This MPS small group has been around for awhile but has seen its membership change over the years. Jacque Ervin and Michelle Herrmann are the original charter members of the small group. As other members left the group or moved away, Jacque and Michelle were joined by Becky Bohlinger, Liz McElhinny, Christie Frey, and finally, Dianne McDonnell. Because they feel that they have achieved a good cohesiveness, they now consider themselves a “closed” small group.
How did they come up with this name for their group? Well, it seems that at one of their weekend quilting retreats on the Oregon Coast, there were more bottles of wine per capita than actual food items. But they say it was still a very productive weekend!
The group has committed to meeting once a month, usually on the first Tuesday. They generally meet at one of their homes for dinner. After eating, they sometimes work on a project together, such as Christmas ornaments, or a project quilt. One summer night, they tried hand-dyeing fabric in Dianne’s garage.
Recently, they pooled their money together and purchased the DVD series, “Why Quilts Matter”. So now, after dinner, they are watching an episode and follow that with a discussion using the guide that came with the series. There are nine episodes, so they figure the series will take them into the summer.
Last month, the ladies were together in Welches, OR for a weekend quilting retreat. They have found a beautiful big home that will accommodate all of them and their sewing machines. The owner of the home is Dianne’s sister-in-law. Susan quilts, too, and she has become an honorary member of the group. On Friday, January 31st, everyone met for breakfast in Southeast Portland. After breakfast, they quilt-shopped their way up to the mountain. Once they got to Welches, it didn’t take long for each of them to claim their sleeping space, move furniture around in the great room, and get their machines set up and humming.
While wine was still in plentiful supply, food also played an important part of the weekend. Friday night was reserved for eating out at the Rendezvous Grill; but for the rest of the weekend, different members took the responsibility for a meal and everyone ate well! Quiche, scones, pumpkin waffles, omelets, enchiladas were just a part of the delicious weekend.
Lighting at the house is a challenge because of the tall vaulted ceilings in the great room. So bringing lamps was essential. And, as you can see, many of the ladies had those very cool headlamps that they put on as soon as it started getting dark. Michelle even brought her Sun Light Therapy Lamp which provided great light and kept everyone happy, too. No SAD that weekend!
The Wineys also look forward to the Sisters Quilt Show and Quilter’s Affair. Jacque owns a home in Sunriver and generously opens it for the week to anyone in the group who wants to take classes. They generally trickle in at different times during the week, but by Friday, everyone is somewhere in Central Oregon. During the last two years, the highlight of the week has been the “Show and Tell” dinner held at Jacque’s house after the big show. Whether they have taken a class or not, everyone has something to show and talk about. They usually gather other friends-some old and some new-to join them at the dinner and it has been a very special time of sharing with fellow quilters.
In the past, their projects have included a Round Robin. Christie and Michelle showed their finished round robin quilts at the 2013 MPS show. About three years ago, the group decided to make a quilt for the owner of the beach cabin that they used several times for their weekend quilting retreats. They worked on it at their monthly dinners, and it took them awhile to finally finish the quilt; but they are glad to report that it was delivered to a very happy Pat in September of 2013. They are currently discussing their next group project, and they’re not ready to divulge anything at this point. But most of the members plan to have her piece done by the next quilt show.
The members of this active small group are happy to be together, and they consider their dinners and retreats as important and valuable time spent together. Real, life-long friendships have been forged and each member can say that their quilting lives have improved as a result of coming together as a group.
The Winey Quilters are just one of many small groups that are a part of the Metropolitan Patchwork Society. The groups come in all shapes and sizes. If you are not a part of a small group but are interested in joining one, contact our Small Groups Chair.