Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spring is in the air...and so is COVID-19!

Who would have thought one year ago, that we would still be dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 at this point in time?  On the plus side, many people are starting to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, including some of our members, and on the downside, there are COVID variants of concern gaining traction.

Do we let a little thing like a global pandemic stop us?  Of course not.  While our meetings certainly miss the in-person interactions we used to enjoy, our guild's distance version has produced a couple of changes that I, as your humble webmaster, believe have improved our guild.  

Take into consideration our amazing range of guild guest speakers.  We have been able to hear from talented quilters from across North America - something our little guild could not have done if we had to pay all those speakers to travel.  When I think about workshops and retreats where I don't have to pack up all my gear and worry about if I've left something behind, I suddenly don't mind the zoom screens as much.  Don't get me wrong - I'm looking forward to guild retreats in the future. The only downside of virtual retreats was I didn't get all my meals cooked for me!  Finally, when I think of those long dark drives after a wintertime guild meeting, suddenly a future of possibly partial remote meetings sounds very appealing.

Most importantly, we hope you are finding quilting and your guild friends to be a source of comfort through the challenging days of COVID, and that you and your loved ones are staying as safe and healthy as possible.

Now, on the eve of our Annual General Meeting, we are looking to keep the momentum we have built going.  Please consider both joining our fantastic Exec Team, as well as being an active participant in the AGM.  Our guild's future needs to be built from the voices of the many, not just a few.  So how about it?  What do you want to see for the future of the friendliest guild around?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A Quilt Guild Retreat, in the time of COVID

This coming Saturday, February 20, 2021 is our first Virtual Quilt Retreat.  The Almonte Quilter's Guild Quilt Retreats for a number of years was a weekend get-away to be anticipated, coupled with the ability to go home to your own bed (the In-Town Retreats).  You may come to one with one or two friends, but you left with a whole group of better friends.

We wanted to let folks know there is still a day or two to sign up (before midnight on Thursday, February 17th), and while we have a good-sized group already signed up, the benefit of the virtual retreat is there is always room for more.  If you are new to the guild, or even new to quilting, don't let that stop you from considering joining in.  It is a day of fellowship with other quilting enthusiasts.  Those who have challenges (and it happens to the best of us), can ask others for help, we get some time to work on our own projects, big and small, and we get to inspire each other and learn things along the way.  If your schedule permits for some, or all of the day, send us an email to sign up at our guild email address (almontequiltersguild@gmail.com) and we can promise we'll have us much virtual fun as we possibly can arrange!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

How are you doing?

How are you doing?

It's a simple question that can be more important than ever.  One thing many quilters will do is reach out to each other and our community and ask "How are you doing?"  It seemed timely to point such a simple thing out as in two days, we shine a light on mental health and mental wellness with Bell Let's Talk Day 2021.

Quilting is as much a creative outlet as it is a mental health tool and the relationships we have amongst our guild help to provide an unofficial COVID support group.  I know I would be in much worse shape if it wasn't for my quilting "family".  For that, from me to you, THANK YOU.

I encourage you to reach out to your fellow quilters - perhaps in the chat window during our monthly meetings, or a phone call or email if it is someone you know, or perhaps (wink, wink, shameless plug coming), the upcoming Almonte Quilters Guild Virtual Retreat or Workshop with Peter Byrne?  Anyway, anyhow or anytime you reach out and connect, even virtually, never underestimate the value that connection has!

So to our fellow quilters and their families, be kind to each other, take care of each other, stay safe and know you are not alone!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hindsight is 2020!

 Yes, that was not an original thought to say "Hindsight is 2020", but in this case, I think we can all agree that in looking back at 2020, there are many memories we never expected we would make this past year.  Nothing like a global pandemic to put some things into perspective!

Quilting has been something that has helped many of us with our mental health over this past year.   It has also opened us up to opportunities that we would not have otherwise been able to experience, such as Peter Byrne, who joined us from Toronto at our September Virtual Meeting, to the upcoming January session with the wonderful Helen Godden, all the way from Australia!  How lucky are we?  And how many of us can say those words in this past year?

We ended our year with a bonus newsletter and a fabulous cookbook - we hope you've tried at least one recipe from the AQG Members Cookbook.  Do you have a new favourite yet?

So let's get set to sweep out the old and cheer in the new, albeit from a safe social distance, and look forward to brighter days to come.  Have a Happy New Year and we look forward to "seeing" everyone in 2021!

Monday, November 9, 2020

A Challenging Fall

This Fall is not the typical one we may be used to.  Between COVID and the US Elections, a lot of people have expressed an extra layer of stress and anxiety that we may find unusual.  If we could prescribe anything, it might just be quilting.    

Quilting can be very therapeutic - the utter destruction of perfectly good fabric, only to be crafted into a unique work of comfort and art.  Our I-Spy quilts have already been getting rave reviews from families impacted with a trip to a hospital and their young family member receiving one of these special gifts that your hands helped to create (so popular, in fact, that we are asking to continue making some to replenish the Lanark County front line EMT's and Fire staff who have presented them to their young charges).  Have you ever wrapped yourself in a quilt and felt the love that went into its creation?

Then there are our Zoom meetings.  We have the opportunity to hear from amazing people and places, both local and remote.  Our guild is there for all of us and our community.

So this fall, may the challenge be to find a new quilting project, to get better acquainted with a new quilting friend, or maybe to find a new cool-weather outdoor activity, or to reconnect with nature.  Most of all, may this challenging fall season provide you with the quilts of your life to help soothe and heal yourselves and those you may not even know.