Two Wacky Women

As this is the time of the year that I start thinking about my goals for the coming year, it makes me think about my goals to make beautiful quilts, have fun, enjoy friends and make new friends too.  One of my favorite ways to do this is by going on quilt retreats.  Thus, this just seemed to be the perfect time to share insights about Two Wacky Women.

You may know Marilyn Pond or Robin Gallagher from their blogs or seeing Two Wacky Women vending at a quilt show.  They are two delightful quilters who run super fun and very popular quilt retreats in Southern California.  In fact, their retreats are so popular they sell out quickly and have many quilters coming back year after year.  What I like about their retreats is that they are held in a variety of places in Southern California, and many have a featured instructor.

Here are some insights about their 2011 schedule:

Frances Moore, Machine Quilting Retreat, facilitated by Two Wacky Women
March 4-6, 2011.

Spring Quilt Retreat
April 1-3, 2011 in Laguna Woods ***sold out***

Summer Quilt Retreat
June 10-12, 2011 in Laguna Woods

Fall Quilt Retreat #1
September 30-October 2nd in Laguna Woods  ***sold out***

Fall Quilt Retreat #2
October 14th – 16th in Laguna woods. 
This retreat features Lynn Brown.

I hope you’ll include participation at a quilt retreat to your 2011 quilting goals and that you’ll check out Two Wacky Women for their fun quilt retreats too.  And remember that you can sign up for their waiting list for any retreat that is sold out.  

As my quilting goals for 2011 include improving my free-motion quilting skills, I’m signing up for the Two Wacky Women quilt retreat  in March with Frances Moore.  I’d love to have you come join me at this retreat and I know Marilyn and Robin would love to have you come to any (all) of their fun quilt retreats too!


Eleanor Burns at the San Diego Quilt Show

I always enjoy seeing Eleanor Burns, as she is just a warm hearted woman that when I leave I always feel happy. As such, it was delightful to chat with her at the recent San Diego Quilt Show (SDQS).  And I so loved shopping in her booth too!  It is easy to see why she unanomously won the Golden Quilter’s Award in 2010, for “Lifetime Achievement”.

I was also excited to see a Day and Night quilt in this show.  This beautiful quilt was made by Jeanne Rumsey. 

I also learned of a great opportunity in 2011 that you may want to participate in:

Eleanor Burns and Quilt in a Day holds several quilt retreats, throughout the day.  In the Spring 2011 they will have a fun retreat at a new location that is a great place for quilting retreats.  May 23-26, 2011 the Spring Retreat  with Eleanor will be held at Vina de Lestonnac Retreat Center in Temecula.  The sewing room is large and bright with lots of room to quilt, cut, sew and design.  The sleeping rooms are in a separate building a few steps away from the sewing room.  The dining room is a nice walk of about a half block, just enough to get the blood flowing from having been sitting and sewing for several hours.  As you walk back from your meals you can take in the sights of surrounding vineyards.  There are two options for this fun retreat:  1) You can work on any Quilt in a Day pattern, or 2) you can take a structured class with Eleanor.  The project Eleanor is teaching is the Radiant Star quilt from her new, improved book (available Jan-Feb, 2011).  For more info contact Quilt in a Day.

Quilt in a Day
1955 Diamond Street
San Marcos, CA  92078

SewCalGal highly recommends signing up for Quilt in a Day’s newsletter.   This is a great way to hear about new products, fantastic sales, and many other items.

Quilt in a Day:
Eleanor’s blog Strip Quilter:

Empty Spools/Asilomar

Empty Spools has been hosting quilting seminars for ages. I think many think of Empty Spools as Asilomar.   I’ve never been able to attend, but have always admired the creations that I’ve seen quilters make as a result of attending seminars at Asilomar.  And hearing about their experiences at Asilomar has almost appeared as a quilting right of passage, for the lucky few that get to attend each year.

Empty Spools holds their seminars at the Asilomar conference grounds, in Pacific Grove, California.{photo below  by Gregory Case,}.

The majority of the workshops for Asilomar sell out within a few hours or days from the time that registration is open, months before the workshops are held.  Prices have increased significantly over the years, participants complain of food quality, but still there are so many quilters willing to take spots, that this seminar continues to be successful, with many years of a track record of being well organized and offering the best of the best of quilting instructors. 

While I’ve dreamed of attending Asilomar for years, until recently I never thought it would be an event I’d ever be able to attend.  Then, during my research on ways one could learn to create beautiful free motion quilting, I came across Diane Gaudynski, a master at free motion quilting.  Definnitely one of the top instructors of free motion quilting.  When I learned that Diane was teaching at Asilomar I stopped focusing on all the things that kept giving me excuses for not attending Asilomar, and how lock in a spot in her class. 

I am excited to share that I have been able to lock in a spot for Diane’s class at Asilomar, session V, 2011.  My approach, to signing up, ignored the fact that I do not view myself to be a talented free-motion quilter, worthy of Diane’s instruction.  But, I have focused on the fact that I have months to practice and prepare.  Plus I’ve been encouraged by others, as well as Diane Gaudynski, to not be intimidated, and that she is able to teach quilters of all levels. 

Needless to say I’m very excited.  I’m looking forward to Asilomar in 2011.  And, I’m committed to spending as much time as I can, practicing and challenging myself to build on my free-motion quilting skills before I make it to Diane’s class at Asilomar in 2011.  I share this, but want to encourage others to not worry about it and simply go forth and sign up for Diane’s workshops, if you are interested in free motion quilting.  Or, sign up for any workshop offered by Empty Spools.  These workshops are designed to challenge you.  And, as I’ve been quilting for many years and have made more quilts with “quilting in the ditch” than I’d like to acknowledge, I’m really looking forward to my first Asilomar experience, and delighted that it will be with Diane Gaudynski. 

{above} This quilt made by Diane is what I aspire to be able to create someday!  Isn’t it beautiful?  Love it.
And, I hope I’ll be able to inspire others to pursue steps to challenge your quilting skills, as well as encourage and support others to challenge their skills.  Quilting is a vast world.  For me, I simply wanted to test the waters to see if anyone could become a great free motion quilter. And I’ve been investigating ways this can be accomplished, as well as trying to take steps to achieve this.  Asilomar and Diane Gaudynski is a big step for me, but an exciting step. 

If you have been to Asilomar before, have taken any classes from Diane, or any recommendations for my desire to challenge myself to build on my free motion quilting skills, I’d love to hear your insights.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll understand why I may be sharing various insights on free motion quilting, over the coming months, as I continue to research this aspect of quilting.

Did I say I was excited?