Seattle MQG Updates 03-16-2020

Thank you for hanging in there during this challenging health crisis. We hope you’ve been able to take advantage of some unexpected free time to make good progress on your quilting projects. I took time to clean my studio from top to bottom, and enjoyed some quality sewing time this weekend!

Rest assured, your board has been working hard to modify our plans for the coming months. Our main goal is to keep everyone healthy, and to help slow the spread of the virus by limiting our group activities.

Here’s an update on what has changed:

March Day Retreat: rescheduled

The Day Retreat at Quilting Mayhem, previously set for March 27-29, 2020, has been rescheduled for November 6-8, 2020. We tried to find a summer month for a day retreat, but kept coming up with conflicts. If you have already registered for the Day Retreat, you will get an email from Aline soon with your options: you can either transfer your payment to the November Day Retreat, or request a refund. Details to come in a separate email from Aline.

April Meeting: canceled

The Phinney Neighborhood Center (who operates the Greenwood Senior Center where we meet) has announced that the GSC will be closed through Monday, April 13th. This means our meeting for April 8th is now canceled. We will communicate with you again before our May meeting.

Camp Burton Spring Retreat: rescheduling

We are working with Camp Burton to reschedule our May retreat to a date in the fall. Originally, this Spring Retreat was planned for May 1-3, 2020. We’ll share more details when we have them.

How to Stay Connected

It’s challenging to feel connected as a group, when we are all practicing social distancing. Here are a few things you can do, and plans we are working on:

  • Continue using the hashtag #seattlemqgsewathome to tag your posts to Instagram… we all want to see what you are working on!
  • Participate in the Cascadia Cabin in the Woods 2020 BOM, which is just getting started. Tag your progress using #cascadiacabinquilt or #smqgbom2020 This is a year-long project, and we’d love to see all the creative ways our members will interpret this fun design, hosted by Susan Pray (IG: @sushi.farmer) and Kathy McGinnis (IG: @a_swede_life). 
  • COMING SOON: Color Fluency Challenge! Inspired by our recent workshops with Anna Maria Horner, we’ve devised a way for our members to experience AMH’s creativity via a challenge project. Instructions will be posted soon, and you will get an email with directions if you are subscribed to our blog.
  • MQG Sew Day: use the hashtag #mqgsewday on Sunday, April 19th to share what you’re working on with the rest of our MQG family.

Zoom Meetings

We are looking into using the MQG’s Zoom account to hold a web-based meeting, much like the webinars they host if you have ever participated in one. You would be able to connect to the online meeting via your computer, smart phone, or tablet device with an internet connection. Ideally, we will record the meeting so you can watch it later, if you aren’t able to sign in when it is happening. We’re not sure yet if this will be for our April meeting, or some time later. More info to come!

When you order dinner, why not order some fabric to go as well?

Fabric Take Out? Why not?!?

Let’s be sure to support our beloved brick and mortar fabric stores! And what better time to do so, than now? Shops like Quilting Mayhem in Snohomish are offering online ordering, shipping, and even curbside service for picking up phone orders! Since bars and restaurants are closing to anything but take out, why not order some fabric take out as well? One small step you can take right now is order a gift card for yourself or someone you love: this gives our fabric stores a needed economic boost, and you know you will enjoy using the card in the future.

Take a Free Bluprint Class

March is National Craft Month, and Bluprint has all your crafting needs in one place! Celebrate the joy of crafting by learning a new skill! Get a FREE class! Click here to choose a class and use code BLU4YOU at checkout.

David’s Tips for Working from Home

Many of our members are suddenly working from home, and for some, this is a new experience! I’ve had a home-based graphic design business for 20 years now, and here are some tips for thriving while working from home:

  • Dress for Work. Yes, it may be tempting to work in your PJs, but I have found that I work better, and more efficiently, if I shower and dress for work, just as if I were going to an office. Well, I AM going to my home office! I also do my workout in the morning before showering, and this helps me feel much more energized and ready for my work day. Even a walk in the morning would be good!
  • Drink Water, Take Breaks. Those two things go hand-in-hand. If you drink water (up to 8 glasses a day) you will need to use the “necessary room” more frequently. This is good for your body, inside and out. Sitting too long in front of your computer is harmful, and the movement helps shift your mental focus, too.
  • Practice Good Posture. It’s important to have your computer, keyboard, chair and desk set up properly, so you don’t tire your body unnecessarily. I’m no expert, but here are my recommendations. Your eyes should be roughly level with the top of your computer screen: if your head is tilted downward, put a few thick books under your monitor to raise it up. Your bent arms should be at a 90 degree angle when typing and using your mouse. Same with your legs, they should be at a 90 degree angle from your chair to the floor (and keep your feet flat on the floor or slightly elevated on a small box or a book). A good chair is key. I choose to sit on a fit ball which forces me to keep my feet in a good, flat position. Pay attention to your shoulders: are you hunching them up? If so, raise your chair and monitor to allow your arms to be at a more natural, lower level. Google home office ergonomics for more guidance.
  • Two Task Lists: the Big One, and Today’s To-Do’s. I use my computer and the Notes application to keep a running list of all my work projects. Each project has a set of tasks to check off as I get them done. In addition to that, on a piece of scrap paper by my mouse, I list the tasks I know I can accomplish each day, crossing them off as I go. I create a new Today’s To-Do’s every afternoon before I shut my computer down. This both gives me a sense of accomplishment, but also moves all those deadlines to a place where I can reference them later, saving my brain space for other things in the evening.
  • Reply Monday Email Box. Most email programs allow you to set up folders to sort your email by subject. I have one labeled “Reply Monday.” When I get work related email on the weekends, I simply move them into this folder. My first task on Monday morning is to go through and respond to my Reply Monday emails.
  • No Meeting Mondays. If at all possible, I avoid scheduling meetings on Mondays. Seems like a simple thing, but this allows me to really focus on my work for the day, without interruptions. Since most of us are doing virtual meetings or phone conferences these days, that includes those types of meetings as well.
  • Friday, My Day. Not everyone will have the freedom for this one, but as a self-employed person, I have kept Fridays as my studio day for years. This gives me concentrated time in my studio, without being interrupted by work demands. To my clients, I’m simply not available on Fridays. Now in reality, I bend and flex on this as sometimes I can’t avoid working every day of the week, but it is a goal and I reach it about 80% of the time.
  • Communicate with Your Family. Let your loved ones know when you are going to be at work, and you need to concentrate. Set expectations for work time vs. family time. This goes for everyone, even if you have pets in lieu of kids! My dog Ally is now in sync with when I take breaks to give her attention and take her for walks. We have a shared schedule that fits into my work time. And now that my husband is temporarily working from home, we respect each other’s office time and meet up for lunch and dinner. Oh, and venting over the virtual water cooler!

And Now, Something Pretty!

We are a quilt guild after all, so let’s look at some quilts! Here’s a selection from the QuiltCon 2020 Charity Quilt Challenge, where the theme was Text and the colors were limited to B&W, and shades of grey. The three images in the first gallery below are our Seattle MQG’s contribution, which turned out great!

I’ve included a few more quilt images below, but you can always visit #mqgcharityquilt2020 and #quiltconcharityquilt2020 on Instagram to see more of the creativity this challenge inspired.

6 responses to “Seattle MQG Updates 03-16-2020

  1. Thanks for posting this. I am enjoying the cabin quilt project and eagerly await the color challenge. Not getting as much done as I expected, though.

    • You’re welcome, Harriet! Enjoy your sewing time, and let us know if you need anything. Cheers, David.

    • Thank you for sharing this, Cecelia! A number of our members have seen this, and I’m going to do a separate blog post on how we can help.

  2. Great newsletter David and I really appreciate the tips for working at home. I have worked remotely before on a hit or miss schedule. I do enjoy working from home and find I can get more done. And, it is easy to work too long and not get up and move around. I need to put my dog’s need for a walk on a schedule as well as brain breaks.

    I do hope our Guild will try and Zoom meeting. I just facilitated a Zoom meeting for about 40 people and it went really well. We did a happy hour zoom last night with a group of about 15 of us from work and that was a positive experience as we shared how we are coping with our new reality of social distancing and working from home. We can use the chat aspect in Zoom to share comments with the whole group without everyone needed to talk. And we can still take turns to talk. Thank you for considering this option.


    • Thank you, Michelle! I’m glad you enjoyed the newsletter content and my tips for working from home. We are indeed going to try Zoom for our April meeting. See the more recent post from March 20, 2020 for info. We will send out an email inviting our members to participate in the Zoom meeting on April 8, 2020. Happy sewing!

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