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Last night, I decided to finally visit my local Quilt Guild. I’ve known about them for a while; a couple of years at least, but have either forgotten the date of their meetings, or were too busy to attend. This time, at the final moment I went.

As a shy person, being in a room with a bunch of strangers – mostly of whom are older than me – can be intimidating. I really think I was the youngest person there. But the speaker that night was fantastic and very inspiring and I was thankful that I did decide to go. It may not have been the best time to attend in the grand scheme of things, I’ve missed the deadline for their Quilt Show that happens the first weekend in June, and don’t have anything finish to do a ‘show and tell’… not that I would do something like that my first time out.

Still, those I did manage to talk to, all but briefly were kind and friendly and I do hope that continuing to go to those meetings I will learn something and improve my quilting skills. There is actually one skill in particular I’m looking for someone to teach me. That is embroidery. I have done enough cross-stitch patterns to know some of the basic stitches, but embroidery seems to take things to another level that i would like to learn and apply to my quilts in the future. I’m not sure who to ask about that, but I hope I’ll find someone within the next year.

Each month the group get’s together, there is a speaker, and a show and tell sequence, as well as any announcements for the group. This month’s speaker was Dwayne Wanner of Burlington. A very entertaining speaker, who grew up knowing how to quilt from his grandmother out in Prairies. His quilts reflect the modern and abstract art of today, they are quite different and very unique and I would highly recommend visiting his website. He talked about his influences, and has inspired myself to look back and my own heritage as well as my interests and passions for new quilt pattern ideas and subjects. I would love to do a quilt that represents not only my love of reading, but of writing as well. I’m unsure how to display such an idea, but I have seen many writing/book fabrics out there that I can use once i figure out a pattern.

Besides the speaker, and viewing what other people have completed I was more happy to pick up the July Shop Hop brochure with the list of participating quilting stores. I was introduced to this event through my local quilt store a few weeks ago – before official information was sent out. The idea behind the Shop Hop, is to visit the different participating stores where they would give you a free quilt patter and fabric to complete one square. Each store has a different square, so if you manage to get to every one you will end up with 15 blocks by the end of the month. Enough to make a quilt with.

I so want to do this! I’ve check out the locations and there are roughly 2 – 4 of the quilt stores that are extremely out of my way. As much as I would like to get all the blocks – there are only so many weekends available in one month, and not all stores are open on Sundays. I don’t want to take too much time off of work, but I hope this summer things would wind down so that I can at least take an afternoon off to visit some of the more further away ones.

If I do mange to participate in this Shop Hop, I hope to chronicle my visits and the block from the stores I managed to reach. Wish me luck!