Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Speaking at the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild...and a Surprise Encounter with Treasure

My day in Salem, Oregon yesterday with the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild was really fun. They were a gracious and welcoming bunch of gals....little knowing that my two lectures to their guild were not only the first public speaking I have ever done, but it was the first guild meeting of any kind that I had ever attended!
My talk was "From Sane to Crazy"...and was about all the quilting "phases" I have gone through from the early 1970's until now: bed quilts, stained glass quilts, Broderie Perse, landscapes...and then how that prepared me for my work today in crazy quilting.
I brought scads of quilts from all these phases and often tossed them into the audience to pass around for them to see them up close. Evidently this is never done by lecturers...and I was told they really enjoyed that part.
I sold around 40 of my Jump Start Packs too...I am so glad some ladies were inspired to try crazy quilting.

The morning lecture was attended by around 140 people; the evening lecture had around 40 I think. I asked some of them to wave to you all here!

Some of them are checking out the details on a quilt after the morning lecture.

The guild assigned a wonderful lady to ferry me around during the afternoon between lectures, and asked if there was anything special I wanted to do.
Ask any CQer in a strange town that question and she will answer, "Are there any good sources for embellishments around here?"
So she took me to Jean's house.

O. M. G.

Jean is a guild member and had been at the morning lecture. Lucky for me she was amenable to my coming over and looking over a bit of her "collection". Jean has collected of all kinds of things for many decades, but one of her purposes was that she restored vintage clothing for classic car people...you know how they ride around in costumes authentic to the period of their cars. So she needed vintage laces, buttons, etc. Now she wants to start selling off what she won't be using. You can see where this is going.....
So as I sat in her home she started bringing out these boxes, and drawers, and baskets...and she said I was only scratching the surface of what she has. I will have to go back.

Jean, surrounded by the things she loves.

Here I am, trying not to hyperventilate and faint.

What I came away with.....Some interesting buttons, beads and trim. That linen in the background behind the yellow buttons is from the 19th century.

That thread is coated with real silver. I could tell because it was a little tarnished on the surface of the old tin spool. Hand tatted crosses and some '50's polyester trim that looks like rayon....

That pink ribbon is o-l-d...the green silk velvet ribbon gets my personal Best of Show award...

Well, maybe that gossamer French leaf lace, second up from the bottom, does....

Second up from the bottom here is some lace with rickrack attached to the edge. I had never seen that before and I love the effect.

I was instantly rewarded, I think, for stepping out of my comfort zone, accepting this speaking engagement, and giving it my very best shot. Karma is instant, sometimes! Treasure was showered upon me for what was essentially pennies...

Thanks again to the Guild and to my pals here online who have wished me well with my debut as a professional speaker. It all went fine....because the ladies were so nice!
But we all know quilters are the nicest people on the planet.....

18 comments :

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Treasure indeed!! I would have fainted dead away! I can't believe now that I threw away the tatted crosses in my aunts' house - and got rid of miles and miles of great grandma's tatted lace. However, it went to a good home. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience - I knew the ladies would. Again - as always - thanks for sharing art and experience.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

P.S. I like the orange/peach grosgrain with a hint of picot on the edge. I'm working hard on the second heart - almost done.

Marty52 said...

Sounds like you were a smashing success, Allie! They must have really liked the packets you made up. WooHoo!

I bet you were sooooo excited when she started bringing out all those goodies... and I bet she was, too! Having someone hyperventilate over your stash must be a grand feeling... LOL!

threadspider said...

Aren't there some wonderful people out there?

It sounds like you had the most fabulous day and a a triumphant start to the lecture circuit :>)

PS when are you coming to England?

Krazy Kathy said...

Allie, I have to ask you about your new camera. The pics are so fantastic and clear. Would you mind sharing??

Glad your first lecture went so well, but I am not surprised. When someone has a passion, it is very easy to share it with others!

Vicki W said...

Oh wow! What a treasure box of goodies!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Kathy, I've got a Nikon P5000. It had to go back to the factory soon after I bought it due to a bad imaging chip, but it seems to be working fine now.
And you are right...it was only passion that made that lecture possible for me!

Granny Fran said...

I'm not a bit surprised that you were a big hit with the Guild! What a treasure house! Oh my! Love those shiny buttons.

Amy said...

Wow, what a day. I will always remember the first time I stepped up and taught a class at a local guild. I was sweating and nervous beyond belief and I knew most of the ladies in the room. I announced how nervous I was and a fellow quilter said, "Always remember you are among friends" And that always seems to help, quilters truly are a wonderful group to share with.

Kay said...

I'm sure you were great--would love to have heard you.

Barbara C said...

Congratualtions on your successful debut as a speaker. It looks like you fell into a real CQ treasure house. The things you bought are lovely.

Sonji Hunt said...

I love your hyperventilating pic. I can totally see you in that situation...I also know you have quite the huge selection yourself, missy. I'm glad that it all went well and so many people were there...oh, my. Now, you are ready for that pod cast series, right?

atet said...

Congrats! Both on a successful speaking debut and those wonderful embellishments! Those treasures are WONDERFUL -- I can see why you have to go back. Soon! Oh, to have a chance to rummage!

Rian said...

Yay for you! Applause!

MorningGlory said...

I was at the evening meeting and was privileged to get to hold those beautiful quilts for all to see! I have to say that I would never have known you weren't a seasoned speaker, Allie. You did a beautiful job! Thanks for showing off your passion for crazy quilts to our guild. - Dawn

Susan said...

I knew you'd do well. I love your tossing the quilts into the audience. Great idea!

I wish so much that I could paw through the laces that lady has! I saw at least 2 (read all of them!) of yours that I absolutely crave! LOL! What a wonderful treasure!

DelightfullyCrazy said...

What fantastic reading - the photos are great and I can imagine all those ladies in their element looking over your treasured CQ. Those laces, buttons and trinkets are amazing - the tatting would have taken so long to create (well for me anyhow lol)... I enjoyed reading about your venture and if you ever come to Australia in your lectures (hehehehe I could arrange a CWA meeting or ten)- you have a bed here anytime you need one! :-)

rubyhaze said...

I was one of the people in attendance at the evening meeting, and Allison's quilts were like eye-candy...each one took our breath away! To see someone's personal journey with quilting, and learn new things is one of the things we all love about quilting.

Allison's talk was fun, down-to-earth, and we were inspired to begin right away our own crazy quilts. A few members came for BOTH the morning and evening meetings, she was sooo much fun.
Thank you again