Before I left for my Chicago trip to BERNINA University, I taught my last guild workshop until August and I went out with a bang! The North/South Quilters are an activity group, part of the Newcomers Club of Reno. Reno is a 2 hr drive so I was able to pack my car with everything I could possibly want.
Reno is located in a high desert, about 22 miles from Lake Tahoe and is experiencing significant growth, mainly to retirees I suspect, many of whom are fleeing the taxes of California. Before my trip to teach, the only thing I knew about Reno was the casinos and I’d only been there twice in my 19 years of living in California.
The Reno arch built in 1926 welcomes you to town. Reno used to be “the divorce capital of the world” due to the laws that favored quick, easy and inexpensive divorces. Locals told me that the casinos came about as a diversion to entertain visitors waiting out their time until they could legally divorce. Interesting!
Reno can be a little quirky. Someone paid to have this sign flash a variety of messages about “how corrupt Karl Hall” was. I have no idea of the issue, just thought the sign was….interesting.
This is what most of us think when we consider Reno. I’m not a fan, but it was fun to stay in the Atlantis. It is a little weird to be in a casino. There are cameras everywhere. Everywhere except my room (I hope!). I could not help but notice that there are cameras on you from multiple angles everywhere. And cigarette smoke is omnipresent.
Funny story. When I car travel I always stock my frig with healthy foods that I enjoy. I claim my room and then head out and get some real food. This is a nice casino and I assumed there would be one in the room–not! Of course not, they want you on the floor gambling.
So I put up the tiniest little stink about that and also happened to mention it was my first stay, hence my surprise. Well, that opened the floodgates and without my asking they upgraded me to the “luxury” tower. It was lovely with an all marble bath and a scale (loved that!).
And I had a nice view of sunsets too!
The decor was colorful and quirky and I just loved this ceiling fan!
I arrived the night before and had a lecture and two completely maxed out workshops-they were excited to see me! My lecture and quilts were very well received and the questions kept coming. I love that-not for the ego thing, but to educate quilters that this is something they CAN do.
The first day I taught Yes You CAN Free Motion Quilt, an intro class. Well some already had experience and this student was so excited about learning Peacock that she went home and quilted a whole piece that evening! Great work!
This photo makes me giggle. I use my whiteboard a lot during class and students frequently take photos of my illustrations. I caught everyone in the act here.
The second day was Start With a Square and it is rapidly becoming a favorite pick of guilds. It really does seem like everyone enjoys this class. The best part about it is that it works for students at all levels. Here is a sampling of work taken later in the day, not everyone wanted theirs photographed! Forgive me for less-than-perfect photos ladies. Click on the photos for larger views.
I love the variety and creativity of each student! Some were reluctant to start yet began to relax and enjoy as the day progressed. I am so pleased with the results! Margie sent a finished photo of hers:
In class I asked my students to NOT make their project precious! If you make a class project too precious you are afraid to quilt and finish it. Margie embraced a variety of fills and grids that we worked on in class. Fabulous, no?
And this bit of sweetness was given to me by a student-how pretty! I don’t embroider so this is rocket science to me.
The guild asked me what I would want to do during my time off-quilt shops, casinos? I asked if anyone wanted to do something active and outdoors? They were all over that and set me up with Starry, an active hiker who frequently leads hikes around Reno. I had no idea how awesome the landscape is around Reno! There are over 200 hiking paths within an hour of Reno-who knew?
The temps were in the mid-90’s, a dry heat of course, and we headed out in the afternoon, after I had taught class and finished. I was a little concerned about being ambushed by the heat, but Starry knows her terrain and chose the most lovely 6 mile hike along a running stream that was mostly shielded from the sun.
This was our start-I knew then that this was going to be a beautiful hike!
There must have been at least 15 of these small waterfalls along the way-visually striking, beautiful sound and refreshingly cool.
The cottonwoods were shedding in epic proportions. Entire swaths of our walk were covered with fluff, appearing as though there were a light dusting of snow. It was charming.
There was color everywhere!
This tree remains decorated with Christmas ornaments year round. Again, charming!
Starry lent her walking poles to me which was thoughtful. I really had a fabulous time on that hike, can you tell?
I had no idea how friendly Reno was-the residents are open and helpful. And the surrounding area is chock-full of outdoor adventure. And I thought Reno was about Casinos.
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday!