This is a long story that started with trying to get caught up on my ‘not related to quilting’ list.
I’ve always admired well put together newsletters that I receive, mostly from quilters and shops but also from other businesses that I like or use often, and I’ve wanted to create my own for years. Since I started publishing (talk about tearing your hair out!) I’ve come to enjoy putting together articles, short books, magazine-like stories, brochures and also books. So, after putting it off for years, I tackled learning MailChimp for sending out newsletters. I mean, I learned how to publish books, how hard could it be, right?
Seriously, I was in tears.
It was like reading a foreign language. No, it was worse. I could have Googled a foreign language and translated it piece by piece, but when software people write about their products, they forget that humans might decide to use it.
But ‘Perseverance’ might as well be my middle name. Or ‘Stubborn’. I wanted to check that thing off my “To Do” list.
I think I clicked everything twice, and I finally sent out a bare bones newsletter, after begging for people to sign up for it. I may never send another one again. Seriously.
But the upside? Because of the newsletter I met Wenonah.
Well, actually I already knew Wenonah, we had just never met in person before. Wenonah was one of the very first people to upload a photo of her ‘Crazy Shortcut Quilt’ to Flickr years and years ago.
When I designed the newsletter, I put in a box that said something like “do you need help with your quilting” or something to that effect.
After a couple of busy weeks, I went back to look at what people wrote, and started sending out emails to answer questions or make suggestions. Then I got to Wenonah. She had written “need help with joining” or something close to that. I sat back and thought “Wenonah? She’s been making these quilts for years! I wonder why she feels like she needs help?” Then I wrote her an email. The good thing about that newsletter was that I got her new email address – YAY!
She replied that she could use a refresher and she had a couple of questions and could we meetup sometime? I said sure, if you ever get to Seward, let me know (she lives 150 miles away) and I said I’d do the same when I get to Anchorage.
Little did I know! Wenonah loves to travel! She organized a little “quilting excursion” with a couple of friends and they said they would be here Saturday. Since our house is in a never-ending state of retrofitting, I imposed upon my friend Kathleen, who owns the Alaska Saltwater Lodge (a heavenly place for a quilt retreat!), to let us meet in her lodge’s common room. She said sure, if she could invite a few quilting friends too.
What a ton of laughs we had!
I re-met some quilters from Seward that I had not seen for years; met new quilting friends; got to laugh with Alice, Arteria and Wenonah; and discovered that Wenonah and I have a LOT in common. She’s the group ‘travel agent-motivator’ – something I used to do when I worked in Anchorage. I used to organize trips to Cordova, McCarthy, Kennicott, Valdez, and twenty five other places too. Driving, camping, kayaking, hiking, berry picking or just hanging out. Wenonah is a gal after my own heart and I know that we’re going to enjoy many more meetups in the future.
So, we had an impromptu trunk show. I brought every finished quilt that I could find (I had NO idea that I had that many quilts) and she brought her book. We chatted, talked about techniques, I showed off quilts and told their stories.
And I had more fun than I’ve had in years with adults.
Hehehe. I’ve been ‘head down’ into this publishing business, taking time only to spend with my granddaughter, because if I’ve only learned one lesson in life, it is this: “enjoy the kids today”.
But now I’m ready for a little more “enjoy meeting some new quilters” too. Thanks to Wenonah.
This winter I’ll be doing two things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Travel and collect my retirement. The retirement is small, and the travel will be limited to the west coast, but it’s a start in a new direction.
So far I’ve arranged to meet up with some traveling friends, Shirley and Donna, and they are they are going to introduce me to their quilting friends Sharon, Cherylin and Leanne in Fort Nelson, BC, Canada (along our drive south) and I’ve looked up quilt guilds that I can visit along the way and emailed a few friends in the Seattle area. While I loved presenting the Trunk Show, I am not just looking for work, I’m just looking to say “hi” and chat a bit about quilting, travel, grandkids, and maybe make some new quilting friends along the way 🙂
I’ve posted our tentative travel schedule on a page here called Classes. If I get a chance to teach, that’s great, but if I just get half an hour to meet a new quilter, I’ll be even happier. Let me know if you’d like to meetup, okay? You can leave a comment here or drop me a note at MMQuilts @ gmail.com I hope to meet you soon,