I did something completely different (for me) last weekend—and had a ball.
Several months ago I came across the charming and often whimsical art quilts made by Laura Wasilowski, and when I saw she was doing a workshop for the Clark County Quilters Guild up in Vancouver, Washington, I knew I had to go. My friend Diana, who lives a couple hours south of here in Roseburg, is a quilter, and it didn’t take much arm twisting to get her to sign up as well.
We decided to make it a fun weekend. Vancouver is only about an hour and a half from my house, but getting to a workshop by 8:30 in the morning would have been a challenge. So we stayed in a lovely Airbnb home,
where my room was our hostess’s sewing & craft room. How perfect was that? My only regret is that we weren’t there long enough for me to look through her entire enormous button jar!
The quilt guild’s regular meeting was the evening before the workshop. Since our instructor was the featured speaker we decided to attend. Went out for Mexican food and margaritas beforehand. The place we chose had mixed reviews on Yelp, and the parking lot was ominously empty. It's early, that’s all, we told ourselves, and went in. Opened menus. Friendly waitress appeared, we ordered margaritas. Oh, she said, we had to renew our liquor license and it has not arrived yet. We cannot serve any alcohol. (A little ironic since the word ‘margaritas’ is part of the restaurant’s name.) We are good sports. We ordered virgin margaritas and something to eat.
Alas, we should have just left. Bad food and icky drinks. But oh well, it's one meal out of a lifetime of meals, right?
There was no need to linger over dinner. Or even finish it. We fired up the GPS and headed for the church where the guild meeting takes place.
Huge church…and literally hundreds of cars arriving! Women of all ages were streaming into the building. And about three men. Guys, if you want to meet ladies, join a quilt guild.
On the way in, we fell into conversation with a lovely woman (alas, her name has floated away from my brain) who asked if we were new members. When we said yes, we were in town for the workshop, she took us under her wing, moving us through the sign in process and into the meeting hall. She showed us all the different tables and explained what they were for. Charity quilts, free stuff, raffle tickets, refreshments and more. (Okay, we already knew what to do at a refreshments table.) By the time our guide had to leave us we were in conversation with several other women.
I don’t think I have ever encountered such a friendly, warm, open group anywhere, ever. Thank you, Clark County Quilters, for making us feel so instantly at home! And the show and tell section of your meeting was simply inspirational.
At the workshop the next morning, we learned to fuse iron-on webbing to the hand-dyed fabrics that Laura makes, and then each of us constructed our own version of a flower basket. Every single one of the fourteen attendees came up with something wildly different from everyone else, and every single one was gorgeous. (Yes, even mine—at least I think so!) Wish I had taken pictures of them all.
The final step is to add hand embroidery, then a backing and binding. We didn’t have time for that, but here is Diana’s design.
She is already planning a companion piece to go with it.
And here is mine. As soon as the batting I've ordered arrives, I'll dive back in and finish it.