All the news is filled with Social Isolation and Keeping Your Distance due to the Covid-19 (Novel Corona Virus). Yet before they lowered the boom on small gatherings, I was able to visit the Orange County Quilters Guild, the first guild I’d every joined, way back in the day when I first moved to Southern California. Remarkably I recognized one of the members from that time, and I still remember how nice she was to me in welcoming me then…and now.
First, it’s check-in to the hotel, which was right across from Disneyland. I loved the welcoming rubber duckie, the pictoral reminders of what was across the street. I saw these as I met the Guild leaders for a lovely dinner … across the side street, and walkable.
After dinner, we headed to the meeting site, getting set up, with the President and the Program Chair threading my two quilts up on quilt stands for me. I then visited all the different tables: Show and Share, Raffle Prizes, Workshops, Welcoming Table, and the Block Party. Since they are beginning their new year this month, this was the debut for the Block Party team, and apparently they are all planned out — with blocks made up — for the entire year.
This guild strings a clothesline around the meeting space, and clothespins the Show and Share quilts to this line, then asks the quilter to fill out a short form giving the highlights of the quilt; it reminded me of when I used to attend here (it was done the same way). Because Southern California had been treated to a deluge of rain that day, the attendance was down, but the President told me they usually have all the walls covered in quilts, bringing a nice atmosphere to their meetings. The quilts that were there were stunning and beautiful to see. I also had to take a photo of Betsy–that was my childhood nickname!
Because it was their Guild’s birthday month, these quilters had made a “cake” with fabric-wrapped candles, which they shared with everyone. We also had two cakes at the beginning of the meeting (I had chocolate–no surprise there!).
Because the hotel had warned me that thieves target parked cars in resort areas (and loved the last line of the sign about removing the third row seats), Julie, the Program Chair, graciously offered to take home my quilt suitcases so I wouldn’t have to lug them up to my hotel room. I accepted, and was grateful and happy she was willing to do this.
As I was calling my husband to tell him good-night, the fireworks went off right across the boulevard–a whole show of them. So nice of the Orange County Quilters Guild to arrange this for my visit!
The next morning, I headed over to their workshop, held at the Orange Quilt Bee quilt shop in Orange, and our classroom was a wonderful space perfectly set up for classes: electrical outlets at each seat, lots of space for cutting and ironing — a dream for teaching. It was a full class, and I shared this day with these lovely women; Pam was right across from me (lower left) and I appreciated her sharing stories of her life with me in the quieter moments.
Once they all finished their center blocks, I had them come up for a brief look at how differently they chose fabrics, and to applaud them for getting started.
The pattern they’d chosen was recently revised, and they were good sports about the typos that had slipped through the revision process. I appreciated the input many gave me. They were really prepared sewers, having cut out and labeled all their pieces so they could just get to stitching. Many of them finished up their quilt tops:
I so appreciated being invited to Orange County Quilters Guild, and thoroughly enjoyed my time with these great quilters. Thank you so very much!!
6 thoughts on “Orange County Quilters Guild Visit • March 2020”
Glad you were able to get out and enjoy your talk/class. I’m now staying put and making happy in my studio while I sew and play and read and limit all the bad news intake.
This was such fun to read! I’m a former Huntington Beach gal, now living in Oregon, and I love reading your blog because I get good quilty content and glimpses of “home”. Today you came very close to home–when I was a young child we lived in Anaheim. One of my favorite early memories is playing outside in the summer with my neighborhood friends. The rule, evidently agreed to by all the mothers, was that once the fireworks went off all children had to go inside, play was over for the night. There was never any arguing–I remember watching the fireworks and then everyone just turning and heading for their own homes. How could we top that show?
Glad for the timing that you got to go! Working on that social distance thing here too.
What a lovely experience, Elizabeth! I cannot think of a better send-off to social distancing. Am also thinking small projects may be just the way to get through this upcoming period and Home Sweet Home would certainly be appropriate!
Your students produced some great blocks – showing off what a versatile pattern you’ve created! I don’t understand the point of removing third row seats – I mean, are people stealing those?!… The fabric cake idea is so cute!
Wow! I’m glad you got to do this before the quarantine set in! I expect my guild program next month to be cancelled.