I had two back-to-back in-person engagements this week and I am so happy to be teaching in person again! I truly love to teach, and I’m happy to teach virtually or in-person, each has its advantages.
I started out in Chico with an evening lecture for the Annie’s Star Quilt Guild, a vibrant guild of 200 members. There was a great turn out:
Can’t you tell how friendly they were? And dang, I forgot to ask how they got their name.
I presented my “The Beauty of the Imperfect” lecture which I am very proud of. I reached out to Huge Name Quilters, asking them to show me their flaws. And they ARE there! I show my imperfections too.
It is a super encouraging and informative lecture, one I love to give. I had several members come up and say something along the lines of “I really needed to hear this, thank you!”. And you won’t believe what I learned from an NACQJ judge!
I turned around the next day and drove to Paso Robles, so almost 500 miles in less than 24 hours. But hey, that’s what we traveling teachers do! I drove through the San Joaquin Valley, California’s central valley which grows much of California’s agricultural crops: grapes, nuts, citrus, and vegetables including the majority of the nation’s asparagus, all on irrigated land.
When you’re driving south on I-5, to your left you see this:
The fields are currently bare but will soon be producing. Just a bit farther north are feed lots, primarily cattle. Your nose lets you know. There are cattle as far as the eye can see in parts.
I visited the Almond Country Quilt Guild, and their town of Paso Robles used to be the “Almond Capital of the World”. I saw very few almond orchards and LOTS of vineyards. When I remarked about that, one member noted that vineyards need a lot of water, and you know about California’s water issues, right? Water is everything in the valley.
That green is real, no Photoshop. More beauty:
Just so you know, giggle, here is how locals pronounce two key words: almonds are ah-mands and Paso Robles is paso roe-bulz, all strung together with no accent. I had to work at it to get that right. Hubby worked with a man whose family farmed almonds and that was when I first knew they were “ahmands”. Got that?
I had a wee bit of time before dinner and I did a little shopping. Paso Robles must have 100 restaurants/tasting rooms, really. And a few super cute shops. I wandered into the General Store and spied this cookbook:
I never heard of its “NY Times bestselling author”, but it intrigued me. It includes gems like this:
No, I don’t normally eat such things, but dang, does that not sound good? She is a Texas girl (transplanted) and her recipes remind me of Paula Dean with LOTS of butter, frying and cheese. I find her banter entertaining, but I may end up with only a few recipes that I’ll actually make. The author ain’t skinny and I know why.
On to the guild. I did a repeat of my “Imperfect” lecture and it was very well received with several members mentioning how they found it encouraging and enlightening. I forgot to take photos until break time when members were gathered around “Morning Breeze”:
I allow my quilts to be lightly handled and photographed and I LOVE it when I see quilters curious, inspired, encouraged.
And what a great idea – a box holding the business cards of members who provide quilting services!
“Yes You CAN Free Motion Quilt!” was on the agenda for the following day to a sold out class:
Thank you Joni for the class photos! I always forget to take them.
I use my camcorder and projector a lot, but some things you just need to see up close:
I bring my “everything done wrong quilt” along, because you learn a whole lot more seeing it done wrong than done right!
Seriously, everyone was just so happy! One student remarked that she had been to many workshops and that this was the best of all! I felt uplifted just being around this guild. Several students remarked that they now felt confident that they could begin to quilt some of their own work. I. LOVE. That! It is so rewarding to quilt at least some of your own work!
What a gift it is to teach! Last week I had an inspiring online visit with the Venice Area Quilters Guild of Venice, FL and this week a fabulous in-person visit with two guilds. I am living the life!
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