Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild

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I’m leading off with my workshop participants, all brilliant conversationalists and quilters.

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This past week, I gave a lecture and taught my Merrion Square Workshop to the Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild, a top-notch guild that taught me plenty about how a successful guild functions.

At my workshop, Lupe, an excellent chef and the Workshop Coordinator, brought me a home-made lunch.  We gathered around a table for a break, and I enjoyed hearing stories about how people came to Temecula, California, for there are very few natives here.

Frequent Quilters Card

Here’s an idea for Guilds: a Frequent Quilter Card.  Every time a Guild Member takes a class, the Workshop Coordinator initials their card; when they have taken five classes, they get the sixth one free.  One line I heard over and over at Meet the Teachers was that guilds couldn’t fill their workshop classes.  This would be a great motivator to get people to a workshop, another good idea from this Guld.

 

As with any Guild, finding space to meet for programs and workshops is a challenge, and we met today in a clubhouse, with beautiful roses outside.

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Several days before, on Tuesday, I drove to the Temecula Recreation Center, where the Guild has their monthly meetings.  Above is the Guild President, calling the meeting to order.  After a few announcements, it was my turn. ValleyMistActivities_12

I had the two tables at the back of the stage lined up with my quilts, which– after they were showed–were then draped over the structure at the front of the stage (hard to explain, but no, my quilts weren’t on the floor).

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The Guild Members could come up front to see the quilts for a closer look; very satisfying that they enjoyed my work.  The quilter in the front, Annette, has followed my blog for several years, and came up and introduced herself to me at Road to California a couple of years ago.  (I wrote about that lovely experience up in my journal.) After the break was finished, members scattered to do business at the following tables:

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Workshops.  All the tables have signs, and this one is patch-worky!  Lupe is there (you recognize her from the top of the post), with my quilts, signing up people for my Saturday Workshop.

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Sweets and Treats table.

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Ida is in charge of the Charity Quilts.  Behind her a bags of completed quilts, and in front of her are quilt kits, so people can grab and go and make and return, along with kits for pillowcases (in the bin).  She is very organized!

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These tables are where members lay their Show and Tell.  I noticed that they didn’t include small quilted items such as bags, purses or hot pad holders, which I’ve seen in other guilds.  I enjoyed their Show and Tell Show immensely, loving this plaid quilt.  She said she had a bin of plaid from a few years back (um, I have one of those too) and decided to do something with it.  The people who brought these items would scoop them up and line up on one side of the stage.  When it was their turn to speak, the two ladies on the stage would take the quilt and hand the quilter a microphone, so she could talk about her quilt without having to show it.  A nice piece of choreography.ValleyMistActivities_6

Gloria ran the quilt raffle.  I was tempted by those cookbooks and their newly designed Guild pin.

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Adriene and Shelly (they are sisters) run the block of the month and this year they are doing Improv Blocks.  They call themselves the Blockheads, but trust me, they are witty and fun to talk to (they were also at the Workshop).

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Janice’s Charming Strip Exchange was popular.  This month was Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

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What to do with leftovers?  Make Pet Beds.

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Check out that mini quilt.  Every month they have a Monthly Mini raffle, and I’m sure this month’s quilt — that of the sewing machine — must have been hugely popular!

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Here’s another table that has monthly baskets of sewing supplies, fabrics, magazines–all donated–which the organizers make into cute baskets.  When you buy your tickets, you can grab a candy, plus they give you a small gift:

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While I picked a ticket for one of their door prizes that night (did I mention they had three?), the highly efficient chairmen do the drawings themselves, and present the name to the President for the announcement.

As might have noticed, this post is pretty detailed.  Many of my readers are on the Boards of their local Guilds, and I though I would present these good ideas for them, as well as for those who simply go to Guild meetings.  I love our community, and celebrate the work of Guilds, impressed as always.  Thanks to the Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild for inviting me!

Utah Valley Quilt Guild • National Teacher

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This is the Utah Valley, where the Utah Valley Quilt Guild lives, meets and has way too much fun (check their website to see what I’m talking about).  In April, I was invited as their National Teacher, an annual honor, to present and to give a workshop.  As I was born and raised in this valley, it stands to reason that I would know some people here…

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…like Lisa, my “minder” and a sweet friend who recently moved here from SoCal.  I was actually invited by Brenda S., who is serving an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and have looked forward to coming to speak to this guild for over a year.  Thank you, Brenda!

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First up: teach a Workshop for their Guild.  They actually wanted two combined into one, and I loved seeing all the different houses-on-a-square that resulted from this class:

Scenes from class that day.

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I knew that Leslie (L) was a total geneology expert, so we figured out (via an app that we are both registered on) that not only was she my 9th cousin, I was also ninth cousin with another quilter (R), too!

Lisa took me to The Quilter’s Lodge, where I indulged, and where we saw Simone’s fabric.  Truth: I went back two days later.  Actually, you should all go!

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Next up: the Trunk Show, where I was to give my Abecedary of Quilts lecture.

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Because they have their lecture after their workshop, all those class ladies when home and sewed their brains out, and came up with the beginnings of their Home, Sweet, Home and Merrion Square mini quilts. Impressive!

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Lisa, as Quilt Minder, had too much on her mind and left hers at home–she later sent me a photo of how cute her quilt had turned out.  I love this version!

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The guild was really responsive, and we laughed together–I was so appreciative of their keen interest.  I was also impressed with all the good projects this guild is doing, so much that I joined the guild before I left!

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While I was at the Workshop, my husband went to an art museum in Salt Lake City, that because he is also a well-trained quilter’s husband, zeroed in on these two pieces that were there.  It’s nice to know that others see our art in cloth and thread, and want to include it in their exhibits.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this quild; they are incredibly friendly and welcoming.  Thank you, Utah Valley!

Meet the Teacher • Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds

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I participated in a new experience this month, when I signed up for a booth at the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds‘ Meet the Teacher meeting. I had been encouraged to do this by a fellow quilter, and she was really helpful in sending me tips of what to do.  In my more fretful moments, I searched the internet for more information, so I write this post to document my experience, to show what kinds of booths were there, to help others who may choose to do this.  This post is picture heavy, but full of wonderful quilts.

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It was held in Carson, California at the community center.  The area we had of this center was one large room, with “wings” of rooms, open to the main room.  You could hear all that was going on, and it was a busy, fun feeling.  We entered the area at the top of this paper, checked in (we received a cookie!) and went to our booth areas, which consisted of two chairs, a cloth-draped 8-foot table that was about 24″ wide.  I was on the left side of the above diagram, next to a really lovely woman who did embroidery.  The people on the other side didn’t show, so we used that table for eating lunch, as did others.

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My booth at Meet the Teachers• April 2019

What to bring?  Here’s a listing of what I would suggest (you can get more ideas from the pictures that follow this list:

• 1 or 2 quilt stands.  We strung a pole (one of my HangIt Dangits) between the two so I could show three quilts.
• A sign for your booth.  They did provide a sign, but mine had migrated and was two tables over (I found it later).
• Quilts that you want for background atmosphere and backdrop. You can see I draped the table in my basket quilt.
• A book showing classes you’ll teach.  Keep it simple.  The Guild Board Members always seemed to be in rush, so they don’t spend a long time at your booth.
• Quilts that are samples of classes you will teach.  These were invaluable, as people want to see the class samples.  Many took photos of the quilts to show to their Guild.
• Bowl of wrapped chocolates. I went to the store and bought two bags of foil-wrapped chocolates (Dove Mixture and a Reese’s peanut butter candy).  These were a hit.
• Fliers showing a brief bio, a photo, one of your quilts (if possible) and contact information. I did 100 half-sheet fliers which yielded 200.  I put some out on the Flier Table in the front hallway, and offered up chocolate and a flier to everyone that came by. Because I had too many fliers, I wasn’t worried about running out.
• Decorative items for your table.  I brought my Tiny Quilts, showing what was available on my blog for free.  (I am not a pro on this one, but you’ll see other booths who had more.)
• Lunch will be a rush.  While I did buy the offered lunch, I only ate about 1/2 of it.  For us, it might have been better to have brought small grazing items, for when we were hungry, I think.  We brought a small cooler that we tucked under the table, filled with three bottles of water (could have used four), a soft drink and some snacks and grapes. They had iced tea and water with lemons in it in the main welcoming area, it that interests you.
• I also brought a cushion to sit on, not knowing what kind of chairs they had.  They were fine, but it was helpful to be a bit higher in my chair when I was doing business.
• Pen(s).
• Put an app on your phone so you can take a photo that will scan the contracts you sign.  They carry away the copy, and you’ll probably want to know what you signed.
• Printed out calendars, with the dates you aren’t available blocked out.  Most of these Guilds are working two years out, so bring three years’ worth of calendars.
• A helper.  I brought my husband, and he was invaluable.  They do have booth sitters that come around and can give you a break.

Here’s my Instagram post, with videos, showing bits of this day.  We arrived about 8:15, and set up; we were ready to go in 30 minutes.  At 2 p.m. it was all over with, and we packed up and left.

You’ll also be asked to give a 3 minute talk, and they are serious about 3 minutes.  I wrote mine out, using one of my blog posts as the basis, and showed only two samples of things I could teach.  Others brought oodles of samples to show and talked mainly about their classes.  They have two helpers onstage to hold up your items while you talk.  I’d suggest timing your talk so you know how long it will take, but they do have a woman at the front with signs, telling you when to get off the stage (they run a tight ship). I’m guessing the Guild board members basically want to see what kind of person you are, and if you are coherent.  It can be a mind-rattling experience, so be prepared.  Because I was, I thought it was fun.  The talks go on throughout the day, with breaks in between every so often so the guild members can get to the booths.

Here come the photos.  They are meant to be helpful, if you are planning to do this, so draw from them what might work.  For the rest of my readers, have fun looking at the quilts!

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She obviously was a pro–with lights! They do ask you if you need electricity in your registration form.

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In case your booth shows the backside, I thought this banner was clever in showing her quilt and her name.

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I want to take a class to make that bag!

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Looks like she brought a skinny table to put behind her.

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She wore bunny ears. I saw another woman with a tiara.

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Many brought things to sell, as you can see by her box of patterns.

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Becky is the one who told me I should do this, and is my hero. You can see how fun her booth is with her banners (I want to make one!). I met her while taking her cushion class (in front, right).

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One of the guilds was selling rolls of donated fabric, so you are actually looking through a couple of booths to the row behind.

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Courtyard outside. Beautiful location!

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This is Sheila Collins’ Fabric Art booth, and she came down from Sunnyvale (Northern California). I loved her work!

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I thought this might be a good excuse to get one of those cute little red wagons, but we brought everything in one giant suitcase instead.

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Posting with our local Modern Quilt Guild gals, who’ve chosen this quilt for a half-day guild workshop, along with my lecture.

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Out for Dinner

Two vermicelli bowls at our local Vietnamese place.

We drove home through intermittent LA traffic (part of life, here), arriving home tired, but happy.  I put this photo here to let you know you won’t be cooking–go out and enjoy a meal after all your hard work!

 

Plitvice • Quilt Finish

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Quilt #218 • 76 1/2″ square

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After four years, I finally finished up the quilt of multiple pieced hexagons.  Yes, every seam on that top is hand-stitched. I’ve had many posts about this, but here’s its final and complete post: it is done!

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Back of the quilt, using an Andover Fabrics wideback fabric. No piecing, no fussing around.  This was so slick–just buy the three yards and send it off to the quilter, Darby of Quilted Squid, who did a great job.

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About that edge binding: it was supposed to be a faced binding, tucked behind the quilt, but once I saw it on the edge, that was the missing piece that fell into place for me.  I wasn’t quite sure I liked this pile of English paper-piecing, until I saw that.  But I stab-stitched the facing in perle cotton all the way around, to get that nice tight, bound edge look.  That’s why it’s so large on the back–I didn’t want to cut down the width of my facing, so I went with it.

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And if you’ve been reading my Instagram account, you know we are poppy-crazy out here with our California Superbloom, so we took the quilt on one of our poppy-hunting treks to get the two photos you see in this post.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

You can use the tags on this post (click on them) to search for other entries of this quilt, if more information is needed.  Many thanks to Katja Marek for starting us on the Millefiore road.

 

Fun with Other Quilters at Valley Modern Quilt Guild

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Last week I had the chance to head over to Los Angeles, and speak at the Valley Modern Quilt Guild, held at HighTech LA, a very cool building (with great gates).

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They had these signs all over the school, which I think is a good motto for retreats and workshops, right?

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The place we met was one of those classrooms that can be changed around to suit the needs of those using it, and it was a good space for giving a talk: well lit, comfortable with a good microphone.  I stayed until the end of their Guild, as I was curious to see what they were working on.  I especially liked their Challenge for that month: Curves.

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Saturday, I headed back to teach a workshop for them at a local high school; the workshop was held in the costume department of the high school, and the teacher worked on costumes for an upcoming production while we used her room.

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First up, a little show and tell.  The woman holding the quilt is the principal of the school, and I’m happy to be in her company, along with the other fine members of this guild.

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It’s always fun to see what gadgets people bring, and I loved this one: a veritable traveling trunk of supplies, that you just unzip and Voila! it is available.  No more packing up and forgetting something.  (I don’t have anymore information on it, but I know she purchased it online.)

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As soon as we finished the center block, it was photo time.  I love how some centers come forward and some recede.  Such a creative group!  I didn’t do a very good job on taking a picture of the group, but there might be more on their Guild Website.  They decided on the Two-For-One class: a quilt in the morning, and free-motion quilting in the afternoon.

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Thank you, Valley Modern Quilt Guild–I had a great time!

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And in other news…  It is the ONLY reason I did an update on my iPhone this early.  Usually I wait a while until they get the bugs out, but I couldn’t resist.  They also have a ball of yarn, if you are interested in that.

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And I finished my November Gridsters Bee blocks early this month and am sending them off to Allison of Quilt Studio 62, who is our Queen Bee this month.

In addition, I’ve had a question or two about what paper I use in the foundation paper piecing I did for the recent Crazy Cushion Class. I recently purchased a ream of paper from them (after 10 years of using the first one), so I took some photos in the store.

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It’s a vellum from Neenah.  I updated this post, where you can find more information.

Don’t know what to do with all those real “decorator” pumpkins you buy for fall? A recipe for Stuffed Pumpkin is a good way to enjoy them one more time.

Fall Leaves

The year we lived in Alexandria, Virginia I brought home handfuls of leaves from my walks and scanned them for the future.  I love looking at them at this time of year, as we here in Southern California don’t have fall color like this.

Happy November!

Guild Visit, and a little stitching for NASA’s JPL Mars

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Just to show you that every stitch counts, NASA has been testing a parachute to help with their Mars missions.

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I love that the announcer mentions “miles and miles of thread” and “over three million stitches” in the video; he’s speaking my language.

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I’ll be speaking more of that language when I visit the Valley Modern Quilt Guild on Monday, October 29th, with a workshop to follow on Saturday, November 3rd. The Guild talk begins at 7:00 p.m. at High Tech High School (Van Nuys) and the Workshop (see photos below) is held from 10-4 at Calabasas High School (Calabasas). Looking forward to meeting new quilty folks and enjoying the creative mojo of their guild!

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