After my sis dropped by for a small holiday in March I realized that there was a lack of quilty friends in my life that would serve as motivation to get things done. With that in mind I head to the web to find a guild in my area.
There were two guilds I would think about joining in my area. One close - One far. since I missed the meeting for the Bear Creek Guild (Keller, Tx - 15 minutes from my house) in March I decided to look at the Dallas Guild (45 minutes away).
The Dallas Quilt Guild puts on one of biggest Quilt shows in the DFW area which Brenda and I had a chance to go to it during her visit (check out the pics here: Quilt Celebration 09). When I visited the Guild website I noticed that they were having Sharyn Craig as a speaker for the month of April. They also had TWO workshops!
I must note that Sharyn Craig is a scrappy queen in my book. She has several books on setting blocks into extraordinary quilts, so you can take your orphaned blocks and incorporate them into cohesive quilts that wow you. What made this a temptation that I just could not pass up was the fact that Craig retired from teaching last year. She was coming to Dallas because she had to cancel a previous commitment with them last year and was making up the classes. In other words, this would be the last chance I would have if I wanted to take a class with her. Her book Setting Solutions is a staple in my work room because it serves as inspiration as well reminding me to think outside the box.
I immediately emailed the coordinator of programs for the guild and got a spot in both classes. I then went ahead and dropped by for the trunk show Craig was giving at the regular meeting. Needless to say I was not disappointed and was all psyched out for my workshops the next couple of days.
The first workshop was on design. It was about taking your orphaned blocks and making them more. Craig has two books on the subject Setting Solutions - which is out of print but can still be found in eBook format from the publisher, and Great Sets (she joked about this one since it 'sounds' like a whole different type of book when said quickly). I love this type of class because it's not about walking out with one project but about walking out with the knowledge to make many different projects. Everyone brought a few UFOs and they were put on the wall so we could decide what to do with the blocks. It was a great workshop on ideas and how to 'think' outside the box.
The second workshop was more traditional and all about the Northwind block. Craig showed us the potential this particular block had and showed us a quick way to get it done. It was the first time I ever used a template to cut a regular triangle and was impressed at how easy it was. I'm usually about cutting in bulk with my rotary cutter and ruler but the way this block is made you really can use an acrylic template to get the more precise cut.
Note: Every block in this quilt is the same block but the triangles are layed out differently.
So my experience with this guild has been great. When you find a guild in your area my recommendation is not just to go to a meeting but sign up for a workshop they are sponsoring or join a committee or volunteer for something. Guilds can be an impersonal thing but these smaller activities give you a chance to meeting guild members on a one on one basis and you can develop a friendship with someone that just might inspire you.
You can find more pics of my classes here: Setting Sets and here Northwind