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Month: October 2019

President’s Message – October 2019

President’s Message – October 2019

You’re probably familiar with the expression “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I have no idea whether this is literally true or not—our family had dogs when I was a kid, but it’s been a long time since I’ve lived with any. I can tell you that you can’t teach a cat of any age new tricks; they are completely unimpressed by any attempts to teach them anything. But I digress.

Metaphorically, the expression suggests that beyond a certain age we become set in our ways and unwilling to venture out of our ruts. I strenuously resist thinking of myself as “old,” but it’s true that I have been quilting for a little while (I started in 1989—you do the math!). My first quilting class was a local adult ed. offering, after which I took lots more classes at shows or in shops, trying to learn as many new techniques as I could. Sometimes when ideas didn’t stick, I’d take more classes on the same subject—please don’t ask how many color theory classes I’ve taken over the years! I’ve taken classes on curved piecing, improvisational piecing, yarn couching, beading, needle-turn applique, hand quilting, machine quilting, stippled quilt designs, feathered quilt designs… Sometimes it was the topic that interested me; sometimes it was the teacher. (Elsie Campbell! John Flynn! Gwen Marston!) Some of the techniques I used again; some I tried in class, shrugged, and moved on—but all were fun to learn.

But after a while, I wasn’t signing up for as many classes anymore. It seemed I had enough skills to do what I wanted to do, and the itch to learn new things wasn’t quite as strong as it used to be. I’d still look at the classes offered at shows, and local shops, but most often I decided to spend my show time looking at quilts and visiting vendors rather than sitting in a classroom. I was at risk of becoming an unteachable old dog.

So it was something of a surprise for me when, scrolling through a local shop’s e-newsletter last month, I found a class listing that piqued my interest. With the rise of Modern quilts, big-stitch quilting has become a popular style, and (as a dyed-in-the-wool traditional hand quilter) I had no idea how you went about doing that using the techniques I knew. But there, lo and behold, was a half-day big-stitch quilting class that promised to answer all my questions and resolve all my confusion! (It was also scheduled for one week after my birthday, so—birthday gift to myself…) I signed up, gathered my required supplies, and off I went. Sure enough, I learned what I had hoped to learn—and I also remembered how much fun it was to sit in a room with a dozen like-minded quilters and broaden our horizons and our vision together.

So here’s my challenge to you: no matter how long you’ve been at this quilting game, make a promise to learn something new this year! We have a few fun classes coming up in guild workshops, not to mention classes at our affiliate shops, and don’t forget Road to California will be here in January! There are also online classes and YouTube videos if you’re comfortable with technology, and there are still new things you can learn from books and magazines if you’re a Luddite like I am. Put an end to the lie that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Old dogs everywhere will thank you. Now, if only we could figure out how to train the cats…

See you at the meeting,

Pam

President’s Message – September 2019

President’s Message – September 2019

Goodness, how did it get to be September already?! Despite temps for the past week having been in the high 90s – as a bred-in-the-bone New Englander, I’m STILL not used to that – the calendar definitely says “September,” and we have a new crop of students running around campus, so it must be true.

And if it’s September already, that means November will be here before we know it – and this year, November brings WFQG’s bi-annual boutique. As you all know, our dues don’t come close to covering the rent on our meeting and workshop sites, not to mention hiring speakers and teachers, and the boutique is one of the biggest fundraisers that keeps our guild running. A couple of weekends ago, I attended the “boutique sew-in” workshop where Francine Loomis and Mary Gothard had lots of examples and instructions for lots of items to make and sell, and 3rd VP Kim Greenfield (who’s spearheading the whole event) even brought cookies to keep everyone’s energy level up! If you need any ideas or suggestions about what you might donate to the boutique, these three probably have some ideas for you. In fact, Francine and Mary did such a good job, they’re in danger of being named the permanent boutique Subcommittee on Making Stuff. (No, that subcommittee doesn’t really exist. But if it did, these two would be it. They were amazing.) Don’t forget we sell baked goods at the boutique, too – and this year, we’re planning to sell coffee to go with the goodies, which I think is a great idea. (Coffee ranks very high on my list of basic food groups, along with chocolate. Hey, they both come from beans, so as far as I’m concerned, they’re vegetables.) So there are lots of ways for all of us to participate! We would like to see each member donate items worth a total of $100 – this sounds a little scary, but once you break it down a bit, it’s really not ($100 might be ten items priced at $10 each, or five items priced at $20, or so on – so not an overwhelming amount at all!). You’ll be hearing more from Kim over the next couple of months about donation forms, drop-off details, volunteer sign-ups and so on – so stay tuned.

September also means it’s time to start thinking about next year’s board elections. Some people have already volunteered to fill a few offices (many thanks!), but a couple of our offices still need candidates. Our nominating committee, under the intrepid leadership of Parliamentarian Linda R. Emery, is hard at work – if you do get a call from them about taking one of the positions, please consider it rather than reflexively screaming and running away. Descriptions of all the offices are in the membership roster, and any of the current board members would be happy to talk with you about what her position entails. Remember that the phrase “it takes a village” applies to quilt guilds, too – if no one steps up, then the guild collapses (yes, I know it sounds hyperbolic and dramatic, but it’s true!), and I, for one, have way too much fun with this group to want to see that happen. I hope you feel the same!

See you at the meeting,

Pam