Number Nineteen * October 1, 1997
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GUILD PROFILE: The Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild, Inc.
When I finally caught up with Larry
Beauchamp, President of the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild, he
"Do you want to go see our Operations Center?"
Operations Center? I could see immediately that this was a guild to be reckoned with.
With a membership of nearly 400 quilters and a $95,000 annual budget, the west Texas guild serves nearly all of the San Antonio metropolitan area with a wide variety of activities and services. It is definitely Quilting, Inc.!
The occasion for my being in San Antonio was the guild's large biennial quilt show September 19-21. I had a quilt in the show as a result of the guild's call, through the internet, for quilts "by and for men." Since the chances of my ever again displaying a quilt anywhere besides my own house were fairly slim, I decided to go to the show along with the quilt.
"Quilts By and For Men," was a special exhibit within the overall show, which included more than 250 quilts and wearables in categories ranging from art quilts to scrap quilts to quilts on the official show theme, "A Victorian Texas."
I asked Larry, who was in charge of the men's quilts, how the idea had originated. "We always have some special exhibits in our show, and this one sort of fell out of the sky," he said. "Amy Cottrell, the overall show chairperson, suggested it, and we decided it should be quilts 'by and for' men so we would be assured of getting enough. The only place this exhibit was publicized was on the internet." This call through the net resulted in the submission of 18 quilts, 12 of them by men and 6 by women for men. In the guild's previous show, in 1995, they had featured quilts designed on computer.
Like so many things Texan, this show was a big production. Besides the many quilts, the show was characterized by an unusually large number of vendors -- a total of 48, who took up fully half the exhibit space in the Live Oak Civic Center, a former Handy Dan home improvement store. They came from all over Texas, and from as far away as Wisconsin, and they were doing a land office business. "We had 3,500 atttendees at our 1995 show, and expect 5,000 to come to this one," Larry told me. "Vendors start to get interested in any show with 2,000 visitors." This year's show also featured a series of free technique demonstrations from a variety of vendors and guild members. These half-hour presentations were extremely popular and continued throughout the show. The overall show was organized through the efforts of more than 200 guild volunteers.
Profits from the show, along with an annual guild auction, go for guild activities, including a charitable effort known as "Bright Hopes." Guild quilters make 200-300 quilts a year to give to children in local homeless shelters, as well as doing special projects such as a quilt for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Habitat had intended to auction the quilt as a fundraiser, but liked it so much they kept it. They photographed it and sold posters instead. The guild also sponsors a community education project which takes quilt history, design, and techniques into the local schools.
Larry and his wife Lois are both quilters, and I asked him how they became involved with quilting, and with the guild. "My mother was a quilter," he said, "and there was a quilt frame set up in our dining room as far back as I can remember. Lois also comes from a sewing family, though they were not quilters. But the real reason we had to be serious sewers is that we have eight children, five of whom are girls. We had to sew to outfit our daughters."
The guild was founded in 1980, and he and Lois were involved in it almost from the beginning. "I joined so I could go to a lecture by Mary Ellen Hopkins," he said. Now he's president, a two-year post he said he took because "no one else wanted to do it." He has previously served as second vice president and put out the guild newsletter, a chore he says fit with his professional skills in desktop publishing.
The guild meets monthly in a local church and sponsors two retreats each year, including a week-long quilt-in at a resort in the nearby Texas hill country.
So what's this about the Operations Center? Larry led me out to his Mazda MPV and we headed around the city's outer loop highway to a turnoff on the northwest side, about 25 miles away from the show. There on 15 acres of live-oak studded Texas scrub land was a low 3-bedroom ranch house that the guild leases so that it will have a "place of its own." It was empty and much of its contents removed because of the show, but Larry gave me the tour. The house is kept open by volunteers four days a week, and is used by quilting bees as a meeting place, as well as for classes. It is equipped with a design wall and large tables which can be used for basting.
One of the bedrooms is devoted to storage of the guild's considerable library of books, videos, and patterns, which was one of the main reasons for leasing the house. "The librarian got tired of hauling the library around in her car from meeting to meeting," Larry says. "I bet there aren't too many guilds around who have their own headquarters."
When we got back to the quilt show about 3:00 the parking lot at the civic center was all but full. Quilters were coming and going, buying tickets for the appliqued raffle quilt (designed on a computer), attending vendor demonstrations, examining the tiny stitches and colorful designs of the guild's members and other show participants, and perusing acres of fabric, books, and notions to add to stashes. Clearly quilting is alive and well in San Antonio, and the GSAQG, Inc., is at the heart of it!
Our trip to San Antonio included (of course) visits to the
local quilt shops. Earlier this spring we reported on trips to
Las Colchas and Plain Jane's, with a vow to see Seventh Heaven
the next time. There are a number of wonderful quilt stores that
are located in improbable places. You know, you follow the
directions you got over the phone and about three minutes before
you find the store you say to your companion, "It can't be
out here!" Seventh Heaven is one of those stores. It's
located in what felt like the outskirts of town, and I have to
admit that I was somewhat surprised by the burglar bars on the
doors, and the reasonably unpicturesque surroundings, but once
you get in the door, who cares?
Greeted by someone who advised us that "Half the store is
already at the quilt show," we were still impressed by half
that was left. The general atmosphere of the place was one of a
family reunion, and that may have actually been what was
occurring that day. Two babies and other young children were in
the store and several adults sat chatting in the classroom,
rather oblivious to the fact that they were in a place of
business. Even though we were the only customers in the store, we
were allowed to poke and browse leisurely. There are lots of shop
samples. Advertised as serving the quilting needs of the south
side of town, Seventh Heaven offers an unusual block-of-the-month
pattern (Everyday Angels) that accommodates machine and hand
appliquers. I picked up a flier that details their machine
quilting service and since the sample work I saw was so nice, I
may become a mail order customer to help me finish up my UFOs.
Seventh Heaven also does quilt-related trips.
Since our visit in the spring, Plain Jane's has moved more toward the front of Artisan's Alley (directly outside Apple Annie's tearoom-yum.) The store has retained its down home flavor, complete with the bare bones instructional area that features metal and formica tables, left over from kitchens of the Fifties. Same great primitive stuff, same great feel. Even your non-quilting companions will find it appealing.
Las Colchas continues to have many, many kits and has the most specifically old San Antonio atmosphere. It features wallhangings of missions and other designs paying homage to the city's Hispanic heritage. One of their unique items is a "tortilla quilt" kit for children, which goes with a charming book. Las Colchas has also developed something of a taste for the primitive in their fabric and pattern selections. The owner and staff are very friendly and helpful, without being officious. A very pleasant shop.
-- Lynn Holland
Introducing a new stainless steel raised edge thimble with a unique soft cushioned surface that grips the needle for better stitch control. Improved oval design fits your finger almost like it's custom made.
My Favorite Thimble comes in three sizes, small (6), medium (8) and large (10). Petit or extra large sizes available for an extra 25 cents.
To order, please send $6.00 and your choice of size to:
3687 Coldwater Lane
Snellville, GA 30039
For more information or for dealer inquiries, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 1-800-533-7259.
A new Quilting and Sewing Clipart collection is now available from SnippitS Graphics.
The set consists of over 120 clipart images for use in newsletters, stationery, address labels, business cards and web sites. Perfect for the Patchwork, Sewing or Craft enthusiast the clips include images of bears, animals, dividers, blocks, patchwork, sewing utensils, flowers and celebrations.
For enquiries please e-mail email@example.com
Web site for Australian orders http://www1.tpgi.com.au/users/snippits/
For International orders http://www.needles.com/snippits/
The MINI DUST-IT. Genuine sheepskin duster on a 6" stick that is perfect for picking up dust and lint from your sewing machine and serger. Soft, beautiful sheepskin won't scratch polished surfaces. Picks up the lint and tiny threads; doesn't spread them around. Prevents lint build-up. Inexpensive way to protect expensive sewing machines and sergers. Fun and handy to use.
Price: $3.50 each including mailing.
To order send check to Silver Dollar Sheep Station, 5020 Winding Way, Sacramento, CA 95841. 800-887-8742. SILVER DOLLAR SHEEP STATION
Get THANGLED! Plan ahead for the Holidays!
FREE Holiday Pattern with your prepaid purchase of four packages (1", 1.5", 2" and 3") of Thangles for making half-square triangles. We pay the postage.Send $20. for four packages of Thangles (CO residents add CO sales tax) to:
"Holiday Pattern & Thangles"
Design Plus, 907 Columbia Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525
We also have TWO NEW SIZES of Thangles @ $5. / package -
1. For miniature quiltmakers - 1/2" and 3/4" packaged together makes 1,400 half-square triangles!
2. 2-1/2" finished size - makes 300 half-square triangles
P. O. Box 273, Esperance NY 12066
Hickory Hill Quilts offers a complete line of antique American quilts, tops, blocks and related items at our web site http://www.HickoryHillQuilts.com. We also offer the latest reproduction fabric and quilt heritage books - all at a discount! In fact, we guarantee the lowest price on the web.
We accept MasterCard, Visa or Discover as well as personal checks. We also have a layaway plan. All sales are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. To order, use the on-line order form or call 518-875-6133. We hope you enjoy owning your very own piece of American history!
Quilt Shop Service -- Discount Prices
Looking for discounted quilting supplies and books? Look to PineTree for discounts of 20%, accompanied by attentive customer service and prompt shipping! Don't forget to check out online catalog at http://quilt.com/Pinetree for ***new, new, new*** items and a partial listing of books!
You'll find a huge selection of batting, from Quilter's Cotton fine cotton batts to the full lines of Hobbs' and Fairfield's cottons, blends, and polys. Look for tools to make applique easier and more fun; fabric and hand care products; pencils and markers; templates and template plastic; needlecraft gloves; rotary cutters and related supplies; rippers, clippers, snippers, and scissors; machine sewing needles; seven (!) brands of hand sewing needles -- including Jeana Kimball's renowned Foxglove Cottage needles; basting systems; thread, including Mettler and Gutermann cotton sewing and quilting, Tire silk sewing, and Sulky rayon, metallic, and sliver, and *new* Roxy 100% cotton thread on economical 1200-yard spools; patterns ... and more. Check out the catalog on the web at http://quilt.com/Pinetree, or request a hard copy by e-mailing snail mail info to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are on AOL and prefer to contact someone there, Donna's address is PineTreeQW! Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are all welcome. PineTree is online to answer questions about quilting products at email@example.com
Check out our on-line catalog for our Monthly $pecial$!!
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The Schoolhouse Enterprises catalog offers lots of Other Fun Stuff, too! We've added a few things we think you'll like, so if you haven't visited our web page lately, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Perfect Square is a reusable iron on transfer used to make half square triangles quickly, easily and accurately. Each sheet can be used at least 10 times, usually more. For those of you who like to work small, there is the Mini Pack with finished sizes from 1/4" to 1 1/2". Perfect Square also comes in real sizes for anyone intimidated by the small stuff.E-mail for more info or check out the Perfect Square web site at www.webworldinc.com/perfectsquare.
ARTFABR!K now carries a Color Card for their extraordinary hand-dyed perle cotton threads available in sizes 3, 5, 8 and the finest, size 12. Please send $7 plus $1 for shipping to ARTFABR!K, Laura Wasilowski, 324 Vincent Place, Elgin, IL 60123. E-mail email@example.com or see our web site at http://www.qcx.com/fabrik/artfab.html
Beautiful hand Dyed Fabric perfect for piecing, applique and pictorial quilts. Colors range from a sunrise spectrum of mauves, pinks, and golds to deep purples, blues and teals. Available in the following convenient packages:
|8 step color progression-||fat eighth cuts-||1 yard||$25.00|
|12 step color wheel-||6"x22"cuts||1 yard||$25.00|
|24 step color wheel-||6"x22" cuts||2 yards||$45.00|
|10" squares||1.5 yards||$35.00|
Send a self addressed, stamped envelope for free samples and full price list or to order send check or money order to:
Jay Dee Designs 18640 South Lowrie Loop Eagle River, Alaska 99577
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