Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quilting in the Wine Country

The blessing of a sewing group. Where do I start?  I was just teaching at a wonderful venue in Ukiah, California.  I experienced an amazing group of woman that I will never forget. What made this group so exceptional was their truly loving support of each other. 
The minute we arrived (that would be me and the class cupcake, Peggy) there was a wonderful feeling that you could sense immediately. At first, I thought it was because of the breathtaking views of the rolling hills with rambling areas of wine grapes.  As we drove up the gravel path to the vineyard we passed horses on the hill and a little pond. We where awestruck by the view. This is where I was invited to teach for the next 5 days.  Did I die and go to heaven?

 Peggy and I soon knew it was not just the atmosphere that made this place special, but the woman we were about to meet.
Helen's home that belongs in House Beautiful.
View from our cottage.

Our hostess was Helen, the owner of this beautiful vineyard. She calls herself  just a farmer, but she is way more than that.  She set the mood by opening her beautiful home and studio up to this group of creative stitchers. 
Helen's stash that she shares with all.
This group meets one Sunday a month to share and stitch and once in a while they bring in a teacher that they all want to take classes from for 5 days.  There where 14 creative women of all skill levels. Each one of these women brought something wonderful to the table to make this group special.  They where kind, thoughtful, helpful, and sharing with one another.  When someone left the room nobody talked about the member who just left unless it was with love and caring words.  That is very rare in today’s world.   I have been in a few sewing groups and none of them were even close to the support and kindness of this group. 

Peggy and I asked her how this mix of personalities found each other.  She said that her friend, Dee, and her put a lot of thought into the people they wanted to invite to join their group. Bingo!  They also had been in a lot of small groups that started out great but soon morphed into an event that was no longer fun to be a part of.  When they would ask someone into the group they would ask that person if they had any problems with the other girls.  
Gate to the pool (forgot to bring my suit).

I always talk about how short life is and how precious time together is and if you are in a group that is not sweet and  encouraging, get out!  There are lots and lots of wonderful women out there. Remember, quilting is supposed to be fun.
Cottage on this side, studio on the other side.

Janice's Geranium.

Beth's Hibiscus.

Dee working from her own picture. She is almost there.


Angie's  pears.


Helen working hard.

Janice posing with her quilt.  Ta-da! 

Lori.

Helen's finished quilt.  Time now for the thread work.
Class "cupcake" Peggy and Helen cutting out little pieces.
Kay's flowers. 
Olive oil garden - where did you think it came from?

Shirley's work.
Najellcka's rose.  Say that 5 times fast or even 1 time SLOWLY.
Kim's rose.

Linda and Kim's finished flower.
Helen #2 working on her Apple Bowl.

Bobbie gave her pink flowers to Kay because
she didn't want to stitch on them which is great because Kay is making pillows with them.
Betty  made 2 Sunflowers.
What are you doing this year for Easter?  Why don't you join me at Empty Spools Seminars  in beautiful Pacific Grove, California from April 8-13.  We will be making some beautiful flowers and playing with threads.  You can either use one of my patterns or work from your own flower photo. I will bring the chocolate, you bring the bunny!

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