Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quilt Guild Icebreakers that don't suck

I don't know about you; but if you are the leader of a quilt guild it can be taxing sometimes to find icebreaker-style activities and or games that are appropriate for adults, even harder is searching for ones that are semi-quilting related.

After a quick search online, I was presented with a whole bunch of generic games.  I spent some time tweaking them, and gave them a go at our St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild meeting recently.

The result?
        Well, by the sounds of laughter, I think they were a success.

Activity #1      
Setup:  Members should sit or stand in a circle where everyone can easily hear one another. Select one person to be the Moderator.
  • The Moderator begins the game by saying out loud, "I went to the fabric store and bought _(insert the name of something, ex: a magazine)____".
  • They then ask the person to their left or right to repeat what they said; but then add something to the list "I went to the fabric store and bought __(a magazine)__, and a __(a seam ripper)__."
  • Play continues around the circle with each member repeating the sentence, adding something to the list.  Examples can be obvious like...[a Fat Quarter, Thread, Ruler] or you can be mix it up and add in short little phrases like...[went to the bathroom, my credit card was declined, etc.]
  • You can eliminate players if they mess up, the choice is all yours. 

Activity #2     
Setup:  Members should sit or stand in a circle where everyone can easily hear one another. Select one person to be the Moderator. You'll need five, "pennies" or other small objects, per member.
  • The Moderator starts the game by explaining that they have a pile/bag/etc of "pennies" and that each member should take as many as they will need, up to five a piece.
  • Only after everyone has selected their quantity of "pennies", does the Moderator then continue to explain that members are to say something about themselves for each "penny" they took.  
  • It can be something related to quilting, their family, their bucket list, favorite thing, etc.  

Activity #3     
Setup: Members should sit or stand in a circle where everyone can easily hear one another. Select one person to be the Moderator.

  • The Moderator selects a question from the list below or make up your own, and asks it of the entire table/circle; giving each member an opportunity to answer.  
  • The answers should be relatively short, no long-winded stories.
  • Once all members have answered that question, ask another.
 :: If you were to switch fabric stashes with someone, who would it be and why?
 :: If you were not a Quilter, what other art/craft would be your passion?
 :: What color of type of fabric is lacking in your stash, why do you think that is?
 :: What is one technique that you are afraid of trying and why?
 :: Etc.

Activity #4   
Setup: Members should sit or stand in a circle where everyone can easily hear one another. Select one person to be the Moderator.  You'll need five to ten "pennies" or other small objects, per member.

  • The Moderator hands out the same quantity of "pennies" to each member.
  • They then finish they sentence "I have never..."
  • When a member of the group has done the thing the speaker has never done, they must give them a "penny" from their pile.
  • Play continues around the circle, with each member taking their turn finishing the sentence.  


In all of these games, you can play until a time limit is reached, one member is left "in play", or "pennies" run out.  I found that for a group of six to eight members, ten minutes seemed to be a reasonable amount of time. Yet, feel free to adjust accordingly, add prizes if you feel they are necessary for some games, etc.

The whole purpose of these games is to get to know one another, therefore I found it more interesting if members are randomly placed in groups, rather then sitting with their usual crew. 

These games are nothing new, and with a little ingenuinity you can adapt most give it a try.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sometimes the Bandwagon is okay

I generally try to stay away from "bandwagon" things. You know...those Must-Have items that everyone who is anyone has on their wish list.  I mean, I spent most of my younger years being the girl who did what she could to stand apart from the crowd (combat boots, purple-ish red hair, etc).

Yet sometimes, you come across things that are much too clever and generally Awesome! to pass up. One such example are Patchwork Threads T-shirts.  I kept seeing them appear in my Instagram feed, not in an obnoxious (not again) way; but in a "Ooh, there it is again" way.

I mean, come on, a t-shirt that says "I Quilt so I don't kill people"...that is sarcasm at it's best right there. And if that is a little too video-game violent for you, they have lots of other quilting-related shirts that are probably more work-appropriate then this one.

And sometimes when you jump on the Bandwagon early enough, you are actually called an Early Adopter.  I don't know about you; but I like the sound of that.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Modernizing My Blog

It has been ages since my blog has had any sort of upgrade, and while the newer versions have always looked better then their predecessor...this one by far is my favorite.

All thanks of course to XOSarah

Sarah is as she puts it, a "freelance designer, business owner, code-wrangler, and circus performer."

I have been following her blog for a few years, and I highly recommend that if you are at all interested in upgrading your business, your blog, or even escaping the 9-5, you check her out.  

Not only does she provide free blogging advise all the time; you can even ask her a specific question about your blog as part of her Fix-It Friday series.  She has even written two excellent e-books "How to Double your Blog Traffic in 90 Days or Less" and "Nerd Party: Clever Coding and Design Tips for Busy Bloggers", and recently started the Badass Babes Blog Club + E-Course.

So, why am I singing Sarah's praises?

Have you seen my blog? It looks a million times better...

and took less then ten minutes to install.  I purchased a pre-made template from her Etsy shop some weeks ago, and finally had time to upload it.  While there are still lots of little things I need to still fiddle with (wording, pages, etc.), I am thrilled with the results so far.  

So now you know.