Among Brenda's Quilts

Last week my sister-in-law Kathy and I spent some time at her cottage for a day of R & R near Huntsville, Ontario and the next day motored south to Orillia for a day that included two trunk shows. I've never done two shows in one day so I was overjoyed to have Kathy's help and company.


Here's Kathy my sister-in-law and helper par excellence.


Orillia Quilter's Guild

Our 1:00 p.m. show took place at the Orillia Legion for the Orillia Quilter's Guild, a group of about 130 members.


Ooh, ah. Shoppers at the Orillia Quilter's Guild meeting.

Orillia Quilter's Guild Charitable Event

Every guild does something a little different and this group was no exception. They were planning a charitable event. The idea is that members sew simple tote bags and donate their surplus craft and quilting items, books and magazines. The sale is a much anticipated event open to the public. Buyers are then able to fill their tote bags with the donated items for $10.00 to $15.00. The only problem the guild faces is where to store all the donations.


Gosh, I've never displayed in front of an ordinance display before. Orillia Legion Hall.

Tribute to male quilters in honor of Father's Day

One member gave a short PowerPoint presentation showing the work of some notable male quilters in the industry, several of which I had met over the years. This tribute to the guys was in honor of Father's Day.

Orillia Guild at Mariposa Folk Festival

The guild was also looking for some volunteers to go to the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia to demonstrate hand quilting. Mariposa is a member based charitable organization the aim of which is the promotion and preservation of folk art in Canada through song, story, dance and craft – hence the quilting.

The musical lineup for that date includes Bruce Cockburn and I was sorely tempted to volunteer to hear Bruce's show and quilt at the same time – what bliss that would be! My husband Rob is a fan as well - and Rob quilts. Maybe I'll still get back to them so both of us can quilt!

Break Time at Orillia Harbor

Afterward our one hour trunk show Kathy and I took some time to pack up and put all the quilts back in the order for the presentation later that evening. We were sorely in need of some nourishment so walked across the road to Lake Couchinging to see the park the Orillia harbor, marina and boardwalk.

The Orillia harbor, a lovely spot for a picnic lunch.

What a great place to enjoy the sandwiches we packed that morning. There were some beautiful boats in the marina, lots of ducks, Canada 150 artwork on the boardwalk and plenty of folks taking in a bit of sun.

A series of double-sided painted metal maple leaves graced the harbor in Orillia.

Evening Threads Quilt Guild

We were greeted by Sue Polera at Thimbles & Things Quilt Shop for our second trunk show for the Evening Threads Quilt Guild. This is an intimate guild of about 25 that gathers in Sue's shop.

Block exchange

They also had some unique ideas. Each member had made two little stacks of 9 patch blocks, some with the dark squares in the corners and visa versa - with the light squares in the corners. They've been exchanging blocks all year. Everybody is going to have a lot of little blocks to work with at the end of 2017.


Thimbles and Things, just off Hwy 11, a quilting store sure to delight any shopper!

Sue's shop, Thimbles & Things, was really impressive. Her store samples are gorgeous with lots of bags, quilts and other quilting items nicely displayed. She's got great taste and as she told me about her start in the business, I found her to be just a delightful person.

Guess the notion

Her notions wall had everything and then some which reminds me of another interesting part of this guild's meeting. At each meeting, one of the members picks out a notion and Sue explains what it is and what it does. Members are allowed a guess before she offers an explanation.

There was a lot of laughter when the chosen item resembled a proctologist's probe! It also looked like it might have other quirky possibilities but I won't get into some of the guesses that were offered! Sue quickly set us straight though, it was a silicone pressing device by Clover.

The Fireside Retreat

Personally, I'd love to see our guild include Thimbles and Things in a future bus trip. Sue's daughter, also an entrepreneur, runs a complimentary business, the Fireside Retreat. Perhaps I'll have to plan a retreat there sometime myself. Let me know if you'd be interested. The center sleeps 8 people and there is a chef available to prepare meals.

All in all we enjoyed a great summer solstice day and Kathy and I look forward to lots of gorgeous summer days ahead for ourselves and for you and yours. Happy summer everyone and have a terrific Canada Day, and Happy 4th to American readers!

Written by Brenda Miller — June 27, 2017


I'm Brenda, and I love designing patterns that help you create beautiful, functional bags and quilts.

These patterns are unique, well-illustrated, simple to follow, and fun to sew.

We also carry my own line of bag zippers, finished designer bags, bag hardware kits, specialty fabrics, and notions, so you're able to easily find what you need to do a superb job on all of your ABQ projects.

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