Friday, September 29, 2023

Quilt Tales for the Heart and Mind

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you will know that I love to tell the stories that are wrapped 😉 in my quilts. So many of them have lots of emotions woven into them. Well, almost one year ago, in November 2022, Cathy, a blog reader for quite some time now, emailed me to tell me she was the programme coordinator for her guild, and had I ever considered doing presentations for quilt guilds? She found my quilts so meaningful, and always enjoyed the stories that went with them. Well, I was sure taken aback! Never had I considered presenting to guilds, but she did get me thinking. It took a couple of months…
I cannot do this!
Yes, you can.
I am freaking out!
Calm down. Breathe. Think. (but not too much)
How do I ever go about this? I haven't made a PowerPoint for years; I only work on Mac; does Keynote even convert to PowerPoint; do I really have stories that will interest people?

Apparently I do…

Well, getting this published today has certainly not gone as planned. I lost the entire post with an inadvertent swipe of a finger so I am more than a little upset. Nope the back button, nope, the history list, and nope google were no help. So here we go again. I input my photos on my phone, and dictate some of the post too, which sometimes can speed things up...or sometimes not😩

I alternated between thinking this would be a really amazing opportunity, and feeling a tad terrified at this venture. I am all about sharing and communicating and telling stories, so that part really excited me; the intricacies of just how to put it together was the daunting part. However, I am always up for a challenge; never have I not learned, grown, gained confidence, by accepting a challenge. Cathy said that although her guild couldn't pay very much, she could get in touch with a couple of other guilds in her area (it's a 3.5 - 4 hour drive from my home) so that my trip would be worthwhile. So, it turns out that I am presenting to no less than three guilds!

Monday October 16 at 7 pm in Port Perry for Port Perry Patchers

Tuesday October 17 at 7 pm in Whitby for Kindred Hearts Quilt Guild

Wednesday October 18 at 1 pm in Brighton for Trent Valley Quilters' Guild

If you are in any of those areas, click the link to find out where the guild meets, and how to go about attending as a guest, or joining their guild.

Vigil is most definitely one of the quilts for which I’ll be telling the story.

We took it to Leamington Marina and Seacliff Beach for a couple of glamour shots for the flyer that Leah, the tech person for Kindred Hearts, made. I wrote the bio and blurb. I love that flyer!

A couple of weeks ago I found out that I will have a Presenter's Table, where I could display my patterns. Cathy suggested bringing a few paper copies of some of them, so that is another new avenue to pursue, as I've only ever sold two paper copies which were by special request from Etsy customers. During a Zoom conference that Cathy, Leah and I had, I showed them the Scrappy Stars flimsy on my design wall I'd just finished, and told them of the tutorial I'd written for the block. Their guild's theme this year is scraps, so I said I'd send them each the PDF for the block; Cathy got the idea to have it as a handout for members, and have the copies on my Presenter's Table as a way to send members my way. This is the guild who made my Smooches quilt tutorial last year as a comfort quilt drive. All three guilds are now giving the Scrappy Stars handout the night I speak!

I am pleased to say that on Wednesday night, I did a dress rehearsal of Quilt Tales for the Heart and Mind at my library in the Meeting Room for a group of seven of my dear friends. It went really well and they all loved it. They told me that night but they wrote later to me by text or email to tell me just how good it was. (my heart swelled) Lorelei said they could hear the nerves in my voice at the beginning, but I soon got in the groove, and the stories flowed. There were two technical glitches, but, as Danielle said, this is good to troubleshoot now rather than in front of a large audience! Nancy painstakingly timed me, something I had just thought I'd do by looking at my phone time when I started talking, but she took out the tech glitch time and some inadvertent discussion time that happened. All gave me such positive feedback then and later via text or email as to how much they'd enjoyed it, and I also got a great idea as to how to make it better: putting links to the activities I talk about and sources I refer to on the final page of the slideshow. I have such fine friends, don't I?

So September has been mainly taken up with planning, writing, researching (yay for my links on my posts) and making the Keynote slideshow for the presentation.

I've been busy with two other items over the past month too. One is writing the instructions for a design that is going into the November issue of Make Modern, making the quilt, photographing it, and submitting all of that by the September 15 deadline.
sneak peek

The other is working on and off on my Canadian Women quilt, which, as you saw in yesterday's post and on Instagram, is off the frame! Yes, I finished quilting it Wednesday afternoon, in time to take it to the rehearsal, although sans binding!

It is one of my PHD projects (Projects Half Done, aka WIPs) so I am thrilled to be able to finally check it off my list. I am thrilled to have one done before Leanne's #wipsbgone challenge even starts! Be sure to check out @devotedquilter and sign up for the challenge which runs October 1 - November 30 on Instagram. I am one of the sponsors.

Tomorrow is a DrEAMi linkup, so gosh, that will make three posts in a row! So now I am off to my phone to input two photos, so fingers crossed I won't be inadvertently swiping this time.


  1.'ve certainly been busy and I can understand the anxiety that surrounds the undertaking of a presentation. I've never done anything like Powerpoint and am having enough trouble with stupid blogger at the moment, along with quite a few others. Hope all goes well. Take care & hugs.

  2. Kind of ironic to read that a teacher would have presentation anxiety. I'm sure the talks will all be well received. You tell wonderful stories and even better quilts.

  3. Congratulations on taking on something like this - I know you will do a wonderful job! I would love to hear the stories of your quilts in person. Maybe someday you can offer your talk as a Zoom workshop for your faraway friends?!

  4. That is wonderful that your friends got together to help you practice and work through the kinks of your presentation. I hope you enjoy your time with the quilt guilds and I look forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

  5. What wonderful news, Sandra. You do have such wonderful stories to go with your quilts. They are meaningful and well thought out. A great idea to have a trial run in front of your friends. They sound like such a great group of ladies. It is so nice to be able to work out any little bugs before the presentation. Apparently we all get butterflies because when I did my presentation to the guild I had shaky hands and felt like a deer in the headlights (and I've been running their meetings for quite a few years). I look forward to hearing about the presentations. I am sure you will do well.

  6. I am sure you will give an amazing presentation! How nice that you could have a 'dress rehearsal' and could get some wonderful feedback. Enjoy as I know the guild will.

  7. Hi Sandra! I think this is a natural extension for you. You've taught students for years - this is just a different age of students and they are very willing to learn and hear your stories. I'm not surprised one bit that your first presentation went well - you're a natural teacher. Yippee for the sneak peak and for the Canadian Women quilt being nearly complete. It's been a great month for you. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Hi Sandra, I'm sure the nerves on the day(s) will disappear quickly, and I know everyone will enjoy your presentation along with your beautiful quilts. If I was in a position to go, I would, but maybe next time. The flyer is wonderful and you will be too, not to mention, enjoy yourself. I love the Canadian Women quilt - it's gorgeous. You take care on all your travels, I'll be thinking of you on the dates. Love and hugs from St Catharines.

    1. So much for choosing Google account

  9. Love that you are presenting ... if you ever do a zoom one send me the link... I would love to be there! Good luck with the table, I am sure you will do well. Print a few of the annual ones we have done...easy, fun and useful for going through your scrap pile, too.

  10. Oh ! I just know your presentation will be wonderful and well received! I’m with Diann and Kathleen regarding the zoom presentation! I’d love that! To hear the quilt stories in your voice would be so meaningful! Good luck! Or do I say, “ Break a leg!”❤️

  11. WOW! a great news day for you about your these guild presentations!! Wish you were coming to my area, but that'll be next, I bet.

    About providing links at the end of your presentation, might I offer a further suggestion? Why? For me, I hate copying a bunch of link info at an event such as that. I'd much prefer, one simple link to your website/blog, where I can find them all (and correctly spelled!). Most are going to want to check out your blog, so it'd be a WIN-WIN .... more blog traffic for you and link info easily provided for the guild members.

    Most importantly ... HAVE FUN!! .... and we'll be waiting to hear all about your grand tour!

    1. Plus, I'm anxiously awaiting the finale of Canadian Women!! The quilting looks totally amazing and I am already wondering what "words" you chose to hide among the quilting!!!

  12. Gosh Sandra what an exciting venture for you. I'm sure that by now you will be starting to get the last minute nerves but, thinking that if you speak how you write, I bet that you will have a fabulous time. What a good idea to have a trial run with some friends.