I’ve taught for the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show every year since it began (including when it was called the Madison Quilt Expo), and in 2019 both of my lectures sold out. I hate to admit it but that hadn’t happened for years – and it was quite exciting. I was accepted to present that same lecture again in 2020 – and we all know what happened to the Madison show last year.
For 2021 the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show has decided to go virtual once again. I was invited to send in a proposal to create a virtual lecture with PBS, to be offered during this year’s show. I really miss teaching in person, but in this world we need to be flexible. So I proposed my
lecture again – and it was accepted! Praise the LORD!
I constantly marvel at how many other fields of knowledge I need to grasp in order to simply do what I love – teach quilting. Thus it was time for me to jump into something new again.
PBS gave me the option of creating my own video or having them tape me virtually via Zoom. I went for the second option and was given a date to get together with their team and check the lighting, sound, etc.
I set everything up in my studio and all of the tech experts at that Zoom meeting felt it would work. Two days later I picked an appropriate quilt for the backdrop, got dressed up, and logged into the Zoom meeting… only to discover that my home internet connection wasn’t strong enough for a quality production (everyone was surprised that this didn’t show up previously). Since we live in the country and our internet options are few – it was a quandry. After a lengthy discussion, I realized that I needed to haul everything over to my parent’s condo and try again. A new Zoom was scheduled for 2 hours later, and when I called my mom and dad they responded with an enthusiastic “YES”!
I really transformed their living/dining room!
In “show business” I’m learning you have to make do to make it work, even including the stack of encyclopedias under my computer to get it to the perfect height. I borrowed the big black light, top left, from my daughter-in-law, and it needed to be placed directly in front of me, so here’s the set-up from my perspective:
My parents were pleased to play a part in it all, and during the filming they hid out in their respective dens/computer rooms so as not to make me nervous. That’s the funny part of this story! I have lectured in front of live crowds of over 300 quilters without a single butterfly, but that morning my stomach was doing flips. Once I logged in I confessed this to Tina and she told me they were filming in real time. This meant they would not be stopping and starting, and if I messed up I should just continue as I would for an in-person lecture. This was actually comforting to me… and the cameras started to roll.
They wanted me to begin with a few minutes of my introduction to make sure everything was working right. One minute into it, from down the hallway, I heard my dad sneeze 🤧 . I ignored it and continued for a minute or two longer. When I was done with the test, Tina said it all went well but they couldn’t figure out what the “short, unusual” sound was – they were pretty sure it wasn’t on their end. I confessed it was a sneeze and the team laughed as I went down the hall and closed the door.
After that the actual taping went very well and I was relieved that my nervousness disappeared from then on out. Tina and company said it was all good…
and you can learn all about “Quilt-As-You-Go” this September by signing up for my lecture at the virtual show.
All of the information about the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show, including how to sign up for the show and classes, can be found by clicking here! And the good news is that all of you who do not live in Wisconsin can “come to the show” too!
And one more thing – a question for quilters in southern Wisconsin:
Yvonne recently sent me this email:
“Hi! I read your message every week. I would like to know if you could recommend any retreat centers in middle or southern WI to spend 2 nites away. There are only 2 of us, so maybe we don’t qualify for a large group place. Let me know which ones you have enjoyed. I appreciate your time and help.”
The retreat centers I’ve stayed in were meant for larger groups. Do any of you have recommendations you’d like to share? Please add them in the comments so we all can learn. Thanks!