers, we decided to use it as an excuse to have a retreat. We sewed all day, then stayed up all night talking and laughing! In order, they are Karen (who completed her entire quilt top) Diane, - who chose the most challenging pattern to make but it is looking fabulous, and Alice, who bravely used the 24 inch clammy - with pretty amazing results.

Another great thing I get from sewing with my friends is of course encouragement. Diane especially is good at saying "Sure you can do that," whenever I come up with one of my harebrained/farfetched ideas. She knows everything about sewing, I think. And if she doesn't know it, she always has her trusty iPad with her and knows where to find it. Karen has a great eye and is always encouraging; her work is perfection and she is a master of mixology - using interesting fabrics together. And as a bonus, she can be hilariously sarcastic. A few years ago when she retired from nursing, the ever understated fountain of good humor and generosity Alice has joined our quilting posse, and it's better than ever! We encourage, help, inspire, enable, (In both good ways and bad -"Yes! You need that fabrics/tool/sewing machine!) and most importantly, laugh a lot sometimes we even philosophize. (Yeah- we're deep like that ;)

And then there is Instagram. I never imagined I could connect with and be inspired by so many people I haven't actually met in such a simple easy way! Every time I look at it, I want to go make, just because I see all the wonderful creativity that is going on, well - everywhere. And the insta friendships are real, for real. People I've never actually met in person are (what did I say about this community?) warm and friendly, helpful, and encouraging as well. What I've experienced is that when we do actually meet in person, there is a true warmth and connection forged by all our seemingly superficial cyber interactions or hilarious silliness.

So, if you don't have a sewing group, I strongly encourage you to go find one. In a world where it may seem like we are more connected to machines than to people, where it seems like we are fragmented, discordant and judgmental at times, it's always such a sweet relief to sew with friends.

Whether in person or sharing on instagram, it'll help get rid of your belly fat and make you way more healthy. I'm sure of it.


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